Portsmouth Day Trip - History of the City
Portsmouth is a port city in Hampshire, England, 70 miles south-west of London and 19 miles (31 km) south-east of Southampton, with a population of 205,400. If you are planning a Portsmouth day trip than we have collected some interesting facts about the city for you.
The city's history dates back to Roman times, and has been an important naval port for hundreds of years. Portsmouth plays host to the world's oldest dry dock and was England's first line of defense in 1545, during the French invasion. Another invasion was anticipated from continental Europe so Special Palmerston Forts were built in 1859. By the 1800s, Portsmouth had become the most heavily fortified city in the world, and was heralded as "the world's greatest naval port" at the height of the British Empire. It also became the world’s most industrialised site after setting up the first mass production line during the Industrial Revolution.
Portsmouth has become a world famous port, known internationally. The HMS Victory, the flagship of Lord Nelson, is the world's oldest naval ship still in commission and can be seen in her dry dock, as a museum ship. The city has many other famous ships, such as HMS Warrior, and the Tudor carrack Mary Rose. Hosting two-thirds of the UK’s surface feet is the HMNB Portsmouth is the Royal Navy’s home. Gunwharf Quays, now a retail park, was once the HMS Vernon naval shore establishment now accommodates many galleries and attractions. Also along the waterfront is the Spinnaker Tower, one of Portsmouths newest, but perhaps most notable, attractions. It is an observation tower that stands at 560-feet, who’s sail design was chosen by the local residents to honour the city’s lengthy history as a port town, and opened in 2005.
Culture in Portsmouth
Portsmouth has an incredible list of cultural attractions, with plenty of theatres, open air or ancient; live music venues and concert halls; contemporary art galleries and museums; a pair of cathedrals; an extensive literary heritage; nightclub and other nightlife offerings; events and festivals throughout the year.
Portsmouth has over a dozen museums, two cathedrals and a variety of attractions and you will surely find something to captivate in you amongst all the activities Portsmouth offers.
St John's R.C. Cathedral is at the very heart of the city, and is a spectacular building to visit. St Thomas' Anglican Cathedral is located in archaic part of the city, Old Portsmouth, with history dating back to the 12th Century.
Portsmouth's has museums for just about any topic you’re interested in dealing with themes from the city's literary heritage, maritime history and social history. Fans of Sherlock Holmes will find themselves right at home in Portsmouth, which plays host to the largest collection of items that deal with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous creation.
Art in Porthmouth
Hotwalls Studios in Old Portsmouth is a breathing arts hub for the entire city. Modern, and affordable studios for artist, designers, and creative people of all sorts have been opened from the repurposed arches at Point Battery. These studios have an open-door policy, meaning that they are open to the curious visitors who would like to drop in and have at the artistic process of creators, get updated on new shows or gallery openings, or even buy a masterpiece.
Gunwharf Quays, has plenty of gallery to choose from, and showcases the latest in the contemporary art world from local and international artist. An outstanding exhibition program featuring works by contemporary artists from around the world. If you’re unsure of your interests, or if you’re interested in everything then the Portsmouth Museum’s fine and decorative art gallery has to be one of your stops. With its continuously changing displays varying up their exhibitions with paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, furniture, glass and textiles from 500 years of artistic endeavours.
There's always a new program or art exhibition across the city to be found in its theatres, community centres and outdoor areas.
For fans of the maritime history and vibrant social activites a Portsmouth day trip is an excellent opportunity for a visit anytime during the year.
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