A few miles north of Portsmouth on Portsdown Hill overlooking the city stands the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson.
Fort Nelson was built in the 1860s, as part of a chain of fortifications protecting the great naval harbour of Portsmouth in Hampshire and its Royal Dockyard from a feared French invasion.
Opened in 1995 as home to the Royal Armouries collection of artillery, Fort Nelson has over 350 big guns and historic cannon on display, all part of the National Museum of Arms and Armour. From the Great Turkish Bombard of 1464, that once protected the Dardanelles to Saddam Hussein’s infamous ‘Supergun’ and covering every period of history from every corner of the world – including 3 Guinness world record holders, the collection is brought vividly to life every day.
Southsea Beach and Seafront
The seafront is one of the most fashionable places in Portsmouth, loved by people & locals alike. The beach goes along the whole southern end of Portsea Island from Old Portsmouth to Eastney. Next to the beach & seafront esplanade, Southsea Common is a huge open space that was bought from the War Department in 1922. It is perfect for kite flying, picnics & casual ball games. Southsea Common is also the location for Portsmouth & Southsea Show in August & many other things all through the year. There’s a bandstand where there’s always music on Sundays as well, all the entertainment is free. There’s also a few hotels & B&’s in Southsea.
- Family Travel
Fratton is a residential and formerly industrial area of Portsmouth, Hampshire. It consists of mostly Victorian terraced houses, and is typical of the residential areas in the city. In the past it housed a huge railway depot, but this has mostly been dismantled now, making way for a shopping complex and the redevelopment of Portsmouth F.C.'s stadium, Fratton Park.
There is also a modest shopping centre on Fratton Road, called The Bridge, which is dominated by a large ASDA supermarket, and in atmosphere reflects the working class roots of the neighbourhood, with local, low-budget shops and cafes.
- Family Travel
Paulsgrove is an area of northern Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. Paulsgrove existed as a small hamlet on the old Portsmouth to Southampton road for many years. During the early twentieth century Paulsgrove Racecourse was built north of the village on the slopes of Portsdown Hill and a halt built to cater for raceday traffic . The area was incorporated into the city of Portsmouth in 1920.
Towards the end of World War II it became clear that to the City Council that a massive programme of house building was needed to replace those homes destroyed by bombing. As part of this programme, land in Paulsgrove was purchased and building began in 1945. The initial housing was prefabricated but later houses were built more conventionally.
In August 2000, Paulsgrove made the national and international news as mobs attacked residences of suspected and actual paedophiles. These disturbances came shortly after the News of the World put pressure on the government to give parents the right to know if their children are living close to a convicted sex offender, in response to the Murder of Sarah Payne in nearby West Sussex in July 2000.[
- Family Travel
"See the Warships"
"hardway" is on the Gosport side and is a good view point to see the Battleships at anchor.
The history goes a bit like this:
In October 1943 lorries began tipping brick rubble from the Bomb Sites of Portsmouth over the sea wall at the end of Priory Road; by April 1944 a pier had been added and the Hardway D-Day invasion ramp was ready for use. The next year was indeed Hardway's 'Finest Hour', when thousands of British and Foreign troops, tanks, guns and vehicles were embarked for Normandy, cheered on by the local residents who made every effort to make their short stay in Hardway as pleasant as possible.
- Family Travel
Butser Ancient Farm
Open first weekend of the month between May to Sept, with activities for young & young at heart, or by arrangement. This is a must for anyone interested in history or archaeology. Even if you are not, there are few more more beautiful places to be on a summer's day.
It is an experimental 'Iron Age' farm set in the most stunning countryside 20 minutes north of Portsmouth along the A3. More info and 'how to get there' tips on their website www.butser.org.uk.
If you are here for the first Sat in May the Wicker Man Festival is not to be missed.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
A quick detour to Gosport
Gosport is just a short 5minute ferry ride across the harbour, and offers more shopping opportunities, particularly on tuesdays when the highstreet fills to the brim with allsorts of market stalls and marquis.
There is also the Explosion naval museum in close proximity, which details the experiences and facts about World War II, as well as plenty of traditional outdoor-seated cafes and pubs......... truly a british town!!!
It is only £1.60 for an adult return across the harbour, so all the more reason to give Gosport a check out!!
You take the ferry from the pontoon alongside the Harbour Train Station, down from the Hard Interchange.
To me, Gosport really feels like a 'lived-in' city.... it doesn't try to hide its true character, and it may be a little tatty around the edges, but its proud to be a down-to-earth english town..... For that, i forgive it for its scruffy appearances in places.
Car boot sales on Sundays
During the weekends, there are many markets in Portsmouth. A smaller one is held at South Parade Pier, on the right side and sometimes in a room next to the pub. By Southsea castle is a quite huge car boot sales and I usually find some nice & cheap things there last time. They also had a small fun fair for the children. By Clarence Pier are a lot of markets. Both on a field on the other side of the road and also on a hugher field, it's called Southsea commons.
Go there as early as you can cause they pack up quite early in the afternoon.
- Theme Park Trips
- Budget Travel
A lovely walk through Old Portsmouth
Old Portsmouth by the harbour is really lovely, especially in the summer. Last time I was there we had a long walk around there and it was amazing.
Start at Clarence Pier and go along the beach over til the Round Tower. Here you have a great view of all the boats who enter the harbour as well as over Old Portsmouth. Kids should like to run around in the old fortress. Continue to Spice Island and the famous pubs there. Maybe a bit pricey, we went to a cafe around the corner instead. ;-) The pubs around there also have amazing flowers. They were feautered on some local flower TV program. ;) Next stop I suggest the new big complex Gunwharf Quays if you like shopping. It's filled with outlet stores selling cheap desginerwear. But, they don't really have that much cool things. Next is the navybase and old ships to look at. They cost a bit, but not much, so if it's your first time there, go see one of the ships.
Make sure that the weather will be nice and sunny that day. :)
- Historical Travel
Visit the Jane Austen...
Visit the Jane Austen house.
It is in the lovely little village of Chawton which is 1 mile south-west of Alton in Hampshire.
it is signposted off the roundabout at the junction of the A31 (Winchester) with the A32 (Fareham) roads.
Visit the little village of...
Visit the little village of Chawton and the Jane Austen House, its not too far away.
The house is a charming red-brick 17th century house, which is listed in the National Archives as a building of historic interest. It was the author's last home and she lived there from 1809 until 1817 with her mother and sister Casandra.
It was here that she revised her earlier manuscript novels - Sense and Sensibilty, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. She then wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.
the rooms on show include the drawing room and the parlour where she wrote on a small round table. Upstairs is her bedroom with the patchwork quilt she made with her mother and sister. There are four other rooms - one with memorabilia of her brothers (Frank and Charles) and one with period costumes.
Tel: 01420 83262
Open Jan – Feb. Saturday and Sunday
March, Nov – Dec Wednesday and Sunday
April – October daily.
Closed 25-26 December.
Go to the Isle of Wight.Take...
Go to the Isle of Wight.
Take the ferry from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight. This was the favourite seaside resort of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, they stayed in Osborne House. The house is still furnished as they had it and it gives a very good view of royal life. The house is dotted with family treasures such as the sculptured arms of the royal children and many photos. The Swiss cottage was built for the children to play in and is now a museum attached to Osborne House. You can also see the bathing machine, which was used by the Queen.
At East Cowes
Tel: 01983 200022
Open April- October daily.
Go to the New Forest, not so...
Go to the New Forest, not so far away.
The New Forest is 375 square kilometres of heath and woodland and is lovely to explore. It is the largest area of unenclosed land in southern England. It was William the Conqueror’s “new forest ” but is actually one of the few primeval oak woods in England. It was a favourite hunting ground for the Norman Kings and it was where William was fatally wounded during a hunting accident in 1100. The New Forest ponies and the deer are a beautiful sight in the woodland, and exploring the villages in the forest is a great way to spend the day. You can get into the forest easily by rail by going to Brockenhurst There is an information centre at the main car park at Lyndhurst (tel. 01703 282269)
Visit Carisbrooke castle on...
Visit Carisbrooke castle on the Isle of Wight. It was built in the 11th century and it was here that Charles the First was kept prisoner in 1647. There was an escape attempt but it failed because he got stuck in the window bars. A walk along the walls gives marvellous views of the countryside.
Tel: 01983 522107
Open daily except 25-26 December
When in Portsmouth I enjoy...
When in Portsmouth I enjoy walking Eastwards along the sea front, past Eastney's Royal Marine barracks and on to the marina in Langstone harbour, there you can see some interesting boats, and you can even take the ferry to Hayling island if you are so inclined. On a week-day out of season it is pleasantly peaceful.