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Portsmouth, Hampshire Hotels, Resort Accommodations

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Britain's foremost naval station, PORTSMOUTH occupies the bulbous peninsula of Portsea Island, on the eastern flank of a huge, easily defended harbour. The ancient Romans raised a fortress on the northernmost edge of this inlet, and a small port developed during the Norman era, but this strategic location wasn't fully exploited until Tudor times, when Henry VII established the world's first dry dock here and made Portsmouth a royal dockyard. It has flourished ever since and nowadays Portsmouth is a large industrialized city, its harbour clogged with naval frigates, ferries bound for the continent or the Isle of Wight, and swarms of dredgers and tugs.

Portsmouth was heavily bombed during the last war due to its military importance and bland tower blocks from the nadir of British architectural endeavour now give the city an ugly profile. Only Old Portsmouth , based around the original harbour, preserves some Georgian and a little Tudor character. East of here is Southsea , a residential suburb of terraces with a half-hearted resort strewn along its shingle beach, where a mass of B&Bs face stoic naval monuments and tawdry seaside amusements.

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