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Portsmouth Attractions

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HMS Victory, Portsmouth Harbour

Book a Portsmouth hotel, where Walter Sir Raleigh first landed spuds and tobacco from the New World, Henry VIII’s Mary Rose sank and Dickens was born. To paraphrase one-time resident Arnold Schwarzenegger: you’ll be back.

Historic Portsmouth

At the Royal Navy Historic Dockyards you can board Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory. The Portsmouth City Museum is home to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle memorabilia. Why? Elementary, my dear Watson: he wrote two of his Sherlock Holmes novels here.

Art and museums in Portsmouth

There’s contemporary art, talks and screenings at the Aspex Gallery. The D-Day Museum is dedicated to the events of 6 June 1944, the date of the greatest seaborne invasion in history that embarked from Portsmouth.

Quirky things to do in Portsmouth

From the Spinnaker Tower there are 25-mile panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling windows across the Solent. It also has a glass viewing floor that’s the highest in the world. For even braver souls, Dark Encounters ghost walks through the historic city features costumed historical characters regaling gruesome tales. At the city’s Blue Reef Aquarium you can see tropical sharks in an underwater viewing tunnel.

Events in Portsmouth

City skies are darkened by hundreds of swooping flying objects at the Portsmouth International Kite Festival on Southsea Common in August. If you book your Portsmouth hotel in July, catch Portchester Castle’s Last Night of the Proms or take the kids to the Teddy Bears Beach Party held by the Blue Reef Aquarium.

See all Portsmouth hotels

Attractions in Portsmouth:

Charles Dickens' Birthplace, Portsmouth. Courtesy of Portsmouth Tourism
Charles Dickens' Birthplace

Opening times:
May-Sep: daily 10am-5.30pm
Dickens' birthday 7 Feb 10am-5pm Feb 2013 (various dates)

Southsea Castle, Portsmouth. © Portsmouth Museums & Records Service
Southsea Castle

Opening times:
Daily 10am-5.30pm Apr - Sep 2013 (annual)

Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Opening times:
Please check website for timetable as dates and times vary substantially throughout the year Mar - Dec 2011 (annual)

The Exbury Gardens steam railway, Exbury Gardens. Courtesy of Exbury Gardens
Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Opening times:
Daily 10am-5pm Mar - Nov 2013 (annual)

Westgate Museum

Opening times:
Feb-Mar: Tue-Sat 10am-4pm; Sun 12pm-4pm
Apr-Oct: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12pm-5pm Feb - Mar 2013; not Mon (various dates)

What's on in Portsmouth:

Bestival madness, Isle of Wight. Courtesy of Bestival

Dates Open:
06/09/2014 to 09/09/2014

Chichester Film Festival

Dates Open:
16/08/2014 to 02/09/2014
16/08/2015 to 02/09/2015

Enjoying the atmosphere at West Dean Festival
West Dean Festival

Dates Open:
29/08/2014 to 01/09/2014

Artists' Market

Dates Open:
18/07/2015 to 18/07/2015
15/08/2015 to 15/08/2015
07/03/2015 to 07/03/2015
04/07/2015 to 04/07/2015
20/06/2015 to 20/06/2015
04/04/2015 to 04/04/2015
21/03/2015 to 21/03/2015
01/08/2015 to 01/08/2015
06/12/2014 to 06/12/2014
20/12/2014 to 20/12/2014
17/01/2015 to 17/01/2015
18/04/2015 to 18/04/2015
04/10/2014 to 04/10/2014
06/06/2015 to 06/06/2015
06/09/2014 to 06/09/2014
20/09/2014 to 20/09/2014
15/11/2014 to 15/11/2014
16/05/2015 to 16/05/2015
18/10/2014 to 18/10/2014
02/05/2015 to 02/05/2015
01/11/2014 to 01/11/2014
07/02/2015 to 07/02/2015
03/01/2015 to 03/01/2015
21/02/2015 to 21/02/2015

Goodwood Revival

Dates Open:
19/09/2014 to 21/09/2014

Boats in a marina. Courtesy of Southampton Boat Show
Southampton Boat Show

Dates Open:
16/09/2014 to 25/09/2014

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