We live about ten minutes by car from the late 11th century monument of Portchester Castle and it’s a place that we visit quite often because of its pleasant surroundings, picturesque views, and free access to all but the main keep area of the castle. It’s a great location to get some fresh, sea air and walk off a hangover. When the weather’s good it’s also lovely for taking photographs.
We typically start with a circuit outside the walls of the castle. This affords views northwards to the chalk face of Portsdown Hill, then moving clockwise to views of Port Solent, then Portsmouth and the Spinnaker Tower, and finally down towards Gosport.
Heading inside there is a large, open, grass area where many people hold picnics. In one corner of the inner walls of the castle is a church. Strangely enough, in all the years we’ve been visiting Portchester Castle we’ve never once set foot in the church.
We don’t always venture into the castle keep but as the weather was nice on this visit in 2013 we did so and the photographs below are evidence of that. Not that you’ve any cause to disbelieve me.
If you’re going in the castle keep then you’re clearly going to want to climb to the top if it allows it and as luck would have it Portchester Castle does allow it. It can get very windy on the battlements as the castle is very close to the shoreline but the views across Portsmouth, Fareham, and Gosport as well as the overview of the castle’s layout and fortifications is definitely worth it.