A hotel in Portsmouth puts you at the centre of Britain's primary naval station and only island city. The city has a very important maritime history. Although the area is believed to have been settled since before Roman times, the foundations of the city as we know it today are believed to have been established after the Norman conquest of Saxon England, in about 1180. Made a royal dockyard by Henry VIII and set on Portsea Island, the heavily defended port is still alive with cheery, tattooed sailors and every grade of ship imaginable. Best Western has one hotel in Portsmouth; oozing Victorian charm and splendour, Royal Beach Hotel is based on St Helen's Parade and overlooks the sea.
Wander from your Portsmouth hotel to the end of Queen Street for the historic dockyards and, towering above it, the sail-shaped Spinnaker Tower, the place to come for 25-mile panoramic views through ceiling-to-floor windows across the varied, stretching cityscape.
History buffs should book a hotel in Portsmouth to explore the settlement in which Sir Walter Raleigh first landed with the awe-inspiring new-world gifts of spuds and tobacco, as well as the home of Charles Dickens and where the Mary Rose - the royal ship of Henry VIII - was sank.
About 15 minutes south of the buzzing city centre is Old Portsmouth, another vibrant and exciting area full of Georgian streets and the former port of
Shopping in Portsmouth
At the new Gunwharf Quays, based on HMS Vernon - an old centre for the development of underwater missiles - you'll torpedo through a string of designer outlets. Southsea's Albert Road specialises in quirky bohemian fashion and retro clothing. Get down to the Marmion Road area from your Portsmouth hotel and you can wander among interesting boutiques and the sweet-smelling allure of the popular chocolatiers. Get yourself down to the harbour-side to explore Gunwharf Quays shopping centre, a great place to shop and relax in the evening. Palmerston Road shopping is anchored by Debenhams, and if you're looking for high-street brands head for Commercial Road or the Cascades Shopping Centre. There's also a traditional market here for bargain hunters and anyone who fancies taking something unique and quirky back to their Portsmouth hotel.
Eating and drinking in Portsmouth
For a relaxing view of bobbing yachts, there are about 20 restaurants including Watermark on the Boardwalk at Port Solent. For harbour views try the breezy restaurant terraces of Gunwharf Quays, a delightful setting where you can move on to a classy cocktail bar as soon as your dessert has been cleared. For a nice evening out from your Portsmouth hotel, take a stroll along the broadway and enjoy some crispy fish and chips wrapped in vinegary newspaper. You can test your sea legs supping locally brewed pints of Type 42 or Invincible in cosy pubs in the beautiful, cobbled historic Old Portsmouth. The Wellington, in particular, comes highly recommended for its food and beverages. At Mozzarella Joes, Southsea's only restaurant on the beach, you can wave at passing ferries and see the sun setting over the glistening waves or watch your pizza sizzling inside the open-plan kitchen. The Quartermaster's Kitchen, a cosy family-managed cafe is a perfect way to finish a day out in the centre, while The Georgian at Antiques Storehouse and Montparnasse provide classy alternatives to your hotel on Portsmouth seafront.
Culture and nightlife in Portsmouth
A Portsmouth hotel will put you slap-bang in the middle of a modern and vibrant cosmopolitan city. There is so much to do and see within this coastal location, you will want to come back again and again to experience everything on offer. The Royal Marines Museum allows you to get hands on with centuries of British military history.
The New Theatre Royal in Guildhall Walk stages cutting-edge theatre, dance, and children's shows. The Edwardian Kings Theatre in Southsea is where to go to for musicals and Christmas panto while enjoying a historic and majestic setting. Pack a rug, picnic treats and, if you're feeling in the mood, a candelabra for some alfresco opera in Victoria Park. For art-house movies try
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St Helen's Parade, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 0RN
Victorian charm and splendour overlooking the sea BEST WESTERN Royal Beach Hotel on the promenade at Southsea, Portsmouth, is the perfect venue for both business and pleasure. Outside its doors guests can enjoy magnific ...