After quite a few reports about attractions and travelling abroad I thought I would write something about a local attraction again – Portchester Castle 🙂
Portchester Castle is almost around the corner but it took me more than a year before I decided to go and visit it. Wherever I lived, I noticed that I didn’t know much about the attractions in the area but looked for travelling abroad and planning day and weekend trips to places that were at least a couple of hours to drive.
Portchester Castle was one of the successful attempts to make things better. The castle is easy to reach, just off the M27 between Portsmouth and Southampton and a decent amount of (paid) parking is available at the castle.
The castle is of Roman origin and was originally built in the late 3rd century. The castle has a rich history with ups and downs and important and less important periods. It has even been used as a prison for several years.
People can visit the castle grounds and St. Mary’s Church for free. The Hold has an exhibition with interesting information about the castle and Portchester village which is maintained by English Heritage (entry fee applies). The castle grounds seem to attract families for a pick-nick on sunny days. And yes, I think it is quite nice to spend some time there.
St. Mary’s Church can be found within the castle grounds and is entry free. The church is surrounded by an old cemetery which is worth a stroll once you are there anyway.
There are several shorter and longer walks around Portchester Castle of which I have only done the shortest which is just outside the defensive walls. The castle had a strategically important position and was built closely to the sea which makes extending the walk along the sea is definitely possible.
I’m note sure what else to say other than that I’ve enjoyed this visit without giving away too much information. I think that Portchester Castle is especially suitable to visit with children. It is a castle (awesome!!!) but not too big so that it is doable to see everything within a couple of hours (not too much :)).
For more info about the castle have a look at the English Heritage website. If you want to spent a whole day there, it might be worth trying to get some more information about Portchester village and walks in and around Portchester.