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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Southsea Castle

Located in a dramatic waterfront setting, this historic fort was once the first line of English defense and is now a fascinating museum.

Once an important defensive structure, the beautifully preserved Southsea Castle is now a popular tourist attraction. Walk around the battlements, discover its captivating history and admire the sea views.

In 1544, Henry VIII chose this strategic location to build one of his many “Device Forts.” View these structures lining the south coast, designed to protect England from French invaders. Southsea Castle became the site of tragedy, however, when it saw the Mary Rose sinking not long after the building was completed.

As you explore, notice how well the building is preserved. After an explosion in the 18th century, the castle fell into disrepair. In 1814, it was renovated and expanded to accommodate more troops and guns. This is the incarnation that stands today. Head to the courtyard to see a section of the original Tudor wall.

On the grounds, look for the active lighthouse, originally built in 1820 to guide incoming vessels. Climb to the top of the castle for spectacular views of the ferry-filled waters of the Solent waterway to the south and Portsmouth to the north. Follow the Counterscarp Gallery, the underground tunnel around the moat.

Informative displays inside the keep provide information on Portsmouth's defenses. In the western galleries, watch an audio-visual presentation that narrates the story of the fort.

On Friday nights in summer, go to the Champagne Bar. Listen to live bands and DJs play music, sip drinks and eat snacks. Book your spot in advance to ensure a table.

Check the castle's website for information on events that run here throughout the year, including film screenings and gigs during Victorious Festival in August. The historic oceanfront setting makes it an unforgettable venue.

Buses run from Portsmouth's train stations to outside Southsea Castle. If you’re driving, look for a number of parking spots nearby, including those at the D-Day Museum. Admission to this landmark is free.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,554 Properties near Southsea Castle
Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays £63
Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays

Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays

The Plaza Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, England
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and HMS Victory. University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth International Port are also within 2 miles (3 km). Portsmouth Harbour Station is only a 4-minute walk and Portsmouth & Southsea Station is 14 minutes.

    The Jolly Sailor £45
    The Jolly Sailor

    The Jolly Sailor

    54 Clarence Parade, Southsea, England
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated near the beach, this guesthouse is within 2 miles (3 km) of The D-Day Story, Gunwharf Quays and University of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and HMS Victory are also within 3 miles (5 km). Portsmouth Fratton Station is 28 minutes by foot and Portsmouth & Southsea Station is 29 minutes.

      Best Western Royal Beach Hotel £68
      Best Western Royal Beach Hotel

      Best Western Royal Beach Hotel

      St. Helens Parade, Southsea, England
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated on the beach, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Southsea Castle and within 3 miles (5 km) of Gunwharf Quays and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. University of Portsmouth and HMS Victory are also within 3 miles (5 km). Portsmouth Fratton Station is 28 minutes by foot.

        Blue Star House £44
        Blue Star House

        Blue Star House

        20 Elphinstone Road, Southsea, Southsea, England
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Southsea, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Southsea Hoverport and Spitbank Fort. Gunwharf Quays and University of Portsmouth are also within 1 mile (2 km). Portsmouth & Southsea Station is 22 minutes by foot and Portsmouth Fratton Station is 25 minutes.

          Spitbank Fort
          Spitbank Fort

          Spitbank Fort

          The Solent, Portsmouth, Gosport, England
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Gosport, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of The D-Day Story and Spitbank Fort. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) away.

            Seacrest Hotel £65
            Seacrest Hotel

            Seacrest Hotel

            12 South Parade, Southsea, England
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated on the beach, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of The D-Day Story, Gunwharf Quays and University of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and HMS Victory are also within 3 miles (5 km). Portsmouth Fratton Station is 28 minutes by foot.

              Southsea Rocks Hotel £39
              Southsea Rocks Hotel

              Southsea Rocks Hotel

              4 Florence Road, Southsea, England
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the beach, this guesthouse is within 2 miles (3 km) of The D-Day Story, Gunwharf Quays and University of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and HMS Victory are also within 3 miles (5 km). Portsmouth Fratton Station is 27 minutes by foot.

                Q8 Boutique Hotel £130
                Q8 Boutique Hotel

                Q8 Boutique Hotel

                38 Clarence Parade, Portsmouth, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Southsea, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The D-Day Story and Spitbank Fort. Gunwharf Quays and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard are also within 2 miles (3 km). Portsmouth & Southsea Station is 27 minutes by foot and Portsmouth Fratton Station is 30 minutes.