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Best things to do in Portsmouth

Discover the city through the eyes of locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Cafe
“Great breakfast here and they are dog friendly. The location is amazing as its right on the beachfront. ”
14 locals recommend
Tea Room
$$
“This is a great cafe that serves some of the best cake you'll ever try, crazy combinations and lots of choice always. lovely for tea and cake, I have never eaten food there but it looks good also. ”
11 locals recommend
Establishment
“The Wedgewood Rooms is a venue in Southsea renowned for presenting up and coming artists, and hosting some unique intimate gigs. It has a capacity of 450-500 people and is located on Albert Road in Southsea. In recent years it has hosted events from up-and-coming British pop and rock artists including You Me At Six, Kasabian, Mercury Prize winners Klaxons and Travis. It has also become a favourite venue for artists wishing to play more intimate venues, such as Renegades and Bowling For Soup, as well as one-off and warm-up shows for many bands. The Wedgewood Rooms is also affectionately known as ‘The Wedge’. It regularly hosts local band nights which help give these bands a wider fan base and a leg up on the music ladder. It also holds comedy nights and tribute nights where many tribute bands have played including The Jamm and the Silver Beatles. The venue holds regular club nights including ‘Club NME’. This cool independent venue was named by GIGWISE as one of their top 50 venues in the UK and has been host to many great music and comedy acts throughout the years. Arnold Schwarzenegger even graced the venue when it was formerly a function room back in the 60s.”
8 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“Want to do a great activity without the hefty price tag? Purchase yourself a bucket, some string and bacon and head to Canoe Lake for a spot of crabbing. Little pedalo swans are available to hire here too. A small cafe, public toilets, ice cream and a park. Also right opposite the sea.”
7 locals recommend
History Museum
“Walkable from here, see 360 years worth of history about the Royal Marines in the magnificent setting of the once Officers Mess. Has an adacent cafe and an 'assault course' especially for the kids.”
6 locals recommend
Bus Station
“A popular park dating from 1886 with some of the mature evergreen oaks planted in 1910, Canoe Lake has an impressive range of floral bedding on display at the water's edge. The main attraction to the area is the man made boating lake which has pedal boats available for hire. There is a large and very popular children's play area with equipment for all ages and includes a zip wire, sand pit and water area. Adjacent to the lake are the remaining walls of Lumps Fort which is now a peaceful and restful setting for Southsea Rose Gardens. It is also home to the Model Village where everything is on a miniature scale. Canoe Lake is known as a swan's nursery as it is one of the mute swans' chosen sites in the Solent. At times up to 60 juveniles can congregate here for comfort and security during the winter. Bread can be harmful for the swans as it is difficult to digest. Wheat grain is a much healthier alternative and is usually available at the Canoe Lake cafe that is located nearby. The park is accessed from St. Helen's Parade, where you can enjoy free entry to Portsmouth's Natural History Museum at Cumberland House (see 'External Links'). The museum tells the story of the wild things of the riverbank, marshes, woods and urban areas of Portsmouth. It also has an aquarium and butterfly house (only in the summer). There are many sports facilities available, ranging from a putting green, grass and tarmac tennis courts, and a basketball court. Further east is St. Helen's Cricket Field and Southsea Mini-Links - a challenging 9-hole golf course.”
5 locals recommend
Premise
1 local recommends
Grocery or Supermarket
“This is a large supermarket that has good value food and home items. This is a 5 minute walk from the house. ”
1 local recommends
Pier
“Newly renovated in 2017, South Parade Pier features a large arcade, bar & restaurant, Ice cream parlour and a new Fish & Chip restaurant. Fun for all the family. ”
3 locals recommend
Establishment
“The South Parade Pier is a pier in Portsmouth, England. It is one of two piers in the city, the other being Clarence Pier. The pier once had a long hall down its centre which housed a seating area and a small restaurant. The outside of the hall is a promenade which runs the length of the pier. Once fallen into disrepair, as of 2017, the pier has been developed into an amusement arcade and food outlet. The South Parade Pier, in Southsea, part of the English city of Portsmouth, is a pleasure pier offering typical seaside attractions including souvenir shops, ice creams, indoor amusements and a small children's funfair. It also contains a fishing deck and two function rooms which are often used for live music. The history of the pier has been eventful; like many UK piers. Construction started in 1878 and was officially opened on 26 July 1879.[1] The pier's pavilion was destroyed by fire on 19 July 1904.[1] The pier was then sold to the Portsmouth corporation for £10,782.[1] The pier officially reopened 12 August 1908.[1] In 1914 in an attempt to improve the financial prospects of Seaview Chain Pier the Seaview steam packet company was formed and began running a service between Seaview Chain Pier and South Parade Pier.[2] The service came a halt in September 1914 and was formally prevented from further running by the Admiralty in 1915.[2] It was partly dismantled during the Second World War in an attempt to hinder any invasion. It caught fire several times, most famously in 1974 during shooting of the film Tommy. In the 1980s the pier's Gaiety and Albert ballrooms were used several times a week for discos organised by Portsmouth Polytechnic students. The pier appeared in an episode of Mr. Bean entitled "Mind the Baby Mr. Bean." The Pier was sold to three businessmen in 2010, who pledged to restore it to its former glory. The iconic pier is now owned by Frederick Nash, director of Hampshire property firm Matchams South Coast, and partners Tony Marshall, a London lawyer, and Cambridgeshire stud farm proprietor David Moore. The deck was closed to the general public due to health and safety concerns in April 2012. Limited access was granted to people fishing, but access was withdrawn for all other potential users. At the beginning of November the pier was completely closed and fenced off by Portsmouth City Council as it was a danger to the public. A couple of days later the council reopened the front of the pier, which included part of the arcade and other bits which are on land. In December 2012 an attempt to sell the pier at auction failed.[3] Parts of the boat deck at the end of South Parade Pier have been broken off after being battered by bad weather on the night of 5 February 2014,[4] after this, the front deck of the pier was boarded up. In April 2015 the boarding on the front deck was removed and the Ice Cream Parlour and Newsagents resumed trading. The rest of the pier remained closed to the public. There have been many efforts by local people to ask the council to buy the pier. The Pier was finally repaired and reopened on 14 April 2017 with a refurbished amusement arcade and a cafe. Deep Blue Restaurants opened in the Summer in the former Albert Tavern building. The pier is now run by the South Parade trust which aims to acquire and improve, sustain and develop the property and business of South Parade Pier.”
3 locals recommend
Tapas Restaurant
$$
“Great family tapas bar within walking distance. Recommend booking as it gets busy. http://nicholsonsrestaurant.co.uk”
5 locals recommend
Lodging
“Hit the beach when the weather is good... Our best advice is to head towards Eastney (East end of the beach), it tends to be quieter and people are more spread out.”
1 local recommends
Pub
$$
2 locals recommend
Park
2 locals recommend
Soccer Stadium
Food
“Great food and Coffee is a relaxed trendy coffee-shop setting a couple of minutes stroll from the house. Great for breakfast and lunch, or a sweet treat! ”
4 locals recommend