Page 13 - Enjoy the South 2017
P. 13

The Enjoy team never gets tired of visiting the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth.
A note before we start, please don’t be put off by the entry fees – you are not only entering the world’s only Royal Navy museum (past, present and future), but you are buying into 11 attractions on-site and two off-site. This is more than a day out. Cunningly the ticket is valid for
a year, allowing visitors to return as many times as they please for 12 months.
ETS’s first port of call was the 1860 HMS Warrior. This iron lady is awe-inspiring in size and execution. Despite never having fired a shot in anger, her presence is enormous and you can clearly see the intimidation she caused to other nations during her time. The dockyard team is on hand and only too happy to discuss the ship’s history and details of all the attractions on-site. HMS Warrior is still being restored today and it is interesting to observe the ongoing work to renovate this unique vessel.
Onwards to HMS Victory, the world’s oldest commissioned warship and a firm favourite of the Enjoy team during the visit. The facility provides headphones as part of the experience and a pointer, which permits activation at specific points. This was hugely welcomed and gave a real insight into life on board, illustrating the story on the journey around the ship. Particular emphasis was placed on the Battle of Trafalgar – a clear sense of how truly horrific such an environment must have been for the crew. The ship has been exquisitely restored and the staff takes a notable pride in visitors being able to appreciate it in all its glory.
So to continue the journey back in time, we visited the Mary Rose. It was raised from the bed of the Solent 470 years after it sank, under circumstances that continue to generate conjecture amongst the public and indeed the professionals... Preserved in the silted seabed and now
on display in a specifically designed unit, with a large number of recovered artefacts and human skeletons, it is quite a remarkable experience. It also contains the only 16th century crow’s nest in the world. The remaining half of Henry VIII flagship can best be viewed from within the airlock on the top floor of the building. The condition of the remains are extraordinary considering the time that it was hidden beneath the Solent.
Following The Mary Rose, time is precious – so a quick stop was made into Boathouse 4, which provided an insight into ‘The Forgotten Craft’ and some of the ongoing work to restore some beautiful boats of more recent eras.
ETS will be returning to take the free waterbus across
to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, which is also included in the experience, to visit HMS Alliance. But with time running out it was sadly not to be on this visit, along with other attractions such as HMS M.33 from World War 1, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines Museum. The facilities are well thought out all round, catering well for disabled visitors and regular stops for food, drink and comfort.
All in all, a great adventure and a thoroughly enjoyable experience, we highly recommend the visit and the team will be back to complete this historical maritime tour... 023 9283 9766
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Visitor Centre
Victory Gate
HM Naval Base

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