Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – The way to wow Americans and your toddler at the same time!

Portsmouth is pretty much my nearest seaside, so whenever we need a bit of sea air, this is where we end up; musty, fishy, cold, diesel filled air, yet I love it. The Historic Dockyard is well-trodden by our visitors from the US – it always impresses and Weasel loves it – a 2 for 1 bargain! And honestly, you don’t have to be a history buff or sailor to love it. I am both, so bear with me;  I might love it a little bit more than most.

Although it seems expensive, there are so many activities on the ticket, it seems impossible to do them all in one day. Weasel went on the Victory, the Warrior the harbour tour and we did one of the museums this time, but will need to go back (on the same tickets within 12 months) to experience Action Stations and the brand new Mary Rose exhibit.

Weird things on boats seem to please 11 month old children, and the dining rooms seem to be her favourite bit and another toddler we came across wanted to be lifted to touch all the beams. Weird, but hey, they’re getting something out of it I’m sure! And the harbour tour is great since a) its a boat and kids love going on boats, and b) they get to see more boats from the boat!


Food- There’s a Costa and a restaurant, which did decent food in a canteen style way. Action Stations has a cafe aimed at families which I will be checking out next time!

Changing: Changing in the restaurant loos was alright, some of the other buildings have additional loos but I haven’t checked out the baby bits.

Parking: Not too far for little legs

Is it a all-weather kind of a place you ask? Yes! Although bring a rain cover for the pram since there’s a lot of walking between buildings and boats. Also, no prams are allowed on the Warrior or Victory, so you’ll need to leave them in a buggy park outside. It’s sadly an uncovered buggy park at the Victory, and there’s covered space for a few at the Warrior. It pissed it down whilst we were on the boat tour, but the view from our dry seats inside was still fine, and prams are ok on that.

Falling asleep mid-cookie is usually a sign of a good day had. We’ll definitely be going back and checking out the Action Station part now that Weasel is old enough to run around and fully enjoy it. A hands on area that involves splashy water and displays with buttons to push has got to be a hit with even the most grumpy of toddlers.


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