Towers, castles and aquariums

Everyone will love the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, if you dare look down through the glass Sky Walk. Stay in Portsmouth for the Historic Dockyard, with ships that changed the world. Lay siege to Carisbrooke Castle, find Nemo at the Blue Reef Aquarium, or have a rummage down the quirky shops and pubs of Albert Road.

Kids ahoy!

Let’s kick off at the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, right on the waterfront and towering over the town at over 550 feet. Take in the panoramic views of Portsmouth, then take the Sky Walk, a glass floor suspended 100 metres above sea level. Don’t look down. Move on to the Mary Rose Museum and see amazing objects recovered from the seabed.

Stick around in Portsmouth for the Historic Dockyard, home to historic ships that changed the world, such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860. Test your suitability for the Royal Navy, with physical challenges on the Action Stations attraction, or your helicopter-piloting skills. Or maybe take on the Ninja Force assault course.

Lay siege to Carisbrooke Castle, survivor of 800 years of service. Explore turrets, walls and corridors, and dress your kids up as Norman soldiers or Civil War Troopers. Pay-and-play at Southsea Tennis Club. Go go-karting in Gosport at Teamsport. Or try biking, bouldering or karate at Peter Ashley Activity Centres.

Find Nemo at the Blue Reef Aquarium, hear the story of Operation Overlord at the D-Day Museum, navigate your way around Gunwharf Quays in the cute MiniPort Ships, or get cold feet at Planet Ice Arena. Or blow away the cobwebs on Southsea Beach or at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Refuel at the Beechwood Kitchen.

Carisbrooke castle on a sunny day.

For the grown ups

You couldn’t be more in the heart of the action. You’re just two minutes from the beach and from the shops and sails of Southsea. Nip down to Southsea Castle, Henry VIII’s own fortification, play the penny falls till your cash runs out at Clarence Pier, or shop yourself silly at Gunwharf Quays.

Climb the 550-foot Emirates Spinnaker Tower and dare yourself to look down through the glass Sky Walk floor. Want a quick route down? Take the abseil option. See HMS Victory at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard as part of the working naval base. Or keep the military theme going at the D-Day Story.

Enjoy the perfect blend of Portsmouth, puzzles and history on the Old Portsmouth Treasure Hunt, solving the mystery of Nelson’s stolen diamonds. This self-guided treasure hunt could be the world’s largest escape room. Or how about No Man’s Fort? Take the ferry and book in for afternoon tea, laser quest, cocktail making and more.

The Tenth Hole Tea Rooms are less about filling holes and more about filling your cakehole with, er, cakes. Pitch-and-putt as much as you like but the real joy might be the Victoria sponge and the millionaire’s shortbread. Or just have a right royal rummage down Albert Road, with a quirky independent, pub or café roughly every 20 metres.

South Parade House - kate & tom's Large Holiday Homes