13 Things to do in Portsmouth

Spending the day in Portsmouth, but not too sure on what to do? Whether you’re a family, a couple, or exploring solo, you’re sure to find something that strikes your fancy in our list of the best things to do in Portsmouth!


1. Emirates Spinnaker Tower

When you get to Portsmouth, you’ll almost undoubtedly be able to see Spinnaker Tower rising high above you. Stretching up to heights of 170 metres, a high-speed elevator can take you up to View Deck One. 

Here you can look out over Portsmouth Harbour, River Solent, English Channel and the picturesque coastline. i-VIEW touchscreens and audioguides can teach you about the history of Portsmouth itself and various landmarks around the city. Continue to rise and you’ll find the Cafe in The Clouds at 105 metres, and higher still is the open-air Sky Deck at 110m high in the sky.


2. The Mary Rose

Built between 1509 and 1511, the Mary Rose is an outstanding bit of history. Despite sinking in 1545, she was recovered and after a 34 year conservation effort, the Mary Rose is an impressive piece of nautical history. Being able to view something so old is a marvel in itself, a should certainly be a stop for anyone interested in maritime history.


3. Gunwharf Quays

gunwharf-quaysOriginally part of the navel structure that occupied Portsmouth, Gunwharf Quays has become a historically rich centre of restaurants, shops and sights. There is plenty of things to do in Gunwharf, so whether you fancy going for cocktails, a bit of shopping, or taking a ride up Spinnaker Tower, it’s definitely a must-see.


4. Exciting Escapes

exciting-escapesWith a host of escape rooms across the south coast, Exciting Escapes is one of the best ways to spend time with friends and family. You have different types of rooms to choose from, so even if some of you have attempted a room before, there’s always something new to try. Make sure you bring a few friends and see if you can beat the challenge in record time.


5. PlayZone

playzonePlayZone is potentially one of the best places to go to just have careless fun with a large group of friends. Whether it’s for a child’s birthday party during the day – or one of their adult evenings (at which vodka slushies make a welcome appearance), PlayZone has it all and is extremely enjoyable for everyone involved. 

If you’ve got a friendship group of roughly 10 – 15 people that haven’t seen each other due to lockdown, then this could be an ideal way for you all to reconnect when restrictions end.


6. No. Forty-6

forty-6Offering an Avant-garde fusion of Japanese and British cuisine, alongside a lovely selection of cocktails. Forty-6 is the perfect place to unwind with a partner or a few friends after a long day out in Portsmouth. 

Featuring stellar reviews, excellent food, service and music can easily be found at one of the best eateries in Portsmouth. 


7. Portsdown Hill

portsdown-hillIf a long, nature walk rewarded with beautiful views is something that interests you, then be sure to give Portsdown Hill a go. It is a little steep, and depending on the recent weather can be a bit of a trek, but that just adds to the experience. If you enjoy either walking or hiking, then you should definitely make your way to the top of Portsdown Hill. 


8. Southsea Beach

southsea-beachOf course, if you’re by the coast and it’s a warm day why wouldn’t you go to the beach? Southsea Beach is just a short walk along the coast from Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays. If you make your way to the Portsmouth side, and the walls themselves, you’ll find that they can be quite hot on a nice summers day. This makes them perfect to sit against, while you are drying off from a quick dip in the sea.


9. Charles Dickens’ Birthplace

dickens-birthplaceOne for lovers of literature, this small museum is the birthplace of one of England’s greatest writers. It’s perfect for a couple to attend, and the museum has worked to encapsulate the life of Charles Dickens; even sourcing the chaise lounge on which he died. Make sure to visit the shop, where you can find many of Dickens’ works, as well as books and magazines written about him. 


10. Aspex Art Gallery

aspex-galleryIf the slower pace of art appreciation is more your style, then be sure to drop by the Aspex Art Gallery. Showcasing the best of emerging artists for nearly 40 years, there’s always something innovative to find at Aspex. You’ll find this wondrous gallery and adjoining cafe situated just beside Loch Fyne in Gunwharf Quays, a must-see for all art enthusiasts.


11. HMS Victory

hms-victorySituated just a stone’s throw from the Mary Rose Museum is the HMS Victory. Launched over 250 years ago, this ship was once the pride of the Royal Navy. Turned into a museum ship in 1922, Victory boasts 104 guns and had a complement of 850 people. This huge ship is the oldest in the world that’s still in commission, claiming 242 years of service. 


12. Flip Out

portsmouth-flipoutComposed of over 70 trampolines, and including an under 5’s area, foam pits, tumble track, and a free car park – this play area is a perfect place to bring children of all ages. They can bounce around in joy, while you can either join in or enjoy a sit-down and a coffee at their on-site cafe. 


13. Peter Ashley Activity Centre

peter-ashley-activity-centreOffering a spate of activities, such as Archery, Assault Courses, Climbing, and Horse-Riding, the Peter Ashley Activity Centre is a brilliant place to take your kids for a day packed full of fun and interesting things. 

Located just outside Portsmouth, getting to Cosham is easily done by a short train ride. Your adventure awaits.


Whether you live in Portsmouth, or are travelling there for a day or so, I hope this list of the best things to do has given you several ideas on how you can make the most of your time by this lovely seaside city.