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D-DAY 80

Silhouettes of man and boy standing on cliff top beside an artillery gun looking over a fleet of ships in a bay and barrage balloons above

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. It included the largest seaborne invasion in history, code named Operation Neptune, but most often referred to as D-Day. 

The city of Portsmouth and the surrounding areas played a significant role in the preparations for the operation.  

A new exhibition D-Day: A Portsmouth Story will open on Friday 24 May at Fort Nelson, complemented by a programme of themed events and lectures throughout the year. 

Our D-Day 80 programme

D-Day: A Portsmouth Story Exhibition

The exhibition looks at the stories of Portsmouth and the surrounding areas in the lead-up to D-Day featuring contemporary images and accounts from local people, both military and civilian. The exhibition is supported by The News, the D-Day Story, the National Museum of the Royal Navy, and Southwick House.

Friday 24 May to 31 December 2024, free admission.

D-Day Museum Trail

A museum trail to help visitors explore the Fort and discover key artillery pieces connected with D-Day and the Second World War.

Friday 24 May to 31 December 2024, free trail

Standing With Giants: D-Day

In the spirit of the exceptionally popular 2023 Standing With Giants installation, experience our D-Day tribute of nine life-sized silhouettes of local figures with remarkable stories on display at the Fort.

Friday 24 May to Sunday 11 August, free admission.

May Half Term

Fort Nelson is a great family day out at any time and this May half term visitors can enjoy exploring this massive Victorian fort as well as discovering their local and national history with our D-Day themed activities and displays (see above).

Saturday 25 to Friday 31 May, free admission.

D-Day Firepower Weekend

A firing weekend to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. There will be two firing displays per day, displays of Second World War big guns, including the newly refurbished Sexton, as well as reenactors, military vehicles, have-a-go activities, and live 1940s-style music.

Saturday 1 to Sunday 2 June 2024, free admission, pre-booking essential.

D-Day Lecture Programme

A supporting programme of lectures delivered by experts in the fields of Second World War history and D-Day operations:

7pm to 8pm, £7.50 includes parking and light refreshments.

Please see separate pages for details and book online.

Book your visit

Please book a free visitor ticket for everyone in your party. Parking costs £3 per vehicle - pay on arrival.

Book your visit