What to do and see in Portsmouth, United Kingdom (UK): The Best Places and Tips

November 19, 2017 Marianna Hollaway

Portsmouth (/ˈpɔːrtsməθ/ ( listen)) is a port city in Hampshire, England, mainly on Portsea Island, 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London and 19 miles (31 km) south-east of Southampton. It has a total population of 205,400. The city forms part of the South Hampshire built-up area, which also covers Southampton and the towns of Havant, Waterlooville, Eastleigh, Fareham, and Gosport.
Restaurants in Portsmouth

1. The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Main Road | Portsmouth Naval Base, Portsmouth PO1 3PY, England +44 23 9275 0521
Excellent
83%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
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5 based on 4 reviews

The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The Mary Rose Museum is home to the Mary Rose and the thousands of artefacts that were recovered from the Solent. Built between 1509 and 1511, The Mary Rose was one of the first ships able to fire a broadside, and was a firm favourite of King Henry VIII. After a long and successful career, she sank accidentally during an engagement with the French fleet in 1545. Her rediscovery and raising were seminal events in the history of nautical archaeology. After a 34 year conservation project, the Mary Rose is now fully on display within her purpose-built museum.

Reviewed By Flyinmy

Highly recommend this fabulous exhibition dedicated to the Mary Rose. One of the best exhibitions/ museums I have ever visited. Brilliantly thought out. A huge number of artefacts, and part of the hull of the ship on view. Well worth the trip here.

2. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Visitor Centre, Victory Gate, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth PO1 3LJ, England +44 23 9283 9766
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
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4.5 based on 6 reviews

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Featuring the Mary Rose Museum and world famous ships HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860. Plus visit HMS Alliance, the only remaining WW2 era British ocean going submarine, and the M33, the sole remaining British veteran of the bloody Dardanelles Campaign of 1915-1916. Also including the National Museum Royal Navy Portsmouth, Action Stations and the Harbour Tours, as well as the new Women in the Navy Exhibition and the Jutland Exhibition, there's plenty to see and do. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a great day out for all the family. Situated within a working Naval Base, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the only place in the world to see the Royal Navy past, present and future - a must see for anyone visiting the south of England.

Reviewed By MLambert51 - Leicester, United Kingdom

I loved the Historic Dockyard, even despite it being a cold, rainy afternoon. We bought a combined ticket of Spinnaker Tower plus one Dockyard attraction - HMS Victory - for £24/adult, which seemed reasonable. The annoying thing about having young sons, 3 and 1, is that everything has to be done at a pace that avoids massive boredom-induced tantrums, and although we only spent a few hours here I could easily spend a few days exploring it all in depth. Lots of interesting buildings and Exhibitions to wander in, in addition to the boat. I had visited HMS Victory as a boy myself and it was as good as I remembered. Navigating the boat with toddlers, particularly the steep staircases, was fun! I can only apologise to those people whose audio tours were ruined by two excited young boys running up and down the decks shrieking. One thing that would have been appreciated was a covered buggy park. I think this will be one to come back to when my sons are a fair bit older (if they have an interest in maritime history).

3. HMS Victory

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Visitors Centre | Victory Gate,HM Naval Base,, Portsmouth, England +44 23 9283 9766
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

HMS Victory

Reviewed By Stephen C

Victory was so much bigger than I had previously realised - brought the ship to life. Spend the time to see as much as you can, you will not be disappointed - but mind your head, there are low ceilings everywhere.

4. HMS Warrior 1860

Victory Gate, Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth PO1 3QX, England +44 23 9277 8600
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
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4.5 based on 2 reviews

HMS Warrior 1860

As you arrive at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the stunning sleek, black lines of Britain's first iron-hulled, armoured warship, take your breath away. Warrior, launched in 1860, was the pride of Queen Victoria's fleet. Powered by steam and sail, she was the largest, fastest and most powerful ship of her day and had a profound effect on naval architecture. Warrior was, in her time, the ultimate deterrent. Yet within a few years she was obsolete. Restored and back at home in Portsmouth, Warrior now serves as a ship museum, monument, visitor attraction, private venue and more. Open all year round, we invite you to experience her for yourself. Open daily from 10.00am except 24th, 25th & 26th December

Reviewed By RebeccaAyris - Warwick, United Kingdom

This ship isn't as impressive as HMS Victory nor has it had as much work done on it but they are currently undergoing extensive renovation works on HMS Warrior, The history for this ship is quite sad but very interesting. It is a huge ship with lots of decks to discover, None of the items on this Victorian ship are originals due to the ship being used for multiple tasks during her working time but they have tried to replicate what it would have looked like back in the day. The engine room was quite impressive, I did feel a little unnerved down there but it was great to see as I had never been in one before!

5. Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

Portsdown Hill Road | Fareham, Portsmouth PO17 6AN, England +44 1329 233734
Excellent
71%
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24%
Satisfactory
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Poor
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4.5 based on 938 reviews

Royal Armouries - Fort Nelson

Reviewed By mark d - Gloucester, United Kingdom

Short 10 minute drive up form Portsmouth.We visited on a snowy bitterly cold day. The guide was excellent though I think he enjoyed talking to us outside in the snow too much! Good informative halls and Exhibitions inside and the tunnels were fascinating. Give 2 hours for inside and longer it it;s a nice day to explore. Good cafe and shop.

6. Old Portsmouth

Portsmouth, England
Excellent
58%
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4.5 based on 425 reviews

Old Portsmouth

Reviewed By 1Norwegian - Oslo, Norway

Started up High Street from the harbour and noticing the sign quite hidden in a hedge a bit up, advertising erstwile The George Inn, purportedly where Nelson had his last breakfast. Then into Penny Street through Peacock Lane. Some very nice houses in Penny St. Turned left into Pembroke Rd and passing the bombed out Royal Garrison Church towrds the hovercraft quaye. Could almost smell the history ofthe area. Short walk, chock full of it.

7. HMS M.33

Portsmouth_s Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth PO1 3NH, England +44 23 9283 9766
Excellent
59%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 260 reviews

HMS M.33

Reviewed By Ian P - London

HMS M-33 has been restored with an eye of giving visitors an excellent insight into life aboard this little veteran form WWI
Surprisingly the crowds visiting the Mary Rose and HMS Victory are simply walking past this little gem - don't let that be you I spent a happy hour wandering her decks more or less on my own
Beautiful

8. Spinnaker Tower

Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth PO1 3TT, England +44 23 9285 7520
Excellent
56%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 4 reviews

Spinnaker Tower

Reviewed By Hanno155 - Waikato Region, New Zealand

Lucky enough to have a blue sky day so the views of the silent and harbour were magnificent. Deck 1 is the best... Deck 2 limited to the cafe and deck 3 where one expects to be outside it too small and limited in its view to compete with deck 1. The roof is open but not really outside when compared to other viewing towers. Worth the view.

9. Southsea Rose Garden

Esplanade | Southsea, Portsmouth PO4 9, England
Excellent
60%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 168 reviews

Southsea Rose Garden

Reviewed By Beverley P - Oxford, United Kingdom

Very well looked after garden that is a delight to walk through.Seating if you require at intervals,offering a colourful vista whilst relaxing.A wide and varied array of different plants to see.

10. Portsdown Hill

north of Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, England
Excellent
57%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
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4.5 based on 289 reviews

Portsdown Hill

Reviewed By JohnCracknell - Hayling Island, United Kingdom

We park here regularly just for the views across Portsmouth and Hayling Island to The Solent and Isle of Wight. Burgher and Ice cream vans offer a good choice of food.

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