A young boy and girl play inside a large wheel at Fort Nelson

Book Tickets Online


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.

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.

Located in a key position above Portsmouth, Fort Nelson was built in the 1860s to protect against a potential invasion by the French, which never materialised.

Although never used for its original purpose, the fort played a significant role in both World Wars; as barracks for troops waiting to be deployed to the front line in the First, and as an anti-aircraft ammunition supply depot during the Second.

Discover the fort’s intriguing history in the building itself and through the museum exhibits.

Highlights of the collection on display include an innovative 15th-century Turkish bombard, a gigantic 200-tonne railway howitzer and the infamous Iraqi supergun.

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.

Admission is free, parking £3.

No animals except assistance (guide/hearing) dogs.

Royal Armouries has three museums – Fort Nelson, the White Tower in the Tower of London, and the purpose-built Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.

D-Day 80 at Fort Nelson

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings which took place on June 6, 1944, with troops leaving from Portsmouth heading to Normandy. The occasion will be marked at Fort Nelson with a host of events including a special exhibition, artillery trail and a D-Day weekend.

The exhibition, D-Day: A Portsmouth Story, will open on 24 May and will hear people with a connection to Portsmouth recalling their memories of D-Day. The display will feature the planning of Operation Overlord through to the events of D-Day and the quiet days afterwards in Portsmouth. The people's voices will be accompanied by images from The News, The Imperial War Museum and first-hand accounts from The D-Day Story and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. This free-to-visit exhibition will run until the end of the year.

A museum trail of 10 people, depicted in laser-cut silhouettes, created by Standing with Giants, will also stand alongside pieces from the Royal Armouries collection which have a connection with D-Day for 12 weeks.

The Sexton 25-pounder self-propelled gun, which played a key part on the Operation Overlord, will be on display in time for the D-Day commemorations as part of the artillery trail. The Sexton came from Canada in 1943 and was designed to be able to fire and move quickly. It fired its guns from the landing craft in support of troops ashore. On June 1 and 2, a special D-Day weekend will take place at Fort Nelson to mark the 80th anniversary. The event will feature the Sexton, plus historical reenactors and wartime singing duo Perfect Vintage.

The D-Day weekend event is free but tickets must be booked in advance online at royalarmouries.org. Entry is not guaranteed for those who do not book tickets in advance.

A lecture series will also run alongside the series of D-Day events at Fort Nelson with speakers including Andrew Whitmarsh, Curator of The D-Day Story, and Dr Kate Vigurs, an expert on women in World War Two.

Tickets cost £7.50 and can be booked online at royalarmouries.org.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff

Free entry.



  • Disabled Parking
  • Disabled persons toilet
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Induction Loop System
  • No dogs (Guide dogs accepted)
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Wheelchair user accessible


  • Cafe
  • Catering for groups
  • Full liquor licence
  • On-Site cafe/restaurant
  • Picnic area
  • Picnic Site
  • Refreshments Available
  • Vegetarians catered for

Children & Infants

  • Babes in Arms
  • Baby changing
  • Children’s packs
  • Children's Meals
  • Family Friendly, Children Welcome
  • Highchair(s) available
  • Indoor children’s play area
  • Outdoor children’s play area

Establishment Features

  • All weather attraction
  • Audio Tours
  • Conference facilities
  • Garden / Grounds for visitors use
  • Gift shop
  • Groups welcome
  • Guided tours
  • Licensed for alcohol
  • Licensed for weddings & ceremonies
  • Meeting rooms
  • Open all year round
  • Open New Year
  • Open on bank holidays
  • Special Opening for Groups by Arrangement
  • Team / Corporate Activities

Parking & Transport

  • Coach parking
  • Off-road parking
  • On Site Car Parking
  • Parking (charge)
  • Railway station within 5 miles

Payment Methods

  • Delta
  • Delta accepted
  • MasterCard
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Visa
  • Visa accepted

Provider Preferences

  • Countryside Setting
  • Some no smoking areas

Specialist Features

  • Cyclists welcome
  • Educational Groups
  • Information Point


Map & Directions

Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

Type:Historic Site

Fort Nelson, Portsdown Hill Road, Fareham, Hampshire, PO17 6AN
Close window

Call direct on:

Tel+44 (0)1329 233 734

Opening Times

Open year round (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)

* Fort Nelson is open daily during school holidays and Wednesday-Sunday during term time, 10am to 5pm.
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December.
Last admission 1hr before close.

What's Nearby

  1. Walk-ashore and mid-river marina berths, plus boatyard, paddle boarding, kayaking and…

    1.46 miles away
  2. Visit the Roman-Saxon shore fort with Norman additions - featuring a near-perfect keep…

    1.95 miles away
  3. Odeon is the largest cinema chain in the UK, with over one hundred cinemas nationwide.…

    2.28 miles away
  1. Port Solent is Portsmouth’s leading waterside leisure destination, offering over 20…

    2.3 miles away
  2. Flip Out Portsmouth is a huge arena of integrated interconnected trampolines, where you…

    2.35 miles away
  3. Fun for everyone, rain or shine, day or night! Portsmouth Playzone is the biggest indoor…

    2.7 miles away
  4. Portsdown Hill provides magnificent views over Portsmouth and beyond. The slopes are home…

    2.71 miles away
  5. Regardless of your age, ability or fitness, the Peter Ashley Equestrian Centre has a…

    3.17 miles away
  6. Sunsail Events offers amazing corporate sailing days, team building activities and…

    3.19 miles away
  7. Portsmouth Harbour is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

    3.23 miles away
  8. My Wonderful Yoga holds Hatha & Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes in Bedhampton & Cosham. Classes…

    3.29 miles away
  9. Head along to the free admission, open-access children's splash pool in Hilsea.

    3.29 miles away
  10. Take in the flora and fauna as well as the views from Portsdown Hill.

    3.39 miles away
  11. The Mountbatten Leisure Centre is set in an attractive park adjacent to Portsmouth's…

    3.48 miles away
  12. The historic Hilsea Lido dates back to 1932, and has been enjoyed by generations ever…

    3.48 miles away
  13. Welcoming everyone from beginners to pros, South Coast H2O is the home of the UK’s…

    3.48 miles away
Previous Next

Don't Miss