Portsmouth is a wonderful seaside city with a proud naval heritage and no shortage of great things to see and do.

Here are 10 ideas to help you get started and plan your trip.

The Mary Rose Museum

The Mary Rose was one of Henry VIII largest warships. It battled the French for 34 years – Brits loved doing that back then. It sank in the Solent in 1545 under mysterious circumstances. In true British style we blamed the weather. It was raised from the seabed in 1982.

HMS Victory

This is Admiral Nelson’s famous ship. He defeated a load of French and Spanish ships at The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. After that beating, Napoleon was too much of a scaredy-cat to invade England. Job done, Nelson. Don’t forget your Nelson Bear from the gift shop.


Portsmouth is a shopper’s haven, offering quirky independents alongside some of the biggest high street names. At Gunwharf Quays you can get top designer goods at up to 60% off, in addition to food, drink and entertainment on the water’s edge.

Elsewhere, café culture is alive and well at Palmerston Road, where big names and boutiques go hand-in-hand. Plus, don’t forget the city centre’s Commercial Road and Cascades precinct, which offer all the essentials and a great deal more. David, visitportsmouth.co.uk

South Parade Pier

Nothing makes you feel like you’re on a classic British holiday than a pier. South Parade Pier has been there since 1879. It’s been destroyed by fire, like every good pier, but now the candy floss machines are whirring again. For amusements, hotdogs, and a cuppa by the sea, go here.

The King’s Theatre

Sumptuous – we don’t use that word very often, but now is the time to unleash it. The King’s Theatre has been around since 1907, and it’s one of the best examples of an Edwardian playhouse to be found in the British Isles. There’s loads going on here, don’t miss it.

Old Portsmouth

This is the old part of town… we like to be obvious. There’s everything an old part of town should have, narrow streets and cobble stones, a cathedral and some harbour walls. This is a place for strolling, or even ambling, round art galleries and cafes and historic pubs.

Emirates Spinnaker Tower

Take a high speed lift 100 metres up, for the best views on the South Coast. Have afternoon tea in the café and abseil back down, that’s what we have done, apart from the abseiling. The kids will love the sky walk and you will love the glass of bubbly.

Royal Armouries – Fort Nelson

This is a blast (sorry). Fort Nelson holds one of the world’s greatest collections of artillery housed inside an imposing Victorian fort. There’s 19 acres of ramparts, bunkers and underground tunnels to explore. Bring a picnic. Other great news, it’s free to get in.

Blue Reef Aquarium

You’re by the sea, but if you don’t want to dig out the speedos and experience it first hand, get down to the Blue Reef Aquarium. They have sharks, string rays, otters – all sorts of creatures. Baby sharks are called pups, how cute does that make them sound?

Victorious Festival

The Victorious Festival is a 2 day music event in a beautiful seaside location, and  one of the most family friendly festivals in the UK. Founded in 2012, the festival has played host to many big names including Basement Jaxx, Ray Davies, Texas, Primal Scream, The Manic Street Preachers and many more. The festival is held at the end of August, and what ever kind of music you like, there is sure to be something to suit your taste. Find out more at victoriousfestival.co.uk