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Free things to do in Portsmouth

Southsea Castle at Sunset

It's possible to explore some of the city's highlights without breaking the bank. In fact, you can do it without spending a penny! Here are some of the top attractions you can visit in Portsmouth, and the best things to see and do, all of which are completely free!

Start with a visit to Cumberland House Natural History Museum, where you can journey through the city's natural habitats - and even see butterflies if you visit in season! Then, head out west, taking in South Parade Pier, Southsea Castle, the Hotwalls Studios and more.

Your trip concludes with a journey off Portsea Island, to walk around the beautiful Farlington Marshes, then end with a view across the whole city and beyond, from the top of Portsdown Hill.

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  1. Cumberland House Natural History Museum

    Southsea, Portsmouth

    Cumberland House has now re-opened.

  2. South Parade Pier


    South Parade Pier stands proudly in the centre of Southsea’s stunning 4 mile coastline with amazing unique views of the Isle of Wight and across The Solent.

  3. Southsea Castle

    Southsea, Portsmouth

    Visit Henry VIII's Southsea Castle, right along the water's edge.

  4. Southsea Common


    Southsea Common is a vast open space that was purchased from the War Department in 1922. It is ideal for kite flying, picnics and informal ball games.

  5. Millennium Promenade


    Three kilometres of promenade now links all of Portsmouth’s historic waterfront. The route starts from Spur Redoubt near Clarence Pier, Southsea and finishes on The Hard, taking in Old Portsmouth, the Camber and Gunwharf Quays.

  6. St. Thomas' Anglican Cathedral


    Portsmouth Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Portsmouth, which covers south-east Hampshire, Portsea Island and the Isle of Wight. It is the base of the Bishop of Portsmouth, and the focal point for many diocese-wide services and events

  7. Hotwalls Studios

    Broad Street, Old Portsmouth

    The Hotwalls Studios brings local artists, designers and makers together, in an exceptional heritage location.

  8. Round Tower


    The Round Tower is one of Portsmouth's oldest permanent fortifications.

  9. Victoria Park


    A haven of green tucked away in the city centre adjacent to the Guildhall and Civic Offices.

  10. Baffins Pond


    Baffins Pond (at 4.35 hectares) is home to a host of wild fowl and ducks, as well as established reed beds.

  11. Farlington Marshes Wildlife Reserve


    Farlington Marshes is one of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s oldest nature reserves.

  12. Portsdown Hill


    Portsdown Hill provides magnificent views over Portsmouth and beyond. The slopes are home to impressive shows of wildlife that can be explored through miles of paths.

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Cumberland House Natural History Museum (50.78206,-1.07038)South Parade Pier (50.77858,-1.07599)0.5
South Parade Pier (50.77858,-1.07599)Southsea Castle (50.77814,-1.08926)0.84
Southsea Castle (50.77814,-1.08926)Southsea Common (50.78178,-1.09241)0.42
Southsea Common (50.78178,-1.09241)Millennium Promenade (50.78633,-1.09993)0.66
Millennium Promenade (50.78633,-1.09993)St. Thomas' Anglican Cathedral (50.79034,-1.10464)0.5
St. Thomas' Anglican Cathedral (50.79034,-1.10464)Hotwalls Studios (50.79008,-1.10799)0.21
Hotwalls Studios (50.79008,-1.10799)Round Tower (50.79044,-1.10812)0.04
Round Tower (50.79044,-1.10812)Aspex (50.79543,-1.10635)0.51
Aspex (50.79543,-1.10635)Victoria Park (50.7995,-1.09349)0.91
Victoria Park (50.7995,-1.09349)The Portsmouth Music Experience (50.79744,-1.09257)0.21
The Portsmouth Music Experience (50.79744,-1.09257)Baffins Pond (50.80744,-1.05634)2.5
Baffins Pond (50.80744,-1.05634)Farlington Marshes Wildlife Reserve (50.83413,-1.03177)3.09
Farlington Marshes Wildlife Reserve (50.83413,-1.03177)Portsdown Hill (50.8573,-1.07692)3.68
Total Distance *14.08 miles
Estimated Journey Time27 minutes

* Approximate distance by road

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