Right on our doorstep we have the tennis courts at Canoe Lake Leisure, where the Wimbledon qualifiers are held each summer, the Model Village and internationally renowned Rose Gardens. A short stroll to the east and you arrive at the Golf course and the hugely popular Tenth Hole café – their cakes are the stuff of legend!
Walk just a couple of minutes west along the south-facing seafront brings you to the Rock Gardens and the Pyramids Centre – which often hosts large concerts and private hire functions. Both of these are right next to the fantastic D-Day Museum, Blue Reef Aquarium, Southsea Skatepark and Southsea Castle. The open-air Bandstand has free shows running throughout the summer, and Castle Field hosts major outdoor concerts and events, including Portsmouth’s very own Victorious Festival.
Just a little further along the seafront and you reach Mozzarella Joes – fab food right on the water’s edge where you can see the Hovercraft glide right up the beach taking passengers to the Isle of Wight. Lastly you reach Clarence Pier – which is the location for Southsea’s long-established funfair, amusement arcades and beach-front eateries.
If shopping is more your thing – a few minutes in a taxi gets you to Gunwharf Quays, the extremely popular shopping and commercial district. It mixes up-to-the-minute retail (like Ralph Lauren, Fred Perry and FatFace) with a swathe of modern waterfront eateries and hidden heritage gems like the Old Customs House and and quality favourites like Loch Fyne. Thrown in nightclubs, art galleries, Casinos and the bowling alley and it’s easy to see why people spend an entire day there.
Of course, no visit to Portsmouth can be considered complete without a visit to the landmark Spinnaker Tower – viewing the city, the Solent and the historic dockyard from the top of the 115m tower is an unforgettable experience.
And once you’ve glimpsed those battleships – both centuries old and brand new – you may well want to visit the Historic Dockyard. A fascinating journey through naval history including Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, the first iron-clad HMS Warrior – and the staggering purpose-built museum housing Henry VIII’s ill-fated Mary Rose, raised from the Solent with a host of medieval treasures. The Dockyard, still functioning today, also houses Action Stations – with its mix of museums, function suites and a cinema.