How to spend a day on the South Coast: Gunwharf Quays, Portmouth

Two weekends ago now, I jumped aboard a plane and an hour later was back on English soil. Happily I headed home to Reading on the Rail Air coach and enjoyed an evening of good food with my parents and a night in my very own comfy bed! However the main reason for my visit was a trip to Southampton for belated birthday celebrations with Dom, my boyfriend.

IMG_5064

After a browse around the shops in Southampton, on Thursday, we made our way to nearby Portsmouth, on the train, for a day out. We started at Gunwharf Quays and spent a good few hours wandering around the outlet picking up a bargain here and there. We also stopped off at our fav Caffe Nero for a refreshment break before doing something we meant to do every time we visited Gunwharf, this being a trip up the Spinnaker TowerAll the other times we visited, the weather had been so miserable that a trip up to the viewing tower didn’t really seem worthwhile, but thankfully this time we were blessed with beautifully clear weather and decided to bite the bullet and see what the fuss was all about.

IMG_0782

Visiting midweek meant that Gunwharf Quays was rather quiet and we pretty much had the entire tower to ourselves. First stop was View Deck 1 at 100m, where the great views began. We were provided with audio guides which told us a little about the things we could see, including the Solent, Portsmouth’s historic Harbour and the Isle of Wight.

IMG_5049
After taking a little time to psych ourselves up, we also braved a walk across the glass floor, not stopping for long to take in how far down we could see.
IMG_5097
To treat ourselves for shock, the next stop was the ‘Cafe in the Clouds’ on View Deck 2.
IMG_5072
We sat there a while and I enjoyed a Valentines cupcake with ‘V’ written in icing, and once again admired the views, made especially beautiful by the setting sun. I have to admit it’s no Top of the Rock or Eiffel Tower, but it was definitely worth a visit (especially for those who wish to enjoy refreshments in high places).
IMG_5067
IMG_5098
In the evening we treated ourselves to a tasty meal in All Bar One, before making our way back to Southampton. As always, I had a great time back at ‘home’ and was sad that the time flew by so quickly.. It’s true, time really does fly, when you’re having fun!