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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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Cultural dayout

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 17, 2015
Jackie D
,
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
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231 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
25 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 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.

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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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
10 helpful votes 10 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
180 helpful votes 180 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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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
24 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015

We have been here many times, usually when we have family to visit. There is a museum which is very interesting, a lovely cafe. They hold weddings here, but you are still allowed entrance even so.

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
119 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

Back in the days of War this and War that, the Southsea Bronx Castle was formed and created to protect the Southsea Massive! Representing!

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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2015

This castle is very different to other castles. I have been here twice and enjoyed it better the first time. The first time, was around 10 years ago.. I went on a school trip and it was a very good day out that also, was very fascinating too.. As gained lots of historical information about Southsea castle, by the tour... More 

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Tamworth, Australia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

It is wonderful to see all the old places being restored. This site is a credit full of interesting information and very well preserved

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Leicester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
212 reviews 212 reviews
200 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

Located on Southsea front. This castle is unusual in the way it is built , not with concentric towers like most of his other castles. It is a very interesting castle in many respects. Alot is undercover, so it can be visited on a miserable day -but much better on a warm day where its sheltered inner courtyard can be... More 

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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?