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Southsea Castle

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Address: Clarence Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA, England
Phone Number: +44 23 9282 6722
Website
Description: Built in 1544, the Castle was part of a series of fortifications...
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.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Miss it - miss out!

We loved Southsea and it's common and it's castle - it's a really good day out. There was a nice cafe too and fab views around the Solent.

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 17, 2015
diana h
,
Cambridge, United Kingdom
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236 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015 NEW

We loved Southsea and it's common and it's castle - it's a really good day out. There was a nice cafe too and fab views around the Solent.

Was this review helpful? Yes
UK
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
7 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2015

A very informative visit, well cared for and knowledgeable guides. Lots of exhibits to look at. Well recommended.

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Guildford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
39 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2015

Did not seem of any interest but having taken the time to visit I would recommend anyone in the area to go in. You will have a different perspective of the history of the place and the times in which it was built.

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Aldershot, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
72 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

old and very interesting, alot of history surround around this castle. Very well kept, and a very clean place.... worth a visit... be careful if you have a pram/pushchair, as some stairs...

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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2015

From when I was small I remember the castle, it doesnt seem to of aged over time either, and the view is breath taking looking out over the solent, I find the view back across portsmouth is equally special. You can make out the location of the Mary rose and combined with a little history knowledge and then trace your... More 

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Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
25 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

As this is a free attraction you can't really complain. However it was a pleasant 10-15 mins which we didn't plan to visit during our day out. Well worth a visit and great views from the top.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

There is no charge for visiting. You get a video overview to explain the history, before walking round by the cannons and through tunnels. Great views of the harbour and there is a place to stop for refreshments. There is a gift shop and I was able to buy souvenirs for my dad.

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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

The castle is free to walk around and there are interesting areas to read about. There are also tunnels to explore. A good visit also if you have kids.

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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2015

Get amazing views from the top; explore the tunnels; try on Tudor clothing; sit in the stocks! Good gift shop and yellow kite café. Free entrance!

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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
410 reviews 410 reviews
250 attraction reviews
188 helpful votes 188 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015

Following in the footsteps of Henry the 8th. The building is free to walk around and interesting and worth the extra distance from the old harbour.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?