Rich with history and culture there’s enough to do in Portsmouth to last you a life time.
Residents and visitors of the city should ensure that they tick off all 25 of these activities before they kick the bucket.
Board the HMS Warrior
This warship was active for over thirty years during the 19th century and dominates the city’s harbour. Today the frigate is equipped with an informative and fascinating museum revealing a snapshot of life on the seas.
Enjoy a pint at the city’s oldest pub
If the Dolphin pub could speak it would have a story or two to tell about generations of city residents. The watering hole has stood since 1716 and remains open to this day. Treat yourself to a pint and marvel at the ancient inn.
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Stand atop of the Spinnaker Tower
The Spinnaker Tower dominates the city’s skyline with its majestic sail shaped design. All Portsmouth residents should enjoy a magnificent view of the city from the tower’s glass floored viewing platform.
… and abseil back down again
If you have a head for heights, abseiling down the 100 metre structure is also a must.
City thrill-seekers can abseil down the structure between the months of March and August.
Remember the fallen at the D-Day Museum
Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum offers a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by Brits during the Second World War. The museums centrepiece is an 83 metre tapestry known as the Overlord Embroidery which details the events across the Channel in a unique and fascinating fashion.
Windsurf around Langstone Harbour
Portsmouth’s position on the south coast makes it a haven for watersports enthusiasts. On one of Portsmouth’s many windy days, resident’s should brave the frigid temperatures and have a go at windsurfing around Langstone Harbour.
Explore Fort Widley
A tour around the eerie Fort Widley ought to raise the hairs on your neck. Originally built as a defensive structure in 1861, the fort is now said to be the haunt of spirits with several visitors reporting paranormal activity.
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Whether you’re religious or not, a visit to Portsmouth Cathedral is a must for residents of the city. Portions of the place of worship have stood since the 12th century, while more recent additions give the structure a distinctive charm.
Swim in the English Channel
While it’s rarely warm enough to enjoy a dip at the city’s seaside, all loclas should look to take a swim in the English Channel at one point in their life. Dipping a toe doesn’t count.
Cheer on Pompey at Fratton Park
The home of Portsmouth FC is one of Britain’s most charming – and lively – football grounds. As the team fight to return to the Championship, the ground’s atmosphere remains as lively as ever.
Stroll around Lumps Fort and the Rose Garden
The disused Lumps Fort has now become more famous for its rose garden than its defensive past. The mix of former military might and present floral beauty is an intriguing combination.
Observe the city from above
While the Spinnaker Tower offers sublime views of the city, even finer views can be observed from the passenger seat of a helicopter. When weather is good regular tours by Experience Days run over the city’s harbour, offering fantastic views of the Spinnaker Tower and the Isle of Wight.
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Study the wreck of the Mary Rose
The Mary Rose sank in dramatic circumstances in 1545, following 30 years of bruising service. Remnants of the ship, which was raised in 1982 can be studied at the fantastic museum. A n essential for local historians.
See a play at the King’s Theatre
This distinctive looking playhouse has been entertaining local residents for 111 years – and a visit to the grade II listed building is a unique experience for even the most regular theatregoer. Regular performances of musical favourites including Mamma Mia! and The Sound of Music run throughout the year.
Pet farm animals at Staunton Park
Located to the northeast of Portsmouth Staunton Park is a 1,000 acre expanse of parkland, complete with a Victorian glasshouse and petting farm. The petting farm is home to a range of farm animals, including llamas, goats and sheep. A day at Staunton Park is a day well spent.
Visit Charles Dickens’ birthplace
The world famous author was born on Old Commercial Road in 1812. The very house in which he came into the world has been transformed into a museum dedicated to the author, which can be visited from March to September.
Observe nature at Farlington Marshes Wildlife Reserve
Farlington Marshes Wildlife Reserve is a haven for several species of animals unique to Great Britain.
During a tour of the reserve keen eyes may be able to spot migratory wildfowl and wading birds as well as colourful plant species.
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Take a tour at the Irving and Co. Brewery
Famed for their nautical themed beer, including Admiral, Invincible and Frigate, Irving and Co. Brewery allow drinkers to enjoy a tour of their premises throughout the year.
A tour of the locally famous brewery costs £10 and includes a pint of beer served in a souvenir glass.
Stroll along Eastney beach
Evidence of Portsmouth’s recent military past can be explored on the peaceful Eastney beach which lines the southeast of the city.
Tank defences were erected on the beach during the Second World War and still stand to this day.
Marvel at the ruined Domus Dei
Formerly a hospice and an almhouse, Domus Dei to the east of the city is now referred to by many as the “British Military Cathedral”. Despite the best efforts of local authorities the building has fallen into disrepair, providing it with a hauntingly beautiful aesthetic.
Cheer on the Devils at Gosport Ice Arena
Though Fratton Park is undoubtedly Portsmouth’s most popular sports venue, a visit to Gosport Ice Arena can provide just as much entertainment.
The Solent Devils call the ice rink their home and play the fast and furious sport of ice hockey throughout the year.
Stand in the footsteps of Henry VIII at Southsea Castle
In 1545 Henry VIII stood on the battlements of Southsea Castle and observed the tragic sinking of the Mary Rose. A visit to the former fortress is essential for history buffs who can stand in the very footsteps of the divisive king.
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Explore the royal armouries at Fort Nelson
Home to a colossal collection of artillery, Fort Nelson’s collection needs to be seen to be believed. The strategic structure has stood since 1860s, consists of robust ramparts and fortifications and is spread across 19 acres.
Tower above the model village in Southsea
Located just 30 seconds from the seashore Southsea model village is a microscopic impersonation of a slice of Portsmouth.
The village features a railway, a model of Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth Guildhall.
Explore the Hilsea Lines
These defensive fortifications were erected in the 18th century to protect the city from an invasion to the north. Today they have become a haven for nature. Exploring the ruins makes for a fascinating day out.
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