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Things to do in Portsmouth

My soon-to-be-husband is insistent that we visit Portsmouth on our honeymoon to see the HMS Victory. I'm all for it! But, I'd also like to know what else there is to see or do near Portsmouth. I'm not at all familiar with the area, so even the most seemingly-simple suggestions are helpful. We are up for a bit of traveling, but will be relying on public transportation. Thank you!

Posted by
1175 posts

We spent two nights there prior to a ferry over to France, visiting the naval history including the HMS victory and the Mary Rose, Henry VIII special ship that sank upon launching. We took in flea markets, enjoyed the waterfront, and did some shop;ping. The naval history was the highlight, especially the HMS Victory. Get on tripadvisor.com, Portsmouth forum, and ask your questions there. Lots of stuff to do there. Find a place to stay on the old waterfront.

Posted by
3941 posts

Been there a few times as my sister lives there and a visit is obligatory...there is Spinnaker Tower, but we haven't done that (too pricey) but we really enjoyed visiting the Royal Garrison Church...we had only been going to poke our heads in, but the (what's the right word?) stewards (?) volunteers (?) at the church came over and engaged us. About an hour later, off we went - some great history and stories if the caretakers are there to chat. Really enjoyed it. We did visit the dockyards, but didn't do any of the ships. My sister's idea of sightseeing is...here's the shopping area...off you go!

Not sure if you are spending a few days there or not, but we did take a day trip to Arundel Castle...this was 4 yrs ago, but I think it was an hour or hour and half by train (maybe a little more...anyone feel free to correct me). That was quite interesting.

Posted by
9110 posts

The Vasa (Swedish) is the old ship that sank at launching. The Mary Rose (1510) went down in the Battle of the Solent.

How's about the Royal Marine Museum? You'd need to take a bus from Portsea around to the Esplanade.

There's all kinds of shopping in the Gunwharf Quays center.

If he has any kind of military id, HMS Victory is a freebie.

Posted by
211 posts

If it's a beautiful weather day, how about a ferry ride to the Isle of Wight? Lots to see and do there.

Posted by
388 posts

I agree with all these recommendations. Arundel Castle is another good option outside Portsmouth.

Posted by
2233 posts

The shopping is pretty good at both Gunwharf Quay and in downtown. My daughter lived/worked there for a year and she loves clothes. I think tix for the HMS Victory and other surrounding museums are cheapest at the TI right outside the gate. We did a day trip to Brighton and that was very easy just using the train.

Posted by
1175 posts

I stand corrected on the Mary Rose. It was in service for 34 years, sank in 1545, discovered in 1971, raised in 1982 per the www.maryrose.org website. Still worth a visit when in Portsmouth.

Posted by
7715 posts

One nice thing about visiting the historic Dockyards, which include the Victory, the Warrior, the Mary Rose, and several museums is the that if you get the full ticket, it is also good for a year. Now that may not be much value to a traveler, except that the site can be a bit overwhelming even for a naval buff. The ticket allows you to hit it for a few hours, head someplace else for lunch, then visit again in the afternoon or the next day.

Posted by
2491 posts

Perhaps we are wasting out time on these forums trying to help people? We have had no response from 'Jill' and therefore no evidence that she even bothered to come back to this site.

Posted by
13 posts

My apologies for having not replied. I've been reading the replies religiously over my e-mail, jotting down notes and researching the different ideas people have thrown out there. I appreciate the posts immensely! Thank you.