Portsmouth, England is a very important Navel port for hundreds of years, among other, Lord Nelsons HMS Victory was build here. If you are a history buff, expecially a Navy history buff, then you really enjoy this magnificant Navy port city and its Historic Dockyard, and Royal Navy Museum.
There are lots of cultural attractions and activities here, including great music venues, symphonies, football and fun nightlife in the Gunwarf Quays and Southsea.
Under Henry VIII, Portsmouth became the most important harbor of the Royal Navy. The history of the city, known as Pompey to generations of sailors, is closely linked with the development of British sea-power. However, it was severely damaged in World War II, and rebuilt fairly haphazardly afterwards. The only places of interest are around the waterfront and dockyard, although you can make a pilgrimage to the Birthplace of Charles Dickens, a small early 19thcentury house in the north of the city, furnished in the style of the period (signposted from the end of the M275). While the dockyard is still operational, its 18thcentury buildings near the main gate have been converted into the Royal Naval Museum.
The oldest of its three historic ships is the Mary Rose, the pride of Henry VIII’s navy. In 1545, she set sail to meet the French but capsized off the harbor entrance and sank with all 700 hands on board; she was finally raised in 1982 and placed in dry-dock. About half the hull, from deck to keel, has survived; equally fascinating are more than 1,000 artifacts, displayed in a separate museum.
The great man-o’-war HMS Victory, Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), has been restored in every detail, from its massive masts, rigging and cannons down to Nelson’s cabin. The most recent of the restored ships, HMS Warrior, was designed as Britain’s “secret weapon” in 1860 but never saw action. It was the world’s first ironclad, steam-powered warship. Outside the dockyard gates, The Hard, or waterfront, leads to the pier, which is both the terminus for trains from London and the departure point for passenger steamers to the Isle of Wight, as well as the waterbus which takes visitors round the harbor.
From here, Gunwharf Road leads into Old Portsmouth. The oldest house in the city is Quebec House (1754). Between the Tudor defensive walls and the little commercial harbor, called The Camber, are a few streets of old houses, pubs and shops, where some of the old seafaring atmosphere has survived. Climb the Round Tower and watch a continuous procession of ferries, fishing boats and yachts passing through the narrow harbor mouth.
If you follow the fortifications eastward, the scene changes completely as you come to Southsea, a Victorian seaside resort. With its Clarence Pier, a wide, grassy esplanade, a fun fair and rows of pastel-colored Victorian hotels, it is a cheerful – and crowded – place on a summer weekend.