Holiday fun on historic ships

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Activities, crafts, trails, demonstrations... there’s all sorts going on at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard this half-term.

HMS Warrior 1860’s Family Activity Area will keep the younger generation amused with pirate art and craft, costumed role play and colouring and quiz sheets.

HMS Warrior

HMS Warrior

Intrepid young explorers can also take part in the Follow the Flag family trail around the ship. The trail and activity area both run every day of the holiday (from tomorrow until February 24) from 10am until 4.30pm.

Also aboard Warrior, from Tuesday to Thursday, budding spies can Crack the Code using signal flags and semaphore to spell their name and send messages from ship to shore. They can also become secret agents, making a spy gadget and sending coded messages to family and friends between 11am and noon and then 2pm to 4pm.

From Monday to Friday there will be Victorian small arms demonstrations aboard Warrior at 10.45am, 11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.45pm and 2.30pm, with guns, cutlasses and swords.

And on Monday and Tuesday, from 11am to noon and 1.30pm to 3.30pm, there will be themed craft workshops aboard plus a macramé workshop on Tuesday from 11am to 3.30pm.

In HMS Victory, families can Come Dine with the Georgian Navy on Thursday between 11am and 1pm and 2pm to 4pm. And it’s not all grog, rotten meat and weevily biscuits. Sailors were quite well fed.

All the above events are included in the cost of an attraction ticket (£6.50 to £17).

There is also a free drop-in workshop at the National Museum of the Royal Navy on Wednesday called Sci-fi Ships.

From 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm, families can find out what the Royal Navy’s ships will look like in the future and they can design their own next-generation ship.

Finally, visitors who can’t make it to the Historic Dockyard need not worry, as the team is bringing the Sea Life Community Roadshow to St Francis Church, Leigh Park, on Thursday from 11am to 3pm, with crafts, object handling, dressing-up and activities – and it’s free.

For more information, see, call (023) 9283 9766, or take a video tour of the dockyard at