Visiting the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a Weekend Break (UK)

Are you planning to visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard soon? Portsmouth is a vital defence naval port for the UK during the time of Victorian exploration. 

Visiting the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will show and tell you the interesting and brutal naval history of Britain and how the British empire grew because of its excellent naval strategies.

Read More: Best Day Tours and Places to Visit Near London (UK)

Ships at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

On our visit to Portsmouth, we mainly explored one of the famous Portsmouth attractions – The historic dockyard as we wanted to see the Tudor ship – Mary Rose.  The 500 years old ship is now currently displayed in its own museum.

We also visited the famous warship HMS Victory.  HMS Victory fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. This is also the ship where Lord Nelson died.

HMS Victory in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Another famous ship in the historic dockyard is the HMS Warrior.  The pride of Queen Victoria’s fleet when it was launched in 1860. It was the fastest, largest and the first iron-hulled, armour battleship in the British fleet.

I will be sharing more about the history and fun experience during our trip to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Read more: Best British War Museums and Memorials to Visit in the UK

How to get to Portsmouth historic dockyard

Nearest train station to Portsmouth historic dockyard

The Portsmouth Harbour is the closest train station to the historic dockyard. 90-minute frequent trains to and from London run here. There is also a regular train service that runs from Southampton.

Parking at Portsmouth historic dockyard

The Portsmouth historic dockyard has massive car parking facilities for its visitors. Prices start from £5 for 4-hour parking up to £12 for 24-hour parking. Feel free to see the prices and alternative parking arrangements here. You can also take advantage of the park and ride services from M275, here are the prices for the park and ride and a map of the historic dockyard and the park and ride.

What’s in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard?

The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is an active naval base of the Royal Navy.  Other than the historical ships, there are various things to do, exhibitions and museums within the dockyard.

These are the National Museum of Royal Navy, Action Stations, Harbour tours, Boathouse 4, Dockyard apprentice, Laser Quest Portsmouth, Making a Royal Marines Commando, and The Horrible Histories Pirates exhibition.

There are also other off-site attractions nearby like the Royal Navy submarine, Silent and Secret and the Museum of Naval Firepower.

HMS Victory 

HMS Victory is the most famous warship of the Royal Navy. Known for her winning role in the Battle of Trafalgar under the command of Lord Admiral Nelson.  She was built in 1759, and has 821 crew and 104 guns onboard.

HMS Victory in Portsmouth
The guns inside the HMS Victory in Portsmouth
Ships wheel of HMS Victory in Portsmouth
HMS Victory Galley
Lord Nelson Died in HMS Victory

The ship was outstandingly looked after since she went to the dry dock in the 1920s. For nearly a hundred years, the ship is still in good condition. Inside the HMS Victory, you will see the life onboard during its former glory.  All the cannons, hanging berths, the galley, and the spacious room of Lord Nelson.  

On one of the decks of the ship, you can find a remembrance corner to pay respect to where Lord Admiral Nelson died during the battle. It is a great feeling to be able to see this piece of history.

The Mary Rose

The famous warship of the Tudor time. She was created around 1510 and became the flagship of King Henry VIII’s reign.

The Mary Rose in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Ruins of The Mary Rose in Portsmouth
The Mary Rose in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The Mary Rose served the Tudors fighting a number of French wars. In 1545, the famous Tudor ship sank in the battle of Solent. Over the centuries past, there were a number of attempts to salvage the remains of the ill-fated Tudor ship with no success.

Until the 1970s when archaeologists discovered the remains of the Mary Rose after 400 years since she sank on the sea bed of Solent.  A decade of tedious underwater work to salvage the remains of the Tudor ship and finally, in 1982, they successfully lifted Mary Rose back to the surface and dry dock back to the Portsmouth historic dockyard.

The Mary Rose museum showcases all the treasures found inside the Mary Rose during the Tudor times.  Located at the atrium of the museum you can find the remaining part of the Mary Rose. All delicately and meticulously look after with the correct humidity and temperature to avoid or slow down deterioration. 

HMS Warrior

HMS Warrior was launched in 1860 as the first iron-hulled armoured battleship of Queen Victoria’s fleet. She was known as the most advanced ship ever created during that time, hence giving the British Royal Navy a defence advantage in protecting the British seas.

HMS Warrior at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

After 22 years of service, HMS Warrior is now part of the historic ships at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. 

Top Activities in Portsmouth, UK


More posts about the United Kingdom

If you are looking for a travel itinerary read more of our Best UK Travel Itinerary for 2 Weeks

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Portsmouth Historic Dockyard


Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio

Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Daily Mail UK, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her in travelling around the UK and beyond with a mission to promote sustainable tourism and share travel guides, travel tips, foodies, history and culture.

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