The Harbour Tour is a visitor favourite, and it’s not hard to see why when it gives you the opportunity to head out on the water to experience Portmouth Harbour.
Not only do you see the dockyard but parts of Portsmouth and Gosport from a completely different perspective.
This 50 minute tour shows some great highlights of the area, it’s history and a dose of Hampshire sea air.
Let’s get stuck into the top 10 things you’ll see on the Harbour Tour.
The Harbour Tour is one of the only ways to get a look at HMS Warrior’s bow.
It also offers the perfect photo opportunity as the boat moves away, both HMS Warrior and the Spinnaker Tower are frames together perfectly.
Two of Portsmouth iconic landmarks in a postcard worthy moment.
While we mention the Spinnaker Tower above, it’s worth mentioning this is a lovely opportunity to see the tower from the water.
The Harbour Tour shows off the Portsmouth skyline, which undoubtedly is instantly recognisable thanks to this unique piece of architecture.
The Mary Rose & HMS Victory
You’ll have a perfect view of The Mary Rose Museum and HMS Victory from the water.
Sometimes the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers will be berthed in the harbour. If they are in, on the way out you’ll get a quick view through the gap between the two ships. But the best opportunity will be when you’re returning to the dockyard and you’ll pass by them much closer and at a better angle.
Keep your eyes to the seas, because the naval ships change constantly and you never know what you might spot.
If you’re really lucky you might also glimpse some activity in the skies if the aircraft carriers are in.
Look out across the harbour and you’ll spot the white chalky ridge face of Portsdown Hill.
It’s highest point is 131m above sea level and is marked by Fort Southwick – the views from the hill across Portsmouth and beyond are incredible.
On a clear day you can see medieval fortress, Porchester Castle, guarding the coastline at the head of Portsmouth Harbour.
The keep is a focal point for local and national history, and the famous plot to overthrow Henry V even features in Shakespeare’s play of the same name.
The scheduled ancient monument is now Grade I listed and is another popular local attraction.
History fans will appreciate seeing Roundstone Tower, the old Napoleonic watch tower, at Royal Naval Quay.
It’s lighter stone colour and shape stands out from the naval base’s military grey and is quite easy to spot.
Whale Island is home to HMS Excellent, Royal Navy training facilities, in fact the oldest shore training establishment within the service. If you’re in the navy or know someone in the navy it’s very likely they’ve passed through this island’s facilities.
In Sir Walter Raleigh’s time the small peninsula of Spice Island was the centre of the local spice trade and where a lot of press gang activity happened.
It is now home to some popular local pubs and luxury homes and marks the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.
Portsmouth Harbour is a busy one, full of lots of different ships and ferries – see what you can spot when you visit. You’re most likely to see ferries heading across to Gosport, the Isle of Wight and France.
Ultimate Explorer tickets have lots of great perks, and while being the best value it also gives you access to all of the dockyard attractions including the Harbour Tour. It’s the only ticket to offer it, so make sure you’ve got yours ready for your next visit.