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Top 10 Family Things to Do Around Portsmouth

5th August 2015 Published by

i-6CzfgWv-XLHayling Island is a beautiful haven on England’s south coast, and when you’re staying with us at Mill Rythe, there’s no doubt you’ll find plenty to do to occupy you and your family. But right on the doorstep of Hayling Island is the great southern port city of Portsmouth, home to some 200,000 residents. This ancient city is just 64 miles southwest of London, and is the second largest city in Hampshire. What’s more, it is the UK’s only island city, and plays host to some fantastic ideas for family days out. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best local attractions:

Clarence Pier

One of the largest amusement parks on the south coast, Clarence Pier houses amusements, rides and activities for the whole family to enjoy, including a wide choice in food and drink outlets. It’s also home to Pirate Pete’s…

Pirate Pete’s (part of Clarence Pier)

While this is part of the Clarence Pier attraction, Pirate Pete’s warrants is own spot as it is the perfect spot to entertain younger children. It is home to the 100-foot Pete’s Pirate Ship, with a maze of tunnels, netted walkways, adventure ball pools and much more. If the weather isn’t on your side, this is a great indoor option to consider.

MiniPort Ships

Offering two locations in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the Gunwharf Quays, Miniport offers a great day out of family boat hire! Mini boats on offer are suitable for kids and other family members of all ages, and will provide you with a safe and unique experience on the water that you otherwise may never have expected.

PHD Mary Rose - New Museum image - Portsmouth Historic Dockyard 2MBPortsmouth City Museum

As a port city, Portsmouth’s history has long seen a flow of great people coming and going. The local museum is a wonderful testament to the city’s history depicted in paintings, photographs and prints. Other collections include the Archaeology collection, Charles Dickens collection, the Military History Collection and others.

Local Haunts Portsmouth

If you’re interested in local history but the traditional displays of a museum aren’t for you, then bring Portsmouth’s history to life by attending a walk, bus trip or other tour operated by this local company. They operate their own London bus, affectionately known as “Alf” and are open throughout the year, recreating history through storytelling, including some of the darker side of history that some museums or books may leave out!

Southsea Skate Park

Believed to be one of (if not the) oldest skate parks in the world, the park has been updated since its 1950s roller-skate origins to accommodate the more trendy modes of transportation and movement of today. During the summer holidays the park is open daily until 6:00pm (9:00pm on Wednesday and Friday). If your kids like the adrenaline rush of these alternative sporting activities, then Southsea is the perfect spot.

coral-reefBlue Reef Aquarium

It wouldn’t be right to talk about the attractions of a port city like Portsmouth without bringing up something centred on marine life. The Blue Reef Aquarium houses rays, sharks, otters, predator fish, amphibians, reptiles, coral, crabs and many other species. Visit their website to plan your visit, which can include attending feeding times!


Located on our own Hayling Island, this is one of the south coast’s biggest and best theme park attractions. Boasting all kinds of roller coasters, rides, amusements and other family fun, this park is not to be missed. We’re lucky in Hampshire to enjoy some of the best weather in the UK, so make sure you take a day to enjoy the sunshine and fun right here on Hayling Island!

Royal Armouries Fort Nelson

Located at Fareham, the market town at the northwest tip of Portsmouth, Fort Nelson is an imposing Victorian fort that is home to the Royal Armouries national collection of artillery. Positioned atop Portsdown Hill, it offers great views, a wealth of interesting history and all the benefits of a recent multi-million pound redevelopment.

Bowlplex Portsmouth

After a lot of tiring fun at Mill Rythe, and trips to local attractions, you may well need an easy relaxing day of bowling. This is especially the case if the weather does betray you and you need an easy-access indoor option. Bowlplex offers pool, bowling, an arcade, a coffee shop, bar and grill. It’s just what you need to wind down and enjoy good-old family fun.

Don’t miss out on the delights of Portsmouth and its many other historic, cultural and family attractions. Find your last-minute family break in Portsmouth today!

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