7 scenic destinations near Portsmouth for a weekend break

Now that hotels, campsites and caravan parks have reopened again in England, there is more opportunity to get out and about, after more than three months of lockdown

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 3:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 12:00 pm

If you don’t have a foreign holiday planned for this year, there are still plenty of attractive places here in the UK that you can visit for a staycation instead.

These locations all sit within less than two hours’ drive from Portsmouth – near lots of fun things to do in Hampshire – and are ideal for a relaxing weekend getaway.

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Visit our Staycation page to find more fun things to do in the Portsmouth area

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Where will you escape to?


Ideal if you want to enjoy some seaside fun not too far from your doorstep, Southsea is the perfect option.

The Victorian seafront boasts a funfair, swimming complex, and open green spaces that are perfect for picnics or gentle strolls.

As well as the beachfront, there are also a number of attractions to visit during your stay, including Southsea Castle, the Blue Reef Aquarium and the marina.

Isle of Wight

If you don’t mind a short boat trip, the sandy shores of the Isle of Wight await to be explored.

Famed for its chalky cliffs, golden beaches and rural landscape, this small island off the south coast is a popular haunt for outdoor enthusiasts, with lots of places to enjoy walking and cycling.

There’s also quality local food and drink to sample, fossils to discover in hidden coves, or simply just relaxing on one of the island’s many beaches.

Hayling Island

Located off the south coast of England and just a short drive from Portsmouth, Hayling Island boasts all of the essentials for a traditional seaside holiday.

Visitors can wander the many miles of unspoiled coastline and countryside, with numerous cycling and walking trails to explore, or make the most of some of the other sporting pursuits on offer.

Windsurfing was invented on Hayling Island and remains a popular pastime, and there’s opportunities to enjoy sailing, swimming and beach volleyball, among others.


The charming town of Chichester is less than 30 minutes’ drive from Portsmouth and offers lots to do for a fun weekend break.

As well as many fantastic walking and cycling spots across the Chichester countryside, there are also long sandy beaches and pretty villages to visit along the coastline, where visitors can sunbathe, paddle and picnic in the sunshine.


If you want to venture a little further afield, the seaside resort of Brighton sits less than two hours’ drive away, and has long been one of the UK’s most popular holiday spots.

Its pebble beach and pier are must-visit attractions, with visitors able to wander the boardwalk and try their hand at various sports, including kayaking, paddle boarding, volleyball and frisbee.

The beachfront is also lined with a wealth of bars and restaurants to keep you fuelled during your stay.


Hailed as the jewel of the south coast, Bournemouth attracts thousands of visitors for its impressive coastline, where stunning beaches, clifftops and the rolling hills of the surrounding Dorset countryside await.

As well as its wonderful landscape, Bournemouth also has a bustling town centre full of restaurants and shops, as well as the coastal villages of Boscombe, Southbourne and Westbourne, giving visitors loads to see and do.


Another popular choice if you’re keen to escape for some sea and sand, this pretty seaside town in Dorset has all the assets for a relaxing break.

As well as the sandy shores of Weymouth Beach, visitors can also pay a visit to the harbour, or take a wander to the historic Nothe Fort, which offers stunning views out towards Portland and Weymouth Bay.