Language: English and Welsh
Currency: Pound Sterling
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
Being one of England's only island city's and a fascinating centre for maritime history, you cannot fail to be amazed on coach tours to Portsmouth especially its HistoricDockyard which is just bursting with tales to tell of times gone by. Portsmouth Harbour Tours are the best way to explore the Dockyard as you come up close to Lord Nelson's famous warship the HMS Victory. Another highlight of your tour to Portsmouth is a visit to the Mary Rose Museum which opens to the public on 31st May 2013. Here you can find out more about King Henry VIII's famous warship, its crew and see a wonderful collection of artefacts recovered from the wreck site after the Mary Rose sank in 1545.
Not only is Portsmouth steeped in naval history but it is also home to the birthplace of author Charles Dickens, who unfortunately also died here. On a merrier note, and due to its connections with the sea, you should spend time by the magnificent waterfront in the recently developed Gunwharf Quays where you'll find a range of designer outlets vying for you to spend your hard-earned pennies and an entertainment complex to keep everyone amused with its bowling alley, cinema and nightclub. If you have a head for heights, climb to the top of Spinnaker Tower for amazing views of the famous waterfront city below, discover more about Portsmouth and its connections with the D-Day landings or step into the world of the Tudors with a visit to Southsea Castle.
No matter what the weather is doing outside, you're sure to find an activity to keep the whole family entertained during their Portsmouth coach holiday. Travel deep into the world of the sea with a day out at the Blue Reef Aquarium, have a go at the Pier Pressure sky trail where you may feel like monkeys hanging in trees at Clarence Pier Amusement Park, take a stroll along the beautiful seafront, sample local produce from the Farmer's Market, discover the places within Old Portsmouth that relate to Vice Admiral Lord Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar then rest those weary legs after all this exploring with an ice cold drink in one of the city's many bars and restaurants.
Coach trips to Portsmouth include return coach travel (unless self-drive), hotel accommodation in a good standard hotel, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you can really see the best of the city.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Portsmouth, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting England from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting England.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in England simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Most destinations are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel if possible. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and do not go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. Be aware of your surroundings and don't venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in England. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but is not in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in most cases an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to England from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
Any other nationality looking to visit the UK must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about visiting Portsmouth you can visit the tourist board website at visitportsmouth.co.uk
Portsmouth is a beautiful waterfront city that has lots to offer the visitor. Make sure that some of these places feature high in your touring itinerary:
Launched in 1765, HMS Victory is famous for being Lord Nelson's flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar. In 1922, the vessel was moved into a dry dock in Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy, and has since been preserved as a museum. As the Victory is still 'in commission' it is the oldest commissioned warship in the world so definitely worth a visit during your city break here.
Standing proudly 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour, the Spinnaker Tower has established itself as a British landmark. Situated on the waterfront in Gunwharf Quays, the tower offers spectacular views spanning 360 degrees and on a clear day, you could see as far as the Isle of Wight! When at the top of the tower, there are three viewing decks, a café and a gift shop.
This Victorian fort is home to a large collection of artillery. Positioned perfectly with views across Portsmouth harbour, this fort has been restored to its former glory as it once stood in 1890. The redevelopment of the site has made the museum fit for the 21st century with a new visitor centre, a café and galleries to explore including the massive display of 350 guns!
Royal Naval Museum
Portsmouth is extremely proud of its navel roots and this museum celebrates this with a variety of exhibitions. Explore the Victory Gallery, Nelson Gallery, the 20th Century Gallery and the sailing Navy Gallery, this museum holds a wealth of information about Britain's Naval heritage that will possibly be a haven for all sea-faring fans.