Portsmouth Car Hire - Did You Know?

  • Portsmouth is Britain’s only city built on an island.
  • The city was founded in 1180.
  • It is Britain’s top naval base.
  • Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, Britain’s first ironclad warship are moored here.
  • Portsmouth has a higher population density than London.

Portsmouth Mini Guide

Portsmouth is a good place to take a seaside break as there are around four miles of pebble beaches, while the town has an interesting naval history to find out about. Visiting the Royal Marine museum in Southsea is an excellent way to do so and it is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Contact 023 9281 9385 for more information. With just under 200,000 people Portsmouth is the most densely populated city in the country and quite a few of its residents attend the University of Portsmouth.


The university is one reason why this bustling city has a good nightlife with many bars and pubs to enjoy. If you are visiting Portsmouth, bear in mind that the town will be much busier during the academic terms. The Historic Dockyard of Portsmouth should be seen by anyone visiting the city, some of Britain’s oldest and most famous ships are docked there such as the HMS Victory and the Mary Rose.

Wherever you go you will see the futuristic Spinnaker Tower rising up over Portsmouth and indeed this is a great place to go and get a view out over the city from the 170 metre tower. Older but no less impressive is the 16th century Southsea Castle which was built by King Henry the VIII to help protect England against invaders.

Arriving at Portsmouth by air your quickest option is to alight at the nearby Southampton Airport where you can also pick up Rhino rental cars to make the short journey to Portsmouth. Make an effort to avoid rush hours though as traffic can get a bit overbearing in Portsmouth.

Driving to Portsmouth you can get there from London on the M3 or A3. Otherwise use the M275 motorway via the M27 and A27. If you intend to park in the city you should not have a problem with multi-storey car parks in abundance. The car park at Gunwharf Quays often has spaces. Alternatively try the Southsea neighbourhood as free parking spots (and time limited bays) can often be found there.

Portsmouth station

Latest Update from Portsmouth:

22/04/13 - All this summer the City Museum has an exhibition that's perfect for the kids. Teddy Bear Story tells the history of teddies including that of the UK's most famous - Paddington Bear

Driving in Portsmouth

  • L

    Road Driving Side

  • 30mph

    Urban speed Limit

  • 60mph

    Rural Speed Limit

  • 70mph

    Motorway Speed Limit

  • 80mg

    Drink Drive Limit

  • GBP £


  • 25

    Min Rental Age

  • YES


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Portsmouth is an exciting city whose existence has been based on the Royal Navy. Today many of the attractions for visitors to the city revolve around the navy or the city’s maritime history. To get a great view over Portsmouth take the lift to the top of the Spinnaker Tower, the iconic symbol of the city.

From there, visit HMS Victory for a tour explaining what life was like on board in Nelson’s day. Finally, hire a car and drive to Portsdown Hill and enjoy an ice cream looking out over the sweep of the city below you.

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