A – Z of Locations: P is for Portsmouth

During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.

P is for Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a port city and naval base on England’s south coast, mostly spread across Portsea Island. It’s known for its maritime heritage and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The dockyard is home to the interactive National Museum of the Royal Navy, the wooden warship HMS Victory, where Nelson died in the Battle of Trafalgar, and HMS Warrior 1860. The Tudor ship Mary Rose is also conserved in a dockyard museum.

The Spinnaker Tower is a 170-metre landmark observation tower which reflects Portsmouth’s maritime history through its design and is named after a spinnaker, a type of sail that balloons outward. The tower was opened on 18 October 2005.

Having previously lived in Hampshire and Surrey and even done a spell of teaching in Portsmouth this is not a city that screams out ‘holiday’ destination to me, but it’s worth a day trip to visit the Historic Dockyard. There is also a good shopping mall, Gunwharf Quays, with plenty of places to eat, drink and stop for a coffee as well as the Spinnaker Tower. There is a railway station right in the harbour area and of course ferries leave here for nearby Gosport as well as the Isle of Wight, Jersey, France and Spain.

Oh and Portsmouth is also the birth place of Charles Dickens.  The house that now stands as his birthplace museum is situated on Old Commercial Road, but back then it was called Mile End Terrace.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

22 thoughts on “A – Z of Locations: P is for Portsmouth”

  1. Now, here is a place I know well. One of my dearest friends lives in Portsmouth and we’ve been several times and visited all the places you mention. It’s a lovely town and we always enjoy going there. The view from the top of the Spinnaker Tower is gorgeous.

  2. I used to live in Mile End Rd., in London. Totally irrelevant because I’ve never been to Portsmouth, but it looks my kind of place. Perhaps I could ferry there from Spain…. one day!

  3. Portsmouth eh? I’ve lived there too, back in the ’70s. And taught there too (the beginning and end of my teaching career) at Northern Grammar and North End Modern. But hasn’t it changed? And largely for the better. We had a fun mini-break there a couple of years ago and it hardly seemed the same city.

    1. We nearly lived there, looked at a few houses when we moved south, one was like a Victorian museum! Another was very much a ‘doer upper’, both in Southsea. It’s an interesting city.

  4. I climbed the tower, and that was a feat for someone who dislikes heights. A lovely reminisce of wandering around Portsmouth. Wonderful captures of the area, Jude.

  5. I did visit HMS Victory in the late 1960s, but the only other times I have been there were to catch a car ferry to France. The last time I did that was in the 1990s, at least 25 years ago.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  6. I think the unstressed second syllable in Portsmouth, along with the accompanying change in vowel sound, causes many people to lose sight of the fact that the name is just “Port’s mouth.”

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