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Points of Interest: Portsmouth
Portsmouth, which is situated in Hampshire and the UK’s only island city, is home to the world’s oldest dry dock still in use today.
The naval base is still a major dockyard and base for the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Commandos and the city is home to some famous ships, such as HMS Warrior, the Tudor carrack Mary Rose and Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory.
Portsmouth has a population of just over 209,000 and despite being small in comparison to London, at 13,330 per square miles, it is the only English city to have a greater population density than the capital. It also forms part of the South Hampshire Built-up Area along with Southampton, Havant, Eastleigh, Fareham and Gosport.
Standing 170 metres tall, one of the most noticeable additions to the Portsmouth skyline is the Spinnaker Tower which is found in Gunwharf Quays, the former HMS Vernon, a ‘stone frigate’ of the Royal Navy.
The Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben, and offers 350 degree panoramic views of Portsmouth and further afield.
Gunwharf Quays has over 90 premium outlet stores, as well as restaurants, cafes and bars. The city centre, comprising of Commercial Road, Edinburgh Road and Charlotte Street and Cascades Shopping Centre is the main shopping area.
Portsmouth offers a lot culturally, including three main theatres: the New Theatre Royal, (specialising in classical and modern) King’s Theatre (known for amateur musicals), and The Groundlings Theatre.
It also has its fair share of musical venues, with The Guildhall, The Wedgewood Rooms, The Cellars at Eastney, Portsmouth Pyramids Centre and the Southsea Bandstand all hosting performers.
Fratton Park is home to Portsmouth F.C. a professional football team currently playing in the League Two of the English Football League. However, they were in the top flight as recently as the 2009/10 season.
In terms of educational institutions, the University of Portsmouth is recognised for its achievements in law, mathematics and biological sciences, while both Highbury College and Portsmouth College have the power to award HNDs.