Trains to Portchester Castle
The nearest main line rail station to Portchester Castle is Portchester. To get to Portchester Castle by train from London, travel from Waterloo station to Portchester - there are some direct services, but you can also travel to Havant or Winchester and change. From Portchester it's a walk of a mile to the castle. You can shorten the walk by catching the number 3 bus heading towards Portsea, and alighting outside the White Hart.
About Portchester Castle
Portchester lies at the northern end of the great natural harbour of Portsmouth, and its strategic importance was recognised by the Romans. They established a fort here in the third century AD, part of a chain of 'Saxon Shore' defences to combat pirates. It is considered the best-preserved Roman fort north of the Alps, and its defences were integrated into subsequent castle designs. The medieval Portchester Castle was probably built in the 11th century, and it became a favourite hunting lodge of King John. It was besieged and captured by the French in 1216 before returning to English hands.
During the Hundred Years War, Portchester Castle was the starting point for a number of English expeditions to France, including Henry V's 1415 campaign, which led to the victory at Agincourt.
Today Portchester Castle is managed by English Heritage. There is free audio tour and a fascinating exhibition in the keep, both of which bring the history of Portchester and the Castle vividly to life. Make the ascent to the top of the tower if you can, as the views across Portsmouth Harbour are truly spectacular.
Monday to Sunday: 10.00 to 17.00
Winter opening times vary.
Check the website for full details.
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