Portsmouth city guide
Portsmouth is an historic port on the south coast of England, that has been home to the British Royal Navy for more than 800 years. Not only is it a great departure point for France, but it is also steeped in maritime history, and any trip to the city should include a visit to its many naval attractions.
The renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour has now transformed the waterfront bringing restaurants, bars and shopping areas, and adding six kilometres of promenades around the harbour. At night, there is plenty of entertainment on offer, including restaurants, bars, theatres, and concert venues.
Explore some of the world's finest historic ships including Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, Queen Victoria's Battleship HMS Warrior 1860, and the remains of Henry VIII's 16th century warship, the Mary Rose. An interactive naval attraction, Action Stations, is housed in the magnificent Boathouse 6, and includes a helicopter simulator.
Portsmouth's stylish resort has four miles of attractions and seafront promenades offering stunning views across the Solent. Southsea attractions include great shops and restaurants, the D-Day Museum, Royal Marines Museum, Southsea Castle and the Blue Reef Aquarium.
Charles Dickens' Birthplace
Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth and you can visit his birthplace, which has been restored to the time of his birth.
A magnificent stronghold on the banks of the creek, the castle has spectacular views of the harbour, and its Roman walls are the best-preserved in Europe. Henry V used the castle as a garrison before the Battle of Agincourt.
From its beginning in the 12th century, St Thomas's Cathedral has been integral to the development of Portsmouth. In 1449 the church was closed and the parish of Portsmouth excommunicated following the murder of the Bishop of Chichester. All was forgiven, and the church achieved cathedral status in 1927.
Gunwharf Quays & Spinnaker Tower
Shop and eat on the waterfront decks and visit The Spinnaker Tower rising up 170 metres. Three observation decks will offer stunning views of Portsmouth Harbour.
Twenty miles from Portsmouth is the beautiful New Forest, with over 200 square miles of heathland, streams and ancient villages. Cycle, walk or picnic amongst the ancient woods of oak, beech and yew.
Eating & Drinking
Portsmouth offers a number of great dining options. The Still & West Country House is an excellent choice, wonderfully situated on the waterfront with a terrace for sea views. Gunwharf Quays offers a range of cuisine from around the world. 'Abarbistro' in Old Portsmouth serves up fresh seafood, and a range of other dishes. In nearby Southsea, there are a number of good restaurants. Montparnasse offers fine dining, with friendly staff.