Places of interest and local attractions
The centre of Portsmouth and ferry terminals can be reached after a 15 minute drive. Gunwharf Quays offers many famous brand discount shops and Southsea Castle is just a 10 minute drive.
Gunwharf Quays is an outlet retail destination with 90 outlet stores and 30 restaurants, bars and cafés located in Portsmouth, UK. It was constructed in the early 21st century on the site of what had once been HM Gunwharf, Portsmouth. This was one of several such facilities which were established around Britain and the Empire by the Board of Ordnance, where cannons, ammunition and other armaments were stored, repaired and serviced ready for use on land or at sea. Later known as HMS Vernon, the military site closed in 1995, and opened to the public as Gunwharf Quays after six years of reconstruction (which included the restoration of some of the surviving 18th and 19th-century Gun Wharf buildings). The landmark Spinnaker Tower, which also stands on the site, was opened a few years later.
Displays include The Making of the Royal Marines Commando exhibition, a major display highlighting the demands of the 32-week training course undertaken by all Royal Marines recruits. March 2009 saw the launch of the Beverley Gallery - an area dedicated to a rolling programme of Special Exhibitions highlighting a broad range of subjects to a variety of audiences. The first exhibition was entitled Return to Helmand: The Royal Marines in Afghanistan and opened by the Commandant General Royal Marines, Major General Garry Robison. The second - ran from April to October 2010 - was entitled Griff - Thinker, Painter, Forger, Spy? and celebrates the memorable life of Captain Guy Griffiths, a Royal Marine pilot. The last Special Exhibition was called Commando Mind and celebrated the strength of mind used by Royal Marines to achieve extraordinary results in the face of, often difficult, challenges - physical, mental or environmental.
Barely was the work completed when Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose, tragically sank in front of the Castle. During the English Civil War, nearly a century later, the Castle was captured for the only time in its history, by Parliamentarian forces. Over the centuries, Southsea Castle's defences were strengthened so that it could continue to protect Portsmouth. In the 19th Century a tunnel was built to defend the Castle moat. Visitors can still enter the tunnel and see how the Castle would have been defended against invaders. The Castle has had many other uses besides defence. For a while it was a military prison. A lighthouse was built in the 1820s, and is still in use by shipping today. In 1960 the Castle left military service. It was acquired by Portsmouth City Council, which restored the Castle to its 19th century appearance.
HMS Victory was launched in 1765 at Chatham Dockyard and was commissioned in 1778. She continued in active service for the next 34 years which included her most famous moment-the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In 1812 the Victory was retired from frontline duty and anchored in Portsmouth Harbour, on the south coast of England. For the next 110 years the Victory remained at her moorings in Portsmouth Harbour fulfilling a combination of practical and ceremonial roles. In 1922, amid fears for her continued survival, the Victory was moved into Portsmouth's Royal Naval Dockyard and placed in No2 Dry Dock. Work then began on restoring the Victory to her 'fighting' 1805 condition and continues today.
Charles Dickens' Birthplace
When Charles Dickens was born in this modest house in Portsmouth, on 7th February 1812, Britain's Navy was still at war with Napoleonic France. Charles's father, John Dickens, a clerk in the Navy Pay Office, had brought his young bride Elizabeth down to Portsmouth in the summer of 1809, renting the house as the first home of their married life.
The furniture, ceramics, glass, household objects and decorations faithfully re-created the Regency style which Charles's parents would have favoured, although their actual possessions have long since been dispersed.There are three furnished rooms: the parlour, the dining room and the bedroom where Charles was born. The exhibition room features a display on Charles Dickens and Portsmouth, as well as a small collectionof memorabilia: the couch on which he died at his house in Kent, together with his snuff box, inkwell and paper knife, poignant reminders of an author celebrated for his prodigious talents and creative output.
Marwell Zoological Park
Marwell Zoological Park is owned and run by Marwell Preservation Trust, a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats both locally and internationally.
At the centre of our charitable endeavours, the 100 acre zoological park gives you the opportunity to view many of the planet’s most fascinating and unique animals and to learn more about some of the issues surrounding wildlife conservation.
There’s a host of individual shops to visit - from fashion to furniture, and gemstones to games and toys - you’re guaranteed to find something for all the family!
And if you fancy tempting your tastebuds too, there’s a whole range of Wine Bars, Pubs and Restaurants serving every kind of dish from Italian to Indian, and traditional English to Mexican.
The Boardwalk also boasts a UCI six screen multiplex cinema, David Lloyd Leisure Club and if thats not enough - FREE PARKING TOO!
Eling Tide Mill
Situated on the edge of Southampton Water beside the renowned New Forest, there has been a mill on the site for over 900 years, although it has had to be rebuilt several times, with the current building being some 230 years old. Tide mills were once an important part of the economy of many countries, such as Great Britain and the United States of America - the latter having many hundreds of tide mills on the eastern coast from the 17th to 19th centuries. Tidal power was harnessed in this fashion not only for milling flour, but for everything from sawing lumber and operating the bellows and hammers in ironworks, to manufacturing paper and cotton, to grinding spices, pepper and gunpowder. Before the advent of the steam engine they were the one kind of large-scale mill that was pretty much guaranteed to be able to run 365 days of the year.
A world class visitor attraction, the much-admired, elegant viewing Tower stands proud over one of the most fascinating seascapes in the world. Situated on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays, it offers amazing 350º panoramic views of Portsmouth Harbour, the South coast and the Isle of Wight, with views stretching out for up to 23 miles – breathtaking by day and a glittering sea of lights by night.
View Deck 1 boasts Europe’s largest glass floor, where visitors of all ages can dare to ‘walk on air’! View Deck 2 has self-contained multimedia ‘Time Telescope’ stations showing the history of the harbour and View Deck 3 – The Crow’s Nest – is open to the elements, enabling visitors to feel the wind in their hair.