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Portsmouth is a historical Naval town on the southern coast of England. Steeped in history and a popular University town, it has masses of entertainment to cater for all tastes. From coastal forts to factory outlets, Portsmouth is a great destination for both tourists and residents.

Commercial Road

When entering Portsmouth (by train or road), the first entertainment and shopping district you will arrive at is Commercial Road. This is a long shopping street which contains many popular high street stores, as well as a few fast food chains. This is a popular student shopping district due to being located near many halls of residence. There is also a small scale shopping mall located on the street, called Cascades. The highlight of Commercial road is a small Chinese café called Hong Kong Tea Bar. Although basic in appearance, they are regarded as the best Chinese food establishment in Portsmouth, as well as being very affordable.

Historic Naval Base 

Further in to Portsmouth along the coast is the famous Historic Dockyard Royal Navy base. Visitors are able to walk around the public part of the base, as well as buying tickets to view the historical ships and to tour some of the buildings. This is great family entertainment, as well as being a fun history lesson for the kids.

Gunwharf Quays

Following the coast past the Naval Base, you arrive at Gunwharf Quays. Formally part of the base, it is now a well-regarded factory outlet mall. Containing numerous popular brands, as well as a large cinema and many restaurants, Gunwharf can keep the family entertained for the majority of the day. Gunwharf can be thought of as the shopping hub of Portsmouth, with bargain hunters travelling from outside of the city to visit the shops.


One of the highlights of Portsmouth is the eclectic district of Southsea. Southsea is one of the most popular student areas, featuring many contemporary and traditional bars, pubs and restaurants. The majority of students are housed in Southsea, hence its slightly bohemian feel. There is also a large green which is popular during the summer; many groups of students and Portsmouth residents BBQ on the grass when the weather allows it. It is also a stone’s throw from the coast, with large ships often sailing past.

Portsmouth is a historical city full of attractions and entertainment; this article only scratches the surface of the many things available to do in the area. From water sports based activities to sightseeing, Portsmouth is likely to cater for all tastes.

Portsmouth is a great city to spend your Bank Holidays. To find out the Bank Holiday 2012 dates, you can visit the author's website: Bank Holidays 2012