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Surrounded by the sea, the English city of Portsmouth is perhaps the best place to go if you want to delve into the country’s long and fascinating maritime history.

Whether you’re on a day trip or you’re planning a longer stay in this island city on the south coast, you won’t be short of attractions to keep you entertained.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

You haven’t had the full Portsmouth experience until you’ve gained an insight into its maritime past at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Featuring a selection of ships and museums, it’s the main visitor hub of the area.

One of the highlights of the dockyard, which is situated within a working naval base, is the Mary Rose Museum. Built around the restored 16th-century warship the Mary Rose, it comprises a series of tiered galleries and is home to 19,000 artefacts that were found with the ship when she was raised in 1982.

This huge 700-ton vessel, which was Henry VIII’s favourite ship, sank off the Portsmouth coast in 1545 during a battle with the French.

Another must-see in the dockyard is the HMS Victory. This was Lord Nelson’s flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar early in the 19thcentury and you can see the decks and crew’s quarters where brave sailors lived and worked.

HMAS Victory Portsmouth

HMAS Victory Portsmouth. Photo CC by Hugh Llewelyn

Spinnaker Tower

For views of the surrounding area, make your way to the Spinnaker Tower. This striking 170-meter construction is the centrepiece of the harbour’s development and is an icon of the south coast.

While in the tower, check out the i-VIEW interactive experience and the Sky Deck. You can also enjoy a drink and a snack at the Café in the Clouds, which is poised a dizzying 105 meters above the harbour.

Portsmouth Harbour

Spinnacker Tower on Portsmouth Harbour. Photo CC by THOR

Portsmouth City Museum

Be sure to venture to the City Museum too. There, you can take a walk back in time to discover an array of facts about Portsmouth and its most interesting residents and features throughout the centuries.

The visitor centre is home to a variety of temporary and permanent exhibitions featuring paintings, photographs and more.

After spending a day or two in this popular tourist spot on the south coast, you’ll understand exactly why people travel to see it from across the country and much further afield.

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Featured Photo CC by richard evea

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