Portsmouth - A diverse city rich in culture and history
Location: The UK's largest island city
100 kilometres to the south-west of London and 80 kilometres west of Brighton on England's South Coast, Portsmouth is on Southsea Island, overlooking the natural harbour and the Isle of Wight. The M27, A27, and the A3 are the main connecting routes to the rest of the south coast and the north, and Portsmouth has five mainline rail stations that route to the rest of the UK.
Business: A confident defence industry
The Naval Docks employ more than a tenth of the local population, in companies such as BAE, Northrop Grumman and construction companies in the shipyards. Portsmouth has been awarded work on the construction of the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers that have the promise of over 3,000 new jobs for the city. The tourist sector is increasing year on year, with the Gunwharf Quays, the Spinnaker Tower, and the harbour drawing in visitors from all over the world.
Culture: Rich in military history
Portsmouth is known for its long tradition of support for the Royal Navy, and this is reflected in the museums and galleries. The Tudor ship 'The Mary Rose' has its own museum full of artefacts brought up from the seabed in the waters off Portsmouth Harbour. You can climb aboard the HMS Victory, which was Admiral Nelson’s flagship, and is still a working vessel today as Flagship of the First Sea Lord. Take the opportunity to explore the only remaining Second World War British ocean-ready submarine, and climb aboard the HMS Alliance to experience the cramped conditions the sailors had to live under.
Activities: Visit the royally approved Action Stations
Opened in 2001 by Prince Andrew, an ex-Royal Navy officer, Action Stations brings the modern Royal Navy alive with a host of interactive displays and demonstrations that are a delight for any age. A mix of simulators allows you to fly helicopters or take command of a battleship. You can even battle with Royal Marines on a physical challenge, based on real life exploits.