AMERICAN crewmen starting a long weekend of shore leave flooded into Portsmouth after being ferried ashore in the naval base.
Many were keen to take the opportunity to visit London, but the bars and cafés of Gunwharf Quays were a starting point for many.
While many were just glad to be on dry land, most were complimentary about the city and keen to see its sights.
Petty officer third class Jake Elkins, 23, said: ‘Portsmouth is gorgeous, it’s a nice place to just walk around.
‘We’ve been to some very hot places like Bahrain and Dubai, so it’s nice to visit somewhere that’s jacket weather.
‘We’re going to try to visit London while we’re here. But Portsmouth is looking pretty good right now.
‘We went to HMS Warrior and that was pretty cool and interesting.
‘There’s a lot of camaraderie on board the ship, which we’ve been on for six months, but it feels good to be off it.’
Another 25-year-old sailor, who didn’t want to disclose his name, said: ‘I’ve been to Portsmouth twice in the past two years, and I absolutely love it.
‘The culture is great, the city has a modern but yet old-timely feel to it.
‘The only thing is I don’t like that it’s cold here, but Portsmouth is still one of the best places I’ve visited.’