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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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Southsea surrounded by history

Take time out to look around South Castle and its role in defending the kingdom. On a sunny day its a wonderful place to have a picnic which, for me, is one of my favourite... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
shilcockphipps1797
,
Folkestone, United Kingdom

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423 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 408: English reviews
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
102 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

you can stand atop the castle walls and view the river and the Isle of Wight across the water. Across the river is Gosport, which is accessible by ferry as is the IOW.

Helpful?
Thank fr21555
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Take time out to look around South Castle and its role in defending the kingdom. On a sunny day its a wonderful place to have a picnic which, for me, is one of my favourite meals.

Helpful?
Thank shilcockphipps1797
Level Contributor
118 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Walls of stone, views of sea, take the family and see for fee, take in the scenery, inhale the breeze, in winter wear your woolies ! If you don't you'll freeze.

Helpful?
Thank Nigel P
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2017

A free venue , with great views of the Solent , fantastic cafe inside the castle in quirky surroundings . A great place to wander around for an hour , though a little light on detail and information .

Helpful?
Thank Jane T
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,444 reviews
779 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 366 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2016

There is a decent gift shop and the views sure are something and they hold events regularly. The cafe looks decent and much history and its all for free.

Helpful?
Thank Ethan E
Franklin, TN
Level Contributor
152 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2016

I had such a great time visiting the castle. Great signage inside the castle, and the folks there have done such a great job with everything. Free entry, and a place I will definitely visit again. Great place!

Helpful?
Thank BattlegroundTravel
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2016

From here you can see where the Mary Rose sank. It doesn't take too long to walk around the walls but it is interesting to stand where Henry VIII stood and watch his flag ship sink.

Helpful?
Thank Katherine O
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2016

It's quite small so doesn't take long to visit but is free and informative. They tend to have weddings there so sometimes you can't get to all the areas or walk around the top but if you can the view is lovely. The cafe is nice too.

Helpful?
1 Thank Sjmanfa
Bognor Regis, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2016

Beautiful location and breathtaking views. On site cafe and shop. Local brewery as well with superb beers to buy and taste. A delightful experience and very historical. Also used as a wedding venue. Visited with friends lovely experience.

Helpful?
2 Thank Diane W
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2016 via mobile

Walking distance from our hotel so how could we not visit. Unfortunelty only the battlements were open as they were still clearing from an event the day before however still a nice walk around battlements and we had a drink in the lovely cafe, which we wish we had found sooner as probally would of enjoyed an evening meal there.... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Sammy B

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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?