Portsmouth is one of my favourite places in England, and recently Jeff and I made an excuse to get out of London and visit some of his family there.
I always love when we go – and not just because his family is wonderful! – because I love the scenery. And I don’t mean the Spinnaker Tower or HMS Victory (though they so significantly shout that you’re in Portsmouth), but rather the small details.
If you’ve ever been you’ll have noticed the tiling and the terraced houses, each with it’s own personal details or lick of paint to make it stand out amongst hundreds of other houses in the same style. And as someone who grew up in the USA, the chimneys trigger childhood stories of flying nannies with umbrellas and bottomless carpet bags.
Then down the side roads you’ll find the hidden local pubs with the old-fashioned window detailing and ghost advertisements of businesses that once were. This reminds me of just how much history exists in England, and how much of it remains.
If you continue to wander towards the main streets you’ll start to find the local shops and cafes, each with their own way of catching your attention (like the flowers and fruit below) without using flashy neon signs. When we ventured inside these local businesses, we were always met with a smile and a chat – a welcome reminder that we weren’t in London anymore! (Though we do love you, London!)
But it’s not a trip to Portsmouth without stopping by the seaside. We were lucky enough to be there when the weather was mild, though whether it’s sunny or rainy, warm or cold, the view will be fantastic.
If the day is clear you’ll even be able to see the Isle of Wight across the Solent.
There’s also a fun fair along Clarence Pier, so if you fancy a stop by the arcade and an ice cream you’ll be able to get your fix! (Jeff and I are never able to pass by without losing £2 on the penny games, but it’s always so much fun to play. And 200p goes a long way with those games!)
I’m convinced that food tastes better by the seaside, so of course I got myself a heaping portion of chips. (Which I’m pretty sure are the best chips I’ve had since the last time I had chips by the seaside.)
Have you been to Portsmouth? Where would you recommend visiting or checking out the next time we go?