Royal Armouries Fort Nelson

Is Royal Armouries Fort Nelson Open?

Covid-19 Update: Reopening 12th April! Keep up-to-date through their social media channels and website. For the most up-to-date information visit their official website via the link above or view our list of Hampshire attractions.

About This Attraction

Visit the Royal Armouries Museum Fort Nelson, and learn about the astonishing collection of artillery. It’s a great day out with something for all the family to enjoy and discover. You will learn about the intriguing history of artillery and, how it has changed the nature of battles and affected the lives of many people between the 15th and 21st century.

Although a cliché, the phrase ‘must see’ truly applies to Fort Nelson’s astonishing collection of different artillery and guns from different time periods. Over 700 items of artillery from many countries and spanning 600 years are brought to life whilst sensitively telling the unique stories behind them.

Weighing the same as 17 double-decker buses, another object of great interest is the huge 18 inch, 200 tonne Railway Howitzer. Designed and built by the Elswick Ordnance company of Newcastle, in 1918, as part of a trend to build bigger calibre guns with more destructive shells, it is the world’s largest surviving military gun.

Set within 19 acres and featuring the Ramparts Parade eerie tunnels, restored barracks, museum galleries and Cafe 1871, the fort is an exciting day out whatever the weather!

Summer opening Hours (April – October): 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily

Winter opening hours (November – March): 10:30 am – 4:00 pm


Why should I visit?

    • One of the few places where you can experience live black-powder firings of historic artillery pieces daily at 1pm.
    • The Cafe is a great place to relax after you have explored the Fort.
    • Explore the secret tunnels and underground chambers.
    • Over 350 guns on display from medieval siege machines to modern super guns.
    • Discover the art in artillery, from royally decorated regal guns to magnificent mythical beasts in the galleries.


Assistance dogs allowed
Baby changing facilities
Disabled parking available
Gift shop
On site parking
Suitable for ages 12 and above
Suitable for ages 3 and above
Suitable for ages 5 and above
Suitable for ages 8 and above
Tour Guide – we require booking for this facility
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Next event

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Voucher / Offer

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Where to find us


Fort Nelson
Portsdown Hill Road
PO17 6AN


01329 233 734


[email protected]


Find us online

By car

Exit the M27 junction 11. Follow the brown tourist signs for the Royal Armouries.

By train

Mainline stations Havant (20 minutes by taxi), Fareham (10 minutes by taxi), Portchester (3 minutes by taxi)

Kids activities

harry hampshire

There is so much for kids to do at Fort Nelson, some of the activities include:

  • Treasure boxes: A range of free treasure boxes contains a selection of toys, stories and suggested activities designed to provide hands-on-fun for inquisitive pre-schoolers (0-4 years).
  • Eerie tunnels and underground chambers to investigate (all ages).
  • 19 acres of Victorian Fort to explore including the ramparts, parade and galleries (all ages).
  • Rifle machine gun simulators: Youngsters can test their marksmanship skills on an electronic rifle, and machine gun ranges (4+ years).
  • Season events throughout the year for young visitors including special Sunday gun firings with uniformed detachments (all ages)