One of the most exciting harbour Cities in the world, Portsmouth is a successful and quite spectacular melting pot of old and new, with modern architectural masterpieces sitting virtually side by side with historic wonders of the nautical world. Understandably life in the City revolves around the magnificent harbour with its famous 500year old dockyard. Home to numerous legends of the sea including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose you can also take the ultimate underwater safari at the award winning Blue Reef Aquarium or visit the distinctly space-aged Spinnaker Tower.
Needless to say a city with such a strong affinity with the sea is bound to attract the pleasure boat and yachting fraternities in droves. Portsmouth has been wise enough to cater for them accordingly with no plenty of marinas located on the docks and its close vicinity. With abundant moorings, superb marine services and facilities, ‘Pompey’ offers marine enthusiasts a chance to meet the legendary giants of their favourite leisure pursuit face to face.
The city centre is a vibrant hub of fine dining, clubbing, pubbing and live entertainment. It would take a proverbial lifetime to see and do everything there is to see and do, by which time they would probably have added a life times more. Every kind of musical taste is catered for and the shows and theatre are world class. For culture vultures there is a choice of twelve excellent museums where you can discover not only the rich history of this most famous of ports but also delve into the lives of its most illustrious sons including Charles Dickens, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Arthur Conan Doyle.
It is impossible to convey the shear overpowering magnificence of Portsmouth in so little space. At once a modern forward thinking and culture city and a living, breathing museum, it is somewhere even the most jaded of travellers will be thrilled by. Go see for yourself.
Taking it’s name from the medieval phrase for ‘port of geese’ Gosport has come an awful long way since 1100 when the Bishop of Winchester was holed up there during a heavy storm and suggested the village should be called ‘God’s Port’. Situated on the south coast overlooking the Solent and the Isle of Wight beyond, Gosport has one of the most enviable locations in the country. The waterfront with its stretches of wonderful beaches is also a favourite with water-sport enthusiasts and pleasure boaters. Yachtsmen take advantage of the nearby harbour at Portsmouth with is plethora of berths and the ease of which it is to sail to the Island directly opposite.
For walkers the area is a paradise. Not only does Gosport’s waterfront offer a truly fascinating stretch of coastline it is also close to the wonderful Alver Valley Country Park, famous for its abundant wildlife. For those with a fascination for nautical history there is the nearby Royal Navy Submarine Museum and Explosion! The Museum of Naval Firepower. If you fancy a round of golf there are few venues to match Gosport and Stokes Bay Golf Club with its spectacular sea views.
Dining out in the town is an adventure in itself from waterfront restaurants to al la Carte and traditional regency restaurants to bistros and ethnic cuisine; Gosport town centre is a mouth-watering delight. For that after dinner tipple, bar snack or an evening on the tiles, the pub scene is vibrant. With music close to the town’s cultural heart, there is also plenty of live music including the Gosport Music festival in June. In fact the town and surrounding area offers virtually a full calendar of events and festivals including carnivals, a Summer show at HMS Sultan, car rallies, the Michaelmas Fayre in September and much more.
Gosport is one of the South of England’s most under rated jewels in its coastal crown. A place to be savoured and appreciated. Be it for a short break or a holiday or even as a stop off point from which to discover this fascinating area of the UK, visitors to the town will never be disappointed.