Discover Free Treasures at Portsmouth Harbour This Summer

Gunwharf Quays Naval marching band
Gunwharf Quays Naval marching band

Whether you choose to spent the day at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s attractions or you head towards the new Mary Rose museum you are in for a nautical treat.

To celebrate all the sunshine at the seaside there is a family promotion available over the summer holidays. This means if you purchase a £31 adult annual pass ticket to all the attractions in the dockyard that includes the HMS Warrior and HMS Victory ships you can take your young crew members too:

Enjoy a summer of fun at Portsmouth Fun-tastic Dockyard with our kids go free offer. Start your adventure as you experience navy attractions all year round. Kids go free with every paying adult. Offer ends 2 September.” (1)

It is worth knowing that this offer does not include a visit to the Mary Rose which is now run individually and requires a separate ticket which is an extra £16 for an adult and up to three children for free (until September). This annual ticket allows you all to visit as many times as you like throughout the following year, so it could be great value if you are in Hampshire frequently or you live locally. (2)

If your budget is more limited you can still sample Portsmouth’s nautical heritage and maritime character without buying any costly tickets at all. A stroll around the vintage dockyard area and lunch or tea at one of the many restaurants and cafes can be enjoyed without purchasing anything just let the team know at the entrance. The naval architecture dates back hundreds of years and there are views over to Gosport marina and beyond.

There are also designated areas to enjoy a picnic and watch out for the historic actors and actresses in fancy dress while listening out for the smart naval marching band who frequently entertain everyone at the harbour with their big brass melodies. Soaking up the atmosphere and browsing the museum shops and antiques storehouse is all complimentary too.

Alternatively a wonderful view of the marina and the harbour looking out towards the Isle of Wight can be found at the foot of the Spinnaker tower at Gunwharf Quays where you can sit on the benches provided and watch the various craft navigating though the harbour entrance. To see a birds eye view of the Solent you can purchase an online ticket up the Spinnaker Tower for £9.90 and you can bring a child up to 3 years for free. If you live in Portsmouth you will be eligible for a 25% discount on this lottery funded architectural highlight. (3)

Looking into the blue may inspire you to embark on a gentle voyage around this interesting estuary on a harbour boat tour where you can get off and visit the Submarine museum in Gosport. Another option is the Gosport Ferry which is just £1,70 each way and until the end of 2018 you can take your bike for free. (4)

As well as cafe culture people watching there are many shops and a cinema to discover at Gunwharf Quays and there is also a small city art gallery named Aspex. There are also plenty of good quality pubs and restaurants to cater for hungry explorers and thirsty travellers.

Other free landmarks include the Portsmouth City Museum in Museum Road and the Portsmouth Natural History Museum at Cumberland House on the Eastern Parade in Southsea. It is a breeze to look lively and set off for the Solent coast as there is something to suit everyone in the fresh sea air this August.

(1) Portsmouth Historic Dockyard official website 30 July 2018

(2) Mary Rose official website news 30 July 2018

(3) Spinnaker Tower official website 30 July 2018

(4) Gosport Ferry official website 30 July 2018