Mary Rose Museum

Top choice museum

in Portsmouth

The raising of the 16th-century warship the Mary Rose in 1982 was an extraordinary feat of marine archaeology. The £35-million, boat-shaped museum that's been built around her gives uninterrupted views of the preserved timbers of her massive hull. The ship can also be seen from tiered galleries that reconstruct life on each deck, some of the 19,000 artefacts that were raised with her are displayed alongside.

This 700-tonne floating fortress was Henry VIII's favourite vessel, but she sank suddenly off Portsmouth while fighting the French in 1545. Of a crew of 400, it's thought 360 died. Items on display range from the military, including scores of cannons and hundreds of longbows, to the touchingly prosaic: water jugs, hair combs, leather shoes and even the skeleton of Hatch, the ship's dog. Note: entry to the Mary Rose Museum is not included in the All Attractions ticket.