Type: City Break, Beach
Best Date to Visit: Jun -Sep
Things to Do: Museums, Beach, Shopping
Points of Interest: Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Mary Rose Museum, Southsea Castle, Royal Marines Museum and so much more
The Good: Spoilt for restaurant choices and shopping at Gunwharf Quay.
The Bad: Noisy around university and train station
Portsmouth is a harbour and port city on the south coast of England. Home to an operating naval base and ports operating services to and from France. The city is popular for its museums, shopping and with Southsea, Portsmouth combines to become a popular beach resort.
Limitation of a Early Post Covid Portsmouth
I visited Portsmouth just after our third and most recent covid lockdown here in England. As we were only on the third stage out of lockdown restrictions we were only allowed to stay in self catered accommodation so as hotels and hostels were closed it was down to Airbnb.
Unfortunately my visit was limited as all attractions were closed including museums and some of the outdoor docks which the city is popular for. However even with these closures Portsmouth was still a city with a lot offer.
All Was Not Lost
There was a lot that I accomplished during my 2-3 day visit even with nearly all of the city’s attractions closed. Firstly I explored Southsea’s a long stretch of peaceful pebble beaches with views of the Isle of Wight, a place possible for excursions whilst visiting the city. When walking along the beach you will be able to see many landmarks and attractions such as the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea Castle and various different piers.
Secondly I roamed old Portsmouth an interesting but small place to visit. It is a simple place, great for a chillout. The area is also home to the square tower which is a part of the city’s defences in the past.
Lastly I explored Portsmouth’s most popular place in the Gunwharf Quay visually known with the Spinnaker tower right next to it. Gunwharf Quay is a designer shopping outlet which is usually very busy on a normal day especially during sales. This place is a great area to unwind even if you are not shopping. There are a multitude of restaurants and bars and if you just want a chillout there are plenty of seating areas overlooking the harbour.
At the time of my visit, apart from excursing to the Isle of Wight, there wasn’t too much else to do but to go for long walks. However I listed a few things below which were closed but would normally make a good place to explore.
(Attractions around Portsmouth that could be visited when Covid restrictions are lifted)
Mary Rose Museum- An exhibition showing artefacts from a retrieved Tudor shipwreck
National Museum of the Royal Navy- A comprehensive naval history museum with interactive material enjoyed by the whole family.
Southsea Castle- A small beachside fortress that is a spectacular from the outside but as special on the inside with an exhibition of its history.
Blue Reef Aquarium- For Aquatic lovers this aquarium houses, sharks, rays and many other species.
Royal Marines Museum- A museum with an abundance of regimental displays.
and so much more
(There is just so many different attractions to visit and locations to explore check them out and plan your itinerary out properly.)
The reason I took this trip to Portsmouth was to getaway from London and get back into travel just after the covid lockdowns. Although I didn’t have the full experience of what the city has to offer on a normal day, I accomplished what I set out to do.
The city is incredible and diverse in terms of the type of holiday you would want. It can be for shopping, museums and also beaches. The city can be noisy nearer the university, train station and Gunwharf Quay areas but you can surely find quieter places to stay
All in all, in my opinion Portsmouth is an interesting city to explore. In my opinion 2 days is enough even on a normal day with all attractions open. Any longer wouldn’t be bad but may be repetitive of what you see and do
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