Southsea Castle, which is a free admission, owned and looked after by the Portsmouth City Council Museum Service is a wonderful afternoon out. Inside the stolid stone keep you will come face to face with a terrifyingly realistic model of King Henry VIII, upon whose orders the castle was originally built at the time when, with some justification, it was firmly believed that the French planned to hop across the channel and invade Britain. Indeed it was from this very castle that the King, to his huge grief, saw the Mary Tose, the pride if his fleet, sink without trace immediate in front if him out 8n the Solent as the French fleet attacked it with their new fangled cannons.
There are tunnels to explore, alas they are no longer freely open as they once were, the ‘elf and safety people won’t allow children to run and explore as we all used to do until very recently, however there is a guided tour under the keep and deep into the killing grounds between the sea and the castle itself which is enjoyable.
The keep itself has a small museum and frequently on bank holidays and during the season on special days there are shows for children and sometimes adults to watch and join in.
An excellent cafe and home brewed ale is available while the children can dress up as various Tudor types. Very close to the just reopened D-Day Museum (five minutes walk) and with lots of handy parking and toilets. Plenty of flat grass to run around in the immediate vicinity and from May till August often live music on the adjacent Bandstand on weekend afternoons.