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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   UK   >   Towns and Cities   >   Portsmouth

   
 

Portsmouth


Portsmouth is a city on the South coast of England in the UK. As of 2005, the city itself had an estimated population of 189,000, and lies within a larger urban area with a population of 442,252.

Historically, and in fact right to the present day, Portsmouth has been a important base for the Royal Navy, as well as a important commercial base. The city contains the world's oldest dry dock still in use, as well as HMS Victory (Lord Nelson's ship at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805), the oldest naval ship still in commission. HMS Victory although technically still in commission is permanently located in a dry dock and is a museum ship open to the public.

Portsmouth


Key Facts about Portsmouth


HMS Victory:
HMS Victory
Here are some facts about Portsmouth:
  1. Portsmouth is a city on the South coast of England.

  2. The city is located 64 miles (103 kilometers) Southwest of London and 19 miles (31 kilometers) Southeast of Southampton.

  3. Portsmouth is the United Kingdom's only island city, as it is mainly located on Portsea Island.

  4. Portsmouth has been an important naval port for centuries. It is still, to this day, home to a Royal Navy dockyard and base, and is also the site of headquarters of the Royal Marine Commandos.

  5. Portsmouth is also a busy ferry port for both passenger and freight traffic.

  6. Portsmouth's main road links are the M275, the A3, and A2030. The M275 connects to the M27.

  7. Portsmouth has four main rail stations. These provide services to London Waterloo, London Victoria, Brighton, Southampton, and other destinations.

  8. The nearest airport is Southampton Airport. London Gatwick and London Heathrow are however less than 2 hours drive away.


Attractions and Places of Interest in Portsmouth


Some attractions and places of interest in Portsmouth and the surrounding area include:

Weather in Portsmouth


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Books about Portsmouth


Here are some books about Portsmouth:

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The Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and the Solent: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)

By Mark Bardell

Brand: Interlink Signal
Paperback (250 pages)

The Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and the Solent: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)
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Product Description:
Mark Bardell explores the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth and the surrounding maritime landscapes, revealing unexpected historical and literary associations. England s largest island, (at most 23 miles long), anchored close to the Hampshire coast, has a sheltered waterway, the Solent, with its own local roadsteads and a unique double tidal system. This geography has shaped the area s history.

A Visual Cruising Guide to the Southern New England Coast: Portsmouth, NH, to New London, CT

By James Bildner

International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
Paperback (272 pages)

A Visual Cruising Guide to the Southern New England Coast: Portsmouth, NH, to New London, CT
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New concept in navigation provides the perfect complement to your charts and traditional cruising guides

This unique cruising guide features aerial photos matched with chart segments to guide you through channels and harbor approaches. Prepared with input from local experts up and down the coast, hazards, safe channels, and key navigation aids are clearly labeled on photos and charts.

A Walking Tour of Portsmouth, New Hampshire

By Doug Gelbert

Released: 2017-02-10
Kindle Edition (61 pages)

A Walking Tour of Portsmouth, New Hampshire
 
Product Description:
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour is ready to explore when you are.

Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.

If you Google “Portsmouth” the Virginia town at the mouth of the Elizabeth River comes up first. But while both towns were named for the port in England, the colony of the Province of New Hampshire was actually founded (although he never actually made it this far south from his landing in Newfoundland) by the captain of the English port, John Mason. In fact, Portsmouth, New Hampshire was settled (1630) and fortified more than 100 years before its Virginia counterpart.

The natural harbor formed by the Piscataqua River has been compared to San Francisco for its advantages, save for a nasty current, and the early residents wasted no time in exploiting the location. Shipbuilding and trade made Portsmouth a favorite stop in Colonial times. And after America won its independence Portsmouth continued to be an important player in the young nation’s affairs. Portsmouth native John Langdon functioned as Acting President of the United States before giving the oath of office to George Washington. Portsmouth was generally considered the wealthiest city in New England and in the first census in 1790 it was the 14th most populous city in the country. Portsmouth would not drop out of the Top 20 until 1830.

The sea captains and merchants plowed their profits into their houses. As one observer noted, “The builders of Portsmouth had an eye for style. Tall, square, and many with hip roof, the mansions were the work of builders who were ever attentive to the molding of chimney caps, to the sweep and proportion of granite steps and coping, and to the detail of iron posts and hand-wrought designs on the railings. Topping many a house is the white-railed captain’s walk, from which the merchant could look into the bay and eagerly watch his ships slip home. Not so ornate as the houses of Salem, or so imposing as the Colonial mansions of Virginia, these dwellings show a delicacy of design that larger houses often lack.”

Fire was the enemy of these early American showplaces and Portsmouth suffered more than most. A 1781 blaze lay waste to important swaths of downtown. A Christmas night fire in 1802 completely destroyed entire blocks of Market Street and another in 1806 crippled Bow Street. Finally a conflagration in 1813 burned across 15 acres of the city and claimed nearly 300 structures. After that the New Hampshire legislature passed the Brick Act that forbade the erection of any wooden building higher than 12 feet, which displeased plenty of folks. Wood was cheaper than stone and brick and not everyone was rich. And the town was chock-full of skilled tradesmen who made their living shaping wood.

The result is two historic Portsmouths, one built of wood and the other built of brick. To launch our explorations of the “Old Town by the Sea” we will begin at the center of the downtown core in a sea of bricks before fanning out into the wood...

Portsmouth

By Laura Pope

Brand: Commonwealth Editions
Hardcover (80 pages)

Portsmouth
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New Hampshire's gateway to the sea is again becoming one of the most exciting cities in New England. It is a New England Landmark worth enjoying.

Audacity, Privateer Out of Portsmouth: Continuing the Account of the Life and Times of Geoffrey Frost, Mariner, of Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, as ... Books–Fiction of New England) (v. 2)

By J. E. Fender

Brand: University Press of New England
Paperback (298 pages)

Audacity, Privateer Out of Portsmouth: Continuing the Account of the Life and Times of Geoffrey Frost, Mariner, of Portsmouth, in New Hampshire, as ... Books–Fiction of New England) (v. 2)
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Book two of the Frost Saga continues the exciting nautical adventures launched in The Private Revolution of Geoffrey Frost, hailed as “an auspicious start” by Library Journal and now available in paperback.

Mariner, merchant, and reluctant warrior, Geoffrey Frost has entered the American Revolution on behalf of the colony of New Hampshire, commanding a captured British sloop o’ war and sailing out of Portsmouth to harass the British fleet. As Audacity opens, he is returning from Canada following a daring rescue of American prisoners held at Louisburg when he sails into a fog bank -- and straight into a British convoy shepherded by a thirty-two gun frigate.

In serving the American cause, Frost will impersonate a British merchant, capture several supply ships, order the execution of some of his own countrymen who have turned pirate and renegade, and perform an extraordinary feat of navigation in order to restore two men to the ship of the great explorer Captain James Cook. He will also meet the beguiling and exasperating Lady Cygnet, an opera singer, who promises to enliven and complicate Frost’s life in future volumes.


 
 
 

 
 
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