Our Sunday view – Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
As I mentioned in the Diggerland post a few months back, we do enjoy using our Tesco Clubcard points. So on Sunday, being a beautiful sunny day, we decided to ignore the low temperatures and go to Portsmouth and admire the view from the Spinnaker Tower.
We had previously been to Portsmouth twice, once for no reason whatsoever and once to visit the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and walk onboard HMS Alliance, the only remaining WW2 era submarine. Each time we noticed the Spinnaker (it is hard to miss as it’s an 170-metre observation tower) and we became curious to go up and see what we could see. And on Sunday that’s exactly what we did: we drove more than 2 hours (1h36m was the Waze estimate for the journey), parked the car at Gunwharf Quays and made our way up the Spinnaker.
Tickets can be booked online, 24 hours previous to the visit, but since for us the visit was a spur of the moment, we bought the tickets at the entrance, meaning we paid with 3 Tesco vouchers and £0.50 for the whole family. After that, we waited for the lift to come and take us up to the View Deck 1. And as soon as we got off the elevator, this is what we saw:
In the photo above, the boat crossing the channel is a ferry that takes you from Portsmouth to Gosport – this is the ferry we used the last time we visited Portsmouth, to go to the Submarine museum.
As you may have noticed, the above photo is somewhat green, even after trying to apply some filters to it and adjust the colours. This is because the glass through which you can admire the view from Spinnaker Tower is green. I managed to adjust the white balance to most of the photos, but I also wanted to include the ones that remained “greenish” because I like them too.
So here we are, on the View Deck 1, looking all around us, admiring the view and taking pictures, including to a nice painting wall, the only wall there actually, close to the lift.
And then, all of a sudden, our kids were drawn by a magnet which looked like this:
A glass floor, on which you could step only barefoot and on which my kids just loved running, playing, hoping and relaxing (I mean it!). This was definitely the main attraction of this tower, from their point of view. So we did what any other parent would do: let the kids enjoy the view beneath and go and enjoy a really relaxing view.
The sky was clear blue and the view was clear and lovely, and we knew there is an upper view deck, with a restaurant, and then another one where you can feel the breeze as the deck is outside. You are safe at all times and it’s quite a nice place to be as there are beanbags and telescopes for the kids to enjoy and some deck chairs for the parents to enjoy while admiring the view.
Being so high up above the ground, it means you are closed to the moon, which was visible on this clear blue sky.
And as much as my son would have loved us to go visit the moon, we had to come down from the Spinnaker Tower (after another half an hour of play on the glass floor on View Deck 1, of course) and head for home , stopping on the way for some delicious fish and chips.
Useful information for a day out in Portsmouth visiting Spinnaker Tower:
- booking tickets online can save you up to 10% but you need to book at least 24h before the actual visit
- kids under 4 years old go free
- any ticket comes with a view guarantee: if you can’t see the 3 Solent forts on the day of your visit, you can visit again for free within 3 months
- the tower is open daily from 10.00am to 5.30pm
- the View Deck is up at 100 metres and to The Clouds at 105 metres
- a lift takes visitors up to the View Deck and The Clouds, but there are only stairs up to Sky Deck (highest viewpoint)