Sunday, 17 August 2014

Portsmouth


Portsmouth. One of England's most famous cities and with a rich maritime history known around the world. You can find out more about its history here:

http://www.localhistories.org/portsmouth.html 

Just 65 miles from London and only 19 miles from Portsmouth this city is a must on your visit list if you are coming from overseas.


Portsmouth has the world's oldest dry dock which is still in use today. The city is home to one of the most famous ships in naval history - HMS Victory. Portsmouth is still a significant and important strategic base and dockyard for the Royal Navy.


With a population of over 200,000 the nearby Southampton, Havant, Eastleigh, Fareham and Gosport all contribute to making this the 6th largest urban area in England. Portsmouth today is still a busy port and ferry terminal. The centre of the town has an abundance of cafes, restaurants and bars and there is a long sea front promenade from where you can observe the old sea forts and the incoming vessels as they travel to and from port.

For more photos of Portsmouth and HMS Victory click here





Portchester Castle



The medieval Portchester Castle has its origins from a Roman Fort. Situated just East of Fareham and close to Portsmouth Harbour, this late 11th century castle is an impressive structure in a prominent position at the head of the Harbour.


This Grade I listed building is part of the Southwick Estate but managed by English Heritage it is open to visitors all year round. Today it is a popular recreational destination with some spectacular views of the harbour and a good place for ramblers.

Rumour has it that the castle is haunted with sightings of a horse appearing from a wall and then disappearing from site. You can find out more about the history of the castle at http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/

For photos of Portchester Castle click here






Southampton


Southampton in Hampshire is just 19 miles from Portsmouth. Both Southampton and nearby Portsmouth have a population of over 1.5 million people. Southampton has been an important strategic military town since the civil war. It has seen expansion and popularity as a Spa Town and today it is a popular tourist destination close to the New Forest.


The Pilgrim Fathers left Southampton on the Mayflower in 1620 and in 1912 the RMS Titanic left Southampton on its fateful maiden voyage.The famous Spitfire Aircraft was designed and built in Southampton. 


Southampton docks play a major part in the economy as well as being a major employer in the city. The port is used for cruise ships and luxury liners as well as for freight, the fourth largest in terms of tonnage of freight in the UK. 

This is a major UK historical town with a good infrastructure and plenty of accommodation, restaurants, cafes and bars. There is plenty to do and see in the town and you have the added advantage of Portsmouth being situated nearby. 

Ipswich


Ipswich in Suffolk is situated on the estuary of the River Orwell. It used to be a manufacturing town but most of the manufacturing has moved away or closed down. This is the largest town in Suffolk with a population of 133,000. Much new building has take place to improve the town.


This town has a rich architectural history and many important and influential people have had connections with the town. Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Gainsborough, Charles Dickens and Lord Nelson would all have been familiar with the town having been either born or resident here.


Although the likes of Ransomes lawnmowers, Sims & Jefferies and the large sugar beet factory have all closed or moved this is still a Haven Port through which millions of tonnes of freight passes through it every year. Serviced by a reasonable number of small cafes, restaurants and bars Ipswich is a pleasant town with an excellent dock area and well worth a visit.

For photos of Ispwich click here





Royal Tunbridge Wells


Often referred to as Tunbridge Wells for short this large town in Kent is just 40 miles from London. It is a popular destination for those wanting to 'get out of the smoke' and its history as a Spa Town means that it has an abundance of fine buildings and architecture.


This is a very affluent town and it has an abundance of good cafes, restaurants and bars. The streets are a delight to walk through and there are plenty of independent shops. 

For more photos of Royal Tunbridge Wells click here