I took a weekend trip to Portsmouth at the end of February, as I’m British I best say a thing or two about the weather, despite the near freezing temperatures, we had pure blue skies the whole time! The goal of our trip was to visit the outlet centre and go to a gig in the evening, both of which we enjoyed a lot. Two rather different experiences of the City though, but I had a fantastic trip.
We stayed at the Duke of Buckingham Hotel, which initially looked worrisome when we turned up and reception wasn’t open to give us a parking permit, but this soon got sorted. Once we left our bags and went to shop before we had to check in, we managed to explore the pretty parts of this City. We were right down the road from the Portsmouth Cathedral, which was unexpectedly modern and beautiful. The interior was intricate and fascinating, I found myself noticing all the small details in this bright and open space.
Just five minutes from the hotel was Gunwarf Quays, an Outlet shopping centre, which means it was full of designer shops with the clothes that were no longer in their mains stores, so everything was a lot cheaper. The choice of shops here is huge, it’s definitely worthy of a day out, we tried to visit every shop that took our eye, some where quite a lot more expensive than others… but I did come out with a few items!
We stopped for lunch at Zizzi, which was the quickest service I have ever seen from such a busy eating time. We had our drinks and mains within ten minutes of sitting down and oh what drinks they were. I go for the passion fruit mocktail every time in Zizzi, and it never disappoints, I’m going to give making it at home an attempt I think! The mains were delicious, a pulled pork pizza for me, my favourite!
After a bit more shopping we went back to our hotel and checked into our room, which was a very pleasant surprise. It turned out we had a hidden annex room around the back of the hotel, totally separate from the main building. This was a converted garage I think and was perfect, it was clean and tidy and catered for our needs. The bed was soooo comfy and felt a bit like being on a cloud. It made for the perfect rest stop before the gig in the evening.
The gig we were seeing was The Front Bottoms, a punk band from America, it was at the Pyramid Centre which was a short taxi ride from our hotel coming in at only £5! We had a great night, the music was fun and the crowd were quite hilarious. I watched several people crowd surf into the arms of security, mosh pits broke out in front of me, but armed with my boyfriend as a protector, I felt safe!
We made it home before midnight and went to bed for another day exploring the City. On Sunday we headed to the docks, I’d been onboard the HMS Victory before, so we thought we’d just take a walk down and around the area. More stunning blue sky and a few history lessons later and we had completed the docks. There was such a weird feel around them, it was very quiet and desolate, I felt like we shouldn’t be there, all very serious!
That just about rounds off our trip, we saw the mains sights that we wanted to see. We were planning to head to the aquarium too, but after reading a few reviews on trip advisor, we thought better of it. it looked quite run down and seemed to be a 30 minute stop which was a shame. Generally I got the impression Portsmouth was on the up, trying to add more attractions in, but you could see they were still very much in the middle of that.
I had a really fantastic visit, I think we were very lucky to have such good weather, perhaps a prelude for the snow England is about to be given? So I’m giving Portsmouth 4/5 boot prints, it misses out on one because there could have been a few more things to do without wanting to spend a fortune.