Blow away the cobwebs Exsfg

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Visitors to one of the region’s best-loved Victorian forts could win the chance to fire a cannon as part of a new programme.

Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill is launching a new-look ‘Explorers’ pack’ activity programme designed to help blow away the cobwebs from the Christmas break.

The explorers’ pack, designed for families and groups, costs £5 and includes a trail with a series of clues, a pencil and guide book to help in navigating the museum, which is home to the national collection of artillery.

Visitors can wander around the fort and discover the ramparts, tunnels and galleries, while working together to discover its hidden secrets.

Participants will be entered into a draw and the first prize will be to fire the ‘big gun’ at the fort’s daily firing at 1pm.

The lucky winner will also receive a certificate and Royal Armouries’ souvenir gift bag.

There will also be Fort Nelson goodie bags for 10 runners-up.

Fort operations manager Nigel Hosier says: ‘This is a low-cost family activity designed to get people out in the great outdoors and to blow away the cobwebs and burn off the Christmas pudding.

‘The questions have been carefully chosen to provide a greater insight into our Palmerston fort and its role in the Portsmouth area’s history.

‘The museum includes new, state-of-the-art galleries and showcases some of the world’s finest examples of firepower, from across the ages.’

The explorers’ pack will be available from 10:30am to 4pm until Sunday, January 4.

Fort Nelson is also hosting an exhibition called Facing – Recovering until February 1.

This exhibition explores the complex issues injured soldiers face in their transition from military to civilian life.

Through drawing, video and words a number of soldiers and veterans share their personal stories and experience of injury and post-traumatic stress disorder in what one veteran described as closure in ‘graphical evidence’.

This significant exhibition marks a time when UK troops have recently left Afghanistan.

Visit for more information.