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Things to do in Portsmouth Harbour

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
“"Experience the quality and enjoyment of a visit to the 14-Screen Multiplex Cinema at Gunwharf Quays. All the latest mainstream movies are shown at this state-of-the-art chain cinema with family deals."”
  • 7 locals recommend
“The Emirates Spinnaker Tower is a 170-metre (560 ft) landmark observation tower in Portsmouth, England, UK. It is the centrepiece of the redevelopment of Portsmouth Harbour, which was supported by a National Lottery grant. Its shape was chosen by Portsmouth residents from a selection. The tower, designed by local firm HGP Architects and engineering consultants Scott Wilson and built by Mowlem, reflects Portsmouth's maritime history through its being modelled and named after a spinnaker, a type of sail that balloons outward. The tower was opened on 18 October 2005. The tower is owned by Portsmouth City Council, but operationally it is managed by Continuum Leading Attractions, a cultural attractions group based in York. Continuum also runs five other visitor attractions across the country. Following a commercial sponsorship deal with Dubai-based Emirates airline, the tower was renamed in July 2015. The tower, at a height of 560 feet (170 m), is ​2 1⁄2 times as high as Nelson's Column, making it one of the tallest accessible structures in the United Kingdom outside London. The tower is visible around Portsmouth, changing the horizon of the area. It can be seen from the Isle of Wight, the Manhood Peninsula and even Highdown Gardens in Worthing. The tower represents sails billowing in the wind, a design accomplished using two large, white, sweeping metal arcs, which give the tower its spinnaker sail design. The steelwork was fabricated by Butterley Engineering. At the top is a triple observation deck, providing a 360° view of the city of Portsmouth, the Langstone and Portsmouth harbours, and a viewing distance of 23 miles (37 km). The highest of the three observation platforms, the Sky Deck, has only a wire mesh roof, so visitors are open to the elements. The windows extend above head height, so it is not possible to get a view unobstructed by glass. A glass floor is located on the first viewing deck at 100 metres above sea level. The tower has a design lifetime of 80 years.”
  • 13 locals recommend
Transit Station
“Trains to London, Brighton and the West. Passenger ferry to the Isle of Wight”
  • 4 locals recommend
Outlet Mall
“It is easy to reach on the train and has a cinema, bowling, lots is shops and restaurants ”
  • 4 locals recommend
“The transport hub at Portsmouth Harbour, is known as The Hard Interchange, the name derived from the surrounding area The Hard. The Hard being an area of foreshore that is sufficiently firm, naturally or man made, to give easy access to the boats moored along it. The Hard Interchange is right on the edge of Portsmouth Harbour and is the hub for many public transport systems, coach, rail, buses and ferries, it is just a short walk to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays. The new bus interchange was developed by architects AHR and is part of a larger £1.8 billion investment planned over the next 20 years by Portsmouth City Council. The development has 10 bus stands, a taxi rank and a separate pedestrian drop off area. The concourse has interactive journey planning screens, travel information screens, ticket purchase facilities, passenger seating areas and other services, all housed in the sleek modern aerofoil type structure. National Express coaches to London. Cheaper than the train. Quick (until London!). Comfortable. This is a good way to go. Drops off at Victoria coach station (the departures are in a terminal over the road). Nice pub opposite called "The Traveller's rest".”
  • 1 local recommends
Local Government Office
“Good pub food and good, well kept beers. Web:”
  • 1 local recommends
Train Station
“Portsmouth Harbour railway station is situated beside Gunwharf Quays in the city's harbour, and is an important transport terminal, with a bus interchange and ferry services to Gosport and the Isle of Wight. National Rail tickets between the Isle of Wight and stations on Great Britain include travel on the ferry. The station currently has four platforms in use: numbered 1, 3, 4 and 5. It is managed by South Western Railway. Platform 2 is no longer in use, having been decommissioned in the early 1990s following major repair and refurbishment work to the pier that the platforms sit on. The station is built on a pier made of wood, between the Gunwharf Quays shopping centre and the Historic Dockyard. The station opened in 1876 as the terminus of Chief Engineers Frederick Banister's Portsmouth Waterside Extension to the Portsmouth Direct Line, which runs between this station and London Waterloo station. It was rebuilt in 1937 when the route was electrified but was almost totally destroyed during World War II by fire after German bombing, then rebuilt after the war.”
  • 2 locals recommend
  • 1 local recommends