Published: January 23, 2024

Chart a course to even cooler waters this February half-term at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

This February half-term join Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for the chance to become a polar explorer, enjoy Tudor calligraphy lessons and play a digital recreation of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship. Whether visitors are interested in the times of Henry VIII, the scientific exploration of HMS Challenger, or the cutting edge of the Royal Navy, there’s something for everyone.

The Great Victory Bug Hunt

Become a polar researcher for a day with the British Antarctic Survey at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Experience what life and working conditions are like for a polar researcher in the extreme conditions of Antarctica and the Arctic, try on the polar kit and bed down in the field camp complete with pyramid tent, sleeping bag and Primus stove, before checking out what’s on the menu. Meet the experts and ask them the tough questions, while finding out about Antarctic wildlife, geography, science and more with the chance to check your height against penguins, see samples from expeditions and even more. This event is free with a valid museum ticket.

Free with a valid ticket to the Mary Rose Museum, this event will teach visitors how to write like a Tudor, and create a Valentine’s card or Tudor-inspired love letter using their newly learnt calligraphy skills. Visitors will also learn about who onboard the Mary Rose could read and write, and some of the related artefacts, including fragments of quills and a Tudor ink pot. This event runs from 12pm to 2pm on weekends and 11am to 3pm on weekdays.

Wreck Invaders!
Wreck Invaders!

Free with a valid ticket to the Mary Rose Museum, this event will teach visitors how to write like a Tudor, and create a Valentine’s card or Tudor-inspired love letter using their newly learnt calligraphy skills. Visitors will also learn about who onboard the Mary Rose could read and write, and some of the related artefacts, including fragments of quills and a Tudor ink pot. This event runs from 12pm to 2pm on weekends and 11am to 3pm on weekdays.

Inspired by the scientific exploration of HMS Challenger, central to the Worlds Beneath the Waves exhibition, visitors can take part in this trail as they explore the HMS Gallery. Challenges for visitors will be available in the gallery, including the chance to make some maritime-themed crafts to take home. This event is free with a valid ticket and will be operating during opening hours.

Historically many ships travelled with an animal companion, whether it’s Miss Muggins onboard HMS M.33 or Hatch onboard the Mary Rose. HMS Challenger was no different, meet the ship’s four-legged friend as she visits the exhibition and roams around the galleries, and learn all about the daring discoveries and life on-board HMS Challenger. This event is free with a valid museum ticket.

Explore the ground-breaking conservation onboard HMS Victory from a different angle, climb aboard a blocky Victory and try and rid the ship of pesky silverfish, while finding out more about the vital conservation work happening onboard. The Minecraft Block Hunt is also taking place in the Victory Gallery, venture through the gallery and find out more about the various pests conservators, shipwrights, and more fight to take care of these important artefacts. This event is free with a valid ticket to the Victory Gallery.

Entry to all the family activities is included in an Ultimate Explorer ticket to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The Ultimate Explorer Ticket is the best value option for 12-month entry to all the attractions at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard including The Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, HMS M.33, the galleries and exhibitions of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport, Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, Gosport and Harbour Tours, and starts from £44 per adult (advanced online discount applies) and £29 per child. This annual pass is valid for multiple entries throughout the year, with family tickets available.

Book online now!
Other ticket options are available.