Island Life – Portsmouth, the great waterfront city.

With miles of waterfront and open spaces to enjoy, Portsmouth's the UK's only island city, with something for everyone.

Located on England's South Coast, this historic city has a proud Naval and maritime past. With miles of waterfront and open spaces to enjoy, it is the UK's only island city, with something for everyone. 

The city oozes charm, heritage and culture from traditional seaside pursuits to contemporary art installations, there is always plenty to see and do whatever the weather.  

World class attractions, an abundance of quality food choices drawing on cuisines from around the globe as well as home grown, fabulous entertainment venues which attract great artists, a thriving arts scene, markets, quirky retailers and high-quality designer fashion plus plenty of outdoor activities – both on land and on the sea.  

The seafront, with its sweeping three-mile-long promenade takes you from Old Portsmouth to Eastney Beach, offering views across to the Isle of Wight. Ther are two traditional piers and plenty of cafés, restaurants, shops and parks attracts residents and visitors alike for a casual stroll or a serious run. History buffs can continue the trail by following the Millennium Promenade which links Henry VIII’s Southsea Castle with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.  

Beyond the seafront is Southsea Common an attractive social place in the summer for a picnic or BBQ with friends and family. Weekends on the common see a host of events throughout the warmer months. Everything from the annual Pride celebration to the international kite festival takes place on the Common. 

Throughout the year, and particularly on sunny days, the beaches attract residents and visitors alike. Whether it’s to walk the dog, meet friends, read a book, indulge in a delicious ice cream or sunbathe, there are always plenty of people making the most of the coastline. 

For Naval history, the first place to start is the world-class Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – home to some of the most iconic ships to sail the seas. These include HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and the magnificent Mary Rose. The Mary Rose was King Henry VIII’s flagship which sank in the Battle of the Solent against the French in 1545 and was finally recovered from the sea in October 1982. The ship is now reunited with many of the artifacts from on-board in an award-winning museum which follows the stories of the people sailed in the ship. 

Portsmouth has been home to some hugely influential literary figures including Charles Dickens, who based many of his characters on people he met in Portsmouth, and the creator of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His life and works are explored in a fascinating exhibition within Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery which uncovers the history of the city and its people. 

Being compact and flat means Portsmouth is easy to explore by foot or walk or cycle to get to where you want to go without having to rely on a car. Throughout the city you’ll also find e-scooters and Beryl bikes for rent as well as a great bus network. 

The city has incredible transport links by ferry, coach, bus, train and air from Southampton and Gatwick airports both easily accessible by train or car.  

The Portsmouth International Port sees regular departures to France and Spain and also welcomes several cruise ships so you can start your holidays quickly and easily. 

Direct trains from Portsmouth run to London, Brighton, Guildford, Southampton and Winchester which makes days out to explore the region really easy without the hassle of car journeys or parking.  

Portsmouth is also home to the only commercial hovercraft service in the world! Take a flight with a difference from the dedicated terminal in Southsea to Ryde and explore the island. 

Green spaces are plentiful in Portsmouth with an active calendar of events all year round. The most popular of these is the Bandstand which hosts a series of free weekend concerts featuring local acts throughout the summer. 

Music plays a huge part of the fabric of the city with many pubs hosting live music nights, intimate gigs at the award-winning independent record shop Pie and Vinyl (it does what it says on the tin!), big name bands at the Guildhall and up and coming artists performing at the Wedgewood Rooms. This 400-capacity venue has hosted some of the biggest touring bands before they made it massive, along with some of the country's most loved comedians. Today it's a place to catch some of the best alternative music around or see future festival headliners in intimate surrounds. 

August bank holiday weekend sees the highlight of the Portsmouth music scene with Victorious Festival taking place on the seafront. Victorious has to be the most beautifully located festival in country and features some of the world’s biggest artists. 

The vibrant arts scene is visible all across the city with street art installations by famed artists including My Dog Sighs. 

Culture vultures have a choice of two theatres – The New Theatre Royal and the Kings Theatre which is housed in a Grade Two listed Frank Matcham designed building. 

There’s plenty of choice if you want to shop til you drop! Gunwharf Quays is the south coast’s leading designer outlet experience with brands including Nike, Kate Spade, Ted Baker, Clarins and many more. The site also has a cinema, casino and bowling. You can also find a great range of bars and restaurants at Gunwharf and special events throughout the year. 

Gunwharf is dominated by the magnificent Spinnaker Tower, a 170 metre observation tower which has 360º views, two cafés and a packed programme of events throughout the year. 

Shopping continues on Commercial Road where you will find all your favourite high street brands. Continue then into Southsea which is renowned for its independent shopping experience where you are sure to pick up the perfect gift or something special for the home. Palmerston Road in Southsea also has regular markets with artisan makers and a monthly farmer’s market with treats! 

Food and dining is an important part of life in Portsmouth with quality restaurants, bars and traditional pubs throughout the city. There are some great spots right on the seafront such as Southsea Beach Café and The Briny seafood restaurant perfect for watching the sunset with a glass of bubbles!  

We can’t do a blog about Portsmouth without mentioning the Portsmouth Football Club. Its fans are arguably the most passionate in the country and matches are very well supported. The allegiance to the team is very much in evidence as you spot many cars with PFC (Portsmouth Football Club) in their registration number! 

Portsmouth truly does live up to its name as the Great Waterfront City. 

Portsmouth is a vibrant place to live, with so much to see and do, so if you’re looking for a new place to call, why not take a look at our 2 bedroom apartments at Kingston Place?  

If they look like the ideal home for you, you can apply here; visit