Ravelin on a rainy day

Portsmouth is one of the sunniest cities in the UK but it does still rain here. There is a lot to do in Portsmouth on rainy days, find out International Student Ambassador Lucille's top tips to make the most of those days.

5 min read

As an international student going to England, weather is a big deal. Everyone reminds you of how “bad” the weather is in the United Kingdom and that it will always be raining. I want to let you in on a little secret: this isn’t actually true!

While the weather can be temperamental, there are many ways for you to adapt to it and make the most of any kind of weather you may find here! You just need to know a few tricks to be able to not be held back by ‘bad’ weather.

First, always bring a thin overcoat/jacket and a cap/something with a hood with you – to ensure you won’t get drenched.

My advice is to leave the umbrella at home: Portsmouth’s wind will win the battle against it every time.

Lucille Seppi, International Student Ambassador, BSc Psychology

Second, remember to keep your electronics safe. So if you carry your laptop in a rucksack or bag, make sure it’s waterproof or to buy a rain-cover for it.
Third, dress in layers. As quick as the rain can start, the sun can come out! Often the rain will not stay long – especially if it’s very heavy – so try to wait it out for a couple of minutes before going outside.

Finally, remember: you don’t need to cancel plans just because of the weather – you’d never see your friends again if you did! I’d recommend to have a backup plan and you can plan activities inside instead of outside, especially during winter months.

Now, onto what to actually do on a rainy day in Portsmouth!

My favourite activities include:

  1. Reading at home or in the Waterstones Café on Commercial Road, which is near most of the Student Accommodations and has a lovely atmosphere – you can also bring up books you want to check out from the bookstore downstairs and read them before deciding to buy any!
  2. Warming up at the heaters in Natty’s Jerk Restaurant and enjoy some Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly if you want to go out. You can also cook dinner together with your flatmates in your student accommodation kitchen! If you want to stay in but still order out, Domino’s Pizza has great student deals
  3. Studying with friends in Hideout Coffee and enjoying a hot drink and a Donut or in the library – you can get a coffee there too from Library Hub Coffee
  4. Going to the Honest Politician, which is a pub about 10-minute walk from campus where you can play some free pool (only Sunday-Thursday) or grabbing a drink in Wetherspoons, which is an affordable UK pub chain with a location right next to Guildhall
  5. Check out the common areas of student accommodations, such as the Sky Lounge in Catherine House where you can play pool and table tennis

Portsmouth also has a lot of restaurants that you can discover on rainy days. There are places to suit everyone’s taste: from 7bone for burger lovers to Sakura for Japanese food fans or Pie & Vinyl for those who love browsing vinyls and eating pie at the same time.

I also love the museums that I have visited in Portsmouth – and the Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery is free. The Ravelin Sports Centre offers pay as you go sessions which can be great indoor fun. And the cinema is always a great option for rainy days, you can catch the latest blockbusters at Vue in Gunwharf or old and indie films at Cinema No.6 or the Southsea Cinema and Arts Centre.

And there is so much more to do! Most important is to take precautions, as you will be walking a lot in Portsmouth and will need to weather the weather. Your two main problems will probably be the wind and rain, especially if you come from somewhere warmer and drier. But remember that these don’t have to stop you and there is still so much to enjoy, even if you don’t want to go outside.

And if you do get caught in the rain, dance in it. Because the weather will not change but your outlook on it can. Don’t let the weather ruin a perfectly good moment.

Lucille Seppi, International Student Ambassador, BSc Psychology