Photo of Portsmouth

About Portsmouth

Many think of Portsmouth as somewhere to stop over, on your journey further afield; it is the major hub for ferries to the Isle of Wight, Channel Islands, France and Spain. However this would be foolish as there is much more to it than that! Portsmouth is an historic and thriving city in the south of the UK renowned for its maritime past. Our pick of the best places to stay in Portsmouth are ideal bases whether you're simply passing through, or want to get out and about exploring.

Once home to the Royal Navy, the HMS Victory (Lord Nelson's flagship) and HMS Warrior (Britain's first iron hulled battleship) remain in the Dockyards for viewing and the Royal Navy Museum and Mary Rose Museum are a real highlight of any visit to the city. The Mary Rose Museum in particular documents the extraordinary recover of the this 16th century vessel, Henry VIII's favourite ship.

Portsmouth is the proud birthplace of Rudyard Kipling and Charles Dickens and these literary greats are celebrated in museums across the city. Adding to its rich historical past the city also features no less than two cathedrals and the remains of Southsea Castle which offers spectacular sea views. The castle itself is situated in what is now Southsea Common, a 100-acre open space on the seafront which plays host to numerous events as well as functioning as a park.

The city has recently become known for the Emirates Spinnaker Tower which stands at 170 metres on Gunwharf Quay and offers panoramic views stretching up to 23 miles. Surrounding the tower is the Gunwharf Quay complex which houses a wide selection of designer outlets, bars and restaurants. With the majority of the city in fact on Portsea island (this is the UK's only island city), the best hotels to stay in Portsmouth are set right on the coast.

What not to miss:

  • Be sure to stop by the Dockyards to view HMS Victory and HMS Warrior.
  • Continue your nautical learnings in the Royal Navy Museum or Mary Rose Museum.
  • Take a stroll through Southsea Common and visit Southsea Castle.
  • Admire the architecture of the city's two cathedrals.
  • Peruse the upmarket outlets in Gunwharf Quay.
  • Admire the spectacular panoramic views from the top of the Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
  • Take a ferry across to the Isle of Wight for a day trip.

The perfect spot for a weekend break. Browse through our collection of the best places to stay in Portsmouth to start planning your trip.

The best places to stay in Portsmouth

Boutique

  • The Clarence is a boutique seaside property in the centre of Portsmouth. Spacious rooms are bright and airy with high ceilings, sash windows and boldly patterned wallpaper. Offering both a fine dining restaurant and gastropub. An ideal base for exploring the city.

Luxury

  • Spitbank Fort is a fort-turned-luxury hotel off the South coast with views of Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Intimate and unusual, the fort has been successfully converted and is the closest thing to being at sea – except you’re not.

For a holiday cottage or apartment

  • if you'd prefer a self-catering option, our online partner booking.com has plenty in the vicinity.

Travel Information

  • The nearest airport is Southampton which is just 20 miles from the city. For those travelling overland, regular train services run from London Waterloo and take around 90 minutes. While trains also run from Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Southampton. Portsmouth is also one of the main gateways to the Isle of Wight with many ferry services running throughout the day.
  • Being that this is the UK, the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. However, for the best chance at warm days plan your trip between May-August when temperatures are likely to lie between 15-25 degrees celsius.
  • If you would like the freedom of your own car we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure where to book?

Best Hotels in Portsmouth

  • The Clarence Portsmouth 8 rooms from £99

    Local exploring  -  Located in the heart of Portsmouth with easy access to the coast and local attractions.
    Great walks  -  Head out into the Hampshire countryside and explore the scenic walking trails.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.

    A boutique seaside property in the centre of Portsmouth. Spacious rooms are bright and airy with high ceilings, sash windows and boldly patterned wall paper. Offering both a fine dining restaurant and gastro pub. An ideal base for exploring the city. See More

    Check Availability
  • Spitbank Fort Portsmouth (Royal Clarence Marina) 8 rooms from £600

    Fishing  -  Perfect location for an exclusive fishing trip.
    Spa
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel

    Fort-turned-luxury hotel off the South coast with views of Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. Intimate and unusual, the fort has been successfully converted and is the closest thing to being at sea – except you’re not. See More

    Check Availability