Holidaymakers have named Southsea among some of the UK’s top seaside destinations this year – giving it a top score for visitor attractions. In this year’s Which? survey, 4,300 people were asked to rate coastal resorts they have visited across a range of categories, including quality of beaches, seafront, tourist attractions, food and drink, scenery, peace and quiet and value for money.
Scoring five stars for its visitor attractions as well as four stars for food and drink, and shopping, Southsea placed 32nd out of 87 – placing it above St Ives in Cornwall (49th) and Brighton (57th).
The Southsea Beach Café has also been listed in The Guardian’s UK top 20 best seaside restaurants, cafes and shacks and is the best in Hampshire.
Businesses in the area welcomed the news. Jennifer Sanchez, owner of Southsea-based photography company Liberty Photography, and homeware store Into the Savannah, said: ‘As an island it is only getting busier, more exciting and vibrant and the buzz is growing.”
Terence Carvalho, regional director of marketing agency Delivered Social and former general manager at Becketts in Southsea, said: ‘There is nothing better than Southsea seaside, especially in the summer. Southsea bandstand, Victorious Festival, The Kite Festival just to name a few things we have that get the city buzzing. “
Overall, Southsea was given a destination rating of 74 per cent – not too far off 87 per cent for the winner Bamburgh, in Northumberland, which was considered much better value for money, but far higher than lowest ranked Skegness in Lincolnshire with a score of 49 per cent.
Jennifer Sanchez said ” Since the university was opened there’s been an injection of open-minded young people, probably since around 2000 it’s boomed and culturally it’s become more and more creative, and the business owners in particular are so creative. There’s a real friendly, muck-in, village mentality, despite being such a diverse and highly populated seaside town.’
Terrence Carvalho said ” There is absolutely no coincidence that Portsmouth University students tend to stay and live in Portsmouth after their studies. We’re incredibly privileged to have such a great waterfront city full of people who are passionate about our city, and it will only go from strength to strength for many years to come.’