There may be a little (friendly!) rivalry between Southampton and Portsmouth, but don't let this deter you from experiencing the sights and history of Portsmouth. As home to the Royal Navy, this 'Waterfront City' has played a significant part in British seafaring history.
You can’t really go to Portsmouth without visiting the historical ships at the Historic Dockyard; the HMS Victory and the Mary Rose are two of the most iconic ships ever built. All aboard the Victory to take a look at Lord Nelson’s flagship and to see the single bullet that killed him at the Battle of Trafalgar. It’s pretty intense viewing.
Be sure to explore the remains of King Henry VIII's favourite ship, The Mary Rose. This ship was mysteriously sunk while protecting the Isle of Wight from French landing, and was finally raised from the depths in October 1982. Visit the brand new Mary Rose Museum to see the 16th century refurbished ship and preserved artefacts.
If historical ships aren’t really your thing, head for the Spinnaker Tower. It's 30 metres taller than the London Eye, and has multiple decks, including one with a glass floor. You can choose to either take the leisurely panoramic lift (advised) or shoot straight to the top (not as fun) on the high-speed internal lift. From the top of the tower you can see for miles and miles around.
As one of the UK's top shopping destinations, Gunwharf Quays is a great place to grab a bargain or relax by the marina. Containing a lot of outlet stores as well as regular shops, it makes a great day out if you happen to get a little tired of West Quay.
Portsmouth's music scene is reasonably well established. The Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth Pyramids and Portsmouth Guildhall all attract top talent from both the UK and further afield.
For a night out with a difference, why not hit the Playzone. Designed for children, Playzone is one massive indoor adventure park, which opens every Friday evening exclusively for adults, so you can dive into the ball pits and go down the almost-vertical slide whilst pretending to be five again!
You can reach Portsmouth in under 45 minutes by car or on the train.
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