My Portsmouth Weekender
My weekend in Portsmouth was so awesome!
We arrived Friday night so that we could get up on Saturday morning and be out and about exploring as soon as we got up FYI, I will have full reviews in separate posts, I'll be including links for you.
We stayed at the Old Victory House which is a town house that has been converted into lots of rooms to be rented out, so we had to go to the Keppel's Head Hotel to check in and get the keys, it's also where we went every morning for our breakfast. Lucky enough, the hotel and house are really close to each other so it didn't take us long to sort out the keys and then get into the house.
It was quite late when we arrived so we decided to order a take-away through the Just Eat app instead of going out and finding somewhere to eat. If you ever go to Portsmouth and want good food, don't get it from Ken's, uncooked and some of our order wasn't delivered. Just don't waste your time lol.
On Saturday morning, we got up and went back to the hotel for breakfast where you can have a full English, cereal, fruit, yogurt and toast. They definitely make sure that you have a good start to the day.
Like a complete fool, I didn't actually look at the opening times for the dockyard so we were there about an hour too early lol. Lucky for us, we found a nice little cafe called Cafe Oasis right near the dockyard entrance to have a lovely hot chocolate and slice of cake in.
We went to the Portsmouth Dockyard (once it was open) and had the best time! I got us the Ultimate Explorer Passes last year when we had planned on going to Portsmouth for my birthday but then couldn't go on the trip so was very happy that the passes were still in date for this trip.
We went on the HMS Victory and saw way more than I thought we were going to. I had no idea how many decks you get to see, it just felt like it was going on forever and for the first time ever, I felt tall lol. The ceilings were so low that I nearly hit my head about a hundred times but my poor Sean is 6 foot tall so at one point he was actually bent over when we were walking around. I'm 5 foot 7 inches so can you imagine how tall the sailors on that shop must have been to comfortably get around?? I also had no idea how many levels there were to the Victory, it felt like it just kept going deeper and deeper down.
I loved that they had the gift shop on the Victory as well because when we first went in, I was wondering if it had its own gift shop as the Mary Rose Museum has its own shop.
We loved looking round the Victory Gallery because it had a great film on the history of the Victory and a great exhibit with parts from the shop and artefacts. Then you go upstairs and they had an exhibit on ship figureheads.
The National Museum Of The Royal Navy was so interesting, it is basically the whole history of the Royal Navy over the last 350 years. There were so many pictures, videos, artefacts and great interaction tasks as you walked around. There was even a live actor walking around talking to people.
We went to the gift shop and cafe for something to eat for lunch, there was a lot of choice but we decided to just share a pepperoni pizza.
We went on the harbour tour as it was included in our passes. We actually went on it twice seeing as we enjoyed it so much the first time lol. Plus, they had a bar so we got to sit back and enjoy the views while listening to the information over the speakers and a beer in hand. We got to see HMS Prince Of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth which were at the dockyard to run through drills and prepare for going out. We went around the bay and stopped at the Spinnaker Tower to pick up and drop people off as there was a big shopping centre under the tower.
Did you know?..... When the Spinnaker opened, the mayor of Portsmouth said that he wanted to be the first person to go up in the glass lift to the top of the tower but it got stuck and he was in there for 2 hours! Strangely enough, the lift never worked after that and was removed all together.
We went back to the Keppel's Head Hotel after we were done in the dockyard and was just in time for happy hour! 2-4-1 on cocktails, who can not be happy about that? We had a few cocktails and got talking to some of the locals that gave us brilliant tips on the take aways around the hotel, we didn't want a repeat of the night before. They told us about Harbour View Chinese Take Away, lucky enough, they are on Just Eat so we ordered some food just before we left the hotel. and had enough time to walk back to the house and get changed into our PJs before the food arrived. OMG it was amazing! I wish that they had a place near to where I live as I would gladly order from there again. The food was all piping hot, really delicious and quite big portions. We basically ended up in a food coma and didn't wake up again until the next morning.
We got up Sunday morning and couldn't decide what to do so came up with the plan of driving home and seeing what comes up on the road signs as we drove along. This was an awesome plan as we saw a sign for Portchester Castle. The castle is an English Heritage site and lucky for us, we are members of English Heritage. It was great walking around but I had quite a bad panic attack coming back down the stairs in the actual castle, the stairs were so steep that I was terrified I would fall. Sean had to stand at the bottom of the stairs and talk to me while I came down the stairs on my bum.
All in all, it was a great weekend away to do a bit of exploring history and chilling out.