Southsea CoasterPortsmouth Historic Dockyard - South Parade Pier
Portsmouth is a city steeped in maritime history, but with a contemporary, progressive and modern feel and it’s showcased fabulously in this open-top bus.
All day ticket, adult £5, child £3 and group up to 5 people £15
4 places to visitView journey Attractions
Portsmouth The Hard Interchange (stand N)uthHow to get here
Portsmouth is home to the oldest continuously used dry dock in the world, dating back to 1495, which was used to repair ships including the HMS Victory and the Mary Rose.
Service runs from 28 May – 30 September 2023 only.
This is an enthralling trip that takes in the historic dockyard and the spectacular, Spinnaker Tower. The bus ventures through the charming and fascinating old town, along the seafront at Southsea and to the Blue Reef Acquarium, whilst stopping by the captivating D-Day Story Tapestry before a denouement at South Parade Pier. It really is a journey to captivate folk of all tastes and ages and it can be enjoyed on an open-top bus with panoramic views of the City and the dramatic Solent landscape.
Customers can hop-on and off at their leisure or just stay on the bus and take in the sights, whilst also glancing over the action-packed, sometimes choppy, sea towards the peace and serenity of the Isle of Wight, where there’s great links for more fun and adventures to explore in under 10 minutes from Hovertravel at South Parade or from Portsmouth Harbour on the Wightlink FastCat or more leisurely ferry.
A Fab Day Out!
There’s so much to see and do and cram into a day out in Portsmouth and even time for a quick sojourn to the Isle of Wight and back!
Even before starting the trip at The Hard Interchange, which is nestled, Portsmouth Harbour rail station and the lovely Gosport foot ferry, a visit to the Historic Dockyard is highly recommended. There’s a great opportunity to unlock the secrets of Henry VIII’s famous ship rescued from the Solent after 400 years beneath the sea. Walk on-board HMS Victory and HMS Warrior too, before maybe checking out the great shops and restaurants at Gunwharf Quays and boarding the bus to Old Portsmouth.
The bus passes the lovely Portsmouth Cathedral and then the chance for a walk round the Hotwalls, which is part of the original fortifications for the harbour entrance. The Spur Redoubt is also fascinating as it is where Admiral Nelson left Portsmouth to join his ship, the Victory, for the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. This area is also known as Spice Island, as this is where spices used to make their way into Portsmouth.
The bus builds up more momentum as it makes its way down the seafront and to Clarence Pier and a few yards away the interchange with the Hovertravel services to the splendid coastal town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight. There’s some fairground ride fun to be had at Clarence Pier – rollercoasters, Mad Mouse, the Tidal Wave and much more before the bus trundles along further, past the Naval Memorial, which is a monument dedicated to the sailors of the Royal Navy who died during World War 1 and World War II. It features large obelisk and bronze statues, overlooking the Solent.
The bus stops at Blue Reef Aquarium and it’s fun getting close up and personal with the amazing range of sea-life from the local waters and more exotic, tropical coral reef, far away. Check out the otter holt too! Then it’s onto the D-Day Story attraction where the story of the famous D-Day landings is regaled and a view of the incredible Overlord Embroidery, which is made up of 34 hand-stitched panels, totalling 83 metres. Southsea Castle is also worth a visit and there’s amazing views over to the Isle of Wight from this fantastic place that was built in 1544, constructed by King Henry VIII to protect the country from invaders.
Finally, it’s onto South Parade Pier, which is indefatigable, having been destroyed by fire thrice but requisitioned during World War 2 for the preparation and embarkation of troops for the D-Day landings. This Victorian structure has been restored and stretches out proudly onto the Solent. At Southsea, there’s the lovely rock garden and also thrills and spills at the fairground. A short walk away is the charming Rose Gardens and a captivating model village – a great end to a truly magical, fun and fascinating journey round a thriving city!
Gateway to the Southsea Coaster: By train from London, Surrey and Sussex to Portsmouth Harbour station, where the bus can be picked up from outside at The Hard Interchange. Alternatively by megabus from Oxfordshire, The Midlands and the North or local bus services from First and Stagecoach.