Even though there’s plenty to do in Portsmouth, visiting Southsea will help you to experience the area like a local. With stunning seaside promenades offering panoramic views, significant cultural and heritage sites, and an array of cafés and restaurants, there’s so much to discover in Southsea. In our handy guide below, we’ve outlined the very best of this popular seaside resort.
Discovering Southsea seafront
No visit to Southsea is complete without heading to the seafront. After passing through charming streets lined with magnificent Georgian terraced houses and bustling centres for independent trade, you’ll quickly reach the shores.
Whether you reach the shores after passing Southsea’s Canoe Lake or through the Rock Gardens, Southsea beach is certainly worth a visit. Stretching from Old Portsmouth to Eastney, the beach is primarily shingle, although you might find some sand at low tide. With a lifeguard on duty during summer, this beach is perfect for a day out. After dipping your toes in the water, why not try your hand at crazy golf, too?
One of the most memorable features of Southsea seafront is its traditional seaside pier. The town’s very own South Parade Pier is home to an amusement arcade alongside plenty of choice for getting something to eat or drink. Whether you fancy a top-quality coffee, a fruit smoothie or fresh fish and chips from Deep Blue, you’ll be able to satisfy any craving.
If you’d like to try something new in Southsea, why not have a go at fishing on the pier? It’s open every day between 8am and 9pm and you can even book online in advance to help to plan your trip.
Things to do in Southsea
If you’ve spent some time on the beach and you’d like to explore more of Southsea, there’s still plenty to find. Furthermore, many of the great attractions that Southsea has to offer are located under two miles from Portsmouth & Southsea station, meaning that you won’t have to rely on a car to get you there, either.
Southsea Castle is an impressive historical attraction, free of charge and open to visitors between April and October every year. See if you can spot the Isle of Wight in the panoramic views from the top of the Keep before enjoying a spot of lunch in the Courtyard restaurant.
Just steps away from Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium celebrates aquatic life and ocean biodiversity and encourages visitors to get close to sea creatures. At the heart of the aquarium, a huge tropical reef tank houses exotic, brightly coloured reef fish. If you’re interested in wildlife and sustainability, this isn’t one to miss.
The best restaurants in Southsea
There’s no shortage of restaurants in Southsea so, whether you prefer traditional pub grub or Chinese cuisine, you’ll be sure to find something that you like. Foodies will appreciate the seasonal delights at Restaurant 27, mentioned in the 2022 Michelin Guide.
If you’re eager to try the very best local fish, top-rated Jewels & Gems of the Sea is known for its seafood platters, featuring bright-red lobsters and other freshly caught shellfish. For a more relaxed feel, meanwhile, gastropub The Florence Arms comes well-reviewed, with a good selection of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options on the menu.
Hotels in Southsea near Portsmouth
If you’re planning on staying near Portsmouth, opting for a hotel on Southsea beach will promise spectacular views in a relaxing setting. Choose The Queens Hotel to be close to Southsea Common, or Ye Spotted Dogge for a quirky, boutique stay with a touch of luxury.
If you’re not looking to splash out, Premier Inn Southsea offers budget-friendly rooms and is located close to Clarence Pier amusement park, perfect for keeping the whole family entertained.
How to get to Southsea
Once you’ve chosen the dates for your adventure to Southsea, why not let us do the driving? Book train tickets to Portsmouth and Southsea today to sit back, relax and leave behind the traffic on your way to a well-deserved break in Southsea.