All aboard HMS Caroline

HMS Caroline

Based in Belfast’s famous Titanic Quarter, just a short walk from the Titanic Museum, HMS Caroline is a First World War-era warship now restored as a must-see floating museum with an amazing story to tell.

We are regular visitors to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in Hampshire, which has many Naval ships to see and explore, including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, the Mary Rose and HMS M.33 – another First World War era warship, so we were excited to see and experience what HMS Caroline had to offer.

HMS Caroline offers an interactive self-guided tour, touch screen displays and panoramic views of the harbour. Starting on land, there is a small quayside visitor centre and exhibition space dedicated to telling the personal stories of those who served on the ‘Carry’, where the kids picked up their quiz sheets and then it is time to climb onboard and explore.

The first thing you see is a dramatic short film telling the story of the ‘The Battle of Jutland’ which is projected onto the wall of the ship. The 11-minute screening follows the 36-hour Jutland engagement and shows how the battle unfolded from the decks of HMS Caroline. The film does get quite noisy, with gunfire, however it didn’t phase the kids at all.

It was exploring the ship that the kids were more keen to do.

Inside the ship, the spaces have been recreated to look as they did in September 1914, when the ship first entered service.

These spaces on HMS Caroline include the Captain’s Quarters, Marines’ Mess and Engine Rooms as well as the Sick Bay and Galley.

The kids also got to work on their trail sheets, trying to find all the LEGO figures that were hidden throughout HMS Caroline, helpfully aided by the uniformed staff onboard.

In the dining room, not only did we find a table laid out for dinner, but we also found some dressing up, with Isaac dressing as the Captain, Sebby as a shipmate whilst Eliza chose to become a mermaid!

It was the interactive elements that the kids most liked and Isaac was determined to learn how to signal with lamps, practising his technique until he managed to spell his name.

There was also the chance to try and crack codes and cyphers.

I am not sure I would trust Sebastian and Isaac to sail in a straight line after seeing their attempts on the simulator.

Isaac did seem quite accomplished at loading and firing torpedo’s.

Outside you are free to walk along the decks and see the ship’s replica 6-inch and 4-inch guns.

You can also head up to the Navigating Bridge where you can visit the Captain’s Sea Cabin.

If you want to extend your visit, you can eat onboard HMS Caroline in the Mess Deck Cafe, which offers a range of hot and cold snacks to suit all ages.

Visiting HMS Caroline is a fascinating day out for all the family. As well as the interactive exhibits, the kids loved talking to the staff onboard, finding out what life really would have been like for the men and women who served on the ship.

A family ticket for HMS Caroline costs £23 for 2 adults and up to 3 children and is valid for a year, allowing you to visit as many times as you like!!

Disclaimer: We were guests onboard HMS Caroline, all thoughts and opinions are our own

20 thoughts on “All aboard HMS Caroline

  1. Jenni says:

    What a great day out. That’s a great price too for the full year!

  2. Deborah says:

    It looks like you all had a blast. What a fab family day out.

  3. Rachael says:

    This sounds like such an incredibly fun day out! I love how interactive it all is, I love it when you can really immerse yourself in the experience. We are very near Portsmouth’s historic dockyard and although my son has been, I still haven’t!

  4. So nice!! Looks like your little ones really enjoyed this!

  5. What a lovely day out for the family. I can see the kids enjoyed it.
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  6. A wonderful interactive place to visit with the children. With things to interest all ages.

  7. Olivia Jade says:

    I used to love days out like this as a kid, I went to many different castles and historic buildings, but this ship looks really cool x
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  8. ooh well you know us – we love a good floating military museum! I’ve never been to N Ireland, but your posts are heavily suggesting we should go!

  9. Anosa says:

    We are big fans of museums and this floating interactive one is very appealing to us. Thanks for this lovely review
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  10. Hannah says:

    The photos are so lovely! It looks like a really fun day out – rather similar to Chatham dockyards near us too by the looks of it!

  11. This looks amazing for kids. Highly interactive and it’s a great touch about the lego characters. Gives them a goal and keeps interest for longer

  12. susanna says:

    LOVE the shot with the telescope! What I like about these days out is that they are educational and fun too!

  13. OK. Your kids are SO adorable in those sailor and Captain hats!! What a great family adventure! ALL ABOARD!

  14. Sarah Bailey says:

    This looks like an absolutely amazing day out. It looks like there is so much going on there to be able to do and explore! A great history day!
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  15. What a fantastic day out. My two would love this and its such great value for money. Especially as you can go back again. Will have to remember this one
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  16. I always think that its really interesting to see inside the quarters on a ship as it gives you more insight into what life was like xxx

  17. Shareen HD says:

    This looks like something different to do with the kids and for that price – definitely worth a visit!

  18. Jennifer G says:

    It sounds like a fab day out with the kids. I’d never particular thought about Belfast as a place to visit until I read your posts, but I will now!

  19. This looks like a fab day out and experience. Jack would love going on board the HMS Caroline.

  20. What a great day out for the family. The interactive self-guided tour sounds like fun.

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