United Kingdom

Here you’ll find travel reports about Portsmouth. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

49 travelers at this place:

  • Day54

    Portsmouth U.K.

    May 8 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Portsmouth UK.

    Today our unplanned visit to Portsmouth. Bucketing down this morning ,berthed right in the Naval Base, alongside the Cross Channel Ferries, Brittany, Cherburgh and even Spain..So exciting to drive on here, sail to another country, then drive off into your adventure, that must be so great, lots of Motorhomes going on ,with many trucks, cars, motorbikes and bikes. Naval ships of several kinds, some under construction.. So war is still a big thing…it seems.. Lots to see anyway.
    Fortunately, our Excursion today ,was for this afternoon, when it cleared, the sun shone, but the wind still blew, it was really cold, a shock to our systems really. Arundel Castle was the choice, I remembered Christian going a long time ago, and had good photos. Like a Fairy-tale he said…
    Oh to be in England.. I cannot help but think ,once we proceed into the countryside, glorious ,green ,huge trees, fields of rape, glowing yellow, the villages ,the swans ,just love it all. Through pretty places, like Chichester ,where we had a little look at the very tall spire on the Cathedral. So much history to learn, lost on the Americans, but our guide was a delight, so well spoken and interesting.
    Arundel not so far away, set high up above the quaint old village with its cathedral beside..A little climb ,not suiting some, [lots are so unwell and very crochety] a very solid and huge Castle, an older part ,and then much more ,its surroundings simply beautiful.
    So much to see, a very large place, so with advice of the highlights we were off at speed. Owned by the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk, they reside in a private part ,but use the Castle on occasions, recently a christening. There have been many over the years but it is managed well, the treasures well looked after ,and preserved. Nice looking people, as the aristocracy go. The portraits through the years ,numerous. A place of “weapons rooms”..like Windsor ,many swords and killing instruments ,suits of armour etc, and lots of hunting trophies, heads of all manner of animals , even Lions as mats, one hopes, from days well gone by.!
    Dining room , gorgeous, all set up, and in the cabinet, the treasure of Mary Queen of Scots rosary beads, gold, that she took with her to her death…amongst other precious things. Very dark ,huge library ,of enormous proportions, everything behind glass, but two levels…
    The Chapel ,large and apparently divided, as these Norfolk’s are Catholic, but there is a place for Anglicans ,beautiful mellow stone that had to be imported for this to be constructed, from the Isle of Wight.
    Only flint here for building so walls of that, flint features on many older homes, looks like shells ,at a glance, but not so..Quite effective patterns. Beautiful views from the high windows ,to the courtyards below.. The kitchen wear, copper and skillets ,all displayed. Huge wide Hallways, and luckily it had copper radiators for heating, as it would be freezing, with little sun..
    The bedrooms, as in other grand places I have found ,were not actually very nice, dark coloured and a bit dusty looking…
    All manner of beautiful things throughout, but we had to speed onwards, as the Gardens were next…a good walk up, through the glorious spring green trees, all kinds of wonderful things, beeches ,oaks, jacaranda’s ,chestnuts in bloom.. Sadly the spring flowers were finished of course, had been miles of daffodil’s, everywhere ,and a tulip festival at Easter . Dashed into a walled part, and just simply stopped in my tracks, probably the best gardens I have ever seen, that just went on and on, with all kinds of precious views, of amazing things. In here many tulips still in bloom, in pots, the alliums always a favourite, hedges, driftwood forming one part ,Mum would love, it was actually very impressive, it just went on and on to the end where there was the Kitchen Garden, everything imaginable, all the berries, rhubarb, gooseberries ,raspberries, potatoes, silver beet, beans ..everything. Some devoted gardeners here.
    The smaller chapel, had a completely white garden ,so much to enjoy…Some intricate garden structures ,many very old, but some looked more recent , will need to research more. Stunning in everyway, what a find…!
    Seating in lovely places, unusual water features , just around every corner, sights to behold, felt so very grateful to experience such a wonder…Sam enjoyed it too, even at top speed ,I wasn’t going to miss anything. So back down the hill to the pretty village, adjacent, so old and special as well…
    A Romanian , in his nice Ice Cream shop, of a kind ,with special home made cones ,and delectable treats of strawberries ,in first… One year in business, and doing well in his new country , said we are the friendliest people in the world, Brits sometimes are not, and that is true, still reserved to an extent, there are quite a few here . A nice wander in the Village ,for a short time, it has many, many “Tea and Scone” shops… never enough time..! But a wonderful day in Britain… and so much information as well…Hard for photos in the gale, but we will see…
    The naming and pictures of the new Royal Baby, pleasing the Brits ,Archie indeed.!!! Looks a beautiful baby ,with very happy parents ,and will be an adored child.
    On departure we sailed down the coast of the Isle of Wight ,it’s a very large Island, and relatively uninhabited, in places ,on this side, some smaller towns, Osborne House, of Queen Victoria fame ,in a beautiful spot ,ferries cross from Portsmouth ,so easy access. Large tracts of agriculture ,which I didn’t imagine. It was getting dark by time we reached the white chalk cliffs of The Needles, at the end of the Island, dramatic in the dusk… Now we proceed at about 2knts ,to wait for our entry into the Thames ,in the early hours of the 10th.
    All our goodbyes today ,[so many people are sick, it’s really bad, everything crossed we can escape, but thinking that could be a miracle…!]..home beckons ,and we will be pleased to be back ,on the 19th,, after our stopover in Hong Kong, 3 nights in Tonbridge Wells, to see Molly and Peter. A lovely part of the world, so I will have pictures to share..
    Bye from us cruising ,very slowly, in the English Channel…
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  • Day23

    HMS Victory

    August 23, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    In amazing condition after 150 years.

    Although after 26 million pound they will have replaced rather large parts of it.

    Orlopp deck a little under 4 1/2 feet in height (we are in the UK). The carpenter who worked here was 6 foot 7 inches. We think he worked sitting down alot.
    Terrific piece of history very well presented.

    Hugh number of kids with grandparents, one lady kept saying, "It will be over soon" as she clambered down another narrow, steep ladder.
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  • Day23

    Historic Dockyard Portsmouth

    August 23, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Mark has finished the day in exhausted joy.

    Left Pevensey for an hour and twenty minute drive to Portsmouth.

    Only day breakfast was slow and got away later than planned.

    Two and a half hours of roadwork, rain, slow roundabouts and we were there.
    The Portsmouth Docks are enormous, used to be over 230 acres and had 25,000 people working th we really at the end for the war. British navy is now somewhat smaller and so are the Docks.

    Fortunately the tourists have taken up the slack.

    Much walking, climbing down stairs, climbing up stairs, more walking.
    Good time had by all (at least by Mark and Bernad was saintly patient.
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  • Day23

    HMS Warrior

    August 23, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Warrior was the first really successful iron hulled, steam powered armoured frigate built in 1859–61.

    With 40 guns, over 9,000 tons and almost 130 metres long she was first of her class, the dreadnought of her day.

    A great ship remarkably restored.

  • Day291

    Portsmouth, United Kingdom

    March 23, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Just prior to leaving Spain, we spent a couple of days in a great campsite, just west of Bilbao, with great views of the beautiful snow-capped Picos de Europa mountains and surrounded by lush green rolling countryside. By the time we left Bilbao aboard Brittany Ferries along with, what seemed like, hundreds of other motorhomes and caravans all heading back to the UK, the weather had changed for the worst and our last night was spent to the sound of hailstones and rain.

    After a smooth crossing of the Bay of Biscay, we arrived in Portsmouth to smooth seas and a beautiful sunny day. Let's hope it lasts!
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  • Day499

    Best laid plans.......

    October 17, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    It was time to get travelling again and so we arrived at Portsmouth, excited to catch our overnight ferry to Bilbao, Spain. Lots of other travellers were doing the same and the car park was full of motorhomes, caravans, cars and lorries all lined up ready to board. Then, at the last minute, the ferry developed a technical issue and was cancelled! We had two options; wait 4 days for the next ferry to Bilbao or get a ferry that night to Caen, France. We opted to go that night.

    We arrived in Caen early and decided to get as far south as we could. Close to Bordeaux we headed for an Aire that seemed to fit the bill. (An Aire is a parking place where you can usually stay overnight and has facilities for water emptying & refilling/toilet emptying/electric sometimes. They are usually free or have a small charge. France has lots and they are pretty good). When we left the major roads, the sat nav started to take us along some narrow, country roads, then the road was closed for roadworks so we tried another way in. Again narrow roads and roadworks. It was time to stop and have a rethink. We were tired by now.

    'Are you sure you've got the sat nav set up for the motorhome and not a car', asked Chris, 'I'm surprised it's taking us down these narrow roads' . 'I've not changed any of the settings', said I, 'but I'll check again'. Sure enough, the sat nav was in car mode from months ago previously rather than motorhome mode! Once set up correctly, we set off for an alternative Aire in Mirambeau nearby and enjoyed our first night in France.

    Next day, we set off again to put some miles under our belts and got to the village of Sare on the French/Spanish border, Basque country. By chance, the local produce market was still open and as we wandered around the few stalls, we recognised a lady selling organic chillis whom we had met at the Espelette chilli festival last year. With a fresh string of bright red chillis in stock, we said 'au revoir' to France and headed over the border into Spain the following day.
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  • Day3

    Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    June 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Had a great night's sleep, although we both woke around 5 am, but went promptly back to sleep. Full breakfast was included so we made our way down to the Horatio room, with a huge floor to ceiling portrait of Nelson on the wall. Plenty of food and drink to choose from including, for Rae, black pudding. We headed the couple of hundred metres down to the Historic Dockyard where we joined a queue. The gates had not yet opened. We entered without too much drama, purchasing an all inclusive ticket which gave us access to as many of the exhibits that we could fit in, and including a harbour cruise.

    We headed straight for the Victory, Nelson's flagship, and the one on which he died in the Battle of Trafalgar. We had an interesting audio tour of the ship, doing our best to dodge the school students. It included an unfolding story of the battle with a dramatization of Nelson's last moments. A lamp marks the spot where he died. After the tour we were ready for drink and a sandwich in the cafe next to the Mary Rose museum, so we headed in there next and spent some time chatting to a couple with two young kids. It was drizzling rain still so we headed straight into the Mary Rose Museum, again another really interesting place. The Mary Rose, built for Henry VIII in 1510, was used as a battleship for 30 years before sinking off the coast of Portsmouth in 1545. Many attempts were made to raise her over the years, a successful attempt being made in 1982. Since then she has been painstakingly preserved, and is today the only 16th century warship on display in the world. She is housed inside the museum, separated from the public by glazing. Around the walls of the museum are many retrieved artefacts from the ship together with stories about the people on the ship and the scientific methods used to investigate the people and objects. Many of the people were archers, identified by the way their shoulder joints had been worn down with use. Fascinating!

    Next we had a look over the HMS M33, which survived Gallipoli. The M stands for Monitor gunship. It was interesting to compare life on board the different ships over the centuries. Starting to flag, we had a quick look around the National Navy museum before queueing up for the harbour tour, glad to sit down and be off our feet for a while. It showed us just how extensive the area is, and as it is a working area, there was a lot of movement going on. Lastly, we climbed aboard the HMS Warrior, from 1860, at that time the fastest, largest and most powerful warship in the world. She was powered by both steam and sail, and was such a deterrent that she never fired a shot in anger. By now, very weary we made our way back to RMC, although I made a detour to purchase a UK sim card. We headed down to the pool and spa to relax our weary bones before walking the short distance to the pub nearby for dinner. The lamb shank was very welcome!
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  • Day59

    Portsmouth to Dover

    August 31, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Where - Southern England
    Weather - can't remember, some rain, some sun

    Leaving Devon we drove to Portsmouth where Brad wanted to see HMS Victory which is still commissioned by the Royal Navy and was Admiral Nelson's flagship. The audio commentary took us through what it would have been like to serve on this ship and also the last moments and was killed at the Battle of Waterloo by the French. Nelson did not want to be buried at sea as most people at battle were, so his body was placed in a barrel of brandy (or it may have been rum - cant remember the details) to be transported back to England. Not sure where he is buried but they made a statue of him and stuck him on a pillar in the middle of Trafalgar Square.

    We stayed at Chichester, visiting Arundel Castle which was a pleasant couple of hours but Brad forgot to bring the camera so we don't have any photos. I did take some on my phone but they are not that good. Arundel Castle had lovely gardens and expensive furnishings (dozens od Chippendale chairs, elaborate Wedgewood dining sets etc) and there is still a family living in one wing of the castle.

    The next day we headed to Dover where we walked around the top of the White Cliffs of Dover before boarding the ferry to Dunkirk. Goodbye England, Hello France!
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  • Day1

    The long haul to Portsmouth

    June 26, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We left home at 11 am, John dropping us at Edmondson Park station. Without drama we made our way to the airport and checked our bags. Found out we couldn't use the AMEX lounge (not the right sort of platinum card apparently), so picked up a sandwich and coffee before making our way to the gate. It was a 14 hour flight to Abu Dhabi. The seats of the Boeing 777 were pretty cramped, and I found myself nursing my neckrest, pillow, blanket, handbag, book and paper on my lap for most of the way. A very polite frenchman on his way to Paris sat beside me. The plane diverted a couple of times to avoid turbulence, but there was still plenty of it, and it reminded me that I really don't like flying.

    With only a 1 1/2 hour stop before the next plane left we more or less just made our way to the gate, not really knowing how far it would be. In the end there would have been plenty of time for a decent coffee which we were craving, but gave it a miss.

    We were pleasantly surprised with the space on the A380 for the leg to London, and we both tried to get some sleep before arriving in London at 7.35 am on Tuesday morning. Our welcome to the mother country included a 1 1/2 hour wait in a queue just to enter the country. The officer told us that since Rae also had a British passport that we could have both gone to the EU passport holders queue. Next time!

    After finally getting a decent coffee we had a very short walk to the National Express stop to get the coach to Portsmouth. We had made the de ision that picking up a car and navigating our way out of London after such a long flight would not be a good idea! The coach trip was OK, going via Southampton, and taking 3 1/2 hours in total. We were dropped at The Hard bus interchange and it was quite a short walk with our cases to the Royal Maritime Club where we were staying for two nights.

    We had a couple of floors to negotiate, but the room was adequate and we were looking forward to having a good night's sleep in a proper bed! We unpacked, had a delicious shower and set out to go exploring after searching for some lunch. By this time it was about 3 pm! A long time since our coffee! We made our way to the Gunwharf Quays area, a major leisure, retail and sailing development where we found a modern style pub with extensive indoor and outdoor seating. The rain made the choice easy. Both had a nice chicken type melt.

    Leaving the museum stuff for tomorrow, we followed the Millenium Promenade which took us roughly west along the waterfront, starting at the Hard and walking past the Old Customs building, past the Camber (original fishing settlement, Normans, 12th century) and along to some fortifications and tower (15th century), Square tower, King James Gate and a host of other points of interest. From the top of the rampart we could see a half demolished church (Royal Garrison Church), apparently bombed in tne war and left as a memorial. Apparrently Charles the II was married there. By this time I had started to develop a blister so we decided not to go all the way to Southsea which we would have liked.

    It was also a bit drizzly so we stopped at Brewers Faryre for a drink before turning back to RMC. At 7pm I couldnt keep my eyes open so fell blissfully asleep for the night, glad to finally be in a bed after leaving home 40 hours ago.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Portsmouth, POR, بورتسموث, Portsmut, Горад Портсмут, Портсмът, পোর্টস্‌মাথ, Портсмут, پۆرتسموت, Πόρτσμουθ, پورتسموث, פורטסמות, Պորտսմութ, ポーツマス, Портсмунт, 포츠머스, Portus Ostium, Portsmutas, Portsmuta, पोर्टस्मथ, Porchémue, போர்ட்ஸ்மவுத், พอร์ตสมัท, پورٹسماؤتھ, 樸茨茅夫, 朴次茅斯

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