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Southsea Castle

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Clarence Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA, England
Phone Number: +44 23 9282 6722
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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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    Very good
  • 42
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amazing step back in time

The coast line along here is amazing, a chance to walk the footsteps of generations past. One of my favorite places to walk our dog or just to go for a nice walk in any weather

4 of 5 starsReviewed December 19, 2015
Bonnie P
,
West Byfleet, United Kingdom
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330 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Alliston, Canada
Level Contributor
72 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Not the usual lighthouse but very appealing to the visitor. Get the best view in the city and enjoy the hustle and bustle of a seaside place. Good for all the family.

Helpful?
Thank Judy_LucyC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

There are not many attractions that you can visit for free and this one is well worth a visit. Start by viewing the short video in a little room at the side. This gives so much information about the history of the castle and makes it much more interesting as you look around. The children love the tunnel and the... More 

Helpful?
Thank CCCoast
South West England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Went out for lunch with daughter and granddaughter and to book my hen night at the courtyard they were very helpful we had a lovely lunch they made us very welcome.

Helpful?
Thank Margaretwestwasking
Liversedge, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2016

After a very windy New Years Day walk with two Lhasa Apso's. We were totally delighted to find the Courtyard cafe, which was not only open but welcomes dogs INSIDE. Great coffee and warm paws. We will be back hopefully on a better day, to take in some more of this very interesting place.

Helpful?
Thank Janet M
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2015 via mobile

Came for nye 2015/16. DJs were very cold and unsocial. Very awkward atmosphere. Bar was overpriced. And the venue was over sold- being told there was more rooms (Only 1 gazeebo) and more facilities (1 portaloo). Very DISSAPOINTED for £20 a ticket.

Helpful?
Thank lewis g
Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2015

Southsea castle is now free to visit and walk around, so well worth going. check out when the bandstand music is on first as this is also free, So gets very busy on those sundays. Or just enjoy both like we did

Helpful?
Thank Ian F
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2015

This was the first Christmas event for the castle of this type, it was a slow start mainly because of the weather and lack of advertising, bus the stage acts and castle were outstanding

Helpful?
Thank Lizzie H
West Byfleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
104 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2015

The coast line along here is amazing, a chance to walk the footsteps of generations past. One of my favorite places to walk our dog or just to go for a nice walk in any weather

Helpful?
Thank Bonnie P
Woking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
259 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015

In a similar way to Portland's castle, this is a great hour or two's viewing. Full of history and details such as tunnels to the outer battlements, where soldiers could shoot invaders in the back!! Nice café and take the time to watch the video in the small cinema to gain the best knowledge.

Helpful?
Thank Roger G
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015

I have lived in Portsmouth all of my life and for many years when I was a child, the castle was closed but now it is open all year round. The history in the wall is palpable. As you walk through the doorway of the walls, look to the left and inspect the brickwork closely. You can clearly see where... More 

Helpful?
Thank LittleGard

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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?