By chance, we timed our visit for the weekend featuring a 'Victorian Christmas festival', meaning the site was swarming with costumed characters from such tomes as Oliver Twist, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland etc, as well as many street performances, food stalls and a Christmas market. This was merely a bonus for us, for we had come to see the ships!
The Mary Rose was Henry VIII's flagship, commonly believed to be one of the first dedicated English warships, which sunk just off the coast of Portsmouth in 1545. She was excavated in the 1970s and raised in 1982. Thousands of amazing artefacts from her are on display in the Mary Rose museum. I was particularly impressed by the longbows, which were found packed tightly in a box, and are in near impeccable condition. The raised hull of the ship is currently unavailable for viewing, since it's in restoration and a new museum is under construction around it.
|The Warrior (with mud for mudlarking)|
We spent half a day at the Historical Dockyards on a freezing cold Sunday, bracing ourself against the cold (and a little snow). Next stop was Brighton.. .