As Portsmouth is a seaside city (Britain's only island city, in fact), summertime is very much seen as the best opportunity to come for a visit. This is understandable, of course, as the beaches, promenade, fairs and Common are at their best when bathed in summer sun.

There's more to Portsmouth than just warm, sunny afternoons on the beach, however. It's a city that really comes alive in the autumn.

Hilsea Lines

The open area at the northernmost tip of Portsea Island is Hilsea Lines - also known as Foxes Forest. The walking routes along this way stretch from Hilsea Bastion Gardens and the Mountbatten Centre right across to Eastern Road. There are many potential walks to take along Hilsea Lines, from the newly redeveloped sea defence track (which is ideally suited for gentle walks or those with prams or wheelchairs) to the boggier and more rugged woodland path. Avid explorers may also wish to take in the old ramparts, which can be climbed at certain points along the route.

This area is much loved by walkers, dog owners and cyclists alike, with many of them sharing a chat as they share the path. An autumnal walk through the Lines showcases the area at its best; when the leaves turn golden, the wildlife is rich and the fields are verdant.


Victorious Festival may be Portsmouth's biggest music event, but that needn't mean the city's entertainment scene gets packed away when the main stage does. Just a few short weeks after Victorious is Southsea Fest, a celebration of great new, local and established bands that takes up numerous venues in Albert Road and the surrounding areas. This year's headliners are Mystery Jets, British Sea Power, The Pigeon Detectives and Lucy Rose - who perform alongside plenty of local bands and many others that are set for great things. Previous SSF acts have included Band of Skulls, Joy Formidable, The Sound of Rum, Temples, Drenge, Future of the Left, Eliza and the Bear, Nothing but Thieves, Slaves, Pulled Apart by Horses and Spring King.

Autumn is also peak touring season for bands and artists heading off on their nationwide jaunts. With music venues in the form of the Wedgewood Rooms, Pyramids Centre and Guildhall (among countless others), there is something to suit bands of all sizes. On top of this, Portsmouth is blessed with two Frank Matcham theatres - the elegant and striking Kings Theatre on Albert Road, and the smaller, quirkier New Theatre Royal on Guildhall Walk. Across these venues this autumn you have acts as big and varied as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Jimmy Carr, the RSC performing King Lear, Primal Scream, Jodi Picoult and loads more.

Keep fit

With the warmth of summer receding, but the harsh cold of winter not yet upon us, autumn is a great time to get out and exercise. Heading out in the days and weeks before the clocks change will still give you light evenings, but not the hot, sticky conditions that can cause fatigue to set in quickly. In short, it's the opportune time to really hit your exercise straps and notch up some PBs.

It's perfect timing, then, for the Great South Run - which is held at the end of October when conditions will be just right for a run (hopefully, this is Britain after all). The course covers ten flat, fast miles - a factor which has garnered it a reputation for being 'the world's premier 10-mile running event'. Additionally, the sight of HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, the Southsea seafront and the Spinnaker Tower should be distraction enough to keep runners from feeling the burn too much.

The Great South Run isn't Portsmouth's only autumn event, though. There's the Pieces of Eight, Portsmouth RNLI 10k, Ghost Race Five and Octoberfest 6km to put runners through their paces. If after all these you still want more of a challenge, there's always the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon just before Christmas to train for…

Portsmouth: City of Museums

Though autumn may bring to mind thoughts of crisp mornings, where woollen overcoats keep you toasty on gentle strolls, the reality is often a little wetter. Fear not if the clouds gather, though, as there are museums aplenty to entertain families on even the rainiest of days.

The City Museum celebrates Portsmouth and its inhabitants - both current and past. 'A Study in Sherlock' pays tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was practicing as a doctor in Southsea when he penned the first two novels featuring his now-iconic sleuth. Fun fact: comedian, polymath and national treasure Stephen Fry is patron of the collection and his dulcet tones ring out throughout the exhibit every day.

A little way down the road from Portsmouth City Museum is the Historic Dockyard, featuring (among others) Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose. After it was rescued from the Solent bed in 1982, the ship underwent a long and intensive period of restoration. Now the process is complete and visitors can get the best view of the ship in more than 400 years. The museum's top floor even has an air lock, permitting visitors to finally enter the same room as the ship and not be separated from it by glass.

In addition to these you have the D-Day Museum, Southsea Castle, Cumberland House Natural History Museum and plenty more to fill even the wintriest of autumn days.

So even though the hot days and long nights may be gone for another year, that shouldn't prevent you from seeing all that Portsmouth has to offer. Couple all this with off-peak prices and a quieter atmosphere, and you have every reason to head to the seaside for an autumnal holiday.




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  4. Flanigan001
    thnks for share
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