What to see & do

From butterflies to beam engines, trophies to tanks, the Portsmouth Museums have a collection that’s as fascinating as it is varied. Take a look at some of the things to see and do at each museum, or click through to see more information on each site.

Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery

Portsmouth’s history is laid out for all to see at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery. You can learn all about home life through the ages, how the people of Portsmouth spent their leisure time, and even see the heritage of Portsmouth FC.

There are also an impressive art displays, comprising pieces from the museum’s own collection as well as those on loan from other renowned museums. Artworks cover everything from paintings and sculpture to furniture, glass and pottery.

Visit the Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery website.

The D-Day Story

The personal accounts of what happened during the Normandy Landings are faithfully re-told at The D-Day Story. Here you can learn about the enormous task facing those who left Portsmouth for France in June 1944, and discover how they felt about the challenge ahead.

Comprising over 10,000 artefacts, impressive audio-visuals, and the awe-inspiring Overlord Embroidery, The D-Day Story tells of a pivotal moment in both the history of Portsmouth and a turning point of World War II.

Visit The D-Day Story website.

Portsmouth Natural History Museum

Take a trip through Portsmouth’s natural history – right the way from ancient prehistory through to today. You can see the geology of Portsea Island, view the famous giant iguanodon and see inside a working beehive.

There’s also the much-loved Butterfly House, where neo-tropical species welcome thousands of visitors to the summer months, keen to see their rainbow of colours.

Visit the Portsmouth Natural History Museum website.

Southsea Castle

Live like a king at Southsea Castle, in the very spot where Henry VIII watched the Battle of the Solent unfold. From the ramparts you can enjoy beautiful views out across the Solent, or see the castle’s history from the keep.

There’s also food and drink to be enjoyed at The Courtyard, mementos to pick up at Waterfront Gifts, and even a microbrewery within the castle walls.

Visit the Southsea Castle website.

Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum

Walk through the very home where Charles Dickens was born over 200 years ago. There are a number of his personal artefacts arranged throughout the house, including his snuff box and the couch on which he died at Gads Hill Place.

The home is a monument not just to the writer himself, but also the Regency styles popular at the time.

Visit the Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum website.

Eastney Engine Houses

Their original purpose may not be particularly glamorous, but that doesn’t stop the engines at Eastney from being true marvels of Victorian engineering.

The Engine Houses today showcase the vast machines that brought improved sanitation to the people of Portsmouth, and helped improve living conditions across the city.

Visit the Eastney Engine Houses website.