Stuffed full of history, Portsmouth is bursting at the seams with things to do and see. But it’s more than just a top holiday destination on the South Coast. It’s also a great place to live.
Location, Location, Location
Portsmouth, the UK’s only island city, is nestled right on the south coast between Chichester, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. It's only 70 miles from London and is easy to find. Head to the South Coast, down the A3, then stop before you fall into the sea.
Access and travel opportunities
Trains – Portsmouth has four main stations, Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth & Southsea, Hilsea and Fratton are served by Southern Rail, South Western and Great Western railways. To get into our capital quickly two direct routes run to London Waterloo, via Guildford and Basingstoke, which take about an hour and a half. Regular services run to Southampton, Cardiff, Salisbury, Bath and Bristol, Brighton, Gatwick Airport, Croydon and also London Victoria.
Planes – The nearest airport is Southampton Airport, located at Eastleigh, is just under 20 miles away and easily accessed by car, train or bus. Otherwise, Heathrow is 65 miles and Gatwick is 75 miles away. Both are an easy run by road and are served by rail links from Portsmouth.
Car – The M27 runs into the top of Portsmouth and makes access in and out of the city and surrounding areas simple. It’s only a two-hour drive to London (nearer to one and a half on a good day!)
Ferries – Passenger ferries to Gosport (travel time 7 minutes), passenger and car ferries to the Isle of Wight, and daily continental ferries to France, Spain and the Channel Islands. Portsmouth Harbour is a tremendously busy port, and also home to the Royal Navy.
Hovercraft – The hovercraft service to Ryde on the Isle of Wight is the fastest way to get to the island, and is the only passenger hovercraft service operating in Britain.
Buses – First class local bus routes serve Portsmouth and the surrounding areas, as well as regular National Express services that run frequently to various destinations across the UK.
If you have children or are planning on a family then Portsmouth has a great selection of public and private schools for you to choose from.
Providing, and improving, the quality of education for local children has been and continues to be a top priority for local councils. The Portsmouth Education Advisory Board was set up in 2017 to ensure that educational standards in Portsmouth and the surrounding area continue to rise.
A report published in February this year shows improvement continues to be made across all ages, with most schools in the area now judged by Ofsted to be Good or Outstanding.
The University of Portsmouth achieved Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework. Its record for graduate employment, and for boosting graduate’s salaries, is impressive. Together with Highbury College and Portsmouth College a broad range of academic and vocational courses are available for school leavers who continue to study in the city and Portsmouth College offers a well-recognised adult education program too.
History, Culture and Entertainment
Portsmouth is one of the world's best-known ports, with a rich history that can be traced back to Roman times. It is the permanent home to HMS Warrior, the Mary Rose and HMS Victory… and the historic dockyard is a true gem.
Some other interesting local attractions to tempt you:
- Portsmouth Football Club – a popular team which has had mixed success throughout it’s history – currently, it's not the winning it’s the taking part
- Portsmouth boasts not one but two cathedrals
- Not one but two piers – South Parade Pier and Clarence Pier offer arcades and amusement rides for all ages to enjoy
- Charles Dickens Birthplace – many famous people come from Portsmouth including Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Peter Sellers and Roger Black
- The Spinnaker Tower – 115 metres high with 560 stairs taking you to the top (there is a lift!)
- Gunwharf Quays – offering shopping, eating, drinking, cinema, and great views over the water
- Southsea Castle – where King Henry VIII famously watched the Mary Rose’s demise
- Concerts and events are held on Southsea Common throughout the year – under normal circumstances!
- Portsmouth Aquarium – something fishy about this place
- Many museums, galleries and theatres including the Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, Guildhall, and the Kings Theatre cater for your every cultural desire
- Many, many, more pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes to suit all tastes and budgets
And that’s just a taster of what’s available!
Regeneration & residential schemes
Portsmouth has invested, and continues to invest, millions of pounds in development projects that will create thousands of new homes and new jobs over the coming years, as well as improving transit links in and out of the area.
Parks and Open Spaces
Now, perhaps more than ever, we are appreciating how important our parks and open spaces are to our quality of life and mental well-being.
There are lots of parks and open spaces in Portsmouth that vary in size and usage. Southsea Common is a vast recreation ground next to the sea. As well as the large formal parks such as Victoria Park and Milton Park, there are many smaller parks available for residents to use. Many have playgrounds and several have skateboarding facilities such as ramps and rails. Most of the parks have areas of formal planting and flower beds for year round enjoyment for the senses.
Football and cricket pitches are available, depending on the season, at Alexandra Park, Bransbury Park, King George V Playing Fields and Farlington Recreation Ground. Tennis courts are available at Canoe Lake, Milton Park and Southsea. There are natural open spaces around the city to enjoy such as Milton Common and Farlington Marshes to make the most of the nature on your doorstep.
How can we help?
If Portsmouth is where you want to settle we’re here to make the mortgage process as hassle-free and straightforward as possible. Whether you're a first-time buyer, remortgaging, moving home or looking for a buy to let, our local expert mortgage brokers can provide helpful advice tailored to your circumstances.
Contact us to speak to our friendly team and book your free, no obligation, mortgage consultation with a mortgage broker from our Portsmouth Technopole office. We can find the right mortgage; all you need to do is find your perfect home!