Saltrock is officially open in Southsea and since we’ve finally arrived, we thought it would be handy to give you a brief look at what to expect when you visit. Read on to find out how to get there, what to do, and some fun facts about this vibrant town.
Whereabouts is Southsea?
Southsea is just outside Portsmouth at the southern end of Portsea Island in Hampshire.
You can get there by Train (Southwest Railway), Bus (23, HOV), and Ferry (IOW Hovercraft) – yes, Hovercraft!
What’s in Southsea?
There’s a shed-load of fun to have in Southsea and if you’ve (understandably) never heard of it, then it’s one to add to your staycation hitlist. From activity-based family adventures to chilled out beach days, Southsea has the charm to gift you and the kids a perfect holiday.
Southsea Beach is a quiet pebbled beach with lifeguarded sections for those looking for a dip in the sea. What it lacks in rock pools and marine life it makes up for in size and serenity. This beach is perfect for those who want a relaxing read with an ice cream and a coffee, and its flat structure makes it easy to keep the kids within viewing distance, so you won’t be running around like a headless chicken around trying to find them every 10 minutes.
There’s also plenty of parking nearby and it’s positioning in the town makes it an ideal base if you have bigger kids who want to explore the surroundings on their own.
If you’re on holiday you want everyone to know, right? That’s why the beach huts at Eastney Beach are the perfect place to get some holiday snaps before starting your walk into the heart of Southsea.
Eastney is a soft pebble beach at the top end of Portsmouth's seafront on the east side. It overlooks the Isle of White, but usually has less visitors than the major Southsea beaches, making it way more relaxing, spacious and dog friendly.
Parking is available along the road, and there are a few blocks of public toilets. The area isn’t overloaded with facilities, though, so it is truly unspoiled with a natural flare that particularly shows when the sun’s out. It’s also a popular site for paddle-boarders and families with dogs.
Interested in dog-friendly beach locations? Click here to find our Top 5!
For the skaters, Southsea skatepark is an old-school spot that’s worth checking out. It’s amazingly unique with a bandstand-like feature in the centre and many ramps of different sizes for skaters, scooters, and bikes. the size of the skatepark means it has ramps and features suitable for riders of all ability and despite being built in the late 70’s, it’s still in good shape as the local council and riders take decent care of it.
The locals are friendly and it’s a fairly safe place to drop off the kids. But there’s also an on-site café for those who want to watch over the kids.
Speaking of walks, parallel to the colourful beach huts is an awesome promenade with an even more awesome Aztec-style design to cruise down which takes you on the way to the pier. Or if you’re anything like me, it takes you to the Coffee Cup café for a slice of cake and then to the pier.
If you carry on all the way down the promenade, eventually you’ll reach Lumps Fort, an old courtyard that has been converted into a picturesque rose garden/model village that was originally built back in 1805. But it’s not just flowers – there’s a crazy golf course there too.
Through the gates of Lumps Fort is a huge saltwater lake called ‘Canoe Lake’, a famous hotspot where holidaymakers and locals all hang out. Surrounding the lake are many independent coffee shops and places to eat, as well as a children’s fair ground to keep them entertained for an hour or so.
The lake itself is a fun-hub as its’ saltwater makes it a great place to catch some crabs, ride on swan boats and
South Parade Pier
Built in 1875, South parade Pier is your best bet of recreating the holiday experience without catching a plane, with a captivating mix of trend and tradition. It’s easy to see why the pier is so popular with tourists, but the best way to find out is to visit for yourself..
Why have we put a store there?
Southsea’s cool seafront embodies everything that Saltrock is about, with loads of open space and a funky, family atmosphere. In typical Saltrock style our store is placed within a 5 minute walk from the beach so you can easily hit the beach with any awesome new gear you might pick up ;)
3 Facts About Southsea
- Lumps Fort in Southsea was regularly used to defend against the French in the 18th
- Southsea Beach is 1.5 miles long
- Southsea Beach is home to the only operating hovercraft in the UK
Southsea is oozing with history, with architecture dating as far back as the 16th century. Left, right and centre you’ll find interesting landmarks and revived historical sites.
The D-Day Story is the most well-known historical tourist site. As described on their website, The D-Day Story exists to showcase ‘the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany occupation. It is told using the personal possesions and words of the people who took part.’
A few more facts about Southsea for the history buffs
- originally developed as a Victorian seaside resort
- the name of the area originates from Southsea Castle; a fort, located on the seafront and constructed in 1544 to help defend the Solentand approaches to Portsmouth Harbour
- the aforementioned Southsea Castle - reportedly built to specifications set out by King Henry VIII
To conclude, Southsea is a great staycation destination that you and the family should visit. Whilst it may not be the busiest town there is still loads of fun to be had!