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Southsea

Edwardian Villas and luxurious apartment properties abound in Southsea, Hampshire, a small seaside resort at the tip of Portsea Island tip. Southsea is within a mile of Portsmouth's city centre and has a population of 18,514 (2001).

Much of Southsea was designed by the architect Thomas Ellis Owen. Although some of his properties were destroyed in World War II and some have been modernised, his work still shapes the architecture of modern Southsea. The majority of Owen's Southsea is now protected by Conservation Areas or heritage listings. The Queens Hotel is a good example of the Edwardian baroque style, built in 1903.

Residential properties in Southsea range from spacious detached properties to luxury apartments. Many family properties offer outstanding views overlooking Canoe Lake and Hayling Island, which can be seen in the distance, or the Solent and the Isle of Wight. Period properties and modern homes are often within walking distance of the sea shore. Townhouse properties and Victorian terraces are common within Southsea and graceful Edwardian homes can also be found. Contemporary apartments compete with terrace apartment conversions on the property market.

Southsea was first developed by Henry VIII, when he built the Southsea Castle, and soon several properties appeared as the residences of skilled workers for the castle. The names of the streets reflect these skills, such as Copper Street, Flint Street, and Stone Street. The area was bombed during World War II and later expanded, largely with Victorian style properties along Kent Road. The 50th anniversary of D-Day was celebrated in 1995 in Southsea, attended by President Clinton and the Queen along with other state heads.

The centre of Southsea offers a thriving commercial area with a number of highly desirable residential properties. There are several retail outlets and two national department stores, along with bars and restaurants. There is a nice recreation area at Southsea Common, regularly used for special events and summer festivals. The area is surrounded by lovely old elms and there is a skateboard park nearby, as well as tennis and volleyball courts, a small golf course and a beautiful promenade.

The Southsea beach has two piers, the Clarence piers and South Parade. There is a D Day museum, the Blue Reef Aquarium, a Model Village, and the Royal Marines Museum. The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is nearby and is the starting point for several harbor tours which outline the maritime history of the area.

There are a number of highly rated schools in the area around Southsea. Schools include the St Swithun's RC Primary School, the Owen Street Primary School, Priory School, Portsmouth Grammar School, City of Portsmouth Boys' School, Portsmouth High School, Mayville High School, St John's College, and Southern Grammar School. Tertiary education is provided by the University of Portsmouth.

The M27 motorway joins the M275 to Southsea. The town is also served by railway stations at Fratton and Portsmouth and Southsea station and on to Portsmouth Harbour with regular trains to London Waterloo.

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