United Kingdom

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24 travelers at this place

  • Day4

    Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - part 1

    September 14, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    There is a lot to see here and it is all good. This post and the next post presents the ships at the Dockyard in historical order.

    First up is The Mary Rose, a Tudor navy warship that was financed by, and completed for, King Henry VIII in 1510. It was his favourite ship and he watched from Southsea Castle as it capsized in 1545 during the Battle of the Solent. It was recovered in 1982 and, after extenive renovation, can now be seen in a display that put its many artefacts and lives of the crew members into historical context. Highly recommended. The three images show the timbers of the port side of the ship, a typical cannon and the original Mary Rose bell.

    HMS Victory was completed in 1765 and best known as being Admiral Lord Nelson' s flagship during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson was fatally shot, but victory over the French was already assured. An iconic site with an excellent interpretation. Once again, highly recommended.
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  • Day5

    Portsmouth - Emirates Spinnaker Tower

    September 15, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    Next to the ferry terminal is Gunwharf Quays, the UK's only waterfront shopping outlet and site of the iconic Emirates Spinnaker Tower. Originally a Millenium Project, a sequence of problems meant that construction did not begin until November 2001 and it did not open until October 2005!

    Helen had booked afternoon tea which we enjoyed 105m above sea level. There are superb views in all directions.
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  • Day5

    Old Portsmouth

    September 15, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Leaving Gunwharf Quays, we join the Millenium Promenade which takes us through Old Portsmouth, the original medieval site of the town.

    The Round Tower fortification stands at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour and was originally wooden before being rebuilt in stone in 1490. It is easily visible from the Gosport Ferry and on its far side are the remaining parts of the city walls (the hotwalls) which connect with the Square Tower. This was built in 1494 and used as a gunpowder magazine (storage) before that was moved to Priddy's Hard on the Gosport side of the harbour. It is now used for events such as weddings and small concerts.

    Further ahead is a statue of Lord Nelson looking out to sea; behind him is the Royal Garrison Church, which was originally an almhouse and hospice for Old Portsmouth.

    Just up from this is the Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury,, aka Portsmouth Cathedral. Originally dedicated in 1188, the small church was extended in 1750 and had further significant changes in 1927 due its elevation to cathedral status. A true mixture of styles, it is nonetheless impressive both internally and externally.
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  • Day4

    Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - part 2

    September 14, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    HMS Warrior was launched in 1860 and was a 40-gun, steam powered iron clad warship - the most powerful of its kind in the world at the time. She never fired a shot in anger and was returned to Portsmouth in 1987 for public display to provide visitors with an insight into life on board a ship of the Victorian era with guides "of that time".

    Moving forward to 1915, the HMS M.33 is one of only two Royal Navy warships to survive from the First World War and the only one from the Gallipoly Campaign. Once again, very interesting to visit.

    The harbour tour afforded many views, not least that of HMS D34 which was commissioned in 2011 and saw action in the Middle East.

    The HMS Queen Elizabeth was launched in 2014 and an aircraft carrier capable of carrying 60 aircraft (including helicopters). She has a Tudor rose-adorned crest - bringing us full circle from Henry VIII's Mary Rose!
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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.
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  • Day2

    Gosport; Waterfront Trail - part 1

    September 12, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We walk to the southern end of the Waterfront Trail to start at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum. The centrepiece is HMS Alliiance, an A-class long-range submarine built for service in the Far East and then modified for Cold War duties. Passing one-way through it, we see the cramped accommodation (reminiscent of overnight on Indian trains!), eating spaces, toilets, densely packed control room with periscope and, finally, the torpedo compartment. A fantastic experience! Next was Holland 1, the Royal Navy's first submarine, and midget submarines, including Turtle, a replica of the first submersible ever used in combat (in 1755 against the Royal Navy during the American Civil War).

    We then walk over the Haslar Bridge and past the Haslar Marina, Gosport's moat and ramparts (1803), the colourful Harbour and Seaward Towers (blocks of flats) to the Haslar Millennium Pier, where there are views of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and Harbour with the incredible Spinacre Tower dominating the skyline.

    At the Falkland Gardens next to Gosport Ferry, we see the Tide Clock and the HMS Prince of Wales, the Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier.
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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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  • 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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