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UK city guides

Make the most of your time at our UK ports

Our port cities in the UK are great places to visit and spend the day before sailing away with us on your holiday. Important historic towns on England's south coast, Plymouth, Poole and Portsmouth are filled with monuments of their long and diverse maritime heritage.

Plymouth and Portsmouth both have an outstanding naval heritage to explore dating back as far as Tudor Times when Sir Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth and the Tudor warship, the Mary Rose, was sunk just offshore at Portsmouth.  Poole is best known for its golden beaches and its harbour, which is one of the largest natural harbours in the world.

The seaside is one of the main attractions for visitors to our port cities and areas such as Plymouth Hoe, Southsea Beach in Portsmouth and Sandbanks in Poole are great places to enjoy the natural beauty of the sea and coast here. There is much to keep children entertained with a variety of family friendly attractions around each of the cities.

Whether you have just a few hours to kill, or are thinking of spending the day at one of pur port cities before a late or overnight crossing, our guides will help you to find the best way to spend your time in these remarkable cities.

Discover our UK ferry ports

  • Fascinating historical cities
  • Strong maritime heritage 
  • Wonderful beaches and seaside areas  
  • Fun family attractions to keep kids entertained

Featured articles

The National Marine Aquarium is Britain's biggest aquarium, with the UK's deepest tank, and is a self funded charity. The aquarium opened in 1998 and is divided into 4 main zones: Plymouth Sound, British Coasts, Atlantic Ocean and Blue…
Plymouth Hoe is undoubtedly the heart of the city, and offers incredible views out across Plymouth Sound, Mount Batten and the Cornish coast.
The Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth is a fantastic collection of museums and historic ships, situated within a working Naval Base, that showcases some of the best of Britain's restored naval ships from the past.
One of Portsmouth's most instantly recognisable sights, the Spinnaker Tower is a stunning 170m high structure, with a sail-like design, that stands by the quayside.
One of the most beautiful beaches on the South Coast of England, Sanbanks Beach is a stunning expanse of fine golden sand, beside turquoise waters, on the Sandbanks peninsula.
Smeaton's Tower is one of the South West's most well-known landmarks and is the centrepiece on Plymouth Hoe. Originally the lighthouse was built on the Eddystone reef in 1759 but it was taken down in the early 1880s because the sea was…