Portsmouth Activities

  • World-famous watersports location
  • International yacht racing on the Solent
  • The home of windsurfing
  • Historical maritime dockyard
  • A vibrant and modern seafront city

Portsmouth in Hampshire has a long association with the ocean. The city’s location at the heart of the Solent has ensured its importance to the nation’s marine heritage.

The city’s Royal Navy dockyard is the largest in the UK and plays host to two thirds of the total naval fleet. The dockyard is an attraction in itself with a who’s who of the famous ships from the history of Great British maritime history.

ACTIVITIES IN AND NEAR Portsmouth Activities

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The Port House Port Solent
Portsmouth, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 1.65 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Sailing Schools...
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Eastern Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 2.01 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Canoeing, Dinghy Sailing, Kayaking, Windsurfing, Rowing, Stand Up Paddleboarding...
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Gosport Marina Mumby Road
Gosport, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 2.07 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Sailing Schools, Skippered Yacht Charter, Yacht Charter and Racing...
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167 The High Street
Lee on Solent, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 5.17 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Kite Surfing, Kiting, Stand Up Paddleboarding...
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Airtime Sports Ltd 167 High Street
Lee on Solent, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 5.17 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Kite Surfing...
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Four Winds Wade Lane
Rowlands Castle, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 5.23 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Sailing Schools, Yacht Charter and Racing...
blank JCA Mill Rythe Activity Centre
16 Havant Road
Hayling Island, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 5.47 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Archery, Beach Games, Blind Trail, Bushcraft Course, Circus Skills, Climbing, Disc Golf,...
blank JCA Rooksbury Park Activity Centre
Fareham, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 6.67 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Archery, Climbing Wall, Climbing...
blank Ambush Paintball
7 Hunts Pond Road Park Gate
Southampton, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 8.41 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Paintball, Segway Driving, Laser Quest...
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Cobnor Point Chidham
Chichester, West Sussex
DISTANCE: 9.15 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Abseiling, Archery, Canoeing, Climbing Wall, Dinghy Sailing, Kayaking, Low Ropes, Mountain Biking,...
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Calshot Spit Fawley
Southampton, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 9.58 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Climbing, Climbing Wall, Dinghy Sailing, Indoor Climbing, Kayaking, Powerboating, Skiing,...
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12 The Parade East Wittering
Chichester, West Sussex
DISTANCE: 10.02 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Ocean Wildlife Cruise...
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Mercury Yacht Harbour Satchell Lane Hamble
Southampton, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 10.48 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Powerboating, Sailing Schools, Yacht Charter and Racing...
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West Wittering Windsurf Club West Wittering
Chichester, West Sussex
DISTANCE: 10.76 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Kite Surfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Windsurfing, Surfing, Kiting...
blank QE2 Silver Jubilee Activities Centre
Pylands Lane Bursledon
Southampton, Hampshire
DISTANCE: 10.91 Miles
ACTIVITIES: Archery, Bushcraft Course, Canoeing, Climbing Wall, Gorge Walking, Indoor Climbing, Low Ropes, Raft...


The marine theme of the city continues far beyond the navy, with the area now recognised as one of the best locations for water sports in the UK.

There are numerous sites within the local area which are popular for watersports. The nearby Hayling Island is recognised as the home of windsurfing and remains a very popular location for the sport to this day.

Portsmouth is the only city in the UK with a greater population density than London and many enjoy walking and cycling along the promenade and on the famous common in Southsea.

Hayling Island

Hayling has a reputation as one of the best locations for watersports. It is also recognised as the home of windsurfing, ever since Peter Chilvers attached a freely rotating mast and sail to a makeshift board in 1958.

The Island’s miles of unspoilt coastline play home to some of the best windsurfing and dinghy sailing conditions in the UK and attract participants from around the country and beyond. The extensive sand banks up to a mile offshore make the area perfect for all levels of ability.

The annual National Watersports Festival (NWF) is hosted on Hayling Island every September, now known as the largest participation water sports event in the UK.

Gunwharf Quays

Gunwharf Quays offers boutique shopping, a wide range of restaurants to suit all tastes and a selection of pubs and clubs.

The quays are more widely recognised as the home of the Spinnaker Tower, the UK’s tallest tower outside of London at 560 feet (170 m). The tower was built for the millennium and offers panoramic views of up to 23 miles on a clear day. A glass floor provides an additional thrill for those with a taste for heights!

Historic Dockyard

Over the centuries, the historic dockyard in Portsmouth has been home to some of the most famous ships in history

Ships including the HMS Warrior, the Mary Rose (which overturned in the Solent in 1545 and was raised in 1982) and Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory become your backdrop as you learn about the history of Great Britain at sea.

The Victory is most famous for its prominent role in the Battle of Trafalgar. You will explore cramped decks, the vast state room, and find the spot where Nelson died.

As part of your day out you can experience some shopping as well as food and drink, all with a marine theme of course!

Yachting Races

Portsmouth provides quick and easy access to the Solent, which plays host to some of the most famous yachting races, including Cowes Week, the UK’s biggest sailing regatta, and the Round the Island Race.

The Solent offers some of the best match-racing conditions and a wide range of conditions depending upon the time of year, as well as a tidal range of up to 4 metres.

Walking and Cycling

The promenade in Portsmouth is a popular location for walking and cycling. With the seafront as your backdrop, you are able to enjoy some of the best sights and sounds of this beautiful city as you travel from Southsea to Gunwharf Quays.

En-route you will pass Southsea Common which often plays host to music and sporting events including the Race For Life.

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