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Southsea Castle

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

I went on a school trip to Southsea and visited the Castle and Lighthouse as it was part of their... read more

Reviewed September 16, 2015
Peter G
Waterlooville, United Kingdom
via mobile

Small and interesting. No charge. Good views and interesting information. Rather expensive cafe... read more

Reviewed September 15, 2015
Crawley, United Kingdom
Read all 469 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.
  • Excellent40%
  • Very good44%
  • Average13%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“henry viii” (43 reviews)
“free entry” (36 reviews)
Clarence Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA, England
+44 23 9282 6722

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151 - 160 of 450 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2015 via mobile

I went on a school trip to Southsea and visited the Castle and Lighthouse as it was part of their project. I must say, the place was packed full of history and the staff very knowledgeable. It was also free and the Tea rooms was...More

Thank Peter G
Reviewed September 15, 2015

Small and interesting. No charge. Good views and interesting information. Rather expensive cafe outside. Nice little gift shop with plenty for children.

Thank suemullins
Reviewed September 8, 2015

Amazing to go inside and wander around this old Castle/Fort/.Well worth the visit and right on the seafront.

Reviewed September 8, 2015

The very spot that Henry VIII stood and watched as his beloved Mary Rose sank. It seems that Henry paid for the building and kitting out of this ship so it wasn't just his pride that was dented but his pocket too. I found it...More

Thank Josephine M
Reviewed September 2, 2015

Interesting place to visit and its Free. The castle has had a few uses over the centuries and was a military prison at one time. The staff there are very friendly and knowledgeable, the lighthouse was built in the 1820's and is still operational. We...More

Thank happychappy640
Reviewed September 1, 2015

We went during victorius festival and the food was good. Staff were really friendly and helpful. Lovely place to visit, eat and drink.

Thank 67samp2
Reviewed August 30, 2015

Took my grandson who enjoyed it up to a point. I feel there is potential to develop this attraction and link it to the Mary Rose museum.

Thank Grainne3755
Reviewed August 29, 2015

Was really surprised by the history of the Castle. Friendly helpful staff and a lovely gift shop. good views over the solent

Thank Anthony-moore
Reviewed August 28, 2015

Visited as walking up the Esplanade. What a lovely little place and free! You don't need to allow much time but should definitely have a nose around. Next time we will probably try the cafe for a bite to eat.

Thank Babapapa2
Reviewed August 27, 2015

Fantastic and free!. Steeped in history, with great views over the Solent . This is one not to miss when visiting Southaea or Portsmouth.

Thank pjh2617
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Questions & Answers
February 7, 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