Southsea is a part of the City of Portsmouth that has its own distinctive character, being more like a traditional holiday resort. It has two piers and a long beach that is mostly shingle but sandy areas appear at low tide. Cod and bass may be caught from the shore, and fishing trips are available to catch mackerel in deeper waters. If the sea is too chilly for swimming, the Pyramids Centre has a fun pool, play area and spa. Between Clarence Pier and the Naval Memorial on Clarence Esplanade is the original anchor of HMS Victory. You can take a trip to the Isle of Wight from the Hovertravel Terminal at Clarence Esplanade with a short journey time of about 10 minutes. There are shopping opportunities in the town centre including department stores and clothing shops, and a farmers market on the third Sunday of each month.
Southsea Castle was built by Henry VIII in 1545 and houses the D-Day Museum where you can see the Overlord Tapestry. The tapestry, commemoriating the D-Day landings, is 272 feet long and took five years to weave. The museum also houses military vehicles and presents a film show.
The South Parade Pier is currently closed and is due to be sold by auction. Clarence Pier, however, is open and boasts a very large amusement park with rides, arcades, an adventure playground and food outlets including Wimpy.
There are many hotels, guest houses and bed & breakfasts in the area around Southsea (see search box below). For caravan accommodation, try Hayling Island Holiday Park, or Solent Breezes, both within easy reach of Portsmouth.