Fun things to do in Portsmouth

  • Spice Island from a ferry
    Spice Island from a ferry
    by annase
  • Action stations (for kids and dads)
    Action stations (for kids and dads)
    by annase
  • Things to Do
    by annase

Most Viewed Things to Do in Portsmouth

  • kevin36's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Sightseeing

    by kevin36 Updated Apr 12, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    firstly the Spinnaker Tower is a must,but don't forget theDockyard where you can see
    HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, The Mary Rose not to mention the various Warships in the Harbour.
    We only scratched the surface,but there are so many places to go and see from Portsmouth,it has transport Links to The Isle Of Wight,France, Spain.
    With its array of ferries Fast Cats] or Hover Craft which will take you 10minutes to get from Southsea to The Isle of Wight.
    There is a ferry that crosses regularly from Portsmouth to Gosport all for £1.80p.
    There is a fun fair on Southsea, a Submarine museum at Haslar (Gosport)
    It certainly is the hub to other places.
    Gunwharf is where the Spinnaker Tower is situated 5mins from the Train station or Bus

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Historical Travel
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • kevin36's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Historic Ships

    by kevin36 Updated Apr 12, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Firstly the Spinnaker Tower is a must,but don't forget the Dockyard where you can see
    HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, The Mary Rose not to mention the various battleships in the Harbour including HMS Victory.
    We only scratched the surface,but there are so many places to go and see from Portsmouth,it has transport Links to The Isle Of Wight,France, Spain.
    With its array of ferries Fast Cats or Hover Craft which will take you 10minutes to get from Southsea to The Isle of Wight.
    There is a ferry that crosses regularly from Portsmouth to Gosport all for 1.80p.
    There is a fun fair on Southsea, a Submarine museum at Haslar (Gosport)
    It certainly is the hub to other places.
    Gunwharf quays is where the Spinnaker Tower is situated 5mins from the Train Station or Bus depot.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jono84's Profile Photo

    The mighty Warrior

    by jono84 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Warrior stands large and proud, docked in Portsmouth Harbour..... a constant reminder of times past.

    I pass it on the way to work or university pretty much most days, and i am proud it is has been preserved so well as part of this city's great wartime heritage.

    A real eye-opener is the canon deck, where the canons and methods of loading are very well-explained and demonstrated. There is also access to the tiny, dark prison cells right down in the bottom levels of the vessel, where you can get an idea of what it was like to be a prisoner locked in pitch darkness!!
    Absolutely terrifying!!

    It is part of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and its many levels are open daily to the public and often nightly as well, for large private functions.

    There is no fee to get in the dockyard, but there are entry fees for each of the ships docked, (i think the Warrior is around £5-10 for adults). Alternatively, you can buy a ticket for all three ships in the dockyard, and this works out a cheaper option.

    Was this review helpful?

  • jono84's Profile Photo

    Portsmouth Harbour and its naval ships

    by jono84 Written Aug 19, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The wonderful feature that Portsmouth has, and yet I readily admit i take for granted as do many others, is its naval ships.

    New ships regularly dock or simply shelter just out of portsmouth waters, and every morning there is often a new vessel just docking to pick up fuel, or getting ready to leave to resume its voyage.

    Sometimes there are the loved ones of marines perched waiting on the sides of the Dockyard, welcoming their brothers, fathers, husbands, etc. into port after a long time at sea.

    Also, for the past few years we have had american navy aircraft carriers stopping just outside the dockyard to shelter, and to offer their marines the last available opportunity to step on dry land, before the long haul back across the Atlantic. This offers a great chance to see the enormity of such amazing vessels.

    I guess i should feel priveleged that I get to see such enormous naval ships on a regular basis.

    Was this review helpful?

  • jono84's Profile Photo

    Historical Old Portsmouth

    by jono84 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A short walk away from the hive of activity that is the Quays, and you will stumble upon Old Portsmouth.

    Here it is still possible to recapture some of the essence of the Old Port's heady days when it was full of marines and soldiers from all over the UK, during World War II.

    There are many pleasant places to stop for a drink, with the perfect spot to view the busy harbour entrance from.

    Around the corner, there is also the Southsea Wall with the round and Square Towers placed at either end (pictured, intro). This part of the Wall, with the Old Sally Port and Battery are very well preserved, and offer a great walking opportunity, whilst the views over the harbour entrance from the top of the Round Tower are fantastic!!

    Here, you can practically get to within touching distance of ships as they squeeze into the harbour.

    This extremely narrow entrance to the Harbour is what made it such a good place to house the british navy's finest ships, and made it such a relatively easy place to defend.

    Was this review helpful?

  • THE HISTORIC DOCKYARD 2

    by jayhawk2000 Written Oct 20, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    HMS Victory was the flagship of Admiral Nelson, one of Britain's most popular (and most colourful) military heroes.

    On 21 October 1805 the Victory sailed into battle with Napoleon's fleet off Spain's Cape Trafalgar. The one-armed and one-eyed Admiral led the British fleet into battle with the signal 'England expects that every man will do his duty' flying from the Victory's masts.

    The British proceeded to rout the French and Spaniards, but a French marksman shot Nelson as he gave orders from the deck. A plaque commemorates the spot. You can also see where he died below decks. To preserve the body for the state funeral, Nelson was packed into a barrel of brandy!

    You will be given a timed ticket to join a tour of the ship. Don't miss your slot as you can't reschedule! Going under deck is an incredible experience. The living conditions of the crew were unbelievable: 500 men lived on one deck, slept in hammocks and shared the ship with livestock. You may also hear the origins of phrases like 'three square meals a day' or 'not enough room to swing a cat.'

    A ticket for the Victory includes admission to the adjacent Royal Naval Museum. Here you can see an exhibit on Nelson's legendary life.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jono84's Profile Photo

    Gunwharf Quays

    by jono84 Written Aug 19, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Constructed on old rotting naval land, and having been opened in the early part of 2000, the Quays have been rapidly developing ever since, with more shops, clubs, bars and restaurants being added to its complex.

    The Spinnaker Tower project has attracted extra investment into the Centre, and further, there are proposals to add yet more stylish appartments and hotels to its itinary.

    The Vulcan, a historic building formerly used to house gunpowder in wartimes, and still remaining a national heritage site, is also being converted into modern housing as part of the councils push to bring more people into the area.

    However, they have ensured that every element of this historic building, even including the single-glazed windows have been left in their original state.

    ( You can expect to pay as much as a cool £500k to live here......)

    There is also a multiplex cinema, bowling alleys, and a constantly updating events calendar, where you can expect allsorts from bike stunts on a large half pipe, french markets, large trampolines, music or dance shows, and lots more in the main central square.

    Expect the centre to be extremely crowded on weekends, so perhaps the best time for a quieter shopping experince is during the week.

    Was this review helpful?

  • jono84's Profile Photo

    The Theatre Of Miracles

    by jono84 Written Aug 19, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yes, you might have guessed i would include a section about Pompey FC.......
    but anyone who comes to the city will hear about only one team, Portsmouth Football Club.

    We are passionate about our team on the south coast, and you will not find better supporters anywhere else in the country!! Fact.
    (**Won Best Supporters Award, Seaon 2003/04)

    Even though home matches are usually sold out these days, i would recommend getting in early and snapping up some of the tickets in the Milton End for any game, purely to sample the great atmosphere, and the character of this old ground before it is removed in place of the new stadium.

    However, the old mock tudor facades on the Frogmore Road entrance will, thankfully, be preserved and kept in place for the new 35,000 capacity stadium.

    For info or to order tickets over the phone, call:
    0845 230 1898 (or 02392 618777)
    (Or you can always go straight to the Pompey Ticket Office for tickets).

    The Pompey Shop (pictured) should also not be missed for get that perfect Pompey souvenir to take home!!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • jono84's Profile Photo

    Drop by for a warm Pompey welcome !!!

    by jono84 Updated Aug 19, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is not really a tip....
    or a recommendation of any sort......
    just if you're passing by, drop in and say "hi!"

    I'm currently working part-time in Gunwharf for extra cash over the summer break, and this is where i work!
    Denby / Le Creuset.

    We sell pottery, cookware and generally allsorts of stuff for the kitchen (just in case you were interested.....)
    You have probably only heard of these companies before, through your mums or great aunties (because that seems to be the only type of customers we ever get!!)

    So there you go.... for a hearty welcome to this wonderful city, or if you just want to buy a couple of plates, drop by my shop for a chat !!
    ;-)

    Was this review helpful?

  • THE HISTORIC DOCKYARD 4

    by jayhawk2000 Written Oct 20, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This map shows you where the ships and museums can be found. You are free to walk up to the HMS Warrior and Nelson's HMS Victory and to go into the shops and rest areas, but otherwise you'll need to pay to get inside anything.

    There are a variety of ticket packages to ensure you can see everything you want in the time you have available. You can buy tickets to each individually, but we found the best deal was to buy a '3 for 2' ticket. You can choose three attractions to visit for the price of two out of Action Stations, HMS Victory & Royal Naval Museum, Mary Rose or HMS Warrior. Even better, the ticket is valid for seven days. Annual passes also are available.

    During the peak season of April to October it is open 10am-5.30pm. From November to March it opens at 10.00 and shuts at 5.00. During the festive December season opening times and admission fees vary because of the special events held, so contact them in advance if you plan to visit.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • THE HISTORIC DOCKYARD 3

    by jayhawk2000 Updated Jan 11, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    HMS Warrior

    At the time of its construction in 1860 she was the world's largest, fastest and most powerful warship...yet she never fired a shot in battle.

    The Warrior was steam powered and once reached 17.5 knots under sail and steam (about 20mph/32kph). The men who attended the steam engines were paid extra to suffer in stifling temperatures near 110F/43C whilst shovelling coal.

    The Warrior had the heaviest anchors ever to be raised manually by its crew. Each of the four largest ones weighs about 5 and a half British tons/5500 kilos. It took 170 men 4 to 5 hours to lift one from the water!

    It is hard to believe, but little over 20 years ago the ship was a rotting hulk. For 8 years starting in 1979, Warrior underwent the world's most complex and expensive naval restoration at a cost of 8 million GBP (11 million USD). You can learn more about continuing efforts of the Warrior Preservation Trust at www.hmswarrior.org.

    I stongly recommend you take the self-guided tour of this remarkable vessel to see the advances in naval warfare since Admiral Nelson's day. The spaciousness is amazing, especially when you consider that despite being about 190ft/60m longer than the Victory, the Warrior's crew of 700 was smaller than Nelson's crew of 800!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • THE HISTORIC DOCKYARD 1

    by jayhawk2000 Written Oct 20, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Portsmouth has an extraordinary collection of world-famous warships and naval museums.

    One of the top attractions is the Mary Rose, a Tudor warship that sank near Portsmouth but has been recovered from the seabed. What remains of the hull sits inside a shed, sprayed by preservative chemicals, a process expected to last until 2009.

    Included in the admission to see the Mary Rose is its exhibition hall where the treasures surrendered by the sea are on display. The silt on the seabed protected items made of leather, wood and silk. You can see longbows, pewter jugs, clothing, ammunition...even the peppercorns used by the sailors to spice their food!

    I used part of the above photo of the Mary Rose as question no. 2 in my Europe quiz. Did my hints ('merry' and 'arose') help?

    Have you taken my MYSTERY TOUR of Europe yet? It's a travelogue on my Europe page.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • THE HARBOUR

    by jayhawk2000 Updated Nov 5, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is Portsmouth Harbour seen from the ferry as we returned from France. The city remains a busy seaport for both civilians and sailors. When we came in on the ferry we passed several large military ships and could wave at the sailors on board.

    A great way to see these old fortifications on the seafront is to take a harbour tour...or go to France and back!

    The Continental ferry harbour is quite a distance from the historic harbour and IoW landings, but from June to September there is a shuttle bus linking the Channel crossing ferry port with the Portsmouth & Southsea train station and The Hard Interchange at the historic dockyard.

    Related to:
    • Cruise

    Was this review helpful?

  • PORTSMOUTH CATHEDRAL 1

    by jayhawk2000 Written Oct 20, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Portsmouth Cathderal is an odd jumble, thanks to much damage and rebuilding over the centuries (including fire, bombing and--during the 100 Years War and English Civil War--even cannon fire ). The interior is pristine or barren, depending on your point of view. Its new nave was completed in the 1990s.

    Rather oddly, for about 60 years starting in 1449 the church was closed and the parish of Portsmouth excommunicated following the murder of the Bishop of Chichester in the community. Eventually the church (established in 1185 and dedicated to the martyr Thomas Becket) achieved cathedral status in 1927 upon the founding of the Diocese of Portsmouth.

    Was this review helpful?

  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo
    2 more images

    Visit the historic Victory

    by rexvaughan Written Nov 16, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is little doubt that Admiral Lord Nelson and his ship, the HMS Victory, stand very large in the English history. You can tour this beautiful ship and see just how much was involved in just maintaining it and housing, feeding and equipping the crew of about 800, not to mention powder and shot for about 100 guns. The tour is led by a very knowledgeable and officer. Our was explaining how the larger guns with their stock of cannonballs are on the lower decks for weight stability and explained that the stack of cannonballs we were looking at were replicas as, "the French and the Spanish got the originals." Spots are marked on the decks where Nelson was wounded and then later died.

    Tours are included in the standard ticket but must be scheduled at the time of purchase.

    Photos are not allowed inside.

    Was this review helpful?

Portsmouth Hotels

Latest Portsmouth Hotel Reviews

Etap Hotel Portsmouth
399 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 13, 2014
Tulip Inn Portsmouth
413 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Travelodge Portsmouth
165 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 12, 2014
Travelodge Portsmouth
127 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 11, 2014
Ashby's Gastropub & Boutique Hotel
193 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 13, 2014
Farmhouse Innlodge
157 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 8, 2014
Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth Gunwharf Quays
563 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 12, 2014
Royal Maritime Club
152 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 26, 2014
Bembell Court Hotel
224 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 17, 2014
Best Western Royal Beach Hotel
473 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Holiday Inn Portsmouth
426 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Premier Inn Portsmouth (Port Solent East)
180 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 17, 2014
Florence House Hotel
392 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 13, 2014
The Duke Of Buckingham
105 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 5, 2014
The Clarence Hotel
674 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 14, 2014

Instant Answers: Portsmouth

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

78 travelers online now

Comments

Portsmouth Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Portsmouth locals.
Map of Portsmouth
Other Things to Do in Portsmouth