Portsmouth is a city steeped in history with an impressive cast of characters from maritime heroes to literary giants. From its humble beginnings as a Saxon fishing village, Portsmouth developed into a military garrison town and then into the home of one of the most powerful sea-borne fighting forces in history. 2005 will see the opening of a new, contemporary, national icon based on the south coast, providing a unique ‘window on the sea’
At the heart of the city is Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Here you can explore Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory and tour Queen Victoria’s battleship, HMS Warrior 1860. You can see Henry Vlll’s Mary Rose and trace the history of the Royal Navy at the Royal Naval Museum. Then come right up to date with “Action Stations” an interactive attraction on today’s navy.
Other attractions include Charles Dickens’ birthplace, the D-Day Museum featuring the Overlord Embroidery, Southsea Castle, the Royal Marines Museum, and Portsmouth Cathedral.
Southsea, Portsmouth’s own resort area offers four miles of beach and promenade, including gardens and piers. You can take an undersea safari at the Blue Reef Aquarium or splash around at the Pyramids with their fun pools, flumes and waves.
At the harbour entrance lies Gunwharf Quays, a world-class waterfront shopping and leisure development. Spinnaker Tower is also situated here. This is a striking new attraction soaring 170m into the air and offering spectacular views over the south coast.
If you want to shop then Portsmouth City Centre and Southsea offer an excellent selection of shops from high street names to independent retailers.
Things to see and do
* Spinnaker Tower
* The birthplace of Charles Dickens
* Blue Reef Aquarium
* Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard
* Southsea castle
Cruise Season – March to Nov
Currency – Pound Sterling (£)
Language – English
Land Area – 40.25 sq km’s
Population – 190,000
Electricity – 2 vertical Square pins and one perpendicular below British style
Time –GMT/UTC plus zero hours
International Country Telephone Code – +44
Port Location – Portsmouth harbor terminal is situated a short distance from the city centre.
Transport Links – Regular buses run to Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth and Southsea train stations during the main summer season. There is a taxi rank outside the main terminal and you can call a cab from the free phone inside the building.
Portsmouth can be reached by train from London, by motorway from anywhere in England and by ferry from France and Spain.