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Get in the festive spirit this winter at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Published: 3rd December 2021 10:34
The museums and historic ships at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard boast a variety of festive events and family activities over the Christmas period with trails, festive lights, parties and more.

Visitors to the site will be warmly welcomed by the ever-popular HMS Warrior Christmas lights that bedeck one of the masts of the famous Victorian battleship and which is always a popular addition to the Portsmouth horizon.  

The Mary Rose, Henry VIII, Candles and Calligraphy at Christmas, Saturday 4 December and Sunday 5 December

Meet Henry VIII and discover how he celebrated Christmas with his court, as well as how the crew of his favourite warship may have spent the festive season.

Children can even learn about Tudor candle making and what types of candles were found on board the Mary Rose., and even better yet make their very own Christmas candle from beeswax. There will also be an opportunity to have a go at writing a festive message with an authentic Tudor quill and ink. This event is free with a valid ticket to the Mary Rose.

The Mary Rose, The Mary Rose Royal Christmas Experience, Saturday 4 December and Sunday 5 December

The Mary Rose Royal Christmas Experience makes for a memorable occasion, not easily forgotten.  Explore areas not accessible to everyday visitors with an expert guide, and learn more about that fateful day the Mary Rose sunk with a talk from one of the museum’s team. Held in the Mary Rose’s own private wardroom you can join King Henry VIII at his Christmas court, enjoy the food on offer, be entertained by the king himself, and receive a bespoke Mary Rose gift.

The experience is £65 per person, and can be booked through the Mary Rose website:

Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, Merry Mouse Trail at Explosion, Friday 10 December to Saturday 4 January

The Merry Mouse Trail at Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower begins on the 10th December and has the museum mice getting into the Christmas spirit. There will be fun panto displays around the museum, with the museum mice making a special appearance.  This trail will operate in normal working hours, and will be free with a valid ticket.

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport, Pollyanna’s Panto Play Hunt, Friday 10 December to Tuesday 4 January

A hunt begins this Christmas at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Pollyanna’s Panto Play Hunt. Search the museum for Pollyanna’s missing pantomime ticket, and if you find her special golden ticket you might just win a reward. This event is on during normal opening hours and is free with a valid ticket.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Dockyard trails, Friday 10 December to Tuesday 4 January

The four-legged friends of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard including cats, dogs and even a polar bear have come out this festive season for various trails and events across the site. All of these events are free with a valid ticket.

Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, Gosport, Explosion Christmas Party, Saturday 18 December

Explosion’s Christmas Party night takes place on December 18th. The evening includes a meal for two and a cocktail on arrival plus a performance by singer Rachel Hawnt, as seen on BBC One’s All Together Now, 

Tickets cost £55 per person, and for questions or to book please contact:

Entry to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard starts from £39 per adult and £29 per child for an Ultimate Explorer Ticket which gives entry to all 11 attractions including HMS Victory, the Mary Rose and HMS Warrior. It is valid for multiple entries throughout the year, with family tickets available. Book online at 


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