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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 Easthey. 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.