Seven amazing Portsmouth buildings you didn’t know you could visit this September
Hotwalls Studios

The Heritage Open Days festival returns this September and brings with it a different outlook on Pompey

The Heritage Open Days festival has been running for over 20 years now, and gives people the chance to find out more about their city institutions by taking tours, learning history and finding out about the vital work they do now.

Many buildings in Portsmouth will be opening their doors this September 8-11 – here are seven you should definitely check out.

Helsea Lido

A photo posted by Grace Smith (@ohgracex) on

One of the city’s most interesting buildings (now run by the community) Hilsea Lido will be hosting an exhibition covering their history dating back to 1935, as well as providing information on the volunteer-led programme keeping it afloat today.

more info

Hotwalls Studios

Hotwalls StudiosRay Habens / Flickr / CC

A former military barracks now transformed into a creative studios. Members of the public will be taken around this historic site transformed by the project architect, including The Round Tower and the artist studios inside. A chance to see some of Portsmouth’s creative talents at work.

more info

New Theatre Royal

A photo posted by Jamie Vella (@jamievella01) on

Celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, a visit behind the scenes of the New Theatre Royal will give you the chance to step inside Portsmouth’s theatrical past. There’ll be tours of the building, discussions of its history and even special live performances planned.

more info

Lumps Fort

A bit of local history lost on Southsea Promenade is open to the public the first time. Lumps Fort was demolished at the end of the First World War, but part of the building still remains and there’ll be a guided tour around this former city defence.

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Boathouse 4

A photo posted by Danielle Gratton (@dannig1987) on

Not one for the wobbly legs, Boathouse 4 in the Historic Dockyard is giving you chance to climb right to the top of their engineering plant for a bird’s eye view. Once you’re up there, you’ll get to find out more about its restoration process.

more info

Fort Cumberland

Fort CumberlandMike Lawrence / Flickr / CC

Take a guided tour around this former military stronghold which has stood on the South Coast since 1780. The tour will include a look at the small prison cell ominously known as ‘The Black Hole’ and a 20th century cinema which sits inside.

more info

Kings Theatre

Kings Theatre SouthseaIan Stannard / Flickr / CC

Southsea’s historic theatre is getting behind the Open Days festival in a big way with multiple events. You can take a ‘technical tour’ to find out about how your favourite stage show works, or bring the sprogs along for a family activity day. You can learn about the architecture on the ‘Social and Architectural Tour’ or even get an illustrated history. There’s plenty happening on Albert Road.

more info

Follow Heritage Open Days on Facebook and Twitter for more info, or check out their website –

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Main image: Ray Habens / Flickr / CC