Portsmouth is one of the UK’s top seaside destinations. With its rich cultural history, fine dining appeal, and standing as the longest-serving home to the Royal Navy, tourists flock in their thousands each year.
Portsmouth has it all, from sightseeing to discovering some of the most important relics of British naval history.
Easter half term is fast approaching, so we’ve tracked down 7 of the best half-term activities for the whole family to enjoy in Portsmouth. Read on to find out more:
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Home to Henry VIII’s prize ship, the Mary Rose, Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, the largest and fastest Royal Navy vessel HMS Warrior 1860 and more, Porstmouth Historic Dockyard will transport you through the ages.
There are 10 incredible attractions to visit, including Britain’s top National Museum for naval and maritime history, the National Museum of the Royal Naval.
Experiencing the Mary Rose up close is an experience like no other. With 500 years of maritime history hidden in her hull, and hundreds of artefacts saved from her wreckage unearthed in 1982 from the bottom of the Solent, you’ll get insight into the life and times of the Tudor people who served as part of her crew.
Equally, standing on the deck where Lord Nelson saw victory and defeat at the Battle of Trafalgar in one final blow is quite something.
As you discover the stories of Tudor age sailors up to the modern 21st century, you and the family will leave with your own remarkable stories to share with eachother for years.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to uncover dark government secrets? Or want to go back to the 90s with a kicking, retro soundtrack as you save Christmas? Or maybe the swinging sixties is more your vibe?
With sixty minutes on the clock, you and your team need to work together to solve the case, crack the code and ultimately beat the room through a series of puzzles and challenges.
Exciting Escapes is Portsmouth’s top-rated escape room. With six different, live and fully immersive games to choose from, you can put yourself through your paces as you become the victor and make your escape or run out of time! Do you have what it takes?
Impress your loved ones and treat them to the city’s best views! Standing at 170 metres tall, Spinnaker Tower offers awe-inspiring 23-mile views over the city, harbour, the Solent, the South Downs and the Isle of Wight.
While you’re up there, treat yourself to delicious cuisine in High Clouds, live life on the edge by walking over the glass path of the Sky Walk and then settle down in the beauty of the Sky Garden to catch a breath.
Half-term doesn’t have to cost the earth! Pop over to Southsea seafront to revel in the waves as you dip your toes in the Solent. Don’t forget to bring your scooters, bikes and boards to ride along the prom as you all breathe in the fresh sea air.
If your little ones have more energy to burn, stroll over to Southsea Common to let them run free, or even bring a ball along to enjoy a game in the sun.
Cumberland House Natural History Museum
A family favourite, Cumberland House Natural History Museum, has left generations inspired over the years. You can explore ancient geology to modern local habitats in the museum’s mind-blowing displays. Highlights include the Arctic Fox (now extinct in Britain), a porpoise skeleton and a Golden Eagle.
It even has its own Butterfly House, where you can come face to face with a whole host of neotropical species. From the striking blue morphos to the ethereal glasswing, you can experience these wonders of the natural world in a thriving habitat all within the museum’s walls.
The fun doesn’t stop there! With its excellent calendar of events, there is something for the whole family to enjoy this half term at Cumberland House.
Just on the city’s outskirts, you will find the remarkable Portchester Castle. Its origins go all the way back to the 3rd century AD when the Romans built a vast fort there. Two centuries later, the fortress was transformed into a Saxon settlement and served as a Norman castle after the Conquest of 1066.
Over the years, Portchester Castle has seen medieval kings embark across the Channel – most notably King Henry V’s invasion in 1415 of France, which led to his triumph in Agincourt. Later, the castle served as a prisoner of war camp in the 1600s and went on to house 8,000 prisoners at the height of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars between 1793 and 1815.
Today, you can learn about the lives of the men and women who served and were imprisoned in the castle. From the extraordinary group of 2,500 prisoners of war from St Lucia in 1796 to the theatre set up by French prisoners in the early 1800s, the castle has seen some sights.
The castle is well worth a visit for the curious mind, those interested in history and for those who want to learn more about the culture of Portsmouth throughout the years.
The D-Day Story
Portsmouth’s D-Day Story exhibition gives you insight into the people behind the events of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. A celebration of the lives of those who were on the front line and behind enemy lines and the ordinary folk who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, there are over 10,000 items on display that help to tell their story.
The Overlord Embroidery is a highlight worth seeing. Within its intricately embroidered panels, the story of the D-Day operation is told over 83 metres of panels.
Portsmouth should be your number one destination this half term! With numerous museums, attractions and once in a lifetime experiences on offer, there is something for the whole family to enjoy! Where will your next family adventure take you?