About The D-Day Story, Portsmouth
The D-Day Story is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the Allied Invasion in June 1944 – telling the unique personal stories behind this epic event.
History of The D-Day Story, Portsmouth
D-Day was the largest invasion ever assembled, landing 156,000 Allied troops by sea and air on 5 beaches in Normandy, France on 6 June 1944. It signalled the start of Allied operations which would ultimately liberate Western Europe, defeat Nazi Germany and end World War Two.
Whilst the Normandy landings took place in France, the whole operation depended upon dozens of embarkation areas along the whole stretch of the south coast of England, where troops and supplies were held before loading onto the ships and landing craft.
The D-Day Story museum tells the story of this, as well as that of D-Day itself and the Battle of Normandy. It also covers the story of the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany occupation – through the personal possessions and words of the people who took part, as well as using imagery, audio-visual presentations, authentic vehicles and hands-on interactives help to bring the story to life.
Originally opened as the D-Day Museum in 1984 by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the museum reopened as the D-Day Story, following conservation work on exhibits and a refurbishment funded by a £5 million Heritage Lottery grant, in March 2018.
The D-Day Story, Portsmouth, today
The museum holds holds an astonishing and varied range of over 10,000 items, from a tiny button compass to a genuine Second World War LCVP landing craft – preserving, researching and acquiring objects to share with the public through exhibitions, workshops and other activities. Other items include military equipment, uniforms, archive documents, maps, vehicles, paintings, oral history interviews and photographs.
The museum tells the story of D-Day in 4 parts: Landing Craft Tank LCT 7074 (the last surviving Landing Craft Tank (LCT) from D-Day); Preparation; D-Day and the Battle of Normandy; and Legacy and the Overlord Embroidery.
The museum is open from 10-5:30pm (5pm from October-March) every day.
Getting to The D-Day Story, Portsmouth
There is a large 125-space car park located next to the museum, otherwise Portsmouth’s Park & Ride is available from Junction 1 of the M275 motorway – the principal route into Portsmouth from the north. Follow the brown direction signs to the Park & Ride car park.
The nearest Park & Ride stop to The D-Day Story is at The Hard Interchange transport hub at Palmerston Road, adjacent to Portsmouth Harbour railway station and Gunwharf Quays. The number 3 bus also stops here – from here the museum is an attractive 10 minute walk across Southsea Common.
The nearest train station is Portsmouth & Southsea – a 1.5 mile walk from the museum.