Portsmouth Harbour is steeped in maritime history and there’s plenty to see on a cruise around the Harbour itself.
As you leave Trafalgar there is the medieval Portchester Castle, built within a former Roman fort. Portchester was an important port, and favoured hunting lodge of King John in the 12th century.
Head west up Portsmouth Harbour up the Fareham Creek you’ll discover the Wicor reach with the Salt Café at Wicor Marine Yacht Haven. Or moor up and stop for lunch on board up the creek. There’s extensive naval history here too. Much of the area was an armaments storage for the Royal Navy Ships, until an explosion in the barges in 1952.
Heading south down the harbour you will pass the busy Portsmouth International Port and the Royal Naval base where the HMS Queen Elizabeth is often moored. Then the Portsmouth Historic dockyard with HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and the Mary Rose – all well worth a visit.
The Queens Harbour Master works from Semaphore Tower in the naval base. Remember to call them up on Channel 11 if you need to cross the channel.
Next you’ll pass the Emirates Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays, a shopping and residential development built on former naval land. Then the Team Ineos America’s Cup base headed up by Sir Ben Ainslie.
Opposite Gunwharf is the former Trinity House light vessel at Haslar Marina. It was the first Trinity House vessel to be built post-war, in 1947 and was stationed off the East Coast and in the Channel. It was decommissioned in 1993 before going to Haslar where you can berth on the visitor pontoons and visit Trinity’s restaurant onboard.
At the mouth of the Harbour you’ll pass old Portsmouth town and the Portsmouth Sailing Club. As you pop out into the Solent you have Southsea Castle to the east and Fort Blockhouse and the Haslar Naval base to the West.
Image credits: Scene Media