Portsmouth is a city steeped in naval history. During the early 19th century, Portsmouth was the most heavily fortified city in the world, and during the height of the British Empire, was considered the best naval port in the world. Today, the naval and maritime heritage is still very much present throughout the city, along with brilliant visitor attractions, museums and galleries, and of course, a beautiful waterfront.
Situated on the south coast of England, Portsmouth is becoming a popular city break destination, and we’ve just opened our brand new hotel a few miles away from the city centre. There’s plenty to do in Portsmouth, so we’ve put together a guide with some of the best attractions.
Climb up the Emirates Spinnaker Tower
The Emirates Spinnaker Tower is one of Portsmouth’s most popular attractions, and it’s easy to see why. Standing at 170 metres high, it’s taller than Big Ben and the London Eye, and offers unrivalled 360 panoramic views across the Solent, the Isle of Wight, and across Portsmouth harbour. You can book your ticket online at the official website.
Touring the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Take the guesswork out of planning and purchase an “all-attraction” ticket to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, giving you access to all ships, museums, and exhibitions. The ticket includes entry to the HMS Victory, the HMS Warrior 1869, the Mary Rose, the National Museum of the Royal Navy, along with a harbour tour. If you’re interested in Portsmouth’s maritime heritage, or just want to learn a bit more, this is a must. You can find more details on the attractions and book your ticket on the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website.
Shopping at Gunwharf Quays
If you love to shop, you’ll be right at home at Gunwharf Quays. Here, you’ll find over 90 retail outlet stores such as Michael Kors, Hugo Boss, and Ralph Lauren. And as they’re retail outlets, the discounts are not to be sniffed at, with prices reduced by up to 60%. There’s also a range of restaurants and bars to choose from if you’re feeling hungry. Gunwharf Quays is open until 8pm every day aside from Sunday, and you can find more details and full list of stores on their website.
Culture, Museums and Art
For culture vultures, you’ll find plenty of museums and art galleries in Portsmouth. Portsmouth Museum features a variety of permanent displays along with a regularly changing programme of exhibitions. There’s also a museum dedicated to Portsmouth’s most famous son – Charles Dickens. His birthplace at 1 Mile End Terrace (which has since been renamed to 393 Old Commercial Road) has been transformed into an authentic museum which celebrates his life and work.
Portsmouth Guildhall is the south of England’s main conference and events centre, hosting music, dance, and comedy events throughout the year. You can find out what’s coming up on their events calendar. And finally, if you’re looking for something a bit different, check out the Portsmouth International Kite Festival. Taking place on the 11th and 12th of August this year, the festival has a spectacular setting overlooking the Solent, and is completely free to attend.
There’s plenty to do in Portsmouth, so if you’re visiting the South coast or staying with us at our brand new hotel, you won’t be stuck for things to do.