Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson
4.5
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Fort Nelson is home to the Royal Armouries national collection of artillery and historic cannon – the big guns – and is a great day out for all the family. Admission free. Step back in time and explore a fully restored Victorian fort with its high ramparts, original fortifications, massive parade ground and underground tunnels. Plus, there's the national museum housing over 700 pieces of artillery from across the world and spanning 600 years of history – each with their own story to tell. With an exciting collection of big guns, stunning panoramic views, entertaining children’s activities, a museum shop packed with gifts and souvenirs, and a café serving delicious refreshments – there is something for everyone to enjoy. Parking £3. No animals except assistance (guide/hearing) dogs.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Brusk57
    London, United Kingdom13 contributions
    What a fantastic surprise
    We were viisting this area with friends and had been the previous day to the Historic Dockyard which is well advertised and then decided to visit Fort Nelson on the second day, which is not well advertised and so was unsure what to expect. Well it was a good choice, well laid out, lots to see, fantastic views, lovely cafe you could quite happily spend all day there. If you are viisting the area dont just go to the naval dockyard, this place is fantastic, its free to enter and only costs £3.00 to park. Its a great place, its a shame that it is not advertised as much as the other attractions. We also found all the staff helpful and very friendly.
    Thanks for your great review - glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. Do keep in touch with our social media channels for news of upcoming events at #royalarmouriesfortnelson.
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 3 March 2023
  • Mark P
    Hampshire, United Kingdom1,718 contributions
    Hidden gem!
    First visit here. The Fort is huge so takes a while to get around. Interesting exhibits with the emphasis on artillery. Even has sections of the Super Gun from the Iraq war. The Fort has several tunnels. Kids will love it. Helpful friendly staff. Free to enter, but book a ticket in advance.
    Thanks for your great review - glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. Please keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 12 March 2023
  • Yasemin G
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom74 contributions
    Free entry, can spend 2 hours easily, can be noisy
    Free entry, £3 for the car park, they dont take your car registration, fully built on trust. Because its’s free, it is possible to see many noisy kids around who are not interested and constantly making noise and shouting in the echo. It’s best to avoid on bank holidays. Nice little shop and cafe, ladies were clean.
    Thanks for visiting Fort Nelson. We are quieter on weekdays but do have lots of families on site at weekends. Keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 April 2023
  • Dianne H
    Southampton, United Kingdom31 contributions
    Day out
    Brilliant day out. Free entry, small car park charge of £3. For history fans and fans of heavy guns etc it's a great day out. Kids really enjoyed it ( 12 & 8) lots of space for running g around. Interesting and interactive displays. Lovely cafe, bit pricey but you've got in the museum for free so we didn't mind. If the weather I'd nice there are lots of picnic areas available, overall a good day out
    Glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. Do keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 April 2023
  • Walter L
    Southampton, United Kingdom16 contributions
    Excellent highly recommended
    What a fantastic day we had here. Art instalation as memorial to the Falklands fallen was very moving. Such a lot to see in the museum . Cafe very lovely too. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a fun and interesting day out. Plus it's free which is brilliant. Just pay for parking.
    Thanks for your great review - glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. Do come back and visit again soon.
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 27 April 2023
  • Janet H
    Worcester, United Kingdom586 contributions
    Excellent piece of history
    Lovely display called Standing with Giants. Awesome. Free entry as well £3 to park car. Lovely displays inside and out. Something for all ages. Coffee shop inside. Well worth visiting. The fort has been so well maintained and full of history.
    Thanks for your great review - glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson and the Standing with Giants art installation.
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 27 April 2023
  • Shipahoyahoy
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom560 contributions
    "Standing with Giants". A poignant installation
    We spent an enjoyable two hours at the Royal Armouries. Some amazingly ornate guns on show. Enjoyed walking along the tunnel. The fort and the tunnels are engineering marvels in themselves. Our main reason for visiting was to see the "Standing with Giants" installation. Very poignant. Our first glimpse was driving to the museum and seeing the silhouettes along the grass banks of the fort. Very moving. Free entry and only £3 for parking. Staff friendly and informative. Wheel-chair accessible. Nice café. Themed gift shop. Clean (unisex) toilets.
    Thanks for visiting Fort Nelson and for your lovely review. Glad you liked our poignant Standing with Giants art installation - do pop back and visit Fort Nelson again soon.
    Written 10 May 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 4 May 2023
  • Graeme N
    Sittingbourne, United Kingdom32 contributions
    Don’t miss this little diamond of an attraction
    Well when you read all the other reviews about this attraction I can honestly say they are not fake. Went here today and was absolutely so impressed. The wife and kids were initially giving it “oh not more military rubbish” (yes I’m ex forces) but they came along but everyone actually enjoyed themselves and as other have said admission is free. Absolutely worth a visit and the coffee ain’t bad either. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
    Thanks for your great review - it was wonderful to read! Glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson - do pop back and visit the fort again soon.
    Written 6 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 June 2023
  • Paul C
    16 contributions
    Fort Nelson, well worth a visit
    Excellent half day here. The Standing with Giants display was very poignant and moving. As a schoolboy in 1982 i have memories of the news about the conflict and it bought them flooding back. My wife's father was a WW2 veteran in the Philippines (Bataan death march survivor) and any sort of memorial like this brings back the stories he told. The rest of the musuem offers a fascinating insite to how weaponry evolved and developed. The fort itself is interesting and offers lots of tunnels to explore.
    Thank you for your great review - glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. Please do keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social media platforms at #royalarmouriesfortnelson - hope you can come and visit again soon!
    Written 4 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 July 2023
  • Jade B
    1 contribution
    Fantastic family visit
    Cannot believe this is free entry! Absolutely amazing place which was fantastic both for us as adults well as our 4 year old who loved it. Spent 2hours here and could have easily stayed longer but the small free car park opposite closes at 16:00 (we hadn't realised there was also a carpark attached to the Fort).
    Thanks for your great review - glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. We're happy to be able to offer a free day out for families at Fort Nelson. Please do keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson Hope you can visit the fort again soon!
    Written 8 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 July 2023
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4.5
1,371 reviews
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UbiqueRE
Winchester, UK29 contributions
Jan 2024 • Solo
For a free afternoon out you really cannot beat Fort Nelson, I've paid £20 admission to see places with less than a quarter of what Fort Nelson has to offer.
Exhibits are well presented, interactive, with just enough information (not going into too much 'nerdy' detail). There are wide open spaces for kids to run around in and also dark mysterious tunnels to explore. Being on top of Portsdown Hill also means that the views over Portsmouth and the Solent are stunning, the views to the front of the fort over open countryside aren't bad either.
The cafe looked a little on the expensive side, but hey, the place is free so who cares!
I took the guided tour which does cost a fiver but it was probably the best value for a fiver I've had in a very long time. Bubbly and enthusiastic tour guide Sarah probably knows more about the history of the place than the guide book does - I'd happily (and probably will) re visit just for the 'Sarah' experience!
Amazing place.
Written 28 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks so much for your fantastic review - we were delighted to read it and will pass it onto our staff - especially our wonderful Sarah! Please do keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson and we hope to welcome you back to Fort Nelson again soon.
Written 26 February 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kelly
Leicestershire, UK16 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
Very interesting to see and the fact that it was free was even better. Really great to wander around the tunnels. My favourite part was seeing the old graffiti from the guards many years ago.
Written 23 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your great review - glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. Please do keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson - we hope to welcome you back to Fort Nelson again soon.
Written 30 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Imliooper
United Kingdom871 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
This is a well curated and beautiful collection of armaments from bygone years to more recent acquisitions. The armouries display mortars and guns from the time of the East India Company and that of Maharaja Ranjit Singh as also Chinese and Russian guns/armaments. Images from Falklands at forty years were so beautifully rendered.

The displays are well done and labelled clearly too with just enough of a brief history against each item. There is plenty to see, both overground and underground. It gives one a lovely idea of the logic that went into creation of this fortification for Portsmouth, even though it was finally not needed, thank God! It has been called Palmerston’s Folly, whereas it was a sign of Palmerston’s Foresight.

Re-creations of the kitchen and facilities at the time give one an amazing idea of what went on all those years ago.

And all that history is provided with free entry. There is. £3 parking fee, to be paid at the front desk. On a Sunday afternoon there were quite a few visitors but not huge crowds - which allowed one to enjoy the display in the quiet ambience without feeling rushed.
Written 27 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your lovely review - we're glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. Please do keep in touch with our upcoming events via our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson We hope to welcome you back to Fort Nelson again soon!
Written 2 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Yvonne W
Cardiff, UK28 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
We've been here several times but wanted particularly to see the Standing with Giants installation. So pleased that Royal Armouries extended the dates so we could visit whilst on holiday. It was truly moving, as was the small exhibition and videos. There is always something different to see and learn. The cafe was busy but we sat outside and enjoyed the fabulous view.
Written 17 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for visiting - glad you always enjoy your visits to Fort Nelson. We were honoured to host Standing with Giants - such a poignant art installation. Please do keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson - we hope to welcome you to the fort again soon!
Written 18 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stephen R
Hedge End, UK10 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
Fantastic for family day out. Room for the kids to run round and let off steam. Exhibits for everyone. Cafe is good and not overpriced. Shop has somthing for everyone.
Written 12 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your great review - glad you enjoyed your visit to Fort Nelson. Do keep in touch with upcoming events on our social channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson - thank you.
Written 18 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dmaccallum63
London, UK592 contributions
Sept 2023 • Friends
Great staff, amazing building, great collection of artillery across the ages. It’s all very well laid out with some good a.v. and recreation of the Victorian volunteer army barracks. We were there during the Falkland at 40 display. V moving .
Best of all it’s free!!
If you park in the small car park opposite Fort Nelson , marked with a brown tourist sign it’s free otherwise the main car park is £3.
Some guns are fired at specific events. Worth checking timings out for those.
Written 2 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your lovely review - glad you were able to see the Standing with Giants art installation - we were honoured to host it. Do keep in touch with our upcoming events on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson - please pop back and visit us again soon!
Written 11 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joanne R
Bristol, UK18 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
Free day out, ideal for children to run off steam and learn a bit of history. Activity hunt for kids was lots of fun. You can even bring a picnic.
Written 29 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review - glad you enjoyed your trip to Fort Nelson. Please do pop back and visit again soon. Our upcoming events are on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson
Written 30 August 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

tezpil
Portsmouth, UK4,650 contributions
Aug 2023
Great to just wander at will with so may things to see indoors and outdoors. The weather wasn't great but you are partly sheltered from the wind being within the walls of the fort and there's lots of indoor things to see when it's raining. We were here for a couple of hours and will go back again to see more and do the assault course when the sun is out.
Written 13 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your review - glad you enjoyed your trip to Fort Nelson. Please do pop back and visit again soon. Our upcoming events are on our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson
Written 30 August 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

indetraveller
Southampton, UK155 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
What a day out! Absolutely brilliant and free. We were grandparents with an 8 year old grandchild. As soon as he spotted the Junior Assault Course he wanted to go on it (£3.50 for unlimited entries) and I don't know how many laps he did but he certainly slept well that night! So much time was spent here that it rather curtailed the time we could actually spend inside the fort buildings. Not only static displays but interactive things to do such as semaphore with flags etc. We'll have to come back to finish it all
Written 12 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks for your lovely review and glad your grandchild enjoyed the assault course. We have events all year round - so please do keep in touch with our website www.royalarmouries.or and our social media channels at #royalarmouriesfortnelson - thanks for visiting.
Written 29 August 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

foxcile
Peterborough, UK24 contributions
Jul 2023 • Solo
I have visited The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson on a number of occasions over the years and always find it an interesting place to visit. The museum is free with a small charge for parking.

It is one of the many Palmerston Forts built to protect the dockyard at Portsmouth. Those like this one on top of Portsdown Hill to protect the docks from a landward attack. The fort is well preserved and gives you a good aide of what it would have been like when in use. It is packed with a large array of artillery pieces, canons and field guns going back over hundreds of years. Most of the items on display are under cover, so it doesn't matter if it is wet outside. You can access one of the caponiers via a tunnel under the parade ground (good in the rain) or by an entrance in the ramparts.

Some of the canons on display are works of art and it is hard to believe that they are actually weapons of war. The variety is amazing from small guns to part of an Iraqi Super Gun, a large railway gun and the impressive Turkish Dardanelles Gun from the 1460's.

There is a small gift shop on site and a reasonably priced café, both in the entrance/exit area.

Whilst I was visiting the Impressive Standing with Giants display was located in the parade ground and around the ramparts. It is a display of figures representing all those who died during the 1982 Falklands War. It is on until early September, and is well worth seeing if you have the chance.
Written 6 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your great review of Fort Nelson - glad you enjoyed your visit and were able to see our poignant Standing with Giants art installation. Please do come back and visit again soon.
Written 8 August 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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ROYAL ARMOURIES - FORT NELSON: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson is open:
  • Wed - Sun 10:00 - 17:00


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