Wales' Premier Independent Travel Magazine

Premier Portsmouth

Portsmouth is packed with history. Boring? Not a chance, this brilliant British naval port punches well above its weight.
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Last weekend, we had a few meetings in Portsmouth so we thought we’d stay over and take a look around the city with the view to featuring this beautiful, historic port in the near future.

Portsmouth, and Premier Inn, certainly didn’t disappoint. The old port area has been beautifully regenerated and is now home to not only half the British navy but, to Jennifer’s delight, Gunwharf Quays, a superb outlet shopping experience.

I visited Portsmouth as a child in primary school back in the seventies. To a small boy from the valleys, this was a great adventure. We explored HMS Victory and scurried around below decks. It was, I recall, immense fun. The Victory is still there and she’s about to enjoy a much needed eight year restoration. We’ll definitely be back to explore her again.

Back in October 2005 I happened to be in Portsmouth again. I was travelling to the Isle of Wight with a car transporter to pick up some old Toyota Celicas (my then car passion). As we pulled away from the quay, we marvelled at the Spinnaker Tower. I was then informed by a fellow passenger that it was the day of the official opening and the councillors were all trapped in the external glass lift. While hundreds of people, the press and media looked on, a team of abseiling engineers fixed the problem and released them over an hour later. All quite embarrassing.

The controversial millennium project apparently went over budget by millions and was five years late after the original consortium collaped. Be that as it may, the Spinnaker is glorius, especially at night, and a really quite imposing landmark – the perfect architectural icon to ‘top off’ the huge development at this brilliant port.

Where did we stay?

Premier Inn. Portsmouth Dockyard. Perfectly located and plenty of overnight parking a mere two minutes walk away.

Super clean. Staff were excellent – knowledgeable and helpful. One minor niggle, the window handle had detached itself but, even though the weather was gloriously hot, the air con worked perfectly. Would we stay again? Absolutely.

Just click here to read Jennifer’s take on Gunwharf Quays.

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