Discover on foot - some walking options
Starting at Eastney Beach, there is a much more natural and untouched feel with the plantation, a habitat for various birds and wildlife and of course at the very end there’s the nudist beach if you want to get right back to basics!
Strolling to the West you have the fantastic views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, some say the best on the South Coast, a quick stop at the coffee cup or the Beach café for a cuppa and then on past South Parade Pier that has a history of its own! Stroll through the rock gardens to the pyramids leisure centre, when you can relax in the spa, or workout in the gym while the kids enjoy the wave machine in the pool.
Next door is the there is much to choose from; D-day museum, Henry VIII’s Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium and the common with skate park and numerous events from the Americas cup sailing, Victorious music festival, The Great South Run, Kite festival and much more. A little further along the beach is the UKs only commercial hovercraft, which is a spectacle to watch even if you don’t have time to pop across to the Isle of Wight, enjoy it from the beach or even better sitting on the terrace at Mozzarella Joes while having a quick bite to gather your energy for Clarence Pier funfair and amusements.
And if that has tired you out, you can always sit yourself down on the beach and watch the sun drop down behind the amazing fort hotels and into the sea….
Explore Canoe Lake
Canoe Lake is a great area to explore, there is lots to do for everyone. With the beach one side, it offers some lovely green space a picnic, while the kids play. Originally opened in June 1886, constructed from a remnant of the Great Morass, a large area of marshland it was initially used for sailing model yachts but was quickly used for canoeing and boating which is still its current use today
The lake itself is home to swans, both real and of the pedalovariety and a whole host of crabs! Crabbing is a popular pastime and around the lake in summer, with the shrieks of the children as escape from the buckets!
Around the lake area is a younger childrensplay park and a bigger area for the more adventurous, to try out the zip wire and splash pool. Next to that is the Model Village on top of Lumps Fort with Thomas trains running around it much for the delight of the younger kids.
For the more active there is tennis on grass or hard courts or pitch and put golf and for those that like to take it a bit slower a visit to the Natural History Museum, relax in the Rose Gardens or the Greens café
Shop till you drop – from boutique to antique
Walking directly north from the castle you reach Palmerston Road, the main shopping area with an interesting mix of national retailers, smaller specialist stores, cafes and restaurants and if you time it right you can catch one of the markets held in the pedestrian precinct
1st Sat and Sun of the month – Love Southsea Market
3Rd Sunday – Hampshire Farmers Market
4th Saturday – Arts and Collectibles
Head right along Marmion Road, a charming road in the heart of Southsea with a range of specialist independent shops and boutiques you can buy anything from specialist chocolate shops, home furnishings, health foods, clothing, with a few eateries thrown, in case you need refreshment.
At the end of the road turn left up Victoria Road north and it will bring you to the South Coast Emporium on the junction of Albert Road to your right) and Elm Grove to the left – Elm Grove where you can stop at Alison Gardiners and pick up a Souvenir, the road is also home to specialist dance wear shop, antique shop, cake shop, a bakery and has lovely wine bars and restaurants from Belgium and Thailand. Just past Sherlock’s birthplace (see blue plaque on the wall of bush house turn left into Castle Road where you will find a range of inspirational traders who offer a unique experience, a similar feel to the ‘Lanes’ in Brighton.
Keep heading south along Western Parade and then turn left into Osbourne Road, the restaurant quarter and stop for a slice of cake and a cup of tea from a 1940s teapot from the vintage tearoom Like A Tea Tray. Carry straight on and you are back to Palmerston Road
Find out more about Southsea’s shopping experience at
The Portsmouth Visitor Information Centres and Points are spread across the city so that you’re never too far away from friendly, expert advice about where to go, what to do and where to stay when you’re visiting Portsmouth. Visit www.visitportsmouth.co.uk or call 023 9282 6722 for more information. Or visit in person The Hard Interchange.
Experience something different
Southsea really does have something for everyone, but here are a few of the special things that are unique to Southsea
Visit Henry VIII’s Castle
Built as part of a series of fortifications constructed by Henry VIII to protect the country from invaders, Southsea Castle, which provides the best panoramic views out to the Solent. Discover the huge ramparts and underground tunnels around this intriguing site.
Free admission (Open March – October) Closed Mondays
Enjoy a meal at the Courtyard restaurant, try the new microbrewery or On Friday nights in summer you can enjoy Jazz and champagne in the Courtyard
Enjoy a summer of festivals
For all to enjoy – From world class sailing competition, The Americas cup on the water, Southsea food festival in the precinct to the kite and Victorious music festival’s on the common
Experience a touch of Culture
See a show in a traditional Edwardian Playhouse
A true delight to be able to step back in time and enjoy the great architecture of Edwardian times The Kings Theatre has a full and varied programme of shows throughout the year to suit all tastes including Musicals, Ballet, Opera, Dance, Music and Tribute acts, Drama, Comedy, Family Shows, Film and of course traditional Pantomime!
If you feel like doing something more active then participate in The Great South Run or The Portsmouth Triathlon, you’ll be grateful that how flat the courses are!
Take a trip on the Hovercraft
The only commercial hovercraft in operation, a great experience and only 10 minutes to the Isle of Wight
Or a ferry across to Hayling island, (bikes and dogs accepted) to the ferry Inn and haylings sandy beaches
A luxurious treat
Lunch at No mansland of spit bank Fort
Champagne at the Castle - On Friday nights in summer you can enjoy Jazz and champagne in the Courtyard