On Thursday 12th June, Greg and I both found ourselves with a day off and so decided to head down to Portsmouth to while away the day and to have a poke around. Greg has been quite a few times before, however as a recent addition to the South of England, I am always very keen to explore other areas outside of London. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that I would like to get out of London on a regular basis as I find it to be fantastically beneficial.
So, we got up and headed down to Waterloo station, a little later than planned, but hey, it’s a day off, you’re supposed to lie in, yeah?! My gold travel card for TfL came in use today as I was able to purchase a National Railcard for him for only £1 instead of the usual £20! So now he gets a third off rail travel in the South East – Hurrah! :oD
We got on the 12 noon train out of Waterloo, and quickly discovered that over this coming weekend it is the Isle of Wight festival. That said, the train wasn’t that busy, and there was none of the rowdiness that one might expect from such an excited group of people. It’s roughly 70 miles to Portsmouth from London, and so I wasn’t too phased by the 90 minute journey time (though it was 150 minutes – 2hr30m on the return – argh!!!).
We arrived in Portsmouth for around 13:30 and headed over to Gunwharf Quays, which is kind of like a retail village, entertainment complex and eatery all crammed into one. It all looks lovely and modern and I must say I was VERY impressed with the public conveniences there (they even had moisturiser and mouthwash in them!).
The first store that we went into was HMV as Greg saw a few t-shirts that he liked (Cookie Monster and Family Guy) and was kind enough to purchase me two as a gift (bless him!!); thus I now own a Thundercats t-shirt (hurrah!!) and a Sesame Street t-shirt :oD
I also noticed a Molton Brown boutique and so I dragged Greg over to it post-haste as I am an avid fan of MB and so if you’re going to be taking me to a discount retail place… of course I’m going to want to go in hehe! Essentially, I got my usual Silver Birch shower product AND a body scrub thing for a fair bit less than I would normally pay for the shower product on it’s own (and yes, I do normally spend £16 on shower product!). In fact, if you add the price of both items together, it comes to around £35… and so paying £12.50 total for both is a huge bargain!
We had a good ol’ poke around most of the shops that were on the retail complex, which was very enjoyable. Greg also purchased some new trainers from the Puma shop.
After shopping ourselves out, we decided to head for a walk across the sea path to take in Portsmouth Harbour and it’s fantastic views across the Solent (isn’t that a lovely word?). We also got some nice pictures of The Spinnaker Tower.
In some of the pictures you can actually see the rain falling over Gosport, which is on the other side of the Solent. I didn’t realise that rain fell in diagonal sheets such as is illustrated in some of the pictures (the dark diagonal lines on the horizon) and that each sheet of rain is only about a mile wide etc. The wikipedia link provided on rain also made for interesting reading as I was writing this blog (geeky I know) – but edumactaional or what?! hehe.
The really weird thing about Portsmouth is that every now and then you’ll be walking along and suddenly a huge shadow will rear up behind you and you’ll find yourself stood next to a huge ferry! The buildings in Portsmouth Harbour aren’t particularly tall, and so these ferries can, at times, completely dominate the landscape.
We had a lovely veg out at the benched area of the sea walk before grabbing some food and deciding to call it a day, mainly as it was about 5pm by this point and the dark clouds were rolling in over Portsmouth.
The end picture is prob my fave of Greg thus far :oD
By the time we got back to London, it was 20:30 and so we ended up going to Ed’s Diner for some food. I must say, I really wasn’t impressed this time round. Think I’ll be leaving it a few months before going back as the service really wasn’t up to scratch when we went – grr.
So there you have it, our Portsmouth adventure – not bad considering it was just a random day off that we both had together. I think we really made something good of it :oD
The full set of pictures from this trip are available on my Facebook profile.
Thanks for reading! xx