Since early 2018 Portsmouth has been a common destination for Kat and I due to the great people we know and have met at one of the regular sesh (house parties…) hosted by our old friend Danny, along with his house mates. Sadly as our friends have come to the end of their time at university, they are all now moving on, and though we have had some great times there it got me thinking ‘I would really like to see more of the southern sea side city’. So during our (potentially last) visit this weekend we took a long day out to really explore the city, rather than just seeing our friend’s house, the pubs around The Wedgewood Rooms and beach front as we had done before. (Or at least I had done before, I believe Katie has explored the city a little more during mornings when I have been too tired from the previous night to wake up).
We set off from the van parked outside our friend’s house by Milton Park around noon towards the ‘Commercial Road’ high street area with the plan to grab a meal deal for lunch and to treat ourselves to a Shakeaway. The walk into town was an unremarkable 40 minute jaunt through typical British streets. Once we got there we ate our food while observing the people around the market stalls going about their business. Afterwards we popped into Shakeaway and both grabbed a delectable Kinder Bueno shake.
With our bellies full and cravings satisfied we decided to make our way towards the ‘Historic Dockyard Area’. After quickly discovering what we wanted to see was inside the walls of a dog-free exhibition of sorts we sat and watched the boats around the Hard and admired the impressive HMS Warrior. Some minutes later we walked down the muddy Common Hard slipway to take a closer look at the HMS Warrior.
At this point, with a very muddy dog we walked towards Old Portsmouth, but before we got there we stumbled upon the Gunwharf Quay shopping outlet. We were impressed by the upmarket area, and particularly enjoyed watching people in large inflatable balls thrashing around on the water. Moving on to Old Portsmouth we saw a newly wed couple taking photographs outside the Portsmouth Cathedral, and a BBC crew in the same location doing who knows what.
Passing though some lovely streets we reached Square Tower and visited Royal Garrison Church, a beautiful ruin that had been bombed out in the Second World War. The folks in Royal Garrison Church were very nice and we loved their enthusiasm for their building and to top it all off they even allow dogs in!
A stones throw away from Square Tower is Clarence Pier. The area felt like the polar opposite of Gunwharf Quay. A tacky mix of rides, arcades and food stalls, it would be a great place to spend a day with friends, and reminded me of some fun days out I have had with my friends in Felixtowe back home in Suffolk.
By this point in the day it was reaching 16:30, and having been on the move since around mid day we were absolutely exhausted. After convincing Katie not to call a taxi we started heading back to the van via South Parade Pier. Once we were home we joined our friends in their house to chill out, making a lovely end to a lovely day.