Newest Review: ... the keep inside the grounds is also surrounded by a moat. The castle grounds are free to enter but you need to pay to visit the main part ... more
Castle with a view
Portchester Castle (Portchester)
Member Name: Evie-x-
Portchester Castle (Portchester)
Advantages: Free grounds where the children can play, fab views of portsmouth
Disadvantages: No indoor areas to eat, not great in bad weather
Portchester is located in hampshire not far from the town of Fareham and the city of Portsmouth. it is easy to get here by bus and train. there is a large free car park with plenty of spaces.
Portchester Castle was built by the Romans built in the third century to guard against attack. Today, the walls are the most complete remaining example of their fortifications in northern Europe. When you walk through the arch in the outside wall you are greeted with a large field and path running through it. In one corner is the magnificent keep and in the other corner is St Mary's church.
The castle is surrounded by a moat and the keep inside the grounds is also surrounded by a moat. The castle grounds are free to enter but you need to pay to visit the main part of the castle and keep.
You enter via the gift shop where they sell a range of themed toys, typical souvenirs, books etc. the staff are very friendly and helpful. There are a lot of steps inside the keep as you expect and it is very narrow areas on top of the keep. The views of Portsmouth harbour are stunning so well worth the hike to the top. Please beware that the keep may be closed in severe weather.
There are no toilets in the castle but in the car park there is a large block of public toilets. Not the most pleasent experience but needs must!
There are plenty of places for picnics and the castle sell a small selection of snacks. St Mary's church is very active and has a team that visit the local schools. It is stunning inside so well worth popping in. The staff and volunteers are very friendly and will willing talk through the interesting stories behind the features of the church.
There is a lovely walk around the walls of the church by the shore. If the you have time take a walk down Castle Street it is here that you will find many blue plaques on houses telling you about their importance in the past. Look on some houses you will see the a lion the old sign used to show that you have fire insurance. If you didn't have this in the past then the fire-brigade would not put the fire out! Look out for Phoenix house, it once burnt down and was then rebuilt. There is the old Quaker House. Up near the high street on the church walls you will find initials carved into the bricks. When the church was being built local people paid money to have their initials on the bricks. Near to this is the building that was the old clay pipe factory.
In Castle Street there is a lovely friendly pub that serves real Ale and tasty food. They are very welcoming to all visitors so well worth a visit. Portchester high street is a ten minute walk here you will find cafes, chemist, Iceland, bakery and local library.
Summary: A roman gem
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