Coastal England offers visitors some of the most exciting attractions to remind them that the UK is a large, island nation. There is perhaps no better representation of England’s maritime past and present than the city of Portsmouth in Hampshire county. With a history stretching back to the Roman occupation of England, Portsmouth is fascinating in its historical reach just as much as it is in its current maritime influence on Western Europe. If you ever find yourself on a visit to Portsmouth, there is no shortage of things to do and attractions to see.
Portsmouth has an expansive and culturally-rich history, and no visit is complete without a survey of the port city’s historical attractions. Perhaps the city’s most famous attraction, the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a day’s worth of sightseeing in and of itself. Featuring four of Britain’s most famous ships, this attraction allows maritime history to come alive as you tour the vessels that fought in some of Britain’s most famous battles.
HMS Victory was commissioned by King George III in 1758 and is an awe-inspiring journey through the ship that helped win the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 under the command of Horatio Nelson. HMS Warrior and HMS M33 will keep your historical interests firmly piqued in how British naval supremacy remained firmly intact in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For true history buffs, the most intriguing attraction at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is undoubtedly a tour of the remains of the Mary Rose, a Tudor-era warship commissioned by King Henry VIII.
Emirates Spinnaker Tower
If you have ever seen images of Portsmouth at night, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower is likely the first image to catch your eye. This nearly 600-foot tall observation tower helps to give the city an iconic imagery in the popular imagination. Its design was inspired by the architecture of ships of the past and is worth a visit simply for the stunning views alone.
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A day of historical enrichment is certainly a must in Portsmouth, but there are also plenty of contemporary attractions to keep seekers of fun and children equally entertained. The fun begins at Paultons Theme Park located a short drive from Portsmouth in nearby Romsey. This theme park features over seventy thrilling rides and is iconic for being the official home of Peppa Pig, which will surely be familiar to children.
Since Portsmouth is a port city, perhaps the theme of a trip needs to match the locale and Clarence Pier Amusement Park fits the destination perfectly. Located on a large pier in Southsea Hoverport, this theme park caters to all ages who seek thrills and adventure with the sea below them. If theme parks and historical attractions are not your preferred destinations, Portsmouth has much more to offer.
Landmarks and Variety in Portsmouth
Portsmouth is such a great destination to visit because it combines the historic and the modern, the culturally-rich and the fun of a modern coastal city. But if you are looking to slow things down, you will find that this city is bustling with historic sites and tours. Portsmouth really started to come into its own during the reign of King Henry VIII in the sixteenth century, with many of the landmarks and structures of the Tudor era still intact. In fact, from Henry VIII to Queen Elizabeth II, Portsmouth has long been a city of royal influence due to its vast port.
A visit to Old Portsmouth will place you in the exact walking eras of some of the nation’s most iconic historical figures. Located at the entrance of Portsmouth harbour, the Round Tower along with the Square Tower date to the Tudor era, with original foundations being constructed during the reign of King Henry V a century before. You can tour the towers and marvel at how naval supremacy was once maintained by the necessity of large observation structures to monitor the sea.
In addition to history, Portsmouth features a wide array of shops, galleries, and theatres to make the city’s nightlife memorable.
Portsmouth is a city that excels in combining the old and the new. Any coastal visit within England is not complete without a Portsmouth experience and the numerous attractions and things to do will leave you both satisfied and enriched.