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 a 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.
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.
|Opening Hours (1 Apr 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)|
|Monday - Tuesday||Closed*|
|Wednesday - Sunday||10:00||- 17:00*|
* Closed 24, 25 and 26 December.
Last admission 1hr before close.
Map & Directions
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Road DirectionsExit M27 motorway from Junction 11. Follow brown tourist signs for ‘Royal Armouries’.
Public Transport DirectionsNearest mainline stations:
Portchester - 3 minutes away by taxi
Fareham - 10 minutes away by taxi
Havant - 20 minutes away by taxi