Pubs are high on the to-do list for many visitors, for a bite to eat or a wind down after a day’s sightseeing. Portsmouth is one of the many cities around the country that lay claim to the title of having the most pubs per square mile/head of population, but this is a difficult claim to back up. Either way, there are upwards of 100 pubs on Portsea Island itself, with many more in the surrounding areas.
Old Portsmouth’s pubs are a longstanding favourite among local residents and visitors alike – certainly making it a world away from the sin and depravity of the ‘Spice Island’s formative years. Today, the pubs welcome a more refined clientele, offering craft ales, big-name beer brands and extensive wine menus. What’s more, visitors to the likes of the Still and West, The Bridge Tavern or the Spice Island Inn can enjoy views over the bustling harbour with their drinks.
Albert Road is as known for its pubs as it is the curry houses, with many different ale houses established along its length. Here you have pubs offering food and drink (The Fat Fox, The V&A, Porters and The Wine Vaults, to name just a few) as well as some of the more traditional public houses (The Leopold, The Duke of Devonshire, The Kings).
In the city centre, some established names sit alongside their more independent counterparts, with independents such as the Royal Standard and Park Tavern just a short hop from bigger names like Wetherspoons (The Isambard Kingdom Brunel) and Brewhouse – both of which are on Guildhall Walk. It’s a similar story along North End’s London Road, with a variety of pubs, bars and lounges nestled in amongst the shops.