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Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Lights up for Christmas

6 December 2016
A newly commissioned, interactive and spectacular illuminations show is set to transform Portsmouth Historic Dockyard this winter season.

From the 1 December 2016 to 3 January 2017, the illuminations will take centre stage at this year’s Christmas at the Dockyard, with an ‘I Saw Three Ships’ themed projection which runs daily from 1530hrs. 

The show will be set to traditional Christmas music, which will be amplified in the vast amphitheatre created by Action Stations and her accompanying Mast Pond.

This is the first time such an event has been staged at this historic location.

The projections will see three of the world’s most iconic ships – HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860 and the Mary Rose - projected onto the wall of Action Stations, itself an 170 year-old, listed warehouse. 

Visitors will see these ships inside and out in this dramatic display, which reflects onto the Mast Pond (dating from 1600s) in front of Action Stations, giving the illuminations the added effect of floating.

Alongside the light show, visitors will be able to physically interact with the installation.  Three interactive ‘steering wheels’ will be placed in front of Action Stations and individuals will be able to take the helm of each ship, raising it (via help from projected sailors and dockyard workers)  from the Mast Pond onto the wall itself. 

The winning ship will then have a one minute illumination telling its story. 

A trailer for the innovative new visitor experience can be viewed online at:

And the illuminations are not the only festive happening at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard this year.

In fact, visitors can soak up the merry atmosphere with a brand new festive family fun trail, Christmas lights, and family holiday activities across the site and its 11 attractions.

A wealth of onsite shops mean there is plenty of opportunity to buy unique, and with three restaurants and cafes dotted across the site there is plenty of opportunity to rest weary feet and warm the cockles on this fun-filled naval Christmas day out.

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