Castles are great to visit for a day and you will find some fine examples close by.
Portchester Castle, Portsmouth, Hampshire. Best-preserved of the Roman Saxon Shore forts. Built between AD 285 and AD 290 for the protection of the South Coast. In the medieval period King Henry I added to the defences, and Richard II built a series of domestic quarters, including a great hall and kitchens. The castle passed out of royal control in 1632 when Charles I sold it and was last used in the 19th century as a gaol for over 7,000 French prisoners. Restricted opening times and entrance charges apply.
Restored medieval castle. Damaged during the English Civil War and restored throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The castle has been the hereditary stately home of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years. Most of the castle and grounds are open to the public; entrance charges apply to both the castle and gardens.
Intact coastal artillery fort, built by Henry VIII. Calshot was built as part of a chain of coastal defences to protect England's coast from foreign invasion. This circular blockhouse was built in 1540 re-using stone, with a twist of irony, from Beaulieu Abbey. Restricted opening times and entrance charges apply.
Intact Tudor coastal artillery castle built by Henry VIII. The circular stone tower strengthened by semi-circular bastions was completed by the end of 1544 to guard the narrow entrance to the Solent and the approaches to Southampton. Restricted opening times and entrance charges apply.
Intact medieval hall and castle remains built in 1067. Initially served as the main seat of government before that was transferred to London. Little remains from that early period, as after the English Civil War in 1646 Oliver Cromwell ordered its destruction. Today, only Henry III's Great Hall survives intact, attached to which is a small museum detailing the history of Winchester. Entrance charges apply.
Ruins of 12th-century bishop’s palace built between 1130 and 1140. Once a very important building, in July 1554 it hosted the wedding breakfast of Queen Mary and Philip II of Spain before they left for the wedding ceremony at nearby Winchester Cathedral. Destroyed by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War in 1646. Free and open access at any reasonable time during summer months.