Destination UK

D-Day Museum Portsmouth

Posted on
June 11, 2016

Back in February we paid a visit to Normandy with a plan to visit all the D-Day landing beaches and museums about the war.
It was a subject that both my husband and teen were fascinated by and we all learned a lot about the subject on our visit. In fact, we also found out that many of the vessels that set off on this mammoth operation were actually made or set off from close to home.
Since our return, Hubby has been keen to visit Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum as it is Britain’s only museum dedicated solely to covering all aspects of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France, on 6 June 1944.
D-Day was a turning point in the Second World War, and a moment when the course of world events depended on the Allied troops taking part and the D-Day Museum is home to the impressive Overlord Embroidery, a tribute to the sacrifice and heroism of those who took part. Inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, the embroidery is 272ft (83m long) and it traces in stunning visual form the progress of Overlord, from its origins in the dark days of 1940 to victory in Normandy in 1944.
Overlord Embroidery
In the Museum itself you can experience the sights and sounds of Britain at War. The kids were fascinated by an air raid shelter and an air raid siren that was attached to the wall. There were also displays of troops preparing for D-Day in their forest camp, women working in a factory, and a Horsa glider that has landed in Normandy.
D_Day Museum
One of the most fascinating displays for Hubby and I was the map room at the Allied headquarters at Southwick House as it showed where troups were sent from around Dorset.
the map room at the Allied headquarters at Southwick House
Having visited Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches it was also fascinating to learn how the big concrete caissons were built, although nobody actually knew what they were building at the time.
There was no interactive items for the kids to try at the museum other than a spot of dressing up about half way round……..
Portsmouth D-Day Museum
and a huge landing craft to climb onboard.
Portsmouth D-Day Museum
The displays continue with a reconstruction of the Allied landings by sea and air on D-Day itself – World War II’s ‘longest day’. A real LCVP landing craft is on display, as is a rare Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle (BARV) tank.
Portsmouth D-Day Museum
If I am honest it is probably somewhere I would have prefered to go without the children as I wanted to read all the information and they were more keen to move on to the next display.
Portsmouth D-Day Museum is set on Southsea esplanade in Portsmouth which is also home to Clarence Pier Southsea, one of the largest amusement parks on the south coast and boasts all manner of amusements, rides and activities for all the family as well as the BlueReef Aquarium so you could combine the three and make a full day of it.

  1. Reply

    Erica Price

    June 11, 2016

    It looks fascinating – learning more about our near past is always interesting to me. I do like the tapestry.

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    June 11, 2016

    This looks like a great museum my family would like! Thanks for sharing this – been like a wee tour!

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    June 11, 2016

    This looks really interesting. Such a great museum to learn from. I bet my son would love it here 🙂

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    June 12, 2016

    I think I may have to take my dad to see this. In recent years we have been guilty of going through Portsmouth just to catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight!

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    angela hamilton

    June 12, 2016

    This is somewhere I would happily take my family, especially my husband as he would to see this

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    Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me)

    June 12, 2016

    Visiting museums with kids just isn’t the same as it used to be, is it? 🙂 Still, this does look interesting for a family trip. A little bit of dressing up always goes down well!

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    June 12, 2016

    I remember reading about your Normandy visit – I’m fascinated by the history of the World War, and this looks like a great day out for us.

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    Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

    June 12, 2016

    This looks like a great museum to visit and really interactive for the kids which is the best way for them to learn x

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    June 12, 2016

    Yep, this is on my list of places to visit over the summer. I really enjoy learning more about our history and D Day ranks up there as one of the most decisive points in our recent past. It looks very interesting and it appears that the little ones enjoyed it. Stephen

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    June 12, 2016

    Never been to many museums but this looks like a great one to visit

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    June 12, 2016

    I am obsessed with history especially the wars, I would LOVE to visit here. x

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    Jen Walshaw

    June 13, 2016

    My boys would love this. Maxi studied the second world war this year and Mini will be doing it next year. We are contemplating a trip to Normandy over the summer if we can fit it in. We love History and this looks like an ace Museum to visit,

  13. Reply

    Jennifer Howze

    June 14, 2016

    Good, honest review of the museum. The air-raid shelter sounds very cool.

  14. Reply


    June 14, 2016

    This looks like something my husband would absolutely love but i think the kids would probably rush him too much so he would miss bits he’d love. I’ve just added this to our list of places to go in the Summer when we’re in that area and I’m wondering whether to let him go on his own and we’ll do one of the other things you mentioned nearby as I really do think he could spend ages in somewhere like this x

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog