D-Day Museum Portsmouth

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.



14 thoughts on “D-Day Museum Portsmouth

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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,

  4. 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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