© Oast House Archive and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Southsea, which got its name from the 16th century Southsea Castle, became a fashionable destination for bathing and other seaside leisure activities in the early 19th century. Today, it remains a vibrant, traditional resort town with plenty of visitor attractions.
Southsea beach stretches from Old Portsmouth to Eastney. The beach itself is made up mainly of flinty shingle, although a stretch of sand is exposed at low tide.
The beach, which slopes fairly rapidly into the sea, is backed by a promenade and behind that a recreation area with a popular canoe lake. The lake gets its water from the sea and a variety of crabs, fish and other marine wildlife can be found here. Children might enjoy dangling bacon tied with pieces of string into the water to see what creatures take the bait.
Southsea itself is home to some interesting museums including the D-Day Museum on the seafront and Cumberland House Natural History Museum. The Blue Reef Aquarium is also worth a visit.
The beach lies less than a mile south of Portsmouth city centre, with its many shops, restaurants and bars.
From the beach there are views out across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight. Also visible out to sea is "Palmerston's Folly", a series of four large forts built in the 1860's to defend against the risk of an invasion which never happened.
Type of beach
Dogs friendly beach?
We do not have information on this beach but restrictions may apply (usually from Easter until the end of Summer)
OS grid ref.
SZ 6542 9807
Submit a correction
Southsea Beach Reviews
Resident beach lover
Rebecca DenyerMay 12th 2019
I love living near Southsea beach. There is always something going on nearby. The Canoe Lake has a large play area for children; quiet and secluded rose garden; and Natural History Museum. The museum exhibits could do with updating. However, there is a bee hive observation case, new butterfly house and lovely quiet gardens; with plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds.
There are lots of local cafes, takeaway eateries, and ice cream parlours.
The Pier is newly refurbished. It is nice to walk along and look at the sea. It can be quite dramatic when stormy!
The entire seafront is interesting to walk along, with landmarks like the more natural looking beach at Eastney, Model Village,Southsea Castle, the bandstand and atmospheric Old Portsmouth.
I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else. Visitors seem to enjoy coming too.