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Southampton or Portsmouth?

Sydney, Australia
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Southampton or Portsmouth?

We have five days to spare on our trip to the south next June, before going back to London for Wimbledon

Where would we be better off spending it: Portsmouth, Southampton or somewhere else in that area?

I had originally thought Southampton would be the best choice due to its size and location but after reading Lonely Planet’s description of it as “...more a transport hub than an appealing place to stay” (Lonely Planet Guide to GB, Pg 290) I’m having second thoughts.

Only place we’ve been to in that part of the world is Bournemouth, where we spent a few wet and rainy days in Jul 2008. So I wouldn’t rush back there.

We enjoy historical sites, museums and going to cinemas, pubs and restaurants. As mature-aged travellers, we are also happy to hang out in shopping malls, go for walks or just chill, drink coffee and soak up the atmosphere of a new town.

Generally we prefer larger cities where there’s a bit of activity and nightlife and a decent choice of accommodation.

Coming from Sydney we like being near the water.

(PS: I’m posting this question on the Portsmouth forum as well.)

Staffordshire...
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1. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

If you are into history why not take a visit to Stratford upon Avon. Shakespeare's birthplace. It's a lovely town with lots to see. You could tie that in with a visit to Birmingham while you are in the Midlands which has excellent shopping. I know it's not coastal but both areas are very popular. Personally don't think Portsmouth or Southampton are holiday places, more for a transport hub as you say, although I've no doubt others will disagree.

Unfortunately the weather is not guaranteed and as in your visit to Bournemouth if it rains then it tends to put you off returning (I had the same experience with Cornwall).

The Devon coastline is nice and well worth a visit.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

Thanks, we've been to Birmingham in 2008 and didn't find it all that exciting apart from the Bullring!

Maybe I should have mentioned this, but so far our itinerary is:

Lond - Cheltenham/Cotswolds - Bristol - St Ives - Plymouth - Port/South?? - Rochester - London : then a week in Lond before heading north

So I guess we could also visit Stratford while touring the Cotswolds

Someone on the Portsmouth forum mentioned that one could do ferry trips from Southampton: Apart from the Isle of Wight are there any other nearby places to go on day trips by ferry from Ports. or South?

East Sussex, United...
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3. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

Well I wouldn't argue with your view of Birmingham !

I'd stick with plan A and head to Portsmouth, which, as someone commented on your other thread, has lots of interesting history. Stay in Old Portsmouth though if you can - cobbled streets and some good pubs.

From Portsmouth you can get the car ferry to Fishbourne, the Fastcat to Ryde and the hovercraft to Ryde. From Southampton the ferries go to Cowes. Lymington, a bit further along the coast is another (although much smaller) port where you can get a ferry to Yarmouth. All these places are on the IOW. You can also get a car ferry from Portsmouth to Northern France if so inclined.

Have a look at this thread for some ideas from someone with a similar question : tripadvisor.co.uk/…36687387

Mike

Hampshire, United...
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4. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

You have already been given good advice on the Portsmouth forum.

For a list of possible places to visit from either place see tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i24705-Day_tr…

Leicester, United...
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5. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

As you like history Portsmouth should suit you. The Historic Dockyards are very good value. Also the Royal Armouries [the Big guns] on the road towards Fareham is excellent and is free admission

Southampton, United...
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6. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

Pains me to say it but you should head for Portsmouth rather than Southampton.

London
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7. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

I agree, on a toss up between Portsmouth and Southampton, Portsmouth sounds like it will fit your bill better. The shopping and nightlife and waterfront around Gunwharf Quays more closely matches what you're used to in Sydney.

But why choose somewhere that reminds you of home on a holiday? Find something different - in between your itinery of Plymouth to Rochester, how about spending it in Bath or Salisbury or Winchester, all three are lovely historic towns, with museums, cathedrals and streets which are older than Sydney itself, and which would be much more memorable than either Southampton or Portsmouth.

Staffordshire...
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8. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

I see your post on the Portsmouth forum has been closed. Assume you simply copied the same question as on this forum so why has it been closed?

The Isle of Wight is a nice place to go for a ferry ride and June is a good month to visit. May see you there then as I'm off there at the end of June. :)

Leicester, United...
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9. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

Duplicate Posting?

Essex
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10. Re: Southampton or Portsmouth?

There is TONS to do in Portsmouth and Southsea - and in fact there are also some quite nice beaches. Gunwharf Quays has quite a 'mediterranean vibe' on a nice sunny day too.

You have loads of good advice already anyway, but here are some websites to help:

http://www.visitportsmouth.co.uk/

http://www.gunwharf-quays.com/

http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/

http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/

The D-Day Museum site links you to many other Museums in Portsmouth.