Portsmouth has become a highly desirable residential area boasting attractive properties in prime locations. Portsmouth is an island city at the entrance of Portsmouth Harbor, which was developed after the Norman Conquest, as it was an ideal location for trade and communications with France. Portsmouth is a natural harbour, which originally featured boom gates, now long gone. Old Portsmouth was where Portsmouth started and it now houses many historic buildings. It is the second largest city in Hampshire in the south of the UK. According to the 2011 Census, the population of this island town is 207,100.
There are several notable properties in prime locations in Old Portsmouth. A wide range of detached and semi detached properties are available and penthouses can be availed around Gunwharf Quay. The architecture of these houses is iconic and the properties offer spectacular panoramic views of Portsmouth Harbor, Solent and the Isle of Wight beyond the harbour. Edwardian villas rub shoulders with central townhouses and contemporary terraced properties in the heart of the city. Properties with Georgian facades line the harbour while luxury apartments provide for modern lifestyles. Porstmouth was heavily built up in the Victorian era, then heavily bombed, which has had an effect on the properties available.
Old Portsmouth is protected within strong walls due to its significance as the main naval port for the UK. It has a large number of pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. The old town holds several attractions, such as the Blue Reef Aquarium on the seafront on Clarence Esplanade and the D-Day Museum. The D Day Museum has the Overlord Embroidery, a tapestry, and several other artifacts connected with the World War II. Portsmouth is the birthplace of the great English novelist, Charles Dickens, who was born here in 1812 at 393, Old Commercial Road.
Other places of interest are Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill with a collection of more than 350 guns and cannons; the Gunwharf Quays, an entertainment complex at Portsmouth Harbor featuring bars, restaurants, shopping and a bowling alley. Events are held at the Portsmouth Guildhall entertainment venue. The most prominent modern landmark is perhaps the Spinnaker Tower, with a viewing platform that allows spectacular views across the city and harbour.
Portsmouth has a number of schools and colleges, offering students a chance to specialise in their respective fields. The Portsmouth Grammar School and Portsmouth High School are the top private schools, located in the area.
Access to Portsmouth is made easy by boat, train and road links. The Portsmouth Harbor railway station is near Gunwharf Quays. The A3, known as the Portsmouth Road for much of its length, is a major road connecting London and Portsmouth passing close to Kingston upon Thames, Guildford, Haslemere and Petersfield. Much of the road has been upgraded to a dual carriageway standard. Close to its southerly end traffic for Portsmouth is signed via the A3, A27 and M275.There is ferry access from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight, Guernsey and Jersey as well as international ferries to a number of destinations. The nearest airport is Southampton, which is about 30 minutes away and both Heathrow and Gatwick can be reached within a 90-minute drive.