Welcome To Portsmouth
Portsmouth is a vibrant and dynamic waterfront city.
Its proud status as the home of the Royal Navy is at the core of its rich maritime heritage. It is home to a major sailing community, with the Solent offering one of the best locations in Britain. Its adventurous spirit was exemplified by Alec Rose, a humble Southsea greengrocer and amateur sailor who in 1968 became only the second man to circumnavigate the globe single-handed. He returned to Portsmouth to a hero’s welcome from 250,000 people and a knighthood from the Queen. His boat, the Lively Lady, can be seen at the Port Solent marina in the city.
With world-class attractions, museums and galleries, variety of shopping destinations and great places to eat and miles of magnificent waterfront, the UK’s only island city has an array of attractions for short and long stays.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
At the heart of the city is Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. As part of the America’s Cup World Series, the dockyard is hosting a variety of events. Visitors will get exclusive access and special boat tours around the dockyard throughout the fun and festivities of the America’s Cup.
As Britain’s premier naval port, Portsmouth has the world’s oldest dry dock. It is home to an array of famous historic ships, including Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Tudor warship Mary Rose, which is now housed in a purpose-built museum alongside artefacts that sunk with her in the Solent in 1545.
Hampshire’s number one tourist attraction, the historic dockyard is situated within a working naval base. Visitors can see the fascinating story of the Royal Navy’s past, present and future at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, The Historic Boat Workshop and an interactive attraction Action Stations that puts visitors at the heart of modern naval experience.
Home to over 95 retail outlet stores offering famous brands at discount prices, Gunwharf Quays is situated close to the site of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and is the perfect venue for retail therapy. With stores including Polo Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Karen Millen, L.K.Bennett, Hobbs and Jaeger, shoppers have a rich array from which to chose.
Overlooking the beautiful Gunwharf Quays Marina and its luxury yachts, the centre has 30 restaurants, bars and cafés for those who want to relax after a long day of watching the America’s Cup racing. A variety of food is on offer from Italian, Chinese, American and there are plenty of places at which to grab a coffee and a piece of cake.
Situated within the Quays is the Spinnaker Tower. Britain’s best viewing tower is an icon on the South Coast allowing visitors to view on a clear day 23miles of the most fascinating sea and landscapes from 170 metre tall tower. Those that want a thrill-seeking experience should head to the amazing glass Sky Walk near the top of the tower and then up to the Sky Deck – open to the elements and the energising sea breeze.
Where Portsmouth first began, it now houses many historic buildings on its cobbled narrow streets. Located on the south west tip of Portsea Island, the area’s quieter pace contrasts with the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Lining the historic streets of Old Portsmouth are traditional pubs and quaint tea rooms as well as indulgent eateries. Historic attractions are waiting to be explored including the Round Tower which is the city’s oldest permanent fortification.
Walk around the Camber Dock, once home to merchant ships bringing goods from far and wide, which now allows fisherman to bring to shore their daily catch of fresh fish and shellfish. On your walk you will come across the Square Tower that plays host to a calendar of shows and Portsmouth’s Anglican Cathedral which dates from Norman times.
Portsmouth city centre
A meeting place for many, Portsmouth City Centre is home to the Guildhall and the adjacent Guildhall Square, where visitors and locals gather to visit the bars, restaurants and cafés.
A few minutes walk from Guildhall Square is Commercial Road, which offers a wide range of shops including New Look, River Island, Wallis and WH Smith. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday the street becomes even busier as shoppers visit an outdoor market selling everything from fresh fruit to flowers and books.
Situated on Commercial Road is the Cascades Shopping Centre. The undercover shopping area allows shopping to have a weather-protected experience while browsing well-known chains including Marks and Spencer, H&M and BHS.
Portsmouth’s seaside resort, Southsea offers an exciting and entertaining range of activities for all the family. For those that want to relax in the sunshine, Southsea beach is the perfect place to soak up the rays before taking a trip to Clarence Pier to enjoy the rides and the funfair.
A walk up the seafront will take you to the D-Day Museum and Southsea Castle. The shopping area provides a mixture of specialist, boutique and high street stores with a view of the coast throughout the pedestrian precinct Palmerston Road , Marmion Road, Clarendon Road and Osborne Road.
If you want to try cuisine from all around the world Southsea will leave you spoilt for choice to excite your taste buds morning, noon and night with pubs offering great lunchtime menus, morning coffee and gourmet plates.
Located in central Southsea, the area has an interesting mix of shops, restaurants and pubs. With only a few chain retail outlets, the majority of shops are independent which help give the street a unique atmosphere and feel. The area retains the feel of a traditional high street and has a real sense of community throughout its range of antique shops, cafés, fruit and vegetable shops and bars.
At the heart of Albert Road is the Kings Theatre which opened in September 1907. Retaining a lot of its original features including ornate and decorative walls and tiered red seating. Further along Albert Road is the famous music venue The Wedgewood Rooms which has played host to the likes of Klaxons, Oasis and Bowling for Soup.
One of the main shopping areas in Southsea, Palmerston Road is situated north of Southsea Common and has an array of national retailers, smaller specialist stores, cafés and restaurants. Debenhams and Knight & Lee department stores are situated in the pedestrianised section of Palmerston Road precinct. With regular farmers markets and craft markets the road attracts an eclectic mix of people looking for something different to Portsmouth city centre. Towards the southern end of Palmerston Road, free houses, cafés and unique restaurants line the street – perfect for those that want to enjoy the alternative side of Portsmouth.