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Southsea Castle

Clarence Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA, England
+44 23 9282 6722
Review Highlights

The castle is a little gem. Go around at your own pace and the staff are very friendly. Brilliant... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
A TripAdvisor Member
via mobile
interesting (and free)

The first time we tried to see it, we couldn't because there was a wedding. We came back, and it... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Karen M
Calgary, Canada
Read all 478 reviews
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Built in 1544, the Castle was part of a series of fortifications constructed by Henry VIII around England's coasts to protect the country from invaders. Barely was the work completed when Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, tragically sank in front of the Castle. During the English Civil War, nearly a century later, the Castle was captured for the only time in its history, by Parliamentarian forces. Over the centuries, Southsea Castle's defences were strengthened so that it could continue to protect Portsmouth. In the 19th Century a tunnel was built to defend the Castle moat. Visitors can still enter the tunnel and see how the Castle would have been defended against invaders. The Castle has had many other uses besides defence. For a while it was a military prison. A lighthouse was built in the 1820s, and is still in use by shipping today. In 1960 the Castle left military service. It was acquired by Portsmouth City Council, which restored the Castle to its 19th century appearance.
  • Excellent39%
  • Very good45%
  • Average13%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“henry viii” (45 reviews)
“free entry” (36 reviews)
Clarence Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA, England
+44 23 9282 6722

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Reviews (478)
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1 - 10 of 459 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

The castle is a little gem. Go around at your own pace and the staff are very friendly. Brilliant views and enough information boards. The castle has a very broad range of history so is worth a visit even if tudors aren't your thing.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 week ago

The first time we tried to see it, we couldn't because there was a wedding. We came back, and it was interesting--especially if you've seen the exhibit about the Mary Rose at the dockyards.

Thank Karen M
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Spend a lot of time down southsea and surrounding areas however this was a 1st visit. Very well kept and interesting. They do wedding services and looking at the pictures it looks idilic The lady in shop (i think maybe the manager ) was most...More

Thank sueeley
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

From this vantage point you can see Portsmouth and Spinnaker Tower and the sky line. Lots of steps for the more agile Good place to wander round and see Henry 8th strong hold. Good restaurant and toilet facilities. Very clean. Even a wedding area. Ideal...More

Thank Spike C
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Nice little castle situation along the sea front, free to go in and have a look around. You get some nice views out across the water and all around. Also served as a little introduction to the naval history for our week down in Portsmouth,...More

Thank clipper1981
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A very nice castle, very interesting exhibits in the keep. Nice looking café, but we did not use it on our visit. The beers at the micro brewery looked very interesting but they were out of stock of the ones that we wanted on our...More

Thank Sarah M
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a little gem full of character and history. The views are amazing. There are stairs to see these and not disable friendly. There is a cafe in the bottom which is accessible for all

Thank 123linny
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Came here on a tuesday with my friend and her 2 kids (3 and 9months). Although many parts are not pushchair accessible, if you have a carrier you can see all of it. Great activities on for children (dress up etc) and 'medieval crafts' on...More

Thank missnikkikrista
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Very insightful with regards to its history and Henry VIII also Mary rose. Lots for youngsters to do. Couldn't go in tunnel or see whole castle due to private function.

Thank Caroline H
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Small castle/fortification. Good for young visitors, but they won't be able to see the view across the harbour without help. Family and dog friendly. The tea room is busy,caters for different dietary needs and allows dogs into the premises. I had to send my scone...More

Thank Pickle085
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Questions & Answers
8 February 2015|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Andrew W | Property representative |
Hello, Southsea Castle is not open to the public at the moment, but is normally open Tuesday - Sunday, and Bank Holiday Mondays, 10.00am - 5.00pm, April - October. The Castle is closed on Mondays (except for Bank Holidays... More