The Gosport Ferry is the quickest and cheapest way to get to and from Gosport and Portsmouth, it takes a few minutes to get across the water and it’s only £3.60 return.I used the ferry to get from Gosport to Portsmouth to go to the Historic Dockyard and back.
There is a little car park near the ferry terminal which is opposite the bus station but it is only a little car park so keep an eye out for the other car parks nearby if you are turning up by car.
It’s really easy to get a ticket, there are machines with touch screens and it is very easy to follow the instructions. A lot of people use the ferry to get to work so they lots of offers on tickets like 2, 10, 14 and 56 trips tickets for people who may be staying in the area and know that they will want to get back and forth. Here’s the link to check out the prices.
Once you have your ticket, you walk down to the terminal and wait for the next ferry. They are very regular, running every 15 minutes and they usually have 2 ferries running at the same time so you won’t be waiting around for long. On the ferry, there is loads of seating everywhere if you want to sit down but the crossing really is only about 5 minutes.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
You don’t need a ticket to get into the site but you do if you want to get into any of the attractions. If you get the full navy pass, you not only get into every attraction except the Mary Rose Museum but you get to go back whenever you like for a whole year. We only had tickets for the Mary Rose Museum so we couldn’t get into any of the ships or attractions but we were ok with that, we said that we could do those another time.
There is plenty to do there like the HMS Warrior, HMS Victory, Horrible Histories Pirates, Action Stations, National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth, HMS M.33, Harbour Tours, Waterbus, Boathouse 4, Dockyard Apprentice, Royal Navy Submarine Museum and Explosion Museum.
The passes are for 1, 2, 3 or all the attractions but there is so much to choose from that works out a lot cheaper to get the full navy pass. Make sure you buy these online before you visit as it will save you lining up when you get there.
There are a few cafes dotted around but they are a bit pricey so I would suggest taking your own food and drink if you have children with you if you are on a budget.
There are live actors walking around that make it really fun for the kids as they are dressed up as pirates and soldiers. I loved seeing the ship figureheads dotted around the dockyard, they are all from big important historical ships. I liked to wonder the places their ships had been to and what battles they had seen. Plus, they are huge! I never realised how big they were until I got up close to one.
We had fun walking around the little museum in-between the big cafe and gift shop, it was free so we thought we would give it a look. It showed some of the machines and methods used to build ships as well as how they progressed from wood to iron.
Mary Rose Museum
I’m a big history fan so the Mary Rose Museum was right up my street and after seeing a documentary about it on TV all about it the exhibition and the progress they have made, I knew we had to go.
You need to pay to get in, you can either pay at the desk when you walk in or you can buy tickets online, I got our tickets on a website called Picniq as they were cheaper than paying at the desk. I didn’t have a printer to print off the confirmation but we were ok because we were asked to email the confirmation to the till.
There are 3 floors with the remains of the Mary Rose in the middle so that you can see it from all angles. There is a long walkway on each floor that goes along the ship and they have videos projected onto screens and the ship so that you can seen scenes that may have happened on the ship. At each end of the ship where you will get to see parts of the exhibit, there are little benches that have folders in the side slots. These folders show drawings and descriptions of what is in that area so that you know you haven’t missed anything.
There are stairs and lifts you can use between the floors so it is all easily assess able for anyone.
I loved the new exhibit pieces on the facial reconstruction and the work they have done to find out more about the skeletons that were found. It’s amazing that you can see drawings of what they looked like, where they were from, what they did on the ship and then a bit of their background. There is a little display for each crew member that they found remains for so that you can find out about them and some of the items that were found around them. They even have a full body reconstruction of one of the full skeletons that they found, I thought that was just outstanding. They found out what illnesses people had, where they came from.
There are lots of interactive screens as you go around to that you can play little games and learn more about the ship, they are loads of fun.
They have live actors walking around in a few places that are dressed up in costumes that can tell you about the section you are in plus there is some staff walking around as well if you have any questions.
I would say that it could easily take about an hour and a half to two hours to get round the museum if you are taking everything in, reading all of the boards and using the interactive screens. At the end, you will come out in the gift shop and coffee shop so you can get a souvenir and then a chill out before going out to explore more of the Dockyard.
The Ship and Castle is right outside the gates of the Historic Dockyard. It’s not badly priced either, Tuesday to Friday, the carvery is £8.95 and on Saturday and Sunday, the carvery is £10.95. Which I think is a brilliant price for what you are getting, I have been to places that are a lot more expensive and the carvery isn’t as good. They have set times for the carvery which is Tuesday to Friday 12pm to 3pm, Saturday is 12pm to 4pm and Sunday is 12 to 5pm.