Your holiday summary

Holiday type Art, history & culture
Country United Kingdom
Travel type Make your own way
Price range From £319
Travel partner Travel Editions
Duration 3 nights
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0330 333 6761

The Mary Rose and Portsmouth's maritime history

On his ascent to the throne in 1509, and faced with ever-present threats from France and Scotland, Henry VIII begun to build up his navy. Mary Rose was to become the pride of Henry's fleet, but after 34 years of service in 1545, she sank in the Solent whilst leading to attack on a French invasion fleet. Here she lay undisturbed until her rediscovery in 1971 and then excavation and salvage in 1982, a milstone in the field of maritime archaeology which uncovered a wonderfully preserved Tudor time capsule.

On May 31st 2013 the brand new Mary Rose Museum opened in Portsmouth's historic dockyard. The museum tells the story of Henry VIII's flagship and displays the many priceless and fascinating objects found in and around the wreck. On this weekend you will: enjoy two talks about the Mary Rose; spend a day exploring Portsmouth's historic dockyard before returning for a private evening at the Mary Rose museum; visit Southsea castle where Henry witnessed Mary Rose founder and Fort Nelson, home to the Royal Armouries national collection of artillery.


  • Two nights bed and full breakfast at the four star Marriott Portsmouth
  • Welcome reception
  • First night private dinner with wine
  • Second night early-evening dinner in the hotel restaurant
  • Private evening with drinks reception at the Mary Rose museum
  • All visits and entrance fees
  • Coach transfers and tour manager throughout
Not included

  • Single room supplement
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities
Day one

Welcome reception and private dinner with wine followed by a talk by Christopher Dobbs, Head of Interpretation for the Mary Rose Trust, 'Diving on the Mary Rose'. On October 11 1982, the Mary Rose was finally raised to the surface after 17 years of search, survey and excavation. Christopher Dobbs, Maritime archaeologist and commerical diver was on the team that worked on the excavation and salvage of this historic ship in 1982. Christopher's lecture will illustrate what it was like to be under the water as the ship was raised from the seabed as well as to find the objects inside the wreck during the excavations.

Day two

Today you will have time to explore the museums and ships of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The historic dockyard plays host to Admiral Lord Nelson's HMS Victory and the Trafalgar Experience, the Victorian iron-clad HMS Warrior, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and The Dockyard Apprentice, the story of life in the Dockyards in 1911. Returning to the hotel in the afternoon, there will be an early evening dinner in the hotel restaurant and time to prepare for the highlight of the weekend, a private viewing of the brand new Mary Rose Museum. On arrival at the museum you will enjoy a drinks reception and an introductory talk by Christopher Dobbs who will talk about the Mary Rose collection, giving unique insights into the formation of the exhibitions and why the objects uncovered are so special. After this you will have a private viewing of the 19,000 objects, many of which were not on display in the old museum, ranging from bronze guns bearing Henry VIII's ciphers and crowns to whole sets of pewter to a wooden shovel, found by Christopher Dobbs himself on the orlop deck.

Day three

We will visit Southsea castle, one of Henry VIII device forts built to defend the south coast of England in 1544. Built to guard the entrance to the Solent and the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour, it was from here that Henry witnessed the sinking of his flagship Mary Rose in the Battle of the Solent in 1545. The day will also include a visit to Fort Nelson, home to the Royal Armouries national collection of artillery - the big guns. Positioned atop Portsdown Hill with panoramic views across the Meon Valley and Portsmouth Harbour we will be able to view the development of artillery from pre-gunpowder siege machines to modern-day super guns. Our final visit will be to Portchester Castle, one of the most impressive and best-preserved of the Roman 'Saxon Shore' forts originally built in the late third century or The Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport. Return to the hotel for approx. 17.30.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion

Please note the maximum group size is 120 passengers.
Marriott Portsmouth

The four star Marriott Portsmouth is located near to Port Solent marina and a short drive away from the historic dockyards and Spinnaker tower. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, bar and lounge, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and comfortable bedrooms with private en-suite bathroom, TV, telephone, air-conditioning, minibar, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. The hotel has on-site car parking.

This offer has no departures. [NEED SOME CONTENT HERE].

A great weekend thank you. Well organised, friendly, informative and very good accommodation. Couldn't have asked for more. Please keep us informed of others like this.
Sep 2013