Portsmouth

Shipyards

Portsmouth is located on the south coast of Hampshire is a harbour town with attractions similar to Brighton, with it's own pier including rides and various fast-food areas.

What to See

A good way to see the harbour area is by a boat tour (available from many areas including right outside the Naval museum) operated by Portsmouth Boat Trips OR by the “Harbour Tour” included in the price of admission to the “Portsmouth Historic Dockyard” (see below) which can drop you at various locations including the Royal Navy Submarine Museum across the harbour in the Gosport area. The most interesting part of the tour is the naval base that has many old ships simply sitting and rusting.

Portsmouth - Inner Harbour Area

Old Portsmouth

Cobbled Street

The heart of the old city on the harbour entrance, this features the remains of the city walls (including the “Round Tower”) which you can walk along. The area features cobbled streets, old buildings and a few old pubs. Parking is a nightmare so I would not even consider it. The walk along the 'city walls' is interesting though little, if any, historical information is provided.

Round Tower

Out Window of Tower

The “Brookwoods” pub (and “Spice Island”) right at the tip of the area is a Greene King chain pub (but perfectly acceptable) and is a great place to watch the traffic coming in and out of the harbour.

Pub

Emirates Spinnaker Tower

Spinnaker Tower

The distinctive Emirates Spinnaker Tower offers tremendous views of the harbour, the Solent and, in the distance, the Isle of Wight though it is a bit pricey. The space on the viewing decks is quite small and can be quite warm in sunny weather.

Harbour Mouth

Looking Out

The tower is located a short distance from the NRLOGO Portsmouth Harbour train station, on the harbour front in Gunwharf Keys, and beside a large outlet shopping complex (Gunwharf Quays).

Portsmouth Historic Shipyard

Historic Shipyards

One of the main attractions in Portsmouth is the Portsmouth Historic Shipyard which includes a number of naval-related museums and, of course, old ships.

Portsmouth - HMS Warrior

Onboard

The impressive HMS Warrior (1860) was the fastest British iron-hulled warship of it's time. It is located right near the main entrance to the shipyards and you can explore all of the decks.

Victory

Onboard

Nelson Plaque

Victory Name

The fully restored HMS Victory (1765) was the flagship of Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson during the Battle of Trafalgar. He was killed during the battle and a plaque on the quarter deck marks where he fell. It is located beside the Mary Rose at the far end of the site and you can explore all of the decks.

The Mary Rose

Museum Exterior

The Mary Rose (1510) was the largest of Henry VIII's ships whose wreck was raised from the bottom of the ocean in 1982, and treated with a preservation liquid. It is now on display in a magnificent building at the far end of the shipyard site surrounded by galleries containing artefacts and historical information. The first sight of the remains of the Mary Rose is truly breathtaking. Note that access to the Mary Rose museum is at an additional cost (but well worth it).

The shipyard is well worth a visit (probably best to allow an entire day) and there is an admission charge with various options based on the number of attractions you wish to visit though the “Full Navy” is highly recommended which includes access to everything including a harbour tour and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum. Tickets are valid for any number of visits for the entire year. There is a large multi-story “pay and display” car park located a short distance away from the main gates but the shipyard is just a short walk from NRLOGO Portsmouth Harbour.

Getting There

Parking is a bit of a problem so it is advised to either park before the pier area (to the east) and walking in or taking the train.

NRLOGO Portsmouth Harbour, the terminating station on the mainline from NRLOGO London Waterloo, is located on a pier in the harbour within easy walking distance of the main Portsmouth attractions. For those travelling onto the Isle of Wight you can catch a ferry from the end of the platform at NRLOGO Portsmouth Harbour which, in about 20 minutes, takes you to Ryde pier on the island where you can pick up the island train service (you can purchase train tickets from anywhere in the UK to anywhere on the island that includes the ferry).

Additional Information