Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is home to three of the most important ships ever built. Henry VIII's favourite warship Mary Rose, Nelson's flagship HMS Victory and the pride of Queen Victoria's Navy, HMS Warrior 1860. It is surrounded by the modern Royal Navy going about its daily business. All around are the sights and sounds of the senior service, the hustle and bustle of a working Naval Base and a thriving collection of docks, workshops, factories and offices, all intent upon servicing the modern fleet.
Action Stations brings the modern Royal Navy directly to the visitors with an exciting mixture of physical challenges, simulators and technological experiments. The InterAction Gallery invites visitors to enter the world of marine technology, designed to spark the imagination of all members of the family. Twenty-seven exciting activities bring you an astronaut’s view of the world, the science behind propulsion, state of the art satellite communications and making radio waves. Understand why the moon affects the tides and discover the amazing Magic Plant© which can show moving global climate and temperature patterns around the Earth – and beyond!
The Mary Rose was one of the earliest ships to carry heavy guns. She was a favourite of King Henry VIII and sank off Portsmouth in 1545 during an engagement with a French invasion fleet, in full view of the King, the screams of the men onboard, ringing in his ears. Visitors can view the exceptional collection of thousands of personal, domestic and military objects in the Mary Rose Museum.
HMS Victory is the Royal Navy's most famous warship. She is the world's oldest commissioned ship and a proud memorial to Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, Britain's greatest Naval hero. During your visit you can see the Great Cabin where the battle was planned, the spot where Nelson died and the once crowded decks where over 800 men lived, worked and fought.
HMS Warrior 1860
When HMS Warrior 1860 made her triumphant return to Portsmouth in 1987 after she was fully restored to her Victorian glory in Hartlepool she changed the panorama of the City, sitting proudly in the Harbour.
The only surviving member of Queen Victoria's Black Battle Fleet, Warrior was used for 50 years as an oil jetty at Milford Haven before being restored to her former glory. As visitors explore her four vast decks, they enter another world – that of the Victorian sailor and life in a 19th century warship.
National Museum of the Royal Navy
Founded in 1911, the National Museum of the Royal Navy is one of country’s leading maritime museums and is the only museum devoted to the ships of the Royal Navy and the men and women who served in them. Visitors can see, touch, hear and even smell the history of the Royal Navy through a rich collection of artefacts and award-winning permanent exhibitions.
The Trafalgar Experience brings the Battle of Trafalgar vividly to life and The Nelson Gallery features one of the best collections of Nelson material in the world. The galleries devoted to the 20th century Navy focus on the changing face of the senior service from the launch of the Dreadnought to the Falklands War.
The Dockyard Apprentice
During the 18th and 19th centuries Portsmouth Royal Dockyard was the greatest industrial complex in the world, employing over 25,000 workers. The Dockyard Apprentice tells the story of Dockyard life in 1911, when the great Dreadnought battleships were being constructed.
Good to know:
Training days, away days, lectures, seminars and conferences can all be given a different edge at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The following venues are available to hire:
HMS Warrior 1860
Warrior was the most formidable naval vessel of her day. As you step aboard you enter another world - the world of the Victorian sailor and life in Queen Victoria’s Navy.
Set in the magnificent surroundings of a Victorian Boathouse, Action Stations boasts a 275 seat auditorium plus interactive displays and simulators portraying the modern Royal Navy.
Royal Naval Museum
The 800 year story of the Royal Navy is told in the atmospheric setting of three 18th Century Georgian Storehouses with magnificent views of HMS Victory and Portsmouth Harbour.
Mary Rose Museum
The Mary Rose and her treasures tell an enchanting story of Tudor life and the times of King Henry VIII. Costumed interpreters bring the Tudors to life and you can enjoy the rare opportunity to handle genuine artefacts.
Once the centre of mast making for the Royal Navy, this fantastic Boathouse benefits from dramatic interior design and maritime features.
The famous flagship of Admiral Lord Nelson is the world’s oldest commissioned warship and is still manned by Officers and Ratings of the Royal Navy. Victory is available for private behind the scenes tours only.