Get outside in the UK's only island city
There's so much to explore outdoors in Portsmouth – including miles of beaches and plenty of parks and green spaces
When you live in Portsmouth, you'll have an abundance of natural playgrounds on your doorstep. The Solent is to the south, South Downs National Park to the north and the New Forest to the west.
When you live in our halls of residence you'll be close to Southsea seafront and the beach. The 3-mile long promenade takes you from Old Portsmouth to Eastney Beach. Plan a walk at the right time in the evening and watch the sunset over the Solent.
The seafront is the perfect place to spend hot summer afternoons with friends. Living by the sea means you can swim on hot days and do water sports like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
Parks in Portsmouth
You'll always find green open space wherever you live. Victoria Park is close to the centre of campus making it the perfect place for lunch in the sun. Further away from campus, visit Milton Common and Alexandra Park.
This large park is built on the grounds of a former lake and has 3 small freshwater lakes. The Solent Way, a 60-mile walk, crosses the park.
Milton Common is a great place to spot wildlife. The freshwater lakes have frogs, toads and newts and attract swallows, swifts, house martins and dragonflies in summer. The native grasses of the common feed caterpillars and field voles, which attract kestrels, owls and foxes.
The council website has a list of common species found on Milton Common.
Baffins Pond and Tangier Field are north of Milton Common. You'll find 5-a-side playing fields and wild birds and plants. Buy grain in local shops to feed the ducks and wildfowl.
The Hilsea Lines are 18th and 19th century fortifications reclaimed by nature. They're a wild place for walking and getting fresh air in the north of the city.
Portsmouth City Council has information on self-guided walks along Hilsea Lines.
Milton Locks is south of Milton Common, part of Langstone Harbour and home to starlings, house sparrows, butterflies, grasshoppers and crickets. There's a small wood with plants only found in saltmarsh.
A flagship reserve of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, you can walk the 2.5-mile path around the marshes to see many different birds – including dark–bellied brent geese, redshanks, short–eared owls, warblers and wheatears. Visit the Trust's website for more information on the wildlife and to download an illustrated map.
Eastney beach is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). The plant life on the shingle includes nationally rare plants. These plants also act as a valuable roosting and feeding area for birds.
Other nature reserves close to Portsmouth include Langstone Harbour, Chichester Harbour, Broadmarsh Coastal Park, Wildgrounds (Gosport) and Priddy's Hard (Gosport).
If you want an aerial view of Portsmouth to watch the sunset or experience bonfire night, head to Portsdown Hill. You'll need a bicycle or a car (or a friend with a car) to get up there. But the view on a clear day or night is worth it. If you forget to take a picnic, grab a bite from Mick's Monster Burgers – more of a local landmark than a burger van.
Just a short drive off Portsea island, you'll find yourself in the New Forest or South Downs National Park. These national parks are the perfect place to go for a hike, explore the wildlife and take a break from the city.
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