Have a day trip from your large group holiday home in the New Forest to Portsmouth. This vibrant island city has a big stretch of waterfront, and is known for its huge naval and maritime heritage, but apart from that you’ll find two cathedrals, heaps of attractions, great shopping centres, museums and galleries, and some fantastic places to eat. What the city is fast becoming famous for is the 170 metre Emirates Spinnaker Tower standing high above the harbour, with a glass viewing platform and a café at the top. When you come back down to earth go and grab a load of retail therapy at Gunwharf Quays shopping outlet.
Portsmouth has a few literary connections including Rudyard Kipling and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but it’s more prominently known as the birthplace of Charles Dickens; you can go and see the little terrace house where he was born and lived, now the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum.
Catch one of the live events or festivals held throughout the year; big outdoor events are usually held on Southsea Common on the seafront and it’s been the scene of the America’s Cup World Series and the Victorious music festival. Southsea Castle is there, reputedly where Henry VIII watched the sinking of the Mary Rose; if you go down to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard you can see part of the hull of this flagship at the Mary Rose Museum. Whilst you’re down that way go and have a look at Nelson’s HMS Victory and HMS Warrior.
Where to eat in Portsmouth? Well, not an easy job to say as the choice is so vast, but you can’t go wrong with Southsea Beach Café, Restaurant 27, Algarve’s Grill or The Fisherman’s Kitchen.
All information correct at the time of writing