We have compiled some of our frequently asked questions to help you plan your visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have additional access needs, what can I expect when I visit?
We’re committed to being accessible for every visitor. Please visit our dedicated accessibility page to find out more, including ways to get in touch with us.
Do you have toilets?
Toilets are located in the visitor centre, in the voice of the guns gallery and in some of the galleries.
Do you have baby changing facilities?
There are baby changing facilities within the visitor centre toilets.
Do you have disabled toilets?
Yes, adapted toilets suitable for people with disabilities are in the visitor centre and both the main levels of the Fort building. For more information about on accessibility, please read our accessibility page.
Can I bring my dog?
Assistance dogs are welcome at Fort Nelson, including in the museum galleries, visitor centre, café and outdoor areas, and we can provide water from our café. To protect the collection, pet animals are not permitted.
Do you have a café?
Our café in the visitor centre offers a delicious range of drinks, snacks and light bites. There are indoor and outdoor seating. Non-visitors are also welcome to use the café.
Card payments are preferred but we do accept cash.
Can I bring my own food?
Yes, you are welcome to bring a picnic and we have lots of indoor and outdoor picnic tables for you to use. Please note, barbeques are not permitted.
Do you have a shop?
Yes, our shop in is the visitor centre and offers a range of gift items relating to local history, arms and artillery, the First and Second World Wars, and other products suitable for children.
Visit our award-winning online shop to see our full range of products or if you can’t visit in person.
Where is Fort Nelson?
The address is: Fort Nelson, Portsdown Hill Road, Portsmouth, PO17 6AN.
Unfortunately, getting to the Fort is difficult via public transport, although there are buses and trains to nearby Portchester.
Do you have car parking?
Parking costs £3 per car which is payable at the reception desk on arrival.
We have parking for people with disabilities, which is free for Blue Badge holders. There are four spaces close to the entrance which are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
Is Fort Nelson free?
Royal Armouries Fort Nelson is a national museum and entry is free.
Charges may apply for special events and exhibitions.
When is Fort Nelson open?
Fort Nelson’s opening times and days vary throughout the year:
- 10 am to 5 pm, every day during school holidays and Bank holidays
- 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday during term time from April to October
- 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday to Sunday during term time from November to March
Do I need to book?
We recommend you book a free visit, choosing your arrival time on Eventbrite, once you arrive you can stay as long as you like.
We do accept a limited number of walk-ups but cannot guarantee entry especially during holidays and events. We are usually quieter during the week in term time, and after 2 pm.
If you are unable to book online, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01329 233 734. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm.
Can I cancel my booking?
If your plans change, please cancel your ticket. You can do this by following the instructions in the Order Summary section of your confirmation email.
If you’d like to change your arrival time or date, please cancel your tickets and rebook for the new date and time. If you need any help making or cancelling a booking, please email email@example.com.
We are unable to refund car park charges.
Visitors are welcome to take photographs and record video but you may only use what you create for your own personal use, and not for any business or commercial or promotional purposes - read our Photography and Filming policy (pdf, 129 KB) for full details.
What is there to see and do?
Fort Nelson is a fully restored Victorian fort and home to the national collection of artillery. In addition to 700 artillery guns on display, we have high ramparts, underground tunnels, and panoramic views over Portsmouth and the Solent.
Discover more about our galleries and displays and what Fort Nelson has to offer.
What special events do you have?
We regularly run special events for a range of visitors, including families during the school holidays. Highlights include tours, workshops, exhibitions and more. Search our What’s On pages to find the latest information about our events.
How do I book a school visit?
Self-guided visits to Fort Nelson are free of charge.
To get the most out of your visit, we recommend booking in advance by emailing the Fort education team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you offer education workshops?
We have an award-winning programme of workshops for school groups ranging from Early Years Foundation Stage up to Key Stage 4. Visit our Learning page to find out more and to book.
We’re too far away to travel to one of your sites. Can I access your learning resources online?
If you’re unable to visit us in person, you can still access our free, online teaching resources. Visit our Learning Resources page to see videos and activities from the EYFS to KS4.
Do you have any safety measures in place?
We have several hand sanitiser stations available throughout the museum, and enhanced cleaning regimes are also in place across the museum.
In line with government guidance, face coverings are not mandatory but visitors are welcome to wear one if preferred. Some of our staff may continue to wear face coverings in crowded spaces.
Booking your ticket in advance also helps us manage visitor numbers, so please book in advance if you are able to.
If you have tested positive for Covid-19 we ask that you wear a mask when visiting, or consider rearranging your visit.