Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Visitor Frequently Asked Questions

Find our visitor FAQs here for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. We're home to 12 historic ships, museums and attractions including the Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Since August 2020 its visitor operations have been managed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy alongside the Mary Rose Trust.

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions in related to the new operational arrangement and the newly introduced ticketing offer. It also provides information for visitors affected by the COVID-19 closure and/or unsure about steps that have been taken to reopen the site to the public.

These FAQs were last updated 21 December 2020.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

Is the Dockyard still open?

Following the recent UK government decision to declare a national lockdown in response to COVID-19, we can confirm that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and all our attractions are temporarily closed. 

Please check our social media channels for updates on when we will be welcoming visitors back in Portsmouth and Gosport.

Mary Rose or Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Existing Ticket Holders

I had a ticket for Mary Rose Museum/Portsmouth Historic Dockyard which expired during the first COVID-19 closure. Is it still valid and can I still have it extended?

For those people who had tickets that were valid or expired during the first lockdown from March, we had offered an extension to tickets equating to the amount of time the site was closed. The date to have these tickets extended from the first lockdown was the 31st October 2020. Unfortunately, we can no longer offer extensions for this first closure period.

Purchasing a new ticket

What is the new ticket structure for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard?

As part of the new collaboration between the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Mary Rose Museum, we are now offering a range of new tickets for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The tickets we have are:  

  • One Attraction Day Ticket 
    This is valid on one attraction and only for the day of the visit.  
  • The Three Attraction Explorer ticket 
    This is valid on three attractions of your choice and will be valid for 12 months from the first scan. Your ticket will be activated once you have scanned in at your first chosen attraction and will remember the two others you visit.   
  • The Ultimate Explorer ticket 
    This is valid on all of the attractions (including the Harbour Tours and the Mary Rose) at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and can be reused as many times as you like for 12 months. The ticket is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.
  • The Family Explorer 1 ticket
    This is valid on all attractions at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and includes one adult and up to three children. It is valid for 12 months and is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.  
  • The Family Explorer 2 ticket
    This is valid on all attractions at the Portsmouth and Gosport sites and includes two adults and up to three children. It is valid for 12 months and is not activated until it is scanned on your first visit.

Please note: The Three Attraction Explorer ticket will only be valid on the attractions you choose on your first visit. This means on subsequent visits you will only be able to see the same three attractions.

Gift Aid

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is reclaimed by the charity from HMRC from the tax you pay for the current tax year. Your address is needed to identify you as a current UK taxpayer. In order to Gift Aid your donation you must select one of the Gift Aid ticket options below.

Gift Aid allows us to reclaim 25p tax for every £1 spent. As a charity, every penny counts. Your kind donation to support the work of National Museum of The Royal Navy, Mary Rose Trust and Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust is subject to HMRC terms and conditions and is therefore not eligible for a refund. Whether it's to conserve world famous ships or bring historical artefacts to the public, selecting the Gift Aid tickets helps us to continue this valuable work.

Booking a Visit

Why do I have to book a time slot to visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard?

We have introduced pre-booking for ALL visitors to all of our attractions in line with government advice and to enable us to manage the volume of visitors to our site in a socially distanced way.

We are offering visitors the opportunity to choose a day that they would like to visits as well as a specific half an hour window when they would like to arrive. This is essential in enabling us to manage queues and to avoid large gatherings of people. It also enables us to comply with the Track and Trace requirements, and contact anyone who has been on the dockyard at the same time as a report COVID-19 case.

Ticket Confirmation

I’ve booked my ticket and/or my slot for my visit, what do I need to bring with me?

Once you have booked your ticket and/or your time slot for visiting, you will be sent TWO confirmation emails.

Email One

The is your ticket confirmation. This will confirm that you ticket had been secured and payment has been processed. If it is an existing ticket it is confirmation that it has been validated, extended and a new ticket with your new expiry date issued.  

This email will have your official ticket attached to it - this will need to be scanned at every attraction.

It will also have your Returner ID on it, which is a 16 digit number...not to be confused with the barcode on your ticket!

You will need to keep this email as you will need your returner ID number to book each visit, and your official ticket to scan into our attractions. 

Email Two

The second email will be your timeslot confirmation and will have your specific booking for that visit, with the date and time of your visit confirmed. You will only need this to be scanned in and out of the dockyard at the Visitor Centre.

You will get a new timeslot confirmation email every time you book a return visit to the dockyard or at our Gosport sites.   


Group Visits

Can I book a school or learning group visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Mary Rose or the National Museum of the Royal Navy?

We are not currently accepting School or Learning Group bookings for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard or the individual attractions.  We will be reviewing this policy regularly and hope to welcome these groups back, later this year. However, we have taken learning online and can offer virtual learning experiences. 

This is to account for challenges around social distancing with large groups and children.  

Post Visit

How do I feedback after my visit?

It is important to us to get feedback from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard visitors to help us understand what improvements we can make and to know what is going well.  

After your visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard we will send you a post-visit survey to capture some of your thoughts about your visit and in particular how you felt about our safety measures. We would grateful if you are able to complete this as it provides valuable insights which help us to plan for future visitors.  

You can also leave a review on our Trip Advisor page.

Returner ID

What is a Visual ID?

Your Visual ID is the 18 digit number underneath the barcode of your ticket. This number is unique to your ticket and is part of the scanning process when you enter the museum.