Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Visitor Frequently Asked Questions
Find our visitor FAQs here for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. We're home to 12 historic ships, museums and attractions including the Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Since August 2020 its visitor operations have been managed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy alongside the Mary Rose Trust.
This page provides answers to frequently asked questions in related to the new operational arrangement and the newly introduced ticketing offer. It also provides information for visitors affected by the COVID-19 closure and/or unsure about steps that have been taken to reopen the site to the public.
These FAQs were last updated on 26 April 2021.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Reopening
The National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Mary Rose Museum are happy to announce that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is reopening to visitors from Monday 17 May with tickets and time slots available online.
With COVID safety measures reviewed and in place, pre-booking your visit remains essential.
COVID-19 Safety Measures
We are happy to confirm that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and all our attractions are now open and we are excited to welcome you back.
To help us manage capacity at our attractions, we encourage all visitors to pre-book their visits online.
Returning visitors with valid tickets, please click return-booking to book your visit.
For those people who had tickets that expired before the third lockdown, we have previously offered an extension to their tickets equating to the amount of time the site was closed for the relevant lockdown. The date to have these tickets extended was the 31 October 2020 for the first national lockdown and 17 December 2020 for the second national lockdown.
Tickets purchased separately from the Mary Rose Museum or Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, prior to our joint ticketing venture, which are still in date will be accept for visiting the site. To rebook your return visit, you will need your returner ID to access our booking portal. Should you have not previously been issued your returner ID, please email email@example.com for assistance.
Tickets purchased prior to our reopening date for the first national lockdown, which have previously benefited from an extension, for the first or second national lockdown, or were eligible for an extension per application, will not be offered an additional extension to cover the third lockdown period.
Regretfully we are unable to refund your tickets as per our terms and conditions, which we ask you to agree to before submitting your final payment. We will be offering a 28 day extension to your tickets to cover visit days lost due to the closure. Your new expiry date will be relayed directly to you via email.
Yes, Ultimate Explorer and Three Attraction tickets purchased as part of our new ticketing scheme with the Mary Rose Museum will be automatically extended to cover the amount of time that the site was closed for the third national lockdown.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard was closed for 133 days for the third national lockdown and therefore 133 days will be automatically added onto the expiry date of your ticket, creating a new expiry date.
This extension process is automatic and we will update our social channels and website when that process has been completed.
Regretfully we are unable to refund your tickets as per our terms and conditions, which we ask you to agree to before submitting your final payment. We will be offering a 133 day extension to valid Ultimate Explorer and Three Attraction tickets to cover visit days lost due to the closure.
We are no longer selling the Portsmouth Pass as we discuss structure of the offer with our neighbours.
Purchasing a new ticket
As part of the new collaboration between the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Mary Rose Museum, we are now offering a range of new tickets for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The tickets we have are:
- One Attraction Day Ticket
This is valid on one attraction and only for the day of the visit.
- The Three Attraction Explorer ticket
This is valid on three attractions of your choice and will be valid for 12 months from the first scan. Your ticket will be activated once you have scanned in at your first chosen attraction and will remember the two others you visit.
- The Ultimate Explorer ticket
This is valid on all of the attractions (including the Harbour Tours and the Mary Rose) at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and can be reused as many times as you like for 12 months. The ticket is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.
- The Family Explorer 1 ticket
This is valid on all attractions at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and includes one adult and up to three children. It is valid for 12 months and is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.
- The Family Explorer 2 ticket
This is valid on all attractions at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and includes two adults and up to three children. It is valid for 12 months and is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.
Please note: The Three Attraction Explorer ticket will only be valid on the attractions you choose on your first visit. This means on subsequent visits you will only be able to see the same three attractions.
| One Attraction
| Three Attraction
|£5 Online Discount||N/A||YES||YES|
| Family Explorer 1
(1 Adult and up to 3 Children)
| Family Explorer 2
(2 Adults and up to 3 Children)
|£5 Online Discount||YES||YES|
Yes. Seniors (65 years old and older) receive a £1 discount on any ticket that they buy for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Yes. Admission is free for children under the age of four but they are still required to book a visit
We offer a child rate on all our tickets for visitors between the ages of 4 – 15.
We do not offer a formal student concession but we do run special offers for students. A student ID will be required to take advantage of this.
A £5 discount is automatically applied to tickets bought online. Tickets purchase at the visitor centre will not benefit from this discount.
Due to the current situation, we would recommend purchasing tickets prior to your visit as time slots will be capacity managed to assist with social distancing and pre-booking will be essential.
The prices as they are listed on the website are the prices that visitors will be asked to pay, no further discounts will be applied.
Gift Aid is reclaimed by the charity from HMRC from the tax you pay for the current tax year. Your address is needed to identify you as a current UK taxpayer. In order to Gift Aid your donation you must select one of the Gift Aid ticket options below.
Gift Aid allows us to reclaim 25p tax for every £1 spent. As a charity, every penny counts. Your kind donation to support the work of National Museum of The Royal Navy, Mary Rose Trust and Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust is subject to HMRC terms and conditions and is therefore not eligible for a refund. Whether it's to conserve world famous ships or bring historical artefacts to the public, selecting the Gift Aid tickets helps us to continue this valuable work.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is operated by the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Mary Rose Trust, both of whom are education and heritage conservation charities. So, if you are a UK tax payer and opt-in to Gift Aid, we can claim back 25% of the total cost of your eligible tickets from HMRC. This makes a huge difference to us and helps support all of our charitable work.
Tickets that are eligible for Gift Aid are those with 12 month redemption periods. This includes:
- The Three Attraction Explorer ticket
- The Ultimate Explorer ticket
- The Family Explorer 1 ticket
- The Family Explorer 2 ticket
It is with regret that our terms and conditions do outline a strict no refund policy and we ask you to accept this specific term before you submit your payment. A ticket that has had Gift Aid applied to it is converted to a donation to enable us to recover the tax relief. The legislation from HMRC which surrounds fundraising prevents us from refunding donations, including Gift Aid tickets.
Booking a Visit
We have introduced pre-booking for ALL visitors to all of our attractions in line with government advice and to enable us to manage the volume of visitors to our site in a socially distanced way.
We are offering visitors the opportunity to choose a day that they would like to visits as well as a specific half an hour window when they would like to arrive. This is essential in enabling us to manage queues and to avoid large gatherings of people. It also enables us to comply with the Track and Trace requirements, and contact anyone who has been on the dockyard at the same time as a report COVID-19 case.
No - you only need to book a time slot to gain entry onto the dockyard. Once scanned in, you will only need your original ticket to scan onto each attraction you have paid to see.
Please note that at busy times, a socially distant queue may be in operation at our attractions.
There are 9 timeslots available throughout each day. They are as follows:
10am – 10.30am
10.30am – 11.00am
11.00am – 11.30am
11.30am – 12.00pm
12.00pm – 12.30pm
12.30pm – 1.00pm
1.00pm – 1.30pm
1.30pm – 2pm
2.30pm – 3.00pm
Booking will not be taken after the 2.30pm – 3.00pm slot.
Time slots are allocated in half an hour sections, however we understand that sometimes you may be running late! You time slot will allow you half an hour to arrive and enter the Dockyard so a 10am til 10.30am slot means you can arrive between 10 and 10.30.
We do ask our visitors to try and arrive within their designated slot to ensure that we can manage any queues within social distancing requirements and avoid large gatherings of people.
If you do miss your time slot, we will ask you to wait and will do our best to fit you into the next available slot. However this will depend on the capacity levels of that slot and we cannot guarantee entry. The staff at our visitor centre will be on hand to help should this be the case.
You will have from the time of your entry, to the time the Dockyard closes to explore the Dockyard and the Attractions. You may be asked to queue for a short period before entering some Attractions, this is to ensure that capacity and flow of visitors allows for the required level of social distancing.
If you choose to leave the Dockyard during your visit, unfortunately we will not be able to readmit you. This is because of the regulations around managing capacity at out entrance and exit points.
However, if you have one of our annual tickets, you can come back as many times as you like, as long as you pre-book yourself a time slot for entry to the Dockyard.
If you are buying a new ticket, you need to visit the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website and go to Ticket and Offers. Here you will be taken to our ticketing page, with details of all our ticket options. When you purchase your new ticket, there is the ability to book your timeslot at the same time as purchase.
Yes. ALL visitors are required to book a timeslot before they visit the site, including those going to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum or Explosion The Museum of Naval Firepower, in Gosport. This is essential in enabling us to manage our volume of visitors to those sites.
Yes absolutely. If you are unable to make your slot we actively encourage you to amend or cancel the slot. This enables us to free up this time for another visitor. If you have another slot or date in mind, you can pre-book this time using your Returner ID. However if you have a single day ticket our Customer Relations team will be happy to rebook your visit for you.
You will not be penalised for cancelling or amending a slot.
It is with regret that our terms and conditions do outline a strict no refund policy and we ask you to accept this specific term before you submit your payment.
However your tickets will remain on the system indefinitely so you will be able to visit on a later date and enjoy unlimited access to The National Museum of the Royal Navy sites for 12 months after that date.
The attractions within the Dockyard survive on the income it generates from its visitors and their kind donations and looks to that continued support in this challenging time. Providing refunds to visitor would severely impact our ability to maintain our historic collection.
We are currently unable to accept Tesco Clubcard Vouchers and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We will update this page as soon as we are able to accept Tesco Clubcard Vouchers. If you have any queries regarding your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers, please contact the Clubcard team directly
A Waterbus from the Historic Dockyard runs regularly to both Explosion and the Royal Navy Submarine Museums', however is currently running at reduced capacity due to government COVID-19 restrictions. Check onsite on the day for running times and capacity
The Waterbus is unfortunately unable to accommodate wheelchairs, due to the unsuitability of the jetty and steps. A wheelchair can be pre-arranged to meet the waterbus on arrival in Gosport. Please ask a member of staff for details or email GosportDutyManager@nmrn.org.uk to confirm availability.
Once you have booked your ticket and/or your time slot for visiting, you will be sent TWO confirmation emails.
This your ticket confirmation. This will confirm that your ticket had been secured and payment has been processed.
This email will have your official ticket attached to it - this will need to be scanned at every attraction.
It will also have your Returner ID on it, which is a 16 digit number...not to be confused with the barcode on your ticket!
You will need to keep this email as you will need your returner ID number to book each visit, and your official ticket to scan into our attractions.
The second email will be your timeslot confirmation and will have your specific booking for that visit, with the date and time of your visit confirmed. You will only need this to be scanned in and out of the dockyard at the Visitor Centre.
You will get a new timeslot confirmation email every time you book a return visit to the dockyard or at our Gosport sites.
Once you have received your ticket confirmation and booking confirmation emails you can print them off and bring to the site on the day, alternatively our front of house team will be able to scan them directly from your phone or tablet.
If you are unable to print your confirmation and don’t have access to a phone or tablet with your emails on, then the staff at our visitor centre will be happy to help you.
It is important to us to get feedback from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard visitors to help us understand what improvements we can make and to know what is going well.
After your visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard we will send you a post-visit survey to capture some of your thoughts about your visit and in particular how you felt about our safety measures. We would grateful if you are able to complete this as it provides valuable insights which help us to plan for future visitors.
You can also leave a review on our Trip Advisor page.
Your Visual ID is the 18 digit number underneath the barcode of your ticket. This number is unique to your ticket and is part of the scanning process when you enter the museum.
Your visual/barcode ID is the 18 digit number underneath your ticket barcodes, this is scanned on your entrance to the attractions. Your returner ID is a different number ranging from 14 to 16 digits and is generated via our systems. This number is used to book your return visit via our book your slot page on the website.
Upon purchasing your tickets you will receive a confirmation email with your tickets attached. Another email will follow with your returner ID which allows you access to the returner portal to book timeslots for future visits.
Please keep your returner ID as you will need it to book each visit. You will also need your original tickets to scan into our attractions.
The returner ID is generated for the ticket purchaser and not the individual tickets. Once issued, the ID grants access to the book your time slot portal where you will need to book return slots for the individuals planning on visiting.
Please bring your original tickets when you visit as they will need to be scanned to enter the Dockyard.
We are sorry to read that you are experiencing delays in booking your return visit to us.
We would recommend trying the process again but clearing your cache first and using the below link on incognito mode.
Please come back to us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience any further error messages.
Unfortunately we are unable to replace any lost tickets as per our terms and conditions, found on our website and printed on the backs of our tickets.
We are very sorry with any disappointment caused. If you want to revisit we can recommend the Ultimate Explorer ticket, now including access to the Mary Rose Museum.
If this is of interest to you, we have included the link here: https://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/tickets-and-offers
Please can you provide the Visual ID’s of your tickets, the name and full address of the ticket purchaser and email them to email@example.com and one of our Customer Relations team will look into the error.</span</p
Your booked time slot is for entry to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, once on site you do not need to book a time to visit the individual attractions, unless visiting the Royal Navy Submarine Museum or Explosion! Museum in Gosport.