Southsea Castle


Type:Castle / Fort

Southsea Castle, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO5 3PA

Tel: +44 023 9284 1625

Southsea Castle & The Solent


Built in 1544, Southsea 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 stood inside only to watch his flagship, the Mary Rose, tragically sank. 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. Artillery, gun platforms and panoramic views from the top of the keep overlook the Isle of Wight and Solent.

The Castle is open March to October free of charge, with a fabulous cafe offer, great Waterfront Gifts shop and micro-brewery. The Castle's Cafe also offers a Champagne bar every Friday evening (in season). 

Please note that on the occassion of a wedding at Southsea Castle, certain parts may be inaccessable to members of the public. To check if there is an event or wedding taking place in the castle, please use the contact details provided.

Southsea Castle Reviews (from Trip Advisor)

Average rating 4.1/5 from 400 plus reviews

  • We seemed to go round in circles looking for this as we wanted to both see the Fort and eat in the Courtyard Cafe. It took us three attempts as their signage ran out eventually we parked in the D Day museum and found it was just behind! Anyhow, interesting small museum we especially liked the small exhibition showing different parts of Tudor dress.
    Toni, 2017 - 4 stars
  • We were just passing and popped in when we saw that entry was free! You get a real sense of atmosphere wit h all the old cannons facing out to sea and also very good views of all the passing ships
    Patrick, 2017 - 5 stars
  • Nice to see it is still in use today and learn about it's historical importance. The lovely views across the Solent from here are outstanding.
    Machin, 2017 - 4 stars
  • Entry is free so this little castle is definitely worth a visit. It is very nice that is kept this way. There is also a little beer brewery in the castle.
    Forza, 2017 - 3 stars
  • We spent under an hour looking around the battlements and inside the museum part of the castle. There is a restaurant and micro brewery on-site. Tours of the tunnels are available during the course of the day, just ask a guide.
    Andrea, 2017 -  4 stars
  • Highly recommended, great food, really enjoyed a lunch here. Can sit outside in the good weather. Also has a children's menu.
    Kerensa, 2017 - 5 stars

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Free admissionFree

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.



  • Facilities for Visually Impaired Visitors - Audio visual display available
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors - Available in nearby D-Day museum car park


  • Cafe
  • On-Site cafe/restaurant
  • Picnic Site - on communal parkland

Establishment Features

  • Conference facilities
  • Event Venue
  • Groups welcome
  • Toilets

Group Travel

  • Out of Hours Visits

Parking & Transport

  • Coach parking - Adjacent at the D-Day Museum
  • On site parking - Adjacent at the D-Day Museum
  • On site parking close by
  • Railway station within 5 miles

Provider Preferences

  • In town/city centre

Specialist Features

  • Educational Groups
  • Family Fun

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Educational Visits Accepted - Most suitable for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. 'Tudor Experience' sessions available.


Map & Directions

Public Transport Directions


Nearest stations are Portsmouth & Southsea or Portsmouth Harbour.

Opening Times

Summer Opening (30 Mar 2022 - 31 Oct 2022)
Tuesday - Sunday10:00 - 17:00
Bank Holiday10:00 - 17:00
Winter Closing - November to March (1 Nov 2022 - 29 Mar 2023)
Monday - SundayClosed*
Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

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