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Four views of Portsmouth taken from ferries, the first is of HMS Warrior, the first iron clad warship, behind a Wight Link ferry, the second shows HMS Victory's masts rising behind a fleet oiler, the third is of the sunset over the harbour and the fourth shows a visiting tall ship during the Festival of the Sea on August 2001 with the Victory in the background. All four are by Stéphanie Dinez.
Portsmouth is most well known for its naval base which continues to be important, much of it is visible from ferries as they enter and leave the Continental Ferry Port, including one or two of the Royal Navy’s three aircraft carriers and, of course, the Victory along with numerous other warships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.
There is a commercial cargo port area between the naval base and the Continental Ferry Port, which has grown considerably since it opened in 1976, much of the development being on land reclaimed from the sea, and has services to Bilbao, Caen, the Channel Islands, Cherbourg, Le Havre and St. Malo. There can be 15 or more sailings a day, including fast craft to Cherbourg and freight only services. The operators are Brittany Ferries, Commodore, Condor Ferries and LD Lines. But this is not all the ferries to be seen in Portsmouth, there are Wightlink catamaran services to Ryde and car and passenger ferries to Fishbourne, on the Isle of Wight, a hovercraft service from Southsea to Ryde, not forgetting the Gosport Ferry across near the harbour mouth and finally there is a small ferry to Hayling Island. All in all a very busy port .
The City of Portsmouth has a long history, much of it tied to the navy and other shipping, however within its boundaries there is also a holiday resort, Southsea with the main shopping etc. area lying between the two. Southsea has attractions such as the Sea Life Centre and D-Day Museum and an amusement park at Clarence Pier, but from there you can walk along the coast, in amongst old fortifications to historic Old Portsmouth. In short there’s something to interest just about everyone, the Naval Base has Flagship Portsmouth where you can see the Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and various exhibitions about the Navy’s history while at Gunwharf Quays there is a new shopping, entertainment and residential complex.
Not for nothing is the Continental Ferry Port marketed as being Britain’s best connected as it is right beside a junction on the M275 which in turn links to the M27 via which you can go to London on the M3 or A3 and also to the Midlands by the M3 to the A34, to the South West via the A31 and Bristol and south Wales via the A36. Portsmouth is well served by rail, with stations at Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth and Southsea which have services to London Waterloo and Victoria, along the coast to Brighton and in the opposite direction to Southampton, Salisbury, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff. The motorway also provides easy access to Southampton Airport.
Visit our Travel Centre for rail, ferry and tunnel tickets.
This site was last updated 15/07/2012