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Pocket Guide: Southsea

One of Britain's most popular seaside resort, Southsea attracts thousands of families each year to its fantastic leisure attractions and famous pier. This town also has an extensive selection of hotels and guesthouses catering to different budgets, some of which offer pleasant views of the English Channel. The seaside resort is actually a suburb of the city of Portsmouth, having been founded during the rapid growth of the local shipping industry during the Industrial Revolution.

The South Parade Pier

Opened in 1879, the South Parade Pier suffered a fire in 1904 and was rebuilt and reopened four years later. Today, the pier still has plenty of amusement attractions and boutiques, and is well known nationally for appearing in the 'Mind the Baby Mr. Bean' episode of the BBC comedy 'Mr Bean', in which talented actor Rowan Atkinson portrayed the eccentric, socially awkward man simply known as 'Bean'.

The overwhelming majority of Southsea hotels now provide WiFi access, and many more business-oriented establishments also have high-speed internet connections with printing facilities. Some rooms also have en-suite facilities, and others may be equipped with free toiletries and tea and coffee-making facilities to make your stay more comfortable.

Clarence Pier

Another much-loved amusement pier, Clarence Pier is even older than the South Parade Pier, and dates back to 1861. It suffered extensive damage in the Second World War, after which it was reopened. It is one of the leading amusement parks on the south coast, and has a great fast-food restaurant, an adventure playground, and first double-decker urban extreme aerial high ropes course in the country.

Other Attractions in Portsmouth

Southsea is very close to Portsmouth's bustling city centre, which is the home of the striking Emirates Spinnaker Tower. This iconic sail-shaped tower, which was completed between 2001 and 2005, is 170 metres high and provides impressive panoramic views of the city and the vast medieval harbour.

You can also spend some time at the D-Day Museum to learn about Portsmouth's role in the Normandy landings, the HMS Warrior museum dedicated to one of Britain's great Royal ships, and the Blue Reef Aquarium and the Portsmouth Pyramids Centre theatre and music venue.