There are many reasons why you might want to visit Portsmouth.
It’s the UK’s only island city. It’s the perfect headquarters from which to explore the southern coastline. And it has a fantastic set of attractions for you to explore all throughout the year.
Are you planning out what to do during your trip to the Great Waterfront City? You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading for six Portsmouth attractions that you absolutely have to see while you’re there!
Built in 1860, the HMS Warrior was Britain’s first steam-powered, iron-hulled battleship. The largest and fastest in Queen Victoria’s formidable fleet, she was an attraction in her own day – just as she is now, docked in Portsmouth. You can climb on board her historic deck with the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
Built in 1180 and dedicated to Thomas Becket, this cathedral is a marvellous display of gothic architecture right in the centre of the original Portsmouth settlement.
Thanks to its storied history, during which it has been restored and enlarged, it features many interesting features and memorials for you to explore.
The building is still a place of worship for local residents and, of course, if you too are a believer then you could choose no better place to attend a service. But regardless, since Portsmouth Cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic buildings, it makes a great attraction for any visitor.
Portsmouth City Museum and Art Gallery
Take a walk through Portsmouth’s heritage and view the many curious exhibitions at the Portsmouth City Museum and Art Gallery, such as the Sherlock Holmes or Portsmouth FC displays.
All for free, in a building with a history as interesting as the Portsmouth-related attractions that it houses. What more could you ask?
The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-17:30 but last admissions are at 17:00, so make sure that you arrive before then.
Situated in the South Downs National Park a few miles north-east of Portsmouth, Stansted Park features 1800 acres of ancient forest and parkland. It provides many routes for both walkers and cyclists, as well as a variety of birds, plants and insects that serve as attractions for tourists and Portsmouth locals alike.
Its grounds are open to the public all year round, including the Arboretum, Pavilion Tearoom, Garden Centre and more. Tickets for the Edwardian mansion are £10 for adults and £5 for children, except during holidays when kids get in for free.
The D-Day story
Featuring thousands of historic objects related to D-Day, this museum tells the story of how the Allied troops crossed the English Channel and stormed the beaches of Normandy. Look at uniforms and maps, explore the last surviving Landing Craft Tank from the invasion, and listen to veterans tell their stories through recordings.
The D-Day Story is open from 10:00-17:30 daily from April to September and open from 10:00-17:00 daily through October to March. There are various ticket options with concessions and group discounts available, as well as reduced prices when you book online, making this museum one of the more accessible attractions in Portsmouth.
The New Theatre Royal
An attraction in its own right, this iconic Victorian building first opened in 1856 and has been entertaining the people of Portsmouth with matchless performances and diverse shows ever since.
Head on down for an evening of theatre and recline in one of its various studios, including the old Victorian auditorium or the modern Minghella studio, and relax as you experience the best acting talent that Portsmouth has to offer.
Whether you prefer operas and ballets, modern dramas or even stand-up comedy, you’re sure to find a production that suits you at the New Theatre Royal. Buy your tickets at the box office from 10:00-17:00 on weekdays or from 1.5 hours before the start of your show at weekends.
Getting excited about your trip? We’re with you! Save your energy for all the amazing attractions you’re planning to visit by taking the train to Portsmouth instead of driving.