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Walkable Portsmouth

People walking along the fortifications of Old Portsmouth at sunset

A walkable Portsmouth itinerary

Portsmouth is flat and compact, with a great many top attractions sitting right alongside one another. This makes for a destination where you can leave the car behind and explore on foot. Our 'Walkable Portsmouth' itinerary shows you just how many fantastic things there are to see and do just a short stroll from one another.

You start at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where you can see HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, the Mary Rose (and lots, lots more) with just one ticket. After exploring all there is to enjoy at the Dockyard you can walk to the waterfront outlet centre Gunwharf Quays - a mere 250 metres away.

Inside Gunwharf Quays you can head to the shops to bag a bargain; enjoy something to eat or drink at the bars and restaurants; or spend time at the on-site bowling alley, multiplex cinema or contemporary art gallery (Aspex). Gunwharf Quays is also home to Spinnaker Tower. Head up the high-speed lift to enjoy spectacular views of Portsmouth, the Solent and the wider region.

From Gunwharf Quays your next destination is Portsmouth Cathedral, barely more than 500 metres away. The 'Cathedral of the Sea' is situated in historic Old Portsmouth, and has regular events alongside its traditional services.

After taking in the cathedral you can pay a visit to the Hotwalls Studios and wider Old Portsmouth area. It's around 300 metres from the cathedral to the studios - with a walking time of four minutes.

At the Hotwalls you can call in to see the designer-makers at work and maybe treat yourself to one of their unique items. There's also the Canteen serving up fresh produce with a view overlooking the channel where ships come and go into Portsmouth Harbour. Alternatively, head further along The Camber area where you'll find historic pubs also serving great food alongside their extensive drinks selections.

After the Hotwalls Studios it's off to the Royal Garrison Church, around 350 metres away. The historic church was where Charles II married Catherine of Braganza, but is today more renowned for having no roof after suffering bomb damage in the Second World War (and being a popular subject for amateur and professional photographers alike).

After taking a snap of the church you can head the 550 metres (along the new sea defence walkway) to Clarence Pier. There you can enjoy the fairground, arcades, crazy golf and restaurants, as well as the numerous places selling mementos, postcards and sweet treats.

Next up is the longest walk of the itinerary - a whole 900m that should take you not much more than 10 minutes. It's the seafront stroll along Clarence Esplanade to Blue Reef Aquarium. Not only is the walk itself enjoyable, once you arrive there's an underwater world to explore - with clownfish, stingrays and turtles among those waiting to greet you.

After taking in the aquarium your next stops are The D-Day Story (barely 200 metres away) and Southsea Castle (around 150 metres further).

At The D-Day Story you get to step into the shoes of those who crossed the channel to Normandy for the campaign that turned the tide of World War 2. You can also step on board LCT 7074, the enormous landing craft that transported troops and has undergone a multi-million-pound restoration.

Then, over at Southsea Castle you can take a walk through Henry VIII's fortification, see the museum in the keep and then enjoy stunning coastal views from the ramparts.

There's all this (and more) to enjoy, taking in some of Portsmouth's top picks - all of which are a remarkably easy, very enjoyable walk away from one another.

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Product Information

  1. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

    HM Naval Base, Portsmouth

    Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the UK’s premier destination for exploring 500 years of naval history.

  2. Gunwharf Quays


    Gunwharf Quays is home to over 90 famous brands all offering up to 60% off the regular retail price. If you love to shop then there really is no better place than Gunwharf Quays.

  3. Spinnaker Tower


    ​​​​​​​​Experience the view from the stunning 170-metre icon of the South Coast.

  4. Portsmouth Cathedral, St. Thomas'


    Take a voyage of discovery at Portsmouth Cathedral, and uncover over 800 years of history.

  5. Hotwalls Studios

    Broad Street, Old Portsmouth

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

  6. Royal Garrison Church


    Discover this beautiful church in Old Portsmouth, which was partially destroyed during a firebomb raid in 1941.

  7. Clarence Pier Amusement Park


    Clarence Pier Southsea is one of the largest amusement parks on the south coast and boasts all manner of amusements, rides and activities for the whole family.

  8. Blue Reef Aquarium


    Take the ultimate undersea adventure at Blue Reef Aquarium Portsmouth.

  9. The D-Day Story


    The D-Day Story is the only museum in the UK dedicated to the Allied Invasion in June 1944.

  10. Southsea Castle

    Southsea, Portsmouth

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

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (50.79929,-1.10801)Gunwharf Quays (50.79511,-1.10432)0.48
Gunwharf Quays (50.79511,-1.10432)Aspex (50.79543,-1.10635)0.13
Aspex (50.79543,-1.10635)Spinnaker Tower (50.79551,-1.10668)0.02
Spinnaker Tower (50.79551,-1.10668)Portsmouth Cathedral, St. Thomas' (50.79034,-1.10464)0.53
Portsmouth Cathedral, St. Thomas' (50.79034,-1.10464)Hotwalls Studios (50.79008,-1.10799)0.21
Hotwalls Studios (50.79008,-1.10799)Royal Garrison Church (50.78927,-1.10392)0.27
Royal Garrison Church (50.78927,-1.10392)Clarence Pier Amusement Park (50.78604,-1.10031)0.4
Clarence Pier Amusement Park (50.78604,-1.10031)Blue Reef Aquarium (50.78052,-1.09136)0.79
Blue Reef Aquarium (50.78052,-1.09136)The D-Day Story (50.78011,-1.09005)0.09
The D-Day Story (50.78011,-1.09005)Southsea Castle (50.77814,-1.08926)0.2
Total Distance *3.14 miles
Estimated Journey Time6 minutes

* Approximate distance by road

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