But now the city has been named the UK’s booze capital for pubs. According to data collected by Liberty Games, Portsmouth has the most pubs per square mile. The city has a total of 12 pubs per square mile – double the number of London. It also beats Liverpool, which has 11 boozers per square mile, and Bristol, which has 10.
One local told the Daily Star: “From stag dos to football weekends away, Pompey is like a pub-lovers playground.
"The city may now be down to just a few genuine nightclubs but what does that matter when you've got so many boozers on tap? Pardon the pun – or not – up to you.
“Anyone after a crawl could easily stay put in Albert Road, a notorious stretch of pubs from The 5th Hants Volunteer Arms all the way down to One Eyed Dog. Stop off at one of the several curry houses en route and you've got a top Saturday night on your hands."
Here are just a few of the pubs Portsmouth has to offer.
1. Hole in the Wall, Great Southsea Street, Southsea
Flower Pots Goodens Gold V; 5 changing beers (sourced nationally). A multiple award-winning pub, the Hole is a true free house, with an ever-changing selection of cask beers, an interesting selection of cans to take away and a sweet tuckshop. During lockdown the pub made amazing efforts to provide takeaway beer. Sadly it no longer serves food. Thursday is quiz night. On Friday last admission is one hour before closing. Check the website for current beers and opening times. Photo: Google Maps
2. Apsley House, Auckland Road West, Southsea
Hop Back Summer Lightning; Sharp’s Doom Bar; Timothy Taylor Landlord H Named after the London residence of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the building is depicted on the pub sign along with a parody of its address. The pub is a short walk from Southsea Common and the shops of Palmerston Road. Inside, the single bar has a U-shaped counter. To the right is a raised seating area. The decor is basic with simple wooden tables and chairs. There is a small patio seating area at the front. Photo: Steve Reid
3. The Barley Mow, Castle Road, Southsea
Fuller’s London Pride; Gale’s HSB; 6 changing beers (sourced nationally) H A large community pub built by A.E. Cogswell, although it is not typical of his designs. The lounge bar retains it's wood panelling and for many years had a mural depicting the Battle of Southsea fixed to the ceiling. This now resides in the City Museum. The smaller public bar is more simply decorated. To the rear is an award-winning patio garden, a real suntrap on warmer days. Games, including bar billiards and shove ha’penny, are available. Photo: Malcolm Wells
4. The King Street Tavern, King Street, Southsea
Wadworth Horizon, 6X, Swordfish; 3 changing beers (sourced nationally; often Wadworth) H A Grade II-listed street-corner pub designed by architect A.E. Cogswell. It has a green tiled exterior with ornate writing above the doors and windows. Inside, the single bar has a bare wooden floor with tiles around the counter, which is remarkably uncluttered with just the set of handpumps. The keg taps are fitted to the rear green tiled wall. Although open plan, the bar is divided into two distinct areas. There is a small patio garden. Photo: Sarah Standing