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Hotels in Portsmouth Harbour

An impressive natural harbour in Hampshire, England, Portsmouth Harbour gives access to the Solent. Its vital strategic location on the south coast of England, protected by the vast natural defences of the Isle of Wight have made it a naval hub of great importance for millennia. At the north end of the harbour is Portchester Castle, a Roman fortress and the first built to protect this legendary place from invaders.

History

Since the Middle Ages Portsmouth has been the home of the English and later British Royal Navy. The narrow entrance and surrounding forts made it virtually impregnable to attack from the sea, although before the fortifications were developed, the French attacked and burnt Portsmouth in 1338. Parliamentary forces also captured the six-gunned ship Henrietta Marie during the civil war. Today the area is best known for being a busy commercial ferry port, with services heading for France, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight. It has also developed into a superb centre of maritime heritage and is home to some of the Navy's most iconic ships.

Here, at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard you can explore HMS Victory, the Royal Navy's most famous warship, Nelson's flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar and of course the place of his death. You can also see the Mary Rose, the only 16th-century warship on display anywhere in the world, the fascinating Royal Navy Submarine Museum and a whole host of further unique craft and superbly designed attractions.

Shopping and Leisure

Close to the extraordinary sites and history of Portsmouth Harbour, there is great shopping and browsing potential at Gunwharf Quays. This high quality selection of 90 top brand stores such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Karen Millen, Mint Velvet and The North Face is a mecca for discerning visitors. It also offers plenty of dining and café stop potential, thanks to spots such as Brasserie Blanc and Loch Fyne. There's an impressive contemporary art gallery and glamorous marina filled with stunning leisure craft nearby too. From Portsmouth Harbour hotels you can wander this beautifully located and designed centre in the shadow of Britain's seafaring heritage.

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