Visit Portsmouth and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Portsmouth, Hampshire, has been important in the history of the Navy since early times. Richard I built the first dock here as far back as 1194, and in 1495 the first dry dock in the world was built here. There was further development in the 17th century, with Pepys much concerned, and from then on Portsmouth has gone from strength to strength until today the dockyards spread over about 300 acres, compared with the 8 acres they covered in the time of Henry VIII.
Charles Dickens was born here, and his modest house in Commercial Road is full of mementoes of his life and is open to the public. Jonas Hanway, the inventor of the umbrella in the 18th century, came from Portsmouth, and the town also has associations with many of the great men in naval history, including the unfortunate Admiral Byng who was brought here to be shot in 1775.
Portsmouth is a town that grew up by itself rather than to plan. It suffered greatly during the Second World War, so there has been much new building. The old part is near the Round Tower, part of an old fortification now open to the public. The square Tower was added later by Henry VII and it is near here in Broad Street and High Street that the old houses are to be found. One is named after the Duke of Buckingham, one-time Lord High Admiral, who was murdered in 1628.
In the dockyard is Nelson's flagship, H.M.S. Victory, which remains more or less as it was at Trafalgar. Also in the dockyard are some splendid l8th-century houses.
The cathedral was originally founded as a church in the 12th century in honour of St Thomas Becket. The nave and tower were rebuilt after being damaged in the Civil War, and in the twentieth century, when the church was promoted to Cathedral, extensive alterations and additions were made.
The Garrison church is mostly 13th-century, but restored in the 19th century and then bombed during the war. It was formerly part of an old hospital built to welcome the sick and travellers. Later part of these buildings became the Governor's house. Catherine of Braganza was married to Charles II from here. She brought Tangier as part of her dowry, and plate from there can still be seen at the cathedral.
Nearby cities: Southampton
Nearby towns: Cowes, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Hayling Island, Petersfield, Ryde
Nearby villages: Alverstoke, Ashey, Bedhampton, Bridgemary, Cosham, Eastney, Emsworth, Farlington, Fleetland, Gosport, Haven Street, Hill Head, Hilsea, Horndean, Isle of Wight, Langstone, Lee-on-the-Solent, North Hayling, Portchester, Rowlands Castle, Seaview, South Hayling, Southsea, Titchfield, Waterlooville, Westbourne, Wickham, Wootton Bridge
Have you decided to visit Portsmouth or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Portsmouth bed and breakfast (a Portsmouth B&B or Portsmouth b and b)
- a Portsmouth guesthouse
- a Portsmouth hotel (or motel)
- a Portsmouth self-catering establishment, or
- other Portsmouth accommodation