Whenever the term “UK break” is banded about, it would be fair to say that London is the first thought that enters most heads. Well, as the title might have suggested, today’s post is going to go against this grain, and instead talk about Portsmouth.
Of course, if you are looking for Big Ben and other iconic London attractions, this isn’t the city for you. If you are looking to delve into UK tourism a little deeper though, whilst still staying relatively close to the capital, there’s a chance that Portsmouth could suit you down to a tee. The hotels are very good value, while the place has a historic charm which is mixed with some modern trends.
Following on from the above, let’s take a look at some of the main attractions which make Portsmouth worth a visit.
Remember we said that this isn’t quite a London replacement, but it’s almost the next best thing? Spinnaker Tower probably summarizes this perfectly. It was built as part of the Millennium project, and happens to be the tallest tower outside of the capital.
As we will soon come onto, Portsmouth is somewhat famous when it comes to its navy past. Ultimately, the architects behind this fantastic building tapped into steel and glass to form a sail-like structure. It looks purely breathtaking and considering you can stand some 300ft up and admire the surroundings, it sure will make some fantastic Instagram photos.
Next, let’s come onto the historical side of Portsmouth. One of the key themes of this city is its harbor. One of the big stories around this is the Mary Rose, which happened to be the flagship of Henry VIII. Unfortunately for him, this was also the ship that happened to sink in 1545. Fortunately for you, and the people of Portsmouth, a huge restoration job was initiated in 1982 and after firstly raising it from the foot of the ocean, it has now been made into a premier tourist attraction.
Made from wood, many believe it’s one of the best of its kind in the world. It still has cannonball holes, amongst other small features, that make this a must-visit attraction for anyone who has an interest in history.
Charles Dickens’ house
That’s right, the one and only Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth. This obviously hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Portsmouth tourist board, who have made his first home into another must-see attraction in the city. It has been renovated in a manner that would work for his era and if you head over to Old Commercial Road, it will stand out like a sore thumb.
So far, most of the attractions have focused on history. For those of you who aren’t necessarily interested in rolling back the years, there is of course Gunwharf Quays. This is an impressive designer outlet, with nigh-on 100 stores and a cinema, meaning that you can shop until your heart’s content.
Again, London might offer slightly more choice, but this is another option which you can avoid the crowds and sample UK tourism in its most traditional sense.