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Southsea Castle

Clarence Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA, England
+44 23 9282 6722
Review Highlights
slightly disappointing- not much to see

We spent half an hour looking around this ancient castle- built by King Henry 8th- but it was not... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
John T
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Worth a visit

We took a leisurely walk from Portsmouth to the castle. Lovely walk and a great place to visit. Not... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Croydon, United Kingdom
Read all 460 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%
Travellers talk about
“henry viii” (42 reviews)
“free entry” (34 reviews)
Clarence Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA, England
+44 23 9282 6722

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Reviews (460)
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1 - 10 of 443 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

We spent half an hour looking around this ancient castle- built by King Henry 8th- but it was not that interesting compared to the Historic Dockyard.

Thank John T
Reviewed 3 days ago

We took a leisurely walk from Portsmouth to the castle. Lovely walk and a great place to visit. Not only are there great views but the history of the castle is really amazing and worth finding out about. Hidden in the court yard is a...More

Thank crowie54
Reviewed 6 days ago

Don't think the Council have done much to support this great location. They restrict opening times and provide minimal access in the winter months. I think that it is the endeavours of the cafe staff that make it pleasurable place for they provide a delightful...More

Thank Catherine T
Reviewed 1 week ago

The council have created a high standard at this Castle. We visited on a beautiful day with sunny skies and blue sea but the views towards the Isle of Wight ,watching the shipping in the channel and from the harbour, would make it worth visiting...More

Thank Liphookwise
Reviewed 1 week ago

The remains of this castle are open to the public but on occasions are shut because of public engagements. Great views to the Isle of Wight and the Solent.

Thank Barry S
Reviewed 1 week ago

We stumbled across this free-admission castle (a rarity) whilst killing time before our crossing to Bilbao from Portsmouth. We were impressed by the free entry and pleasant little cafe serving Mexican beer in the courtyard. It's a good way to wile away some time in...More

Thank Niquito
Reviewed 1 week ago

Took our granddaughter who loved the outside she was a bit scared of the figures but it's well worth a visit. Made even better that it's free. There is a donation box.

Thank Debbie C
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I have been here many times alone, with a girlfriend and with my kids, we have always enjoyed a hot sunny day walking along the seafront and the view is really nice

Thank fred m
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a must see attraction, and its free to go in!! the castle is just as it should be, there are displays inside and you can climb up to the top and see the sea view and get a feel of how the castle...More

Thank JaxB123
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We had a fantastic time on our visit to the castle, it is a well preserved monument. And enjoyed looking around.

Thank Just_moments
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Questions & Answers
8 February 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