Learn the tale of two ships this October half-term at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

This October half-term at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard visitors can learn about the groundbreaking work to keep two world-famous ships protected. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the raising of the Mary Rose, and get a once-in-a-generation chance to look at conservation work on HMS Victory up close and personal. 

Be sure to also visit the Her Majesty’s Service exhibition, an evocative summary of Queen Elizabeth II’s service to the Royal Navy. 

Alongside this take part in special trails and activities across the site, sure to keep young visitors busy, as they learn about glowing bugs, naval superstitions, and more. 


Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Myths, Legends and Superstition at Sea Trail, for families with children aged 5 to 11 years, Saturday 22nd October 2022 to Sunday 30th October 2022 

This event, free with a valid ticket, takes place across all of the galleries of the National Museum of the Royal Navy including the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, both in Gosport. Learn about the superstitions sailors held to keep themselves safe out in the Seven Seas, and search the depths of the galleries to find legendary creatures of the deep. This event, operating during usual museum hours, is free with a valid museum ticket, but make sure to collect a special participation sticker. 



Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Make and Take – Bejeweled Bugs, for families, Saturday 22nd October 2022 to Sunday 30th October 2022 

At the Victory Gallery in Portsmouth and both Gosport museums, take part in a jewel-encrusted activity. Pick your favourite jewels and googly-eyes to decorate your own shiny bug to take home. Operating during the museum’s opening hours, this event is free with a valid ticket. 



Victory Gallery, Frightday with the Creation Station – Luminous Bug Buddies, for families with children aged 3 to 11 years, Friday 28th October 2022, 11am to 3pm 

A Halloween event arrives at the Creation Station in the Victory Gallery. Be inspired by bioluminescence, living things that literally create light, and use special paints to get making. Paint your very own glow in the dark minibeast rock pet. This one day only event, is free with a valid ticket. 



HMS Warrior, Sickening Ships and Squeamish Sailors, for families with children aged 10 and above, Saturday 29th October 2022, 10:30am to 3pm 

This special Halloween tour of HMS Warrior is not to be missed. Join the crew of Warrior, immerse yourself in life onboard a Royal Navy ship, and set out to discover the navy’s ghoulish secrets. Starting on the upper deck, this tour makes its way across the ship all the way to the boiler room, be entertained, disgusted and everything in-between. 

This tour is free to those with an Ultimate Explorer ticket, and places are limited so please book a time slot to avoid disappointment.  


The Mary Rose, 40th Anniversary of the raising of The Mary Rose, Saturday 22nd October to Sunday 30th October, 11am to 3pm 

Believe it or not, this October it will be 40 years since The Mary Rose was recovered from the Solent’s seabed. Discover the story of how the Mary Rose was raised by visiting Portsmouth’s award-winning museum this autumn. Visitors are also invited to join in with some of the anniversary celebrations, which include a series of lectures plus an 80s-style games arcade, courtesy of Game Over – Portsmouth’s only video game café – during October half term. 



HMS Victory, Victory Live: The Big Repair 

This new experience allows visitors to sneak a peek behind the scenes of one of the biggest conservation projects the National Museum of the Royal Navy has ever undertaken. A key part of the 10 to 15 year-long project of conservation, Victory Live: The Big Repair, allows visitors to gain an insight into the work being done by shipwrights, conservators and beyond to protect her for the next 50 years. A family trail is also available on arrival. 



Hear My Story Gallery, Her Majesty’s Service, The Queen’s role at the heart of the Royal Navy family 

The Her Majesty’s Service exhibition is a celebration of the life and service of the longest reigning British monarch. Born into a family steeped in service with the Royal Navy, she remains the granddaughter, daughter, wife and mother of those who served in the Royal Navy. Photographs record the decades of service when, as a princess aged just 18, she launched her first naval ship, HMS Vanguard in 1944. 


Entry onto the 12-acre historic area of the Historic Dockyard is free with a Historic Quarter Pass, which is issued at the Visitor Centre between 10am and 4:30pm