Historic Portsmouth ticks all the boxes for commuters

Posted 3 October 2016 by Fiona Brandhorst

Portsmouth has surprisingly affordable homes, is close to the sea with a magnificent history and is commutable to London and other employment centres...

Portsmouth is the UK’s only island city and wonderfully combines the old with the new. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home to the Mary Rose, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the National Museum of the Royal Navy stands close to the iconic Emirates Spinnaker Towers from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the city.

Portsmouth's International Ports offers ferry routes to France, Spain and the Channel Islands plus a Cruise Terminal.  Portsmouth has a celebrated literary history providing inspiration to several generations of novelists including Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Portsmouth University attracts over 20,000 graduates a year including 4,000 international students who contribute to the local economy. ONS statistics show that Portsmouth is the most densely populated city in the UK with the graduates accounting for around 10 per cent of the 205,000 residents. Large local employers include IBM and BAE Systems. 

The Old Town features some of Portsmouth’s most sought after roads where the period properties in historic roads such as Penny Street with its views over the part ruined Royal Garrison Church and the dockside cobbled Bath Square are found. Architect Thomas Ellis Owen designed rows of white stucco villas and townhouses in Southsea, a new suburb created in 1809, named after its castle built by Henry VIII in 1544. It later became a favoured Victorian seaside resort.  

Now, families compete for homes in the leafy Craneswater Park and Eastern Parade overlooking Canoe Lake and the Solent. The city has been earmarked for £1.8 billion of transport investment during the next 20 years and is backing Sir Ben Ainslie’s vision for Portsmouth to host the 2021 America’s Cup.

Gunwharf Quays shopping centre has 95 shopping outlets set in pedestrianised avenues, several restaurants and coffee shops, a health and fitness centre and a 14-screen cinema. For those seeking a café culture Southsea has a quirky mix of independent shops and restaurants. Residents can also shop at John Lewis’s smallest partnership store Knight & Lee dating from 1831 on Palmerston Road.  Cascades shopping centre in the city centre has all the high street brands you would expect. A clutch of boutique hotels in Southsea appeal to tourists on the Royal Naval trail as well as parents of students at the university.

The Kings Theatre is one of the premier theatres and cultural venues on the South Coast. There is also a year-round programme of festivals from music, literature, food and kites. Portsmouth Golf Course is an 18-hole course with beautiful tree lined fairways. Fratton Park is home to the largest fan-owned football club in England and regularly sees gates in excess of 16,000. The city boasts many outdoor, green areas, fantastic sports facilities and of course watersports. 

The Mary Rose Academy is rated “outstanding” and Newbridge Junior School and Admiral Lord Nelson School (seniors) are among the city’s schools rated “good” by Ofsted. Families vie for places at the city’s three independent schools Portsmouth Grammar, Mayville High and St John’s College for primary and secondary education.

A monthly season ticket to London Waterloo costs £475.80 from Portsmouth & Southsea (£4,956 annually) with the fastest journey time of 1 hr and 37 minutes. Trains to Guildford take 55 minutes (£415.90 monthly, £4,332 annually); Southampton takes 41 minutes (£208.90 monthly, £2,176 annually).

Situated at the base of the A3, road access to major cities is excellent. London is 83 miles away or 2hrs by road via the A3 and M25. Gatwick Airport just over an hour away via the A27 and Southampton International Airport is just 25 minutes.

Here’s a round-up of great new homes to buy in Portsmouth:

Simmonds Lodge (Churchill Retirement Living) – Perfectly positioned on the outskirts of Portsmouth and near to local shops and amenities in Drayton, these homes are well equipped and energy efficient for today’s retirees. Fully-fitted kitchens and bathrooms, camera entry system and 24-hour care support system are in place. Prices start from £248,950. Read more about Simmonds Lodge from Churchill Retirement Living 

Simmonds Lodge (Churchill Retirement Living)

One Eight Zero (David Wilson Homes) - This flagship development of four- and five-bedroom luxury homes with panoramic harbour views are built to the highest specification and uncompromising style and design. Within easy reach of Portsmouth, ferry ports and Southampton international airport. Read more about One Eight Zero from David Wilson Homes 

One Eight Zero (David Wilson Homes)

St James Place (David Wilson Homes) - A collection of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes, ideally located for families looking to enjoy semi-rural living in a vibrant village setting, set against the picturesque backdrop of the South Downs. Close to excellent transport links and great selection of local shops and leisure facilities. Read more about St James Place from David Wilson Homes 

St James Place (David Wilson Homes)

Berewood (Bloor Homes) – Billed as Hampshire’s very first garden city, Berewood is a unique development located on the southern edge of Waterlooville, just five miles north of Portsmouth. A range of two-bedroom apartments, two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom houses are available. Priced between £200,000 and £440,000. Find out more: www.bloorhomes.co.uk ; 02392986488 

Berewood (Bloor Homes)

Yew Gardens (Redrow Homes) – The Redrow Arts and Crafts style Heritage collection of 148 three- and four-bedroom high specification homes set in the semi-rural location of Waterlooville. Each home comes with off-street parking and high energy efficiency for reduced utility bills. Prices start from £289,950. Find out more about Redrow Homes 

​​​​​​Yew Gardens (Redrow Homes)​​​​​​​
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