The Yorkshireman and I took the opportunity of a Little’un-free day whilst on holiday to take a trip to Portsmouth. A two minute walk from the ferry terminal finds you in Gunwharf Quays, a designer outlet shopping centre. Given that I have an Asda George budget and an Evans figure I did nothing in the way of shopping but as it was drizzling slightly (English summer holiday, of course it rained!) browsing the shops was a great way to spend an hour until the rain stopped. We had lunch at Water Margin Oriental Buffet and I really can’t recommend it highly enough. Probably not the best place for small children as it was a buffet in a large dining room setting and possibly a bit hectic and cramped for families but the place had a real buzz and the food was fantastic.
Once we could move after having gone an apple fritter too far, we took a trip up the Spinnaker Tower. Thankfully the weather had cleared so it was well worth paying the entrance fee for the views over Portsmouth Dockyard, The Solent and beyond. The photo to the left was taken on our impromptu Solent cruise (see last post) but I took stacks of photos on the day and made a panoramic picture of the view which unfortunately seems to be too big to upload so I can’t share it with you (any tips gratefully received on this one). Nevertheless I can bore you with some of the less spectacular shots. I was incredibly brave and
crawled across the glass floor with my eyes closed walked on the glass floor that allows you to see 328 feet (100m) below you to the terrace cafe. You will note that I still have my sunglasses on in the picture. This is so you can’t tell that my eyes are as big as saucers with fear. I managed to crawl on and off the glass floor a couple of times without actually looking down, all the while small children were happily hopping, skipping and even jumping across it without so much as a minor tremble. I was actually very pleased that Little’un wasn’t there; partly because she is too young to admire views and would have been bored to the point of bad behaviour and also because I don’t want to inflict my completely riduculous fears onto her (I fear I may be too late to avoid passing on my spider ishoos).
We spent a long time up there just admiring the view, mainly watching the ships roll in, and watching them roll away again (good job I love that Otis Redding song, there is no way you can get it out of your head whilst watching a working port from such a vantage point). Until you’ve been up there and seen it for yourself it’s hard to imagine just how captivating it is. Handily, we were in the Crow’s Nest when some
mugs parents were pressed upon by their offspring to put £1 into the talking telescopes so we didn’t have to pay any extra for the commentary.
If you ever find yourself in Portsmouth, I can heartily recommend a day in and around the Spinnaker Tower. Just don’t take the kids with you.