There's not long to go until Portsmouth begins a week of commemoration events to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day. As well as being host to the national commemoration event (organised by the UK Government and BBC, with support from Portsmouth City Council), the city will also host everything from live music performances to re-enactments, classic film screenings and much more besides.

To find out all about the events taking place, see our D-Day 80 page. Or, for all the details and key information, read on.


What's happening?

There's loads going on right across the city to mark this big anniversary. Perhaps the most notable is the National Commemoration Event taking place at Southsea Common on 5 June (the original planned date for D-Day, before poor weather pushed the departure back a day).

The eyes of the world will be on Portsmouth for this event, which is set to feature tributes, readings, performances and more, with many special guests expected to grace the specially erected stage on Southsea Common. The event will be attended by dignitaries from around the world and broadcast live on the BBC - being as it is the UK's official commemoration of D-Day. Some lucky members of the public will also be in attendance at the event after securing what was a very limited number of free tickets.

In the evening there will be a second event, billed as 'A Tribute to the Fallen'. This will include a community vigil to fallen Allied soldiers who fought and died during D Day operations, including a live broadcast from Bayeux War Cemetery in France. There will also be live music performances, as well as moving testimony from those who were there.

Anyone with tickets to either commemoration event is encouraged to use public transport where possible to get to the site. There will be a free shuttle bus running to and from Portsmouth & Southsea railway station (departing from the nearby Isambard Brunel Way) for both events, with services from 8am to 11.15pm.

Alternatively, the Park & Ride will be open throughout, whilst buses will continue to run. A limited number of accessible parking spaces will be available near the site but please note the parking restrictions and road closure details later in this blog.


Can I get into the national commemoration event?

Unfortunately not. There were only a small number of public tickets and these were all snapped up within minutes of becoming available.

The commemoration event area will be cordoned off for security purposes meaning it won't be possible for anyone without a ticket to see inside. Unlike with the D-Day 75 commemorations there will be no public element outside of the compound or big screens relaying the action, so it's not recommended anyone head to Southsea Common without a ticket for the event.

The evening event is also now fully subscribed (although tickets for this didn't go quite so quickly as the national commemoration event).

The best place to view these will be at home, watching live on BBC One.

However, there are still many other events that you can still attend to mark D-Day 80 here in Portsmouth…


What else is happening?

Portsmouth is bringing its Armed Forces Day celebration forward a few weeks, to Saturday 8 June. This will allow locals and visitors the chance to give thanks to members of the Armed Forces, whilst enjoying live performances, displays and activities. There will also be a full display by the sensational Red Arrows.

This event will be totally free to attend and open to all.

As well as Armed Forces Day the week of commemorations will include film screenings at the New Theatre Royal, displays in the historic Fort Nelson, a concert with BBC Radio 2 at Portsmouth Guildhall, a Proms-style event at the Kings Theatre, and plenty more besides.

There will also be the civic commemoration of D-Day, taking place at the memorial (also known as 'The D-Day Stone') near South Parade Pier.

Credit: Vernon Nash
Image credit: Vernon Nash

See our D-Day 80 page for all the details.


Road closures and parking restrictions

Portsmouth City Council has been working closely with the MOD and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary on suspended parking, road closures and traffic diversions close to Southsea Common, to ensure the smooth running of the events.

From 8am on Monday 3 June, on-street parking is unavailable at:
Clarence Parade (from Osborne Road to Jack Cockerill Way)
Clarence Esplanade (from Hovertravel to Jack Cockerill Way)
Clarence Parade (south side between Lennox Road and South Parade)
Auckland Road West (two bays with the junction of Clarence Parade)
Avenue De Caen
Duisburg Way
Jack Cockerill Way
Pembroke Road (north side)
Victoria Avenue
Museum Road (south side)

Most parking will be available again from 6am on Thursday 6 June, and any remaining restrictions will be lifted by 6am on Friday 7 June when event infrastructure is removed.

The following car parks will be closed, at the following times:
D-Day Story car park - closed from 10pm on Sunday 2 June until Saturday 8 June.
Southsea Common car park and Seafront The Esplanade car park - closed from 8am on Monday 3 June until 6am on Thursday 6 June.

Additionally, a section of the Pyramids car park will be unavailable from 8am on Wednesday 5 June until 6am on Thursday 6 June.

The following roads will be closed from 11.59pm on Tuesday 4 June until 6am on Thursday 6 June and some sections will be closed from 8am to 8pm on Sunday 2, Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 June:
Clarence Parade (from Osborne Road to Jack Cockerill Way)
Clarence Esplanade (from Hovertravel to Jack Cockerill Way)
Avenue De Caen
Duisburg Way
Jack Cockerill Way

Traffic diversion signs will be in place at all locations, and roads will be opened when it is safe to do so.

Any vehicle parked in a suspended area or obstructing the highway will be removed under instruction from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and will receive a Penalty Charge Notice.

Anyone with tickets for the events is asked to consider using public transport to and from the event if possible. Buses will still be running, as will the trains (nearest station Portsmouth and Southsea), and the Portsmouth Park and Ride service.

Remember, the event is only open to ticket holders, and no public vantage point will be available, but the event will be broadcast live on BBC.

Some bus routes in the area will be diverted and some stops will be suspended during this time; however, people can still take the bus from stops on Osborne Road, Clarence Pier, Pier Road, and Southsea Terrace. Please check bus stops or bus operator's social media for details.

All road closures and parking restrictions will be lifted in time for the Armed Forces Day celebrations on Saturday 8 June.

Portsmouth is expected to be busy during this week, so residents and visitors are encouraged to plan their journey and allow extra time when travelling around the city.





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