Southsea Castle
Southsea Castle
4
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Southsea Castle and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles639 reviews
Excellent
249
Very good
278
Average
90
Poor
15
Terrible
7

simon164
Portsmouth, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
The best advice I can give anyone with regards Southsea Castle is this. Try to time your visit during Spring / Summer and do a little reading up beforehand. This castle has played a fascinating part in our history and a little understanding will greatly enhance your visit !! Built by Henry V111 in 1544 it has served numerous purposes over time.

It is from this very castle that King Henry V111 watched his favourite ship The Mary Rose capsize on 19th July 1545 whilst attempting to repel an invading French navy. Take some binoculars and you can see the exact spot the ship was lost.

Come down from the battlements and enjoy a good meal in their brilliant restaurant washed down with a locally brewed IPA or anything that takes your fancy !!
Written July 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michellechampers
England, UK3,695 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
Built in 1544, Southsea Castle was said to be designed by King Henry VIII to protect the country from invaders.

Henry VIII stood inside the fortress watching his flagship, the Mary Rose, tragically sink at a Battle against the French, just one year later in 1545

The castle is open free of charge and you can get fantastic views of the Solent.

Check the castle website for details as they host events that you may be interested in.

The castle was built a long long time before cars were invented, so it doesn’t have a car park, but the D Day museum next door does or you can park on southsea seafront (both payable)

Staff are great and very knowledgeable so fell free to ask away.
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travellerclass
Farnham, UK1,162 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
After visiting the D Day Story Museum, we walked across to see the excellent Southsea Castle. Entry within is free and there is a shop and cafe within to enjoy. We went all around the castle wall area and marvelled at all the original old gun emplacement positions of this incredibly fortified castle. Within the main part of the castle, they can hold weddings and action many different functions. Lovely place to visit and enjoy an hour or so.
Written October 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GlobetrottingViking
Thatcham, UK3,169 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Although this castle is shown on Google Maps as closed, it was in fact open in early October 2021. It is a great place to learn more about the military significance of Portsmouth during the centuries, starting with Henry VIII who built this castle. It is well worth a visit, but dress warmly if it is on a windy day, and this part of the coastline absorbs all the wind it possibly can. And there are steep steps to climb, so good shoes are important. The introductory video is arguably a bit too long and detailed, but with a bit of patience, it gives an excellent story of the castle.
And entrance to the castle it is free.
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anuruddha K
London, UK192 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
It is one of the historical attractions in Portsmouth. It is free of charge between April and October each year. You can see 360 view from the keep and there is a lighthouse located on top. There are old cannons and inside the castle, there are some historical items and statues, including King Henry's family. The pathway leading to the castle is beautifully maintained with beautiful flowers in the middle. Great place to spend few hours with the family.
Written July 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Westyfamily222
Cambridgeshire, UK83 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
We decided to pop here as we had visited museum nearby and had never visited before. Upon entering there was a wedding taking place in the castle bit so we didn’t see inside there. The ramparts were good and there was lots of canons there dotted around. The staff however didn’t really seem approachable and despite my husband trying to talk twice to a staff member he was ignored and she carried on talking to a colleague. We didn’t really hang around long after that as it was apparent the staff didn’t really fancy talking to people that day! Would we go back, yes, but it’s a shame that some staff let the atmosphere down.
Written September 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julie W
London, UK440 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
You can visit the castle and see the views from above for free. You can also use the lovely cafe in the courtyard which we did. Located along Southsea near the D-Day Museum also worth a visit and reaonably priced..
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cherriesfan99
Cheltenham, UK2,205 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Far more compact than we imagined, but still an attractive building, and significantly, an important part of King Henry'VIII series of coastal fortifcations. Being built in 1544, it was a statement of England's ( and Henry Tudors) determination to go his own way in many aspects, and consquently the South Coast was attacked just a year later, but repelled.
Short, squat and a deadly (for the time) gun platform, which controlled access to Portsmouth fledging naval port.
Definately worth seeing.
Written April 7, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Colette G
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Courtyard Café Southsea

I would fully recommend this café. They were very friendly in the service they provided, being very accommodating with the children and I would thoroughly recommend this location to any families in the area as a great place to eat and visit. I would return there.
Written June 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Colette, Glad to hear you enjoyed visiting the Courtyard Cafe and had a great time.
Written June 21, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jessica P
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Southsea Castle is a beautiful place steeped with history and used to be such a good place to have a little look around. When I was a kid there was a fair amount to see and it was educational... I was so disappointed to see it's basically just a wedding venue, now. There are 2 small rooms that have minimal bits in and then upstairs it's just 2 rooms used for weddings. Completely disappointed. The tunnels aren't even open anymore, instead they do tours a couple of times a week. It's a shame that something that used to be so good, is now so poor.
Written October 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 613
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Southsea Castle - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Portsmouth HotelsPortsmouth Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Portsmouth
All things to do in Portsmouth
Amusement Parks in PortsmouthZoos & Aquariums in Portsmouth
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars