At the heart of the city is Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Here you can explore Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory and tour Queen Victoria’s battleship, HMS Warrior 1860. You visit the Mary Rose Museum and trace the history of the Royal Navy at the Royal Naval Museum.
Memory of Portsmouth
“My favourite thing about Portsmouth is its people. They are always cheerful and helpful and justly proud of their great city. There seems to be a permanent ‘buzz’ about the city and with this great atmosphere, and so much to see and do for all ages, it is a perfect holiday destination.”
Ray Fairbank, Lincolnshire
With 11 inspiring museums, Portsmouth has a great story to tell. Discover more about its naval heritage at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the Royal Marines Museum. Hear about Portsmouth’s role in WWII at the D-Day Museum and learn more about famous author Charles Dickens at the very place he was born.
The Spinnaker Tower is a great place to begin your visit to Portsmouth. Standing 170m high with the city laid out before you, you’ll be able to see how compact the city is. Watch the bustling harbour in action and dare to step out onto Europe’s largest glass floor. The tower represents sails billowing in the wind, a design accomplished using two large, white, sweeping steel arcs, which give the tower its spinnaker sail design. The steelwork was fabricated by Butterley Engineering. At the top is a triple observation deck, providing a 350° view of the city of Portsmouth, the Langstone and Portsmouth harbours, and a viewing distance of 37 kilometres (23 mi). The highest of the three observation platforms, the crow’s nest, has a wire mesh roof, allowing visitors to be in the elements.
“ THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED BY THE PEOPLE OF PORTSMOUTH IN PROUD AND LOVING MEMORY OF THOSE WHO IN THE GLORIOUS MORNING OF THEIR DAYS FOR ENGLAND’S SAKE LOST ALL BUT ENGLAND’S PRAISE. MAY LIGHT PERPETUAL SHINE UPON THEM. ”—West face
Portsmouth is a shopping haven, with three distinct areas offering something different. Portsmouth’s City Centre has all the big names you’ll recognise. Enjoy the indoor mall at Cascades and a street market dating back centuries. Southsea boasts an impressive range of specialist retailers plus two department stores. Or head to Gunwharf Quays and discover more than 95 designer outlet stores. This outlet store carries most of the end of line and unsellable stock from the Marks and Spencer main stores. Is not a giant store but big enough to carry a large range of items at a slightly discounted price. Be prepared to wait at the queue tills though, in the years since this store has opened the Management still don’t seem to have got the hang of opening tills when the customer queue starts weaving around the store!
What to pay: Slightly less than average for the main M&S stores
Portsmouth boasts a number of award-winning restaurants and is home to two of its very own food festivals. With regular farmers’ markets and plenty of establishments offering a taste of local food, Portsmouth is becoming the South’s newest foodie haven.
Say for – “The Ship & Castle: Popular amongst the locals“
Located opposite one of the largest and most famous naval dockyards in the world, this is a very nice pub for informal dining and lunches. The food is very good, there’s plenty of it and it’s reasonably priced. What’s good about this place is that it isn’t your average chain pub where you get a dry half of roast chicken with all the trimmings that taste like there were straight out of freezer and then through the microwave oven.
Head to Fratton Park to catch the Premier League’s finest in action and some of the most passionate fans in the country. Every October Portsmouth is host to the Great South Run, Europe’s leading 10-mile road race. The city is home to professional football team, Portsmouth F.C., who play their home games at Fratton Park. They have two Football League titles (from 1949 and 1950) to their name. They are also previous holders of the FA Cup, having won the 2008 competition. Their other FA Cup triumph came in 1939. They returned to the top flight of English football (Premier League) in 2003, having previously been relegated in 1988 after just one season following an exile from the top flight that had stretched back some 30 years. However, in April 2012 they were relegated from the Championship to League One amid serious financial difficulties. Notable current and former players of the club include David James, Jermain Defoe, Sol Campbell, Peter Crouch, Robert Prosinečki, Alan Knight, Paul Walsh, Darren Anderton, Guy Whittingham, Micky Quinn, Mark Hateley and Jimmy Dickinson, who played more than 800 times for his only club and was never booked or sent off, earning him the sobriquet Gentleman Jim.
The legendary Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea is the best place to catch the emerging Portsmouth talent and popular acts on tour. Gunwharf Quays is home to more than 30 bars and restaurants so perfect for a night on the tiles! After perusing the drink menu, chose to have a Miller Lite while the ladies decide on some Bellinis. As you sit there enjoying your drinks; the bartender might shake an awesome mix of 80′s music pumping in the background. The music really takes your heart back to being young children again – which you can’t deny travelling into your past. With its array of ferries Fast Cats or Hover Craft which will take you 10 minutes to get from Southsea to The Isle of Wight. There is a ferry that crosses regularly from Portsmouth to Gosport all for £1.80p. There is a fun fair on Southsea, a Submarine museum at Haslar (Gosport) It certainly is the hub to other places. Gunwharf is where the Spinnaker Tower is situated 5-mins from the Train station or Bus.
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There are so many great things to see and do in Portsmouth, so don’t waste time. Grab your ticket to shop and travel at the earliest with discounts on attractions and services. Here you go - Visit Britain!
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