Children can let off steam at Fort Nelson’s new assault course

(l-r) Keisha Sillence and Caitlin Symons on the assault course. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142414-3166)
(l-r) Keisha Sillence and Caitlin Symons on the assault course. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142414-3166)
Eugene Scanderfield with landlady of the Hayling Billy  Mandy Mather Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171085-1)

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YOUNGSTERS can beat the school holiday blues and let off steam this summer at Fort Nelson’s new junior assault course.

Built on the Victorian Fort’s parade, on Portsdown Hill Road, Fareham, the course includes a number of fun obstacles including a walk-through, based on a First World War trench, and rope maze that features original mortar bombs from the mighty Mallet’s Mortar.

18/8/2014 (NEWS) Summer of Fun''Children enjoyed the Junior Assault Course at Fort Nelson on Monday.''Pictured is: Oliver Tomlin (5) from Baffins, on the assault course.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142414-3174) PPP-140818-163837001

18/8/2014 (NEWS) Summer of Fun''Children enjoyed the Junior Assault Course at Fort Nelson on Monday.''Pictured is: Oliver Tomlin (5) from Baffins, on the assault course.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142414-3174) PPP-140818-163837001

At the entrance, youngsters come face to face with three great guns from the Royal Armouries’ national collection and a 25-pounder quick-firing Howitzer, dating to the Second World War.

Families can also enjoy the rest of Fort Nelson’s revamped 19-acre site, with plenty of tunnels and ramparts to explore.

The fort, which was built in the 1860s to guard the naval dockyard, now houses one of the finest displays of historical artillery pieces in Europe.

Other fun activities are on offer this August as Royal Armouries continues to stage its free Artillery in Action displays that showcase the fully-restored 19th weapons, which make up an impressive national collection.

Fort Nelson is home to more than 350 big guns, from pre-gunpowered siege machines to a 200-tonne railway gun.

Fort operations manager Nigel Hosier said, ‘Fort Nelson offers a great day out for all the family and, unlike purpose-built museums, we can showcase the national collection against the backcloth of a fully restored, historic landmark.

‘Our assault course is proving a hit with parents and children alike as it allows youngsters to let off steam and learn something about their country’s history.

‘The guns form part of the course, but children will not be able to climb over them at any point.’

An all day pass for the assault course costs £3.50 per child, and parking and museum admission is free.

Other activities this month include:

- Landings - a free photography exhibition focused on the D-Day Landings by Russell Squires until October 13.

- Guided tours – learn about the history of the fort and the people who lived and worked there (daily at 11.15am and 1.30pm, adults £3, under 16s go free).

- Handling Sessions – get up close to weapons and uniforms from one of the finest collections in the world with our experts (July 25 – August 31, free).

For more information on events at Fort Nelson this summer, visit royalarmouries.org.