Voyages of discovery at the Historic Dockyard

Fareham Community Hospital in Salisbury Green

Picture: Paul Jacobs

LETTER OF THE DAY: We urgently need a bus service to Fareham hospital

Fictional vessel, the Dawn Treader has inspired children the world over these past few weeks.

With the release of the latest Chronicles of Narnia film, Caspian's titular ship has captured the imagination of young minds, much the way it did 60 years ago, when C.S. Lewis' collection of fantasy novels was first published.

But those dreaming of a life on the ocean waves who live in and around Portsmouth are in the privileged position of having the real adventure stories from maritime history right on their doorstep.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the perfect solution to keeping the kids occupied with more than presents and TV this festive season.

There, visitors can explore a huge range of attractions, festive events and indoor activities to learn about centuries of seafaring (from everyday routines to daring adventures) as well as simply admiring the majesty of the magnificent vessels.

From tomorrow until Bank Holiday Monday, January 3, Dockyard visitors can Hunt The Slipper on a family trail on board HMS Warrior 1860.

Plus, in the museum based around Henry VIII's favourite ship – the Mary Rose, families can try their hand at the games and pastimes of Tudor sailors, as well as seeing the toys and crafts of the era and listening to some Tudor tunes.

They can also take part in a Family Christmas Trail designed for all ages and based on Christmas facts and figures from Tudor times.

Families will also be able to hunt for related artefacts within the museum.

And they can get their hands on replica artefacts from the carpenter's cabin plus ask the costumed guides any questions.

As well as taking shelter below decks on Warrior and inside the Mary Rose museum, visitors can explore Nelson's famous HMS Victory, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the interactive Action Stations.

If they visit on a weekend, they can even take a boat tour of the harbour and Naval Base.

And those who think they still have too much Christmas shopping to do to afford time at the dockyard will be pleased to learn that there are plenty of gift ideas too – from national marine traditionalist retailer Nauticalia, to museum shops and the Antiques storehouse.

Plus, Portsmouth library card holders get half-price tickets, and reduced food and drink, until February 11.

So don't let the cold weather keep you indoors, head out on your own voyage of discovery and find out about the Chronicles of the Historic Dockyard.

Tickets cost 14 to 19.50, or 55 for a family of up to five. The Dockyard is closed from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day.