Half term activities at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Schools out and you’re looking for ideas to keep the family occupied this half term.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has an array of activities throughout the half term and best of all they’re free with a valid attraction ticket.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is steeped in history with 6 must-see attractions for the price of 1 covering 800 years of naval history.

Take a 50-minute guided tour of HMS Victory with a professional guides who will give you a real insight into what it would have been like to sail on Nelson’s Flagship.  Learn where phrases like ‘square meal’ and ‘let the cat out of the bag’ originated and be amazed at how your bed became your coffin if you were unfortunate enough to die at sea.

The Royal Naval Museum is one of the world’s leading maritime museums, complete with hundreds of artefacts and original finds from naval warships. The museum includes a breathtaking multi-media ‘Trafalgar Experience’, a gallery dedicated to Horatio Nelson and you’ll see how naval life has developed in the navy from King Alfred’s first battle at sea in 882 to the present day.

There are over 27 interactive exhibits in Action Stations. Climb to the top of the 28ft tower, escape from pirates in the simulator ride and try your hand at flying a replica Merlin helicopter, just like the one on the navy’s newest and most advanced warship HMS Daring, equipped with realistic controls and buttons.

The clock is ticking and soon the Mary Rose Ship Hall will be closing for construction work to begin on the multi-million pound project to develop a brand new museum over the existing ship hall structure. The works will start in the autumn but don’t worry, the Mary Rose Museum will be open throughout and will continue to provide and interesting interpretation of the ship through a variety of interactive displays.

Daily (11am – 12noon and 2pm – 4pm)
Take part in Tudor games and pastimes at the Mary Rose Museum with a mixture of hands-on activities for all ages.

Daily (10am – 4.30pm)
Come and explore the spacious HMS Warrior 1860. She was Britain’s first iron hulled warship, powered by steam and sail, the largest and fastest warship of her day. Daily activities during half term include ‘Follow the Flag’ which is a family trail where you’ll learn about the men who lived and worked on this formidable fighting machine.

17th and 18th February
‘Crack the Code on board HMS Warrior 1860’. This is a drop-in workshop taking place throughout the day from 11am to 4pm. You will become a secret agent and write and send coded messages to friends and family.

Wednesday 18 February (11am -1pm & 2pm – 4pm)
Have a go at Maritime Globetrotting at the Royal Naval Museum where you can make your own mini globe complete with ships and sea creatures to attach.

Thursday 19 (11am to 1pm & 2pm to 4pm)
Become an object detective on board HMS Victory where you will try and identify the mystery objects, learn more about life on board HMS Victory and make a ‘replica’ object to take away with you!

£18.50 adults
£16.50 seniors
£14 children
Family £51.50 (up to 5 members of the same family, maximum 2 adults/seniors)

All activities listed here are free with a valid attraction ticket and children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

The Dockyard opens at 10am daily and further information can be found at www.historicdockyard.co.uk or by calling 02392 839 766

More information on our Attractions page