Flights to Portsmouth
Located in the county of Hampshire, on the south coast of England is the city of Portsmouth. Long associated with the sea and the navy, Portsmouth is a popular tourist destination with numerous attractions.
There are a couple of options for flights to Portsmouth. The closest airport is the Southampton Airport (airport code: SOU), which is about a half hour drive away from town, or there’s a train service between Portsmouth and the airport. The other option is to catch a flight to Heathrow or Gatwick and travel from there. The only airline that has 1-stop flights to Portsmouth from South Africa arriving in Southampton is Air France, and they make a connection in Paris. You can also stop in Paris with KLM, but this route includes an extra connection in Amsterdam. BMI takes a route through London and Manchester, but flying up to Manchester is silly as it’s so far north.
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The Tourist Attractions of Portsmouth:
With such a long naval history that continues to this day in Portsmouth many of the tourist attractions have something to do with the sea. You can see ships from many different eras here in Portsmouth, as well as enjoying great shopping facilities and an assortment of other attractions and amenities too.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
One of the best known attractions in Portsmouth is the Historic Dockyard. There are numerous things to see and do here including the chance to view several historic ships including the HMS Victory and the Mary Rose, plus the first iron-clad steamship in Britain, HMS Warrior. There are museums and exhibits too so you can find out plenty about Portsmouth’s naval history, including the Royal Naval Museum, and the D-Day Museum.
Portsmouth’s Forts and Castle
Because Portsmouth has always been an important port it needed to be protected from attack or invasion. For this reason there are a number of historic forts situated around the city and some are now serving a new purpose. Fort Nelson for example now houses the Royal Armouries Museum, while there are activity centres within Fort Purbrook and Fort Widley.
In the Southsea area of Portsmouth is Southsea Castle. This historic castle was built by Henry VIII in 1544 to guard the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. Today you can visit the castle for tours.
The most striking landmark in Portsmouth is the Spinnaker Tower. Built to resemble the mast and sail of a ship this tower stands 170 metres high and was opened in 2005. As well as looking beautiful the tower serves as an observation deck from which visitors can see for miles around.
The Spinnaker Tower is the centrepiece of Gunwharf Quays, one of Portsmouth’s best shopping spots. Here you can shop in many designer outlet stores, use the bars and restaurants, go to the cinema or spend the night in a nightclub.
When Should You Visit?:
Portsmouth has a mild climate that is usually several degrees milder than the surrounding countryside. With this in mind you could probably happily visit Portsmouth at any time of the year. Winters rarely have any snow, and if there’s a frost it’s quickly gone. Summers are definitely the more popular time to visit when temperatures are warm.