Discover the thriving city of Portsmouth in Hampshire. Home to 252,389 residents, the home of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the birthplace of Charles Dickens. Explore the bustling Portsmouth Harbour, with it's Naval vessels, ferries, fishing boats, and yachts. Well worth a visit, visitors love the naval and military history, miles of beaches and Southsea seafront with it's stunning views of The Solent and the Isle of Wight.
Portsmouth Historic Ships and Attractions
Portsmouth is best known for it's naval history and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is home to a world class selection of historic ships including HMS Victory Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Warrior the world's first iron hulled armoured ship, the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's Tudor warship and HMS M33 one of the very few surviving ships that saw action during the Battle of Gallipoli in August 1915.
There are numerous other attractions in the city to visit such as the Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays outlet shopping and leisure complex, the D-Day Story and of course Southsea Seafront.
Portsmouth UK Port
As well as being the home of the Royal Navy and ships such as aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, Portsmouth is a thriving commercial port. Just to the north of Portsmouth Dockyard, Portsmouth International Port serves commercial ferry services, cruise ships and international deep water cargo vessels. Albert Johnson Quay is 285 metres long with a depth of 7.3 metres and Flathouse quay is 190 metres long with a depth of 8.3 metres. Portsmouth International Port is a major destination for fresh fruit. 70% of all the bananas eaten in the UK arrive at Portsmouth.
Portsmouth is a well connected port, Portsmouth International Port is one of the busiest ferry ports in the UK carrying around 2.2 million passengers a year, with regular services to France, Spain and the Channel Islands. Closer to home there are ferry and hovercraft connections to the Isle of Wight as well as cross harbour ferries to our neighbour Gosport. The port is rightly proud of it's use of alternative energy, utilising roof mounted panels, solar canopies and battery storage, the port generates approximately 400kWp (2022) of clean electricity. By January 2023 this will have increased to a 1.2 megawatt peak system which should provide around 98% of the port's power requirement.
The city of Portsmouth is lucky to have not one but two Frank Matcham designed theatres, the Kings Theatre in Southsea and the New Theatre Royal in Guildhall Walk, which have both been restored and are open for business hosting theatrical and musical entertainment. Portsmouth Guildhall and the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea also host a wide variety of concerts and cultural events.
The city has two independent film cinemas, No6 Cinema located inside the Historic Dockyard and Southsea Cinema at Palmerston Road. There is a also a multiscreen Vue cinema at Gunwharf Quays and a second multiscreen Odeon cinema at Port Solent.
Portsmouth also has a thriving pub and restaurant culture serving food from around the world.
King Richard (1157 - 1199) sailed from Portsmouth on his way to the Crusades, and it was he who granted the town it's earliest known charter in 1194, in 1984 Portsmouth celebrated it's 800th anniversary. It was during Richard's reign that the Star and Crescent first appeared on the town arms, the title of Mayor of the town also appears at this time. An earlier charter is thought to have been granted by Henry I, but all trace of it's existence has disappeared. King Richard's charter gave Portsmouth the right to hold a fair once a year, a weekly market and exemption from various tolls.
You can read more about the History of Portsmouth here.
Portsmouth with it's wealth of cultural attractions and maritime history is becoming increasingly popular with both domestic and international visitors, as can be seen in the various polls listed below.
- Portsmouth 2nd - The 10 British Cities with the best rated cultural attractions in 2022.
- Portsmouth 2nd - Nomads Nation - 10 Coolest Places to Live in the UK.
- Portsmouth 10th - Which? Best City Breaks in the UK 2022.
- Portsmouth 12th - YouGov poll of most popular cities.
- Portsmouth is recognised in the Tree Cities of the World programme which provides a framework for a healthy, sustainable urban forestry programme in towns or cities around the world.
Explore Portsmouth UK
Deciding what to visit or where to stay in Portsmouth, explore the sections below, just click an image or link......
A selection of images taken around the Portsmouth and Southsea area including HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Southsea Castle lighthouse, the Spinnaker Tower seen from Old Portsmouth, some vibrant Street Art from Fawcett Road in Portsmouth, University of Portsmouth's Ravelin Sports Centre and the Ernest Smith clock tower in Castle Road Southsea.