& Southsea

Spinnaker Tower

D-Day Museum

The museum’s displays and exhibits invite visitors to: Board a genuine LCVP landing craft, look in on the Allied Headquarters at Southwick House, see a rare Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle (BARV) tank, witness the landing of a Horsa glider in Normandy, see maps, uniforms, vehicles and other artefacts.

The unfolding events of D-Day are also depicted in the Overlord Embroidery. Measuring 272 feet (83 metres) it is the world’s longest embroidery, a modern equivalent of the Bayeux Tapestry, commissioned as a tribute to the men and women who took part in D-Day.

Every year a number of significant dates, including the D-Day Anniversary, are marked at the museum with a programme of special events. D-Day Veterans continue to actively support the museum and are often on site during school holidays to share their wartime experiences with visitors.

A little further along the esplanade, and still on a military theme, you will find the Royal Marines Museum. Take a walk through history from 1664 and learn about the lives of the extraordinary people who have become Royal Marines. You can follow a recruit through training and on to deployment around the world, then creep through the jungle or marvel at the medal collection.

At the southern tip of the headland stands Southsea Castle. One in a series of forts constructed for King Henry VIII, in what was the most ambitious scheme of coastal defence since Roman times. The castle was built in great haste in 1544, prompted by Henry VIII’s fears of a French attack on Portsmouth. It was not long finished when, on 18 July 1545, a French invasion fleet did approach Portsmouth and landed on the Isle of Wight. Henry VIII was at Southsea Castle when the Mary Rose sank next day.

indefinable, with the two town centres just a mile apart, Southsea offers a distinctly different shopping and leisure experience with a wide range of specialist shops. Southsea became a popular holiday spot during Victorian times and retains many features of that period, including two piers, a long esplanade. Its sand and shingle beach with stunning views across the Solent still proves popular, as do the countless traditional seaside amusements found along the seafront.

Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum is the only museum in Britain dedicated to telling the story of the D-Day Landings which took place on 6 June 1944.

D-Day was a turning point in the Second World War; a moment when the course of world events depended on the Allied troops taking part. We hope you enjoy these pages: please leave for the enjoyment of others 37

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