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Southsea Castle
South East

Clarence Esplanade
Hampshire, PO5 3PA
Opening Times
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Visit Henry VIII's Southsea Castle and stand in the very location where the king oversaw battle with the French.

Southsea Castle is as interesting as it is unique - thanks to its rich and varied history.

The castle was designed in part by Henry VIII himself, who was a scholar of fortification design and sought to utilise emerging techniques sweeping their way across the continent. This is the reason why it has many strange angles alongside both curved and straight edges. The result is a fortification with significantly fewer blind spots than other similar buildings of the age.

Henry VIII was, in fact, stood upon Southsea Castle when his beloved flagship, The Mary Rose, sank to the bottom of the Solent. It was during a battle with the French that the ship is thought to have tipped over when the wind picked up during a sharp turn. She started taking on water and the rest is history.

There's equally fascinating history within the castle walls. For example, did you know that the town of Southsea took its name from the Castle and not the other way around? This history is covered in detail within a museum contained within the keep - where it's also possible to get married.

After exploring inside, take a walk along the ramparts to enjoy views of the city, Solent and across to the Isle of Wight. Afterwards, take a look around the Waterfront Gifts shop, enjoy some delicious food at The Courtyard or even sample a beer brewed within the castle walls at the on-site microbrewery (opening times vary, see website for details).

Accessibility Information

The keep is only accessible by a narrow staircase. There is disabled parking nearby at The D-Day Story car park.