Weekend Trip from London to Portsmouth
Steeped in history and home of The Royal Navy, Portsmouth is a popular tourist attraction for both UK and oversees tourists. The Historic Dockland houses the most famous of warships, including the Marie Rose and HMS Victory. If you have an interest in military history, you will not be short of things to do in this waterfront city. Guided walks and talks are available throughout the year, to enable you get the most of a short visit. Apart from having a huge maritime and naval history, Portsmouth is the birth place of Charles Dickens, thus hundreds of literature pilgrims visit each year, to retrace the author’s steps. A visit to the beautiful St John’s Cathedral is a must, as is Spinnaker Tower, where you can marvel at the stunning views across the city. The fair at Clarence Pier is fun for children, big and small, as is Southsea Castle, also known as Henrician Castles, which is a great family day out. Further afield, a trip over to The Isle of White offers an idyllic break or head to Gosport, for yet more naval history and the chance to check out the HMS Alliance submarine.
Take a stroll down Albert road and enjoy browsing the many antique shops or wander down to the waterfront, for a peaceful walk. There are many seafood restaurants, that offer the catch of the day or you can take the more relaxed, and fun, option of takeaway fish and chips. The Georgian at Antiques Storehouse, serves high quality cream tea, for a perfect afternoon treat.
The Victorious Festival, held in August, offers music, real ale, art and the chance to explore garden markets. If you are looking for something a little quirkier, Portsmouth is host to the International Kite Festival, also in August.
Weekends and school holidays are always very busy, so if you are looking for a more relaxed visit, a midweek break may be better. With a higher climate than most areas of England, a visit from early spring through to early autumn should provide good weather. A series of heritage days begin in June and go on until October, where many historic attractions host open days and talks to get ‘behind the scenes’ of the city’s culture.
How to Reach Portsmouth
The easiest way to reach Portsmouth from London is to take a direct train to Portsmouth Harbour (from Waterloo). If you prefer to travel by car, your drive should take just on 1.5 hours along the A3. National Express also have a regular service running from Victoria to Rudmore.
Where to Stay in Portsmouth
The Queens Hotel is a traditional seafront hotel, with all of the luxuries of a modern hotel. Just outside of the city centre is The Number Four Boutique Hotel, a beautifully decorated hotel, with a family friendly touch. There are lots of B&B’s, including the small but welcoming Fortitude Cottage. For a more unusual stay, head over to Spitbank Fort Hotel, for a night on your very own island!