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The Best Free Things to do in Portsmouth

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Southsea sea front with the lighthouse

Including free Portsmouth attractions

If you are looking for free Portsmouth days out that are fun for the whole family then this is the post for you! We have covered everything from days out ideas to free museums and the best beaches in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth, Hampshire, is based to the East of the county. It is a huge city that is rich with history and with loads of things to do for families of all ages.

If you are looking for a full list of things to do in Portsmouth then have a look at our post here.

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Country Parks in Portsmouth

We’ve included all the local county parks in Portsmouth. Enjoy a day out with the whole family. If you are looking for more country parks throughout Hampshire then see this post here.

Titchfield Haven Country Park (Fareham)

This little country park is has parking on-site with a small cafe and toilets. Enjoy the long grass, the lake, and the tall trees that are great to spot wildlife.

The Alver Valley Country Park (Gosport)

Full of lovely wildflowers and sweeping trees, this country park has a great playground. Take a walk and see how much of the local wildlife you can see. It is a bit stony but great for walks with the whole family.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park (Petersfield)

This country park lies within the South Downs National Park. It offers loads of family fun into loads of walks, cycle paths and playgrounds. Car parking charges do apply but it’s a great day out for the whole family.

Walks in Portsmouth

On a nice summer’s day or even through half term, going for a walk and a picnic is great for ages. If you are looking for walks in Hampshire then have a look at this post here.

Holly Hill Woodland Park (Fareham)

Holly Hill is a nature reserve and is great for spotting all kinds of woodland creatures and insects. We’ve seen badgers and squirrels on a good day while sat on one of the many benches or rocks throughout the park.

The woodland has an on-site car park straight off the road that is free. There are toilets at the main entrance before you go down the hill.

Read more about Holly Hill Woodland Park here.

Victoria Park (Portsmouth)

Victoria Park is a public park by the Portsmouth Guildhall. It’s a huge grass area that is perfect for picnics and playing outdoor games with the family.

Waggoners Wells (Grayshott)

Waggoners wells is a National Trust area located in Grayshott, East Hampshire. With its 3 stunning lakes which run into one another via manmade waterfalls and rivers, a vast amount of woodland and walks that are perfect for families and dog walkers alike, it is the ideal place to spend on a Sunday afternoon.

It is free to park and walk around, just make sure you take your spare coins to make a wish in the well! Also, pack a change of clothes and your wellies during the wetter months because there are just so many parts for your kids to scramble around, like on the exposed roots on a bank going up to the woods, parts of the river to jump in and the walkways can get very muddy. Unfortunately, there are no facilities here so make sure you take snacks and water with you.

Brook Meadow (Emsworth)

This is a huge flat area in Emsworth that is great for a family walk. Spot wildlife in the long grass and have a picnic too.

Emsworth Mill Pond (Emsworth)

This pond is great if the kids want to see the wild pond life or the ducks. You can do a circular walk in the high grass which is great for the whole family. Wear wellies when wet-though as it can get a bit flooded at times.

The Portsmouth Mystery Treasure Trail (Portsmouth)

This trail takes about 2-hours to complete. It takes you around the city in a “murder mystery” course. This is great for older kids who love to work things out.

Playgrounds in Portsmouth

If you are looking for more playgrounds in Hampshire then have a look at this post.

Cosham Playground (Fareham)

Seafarers Play Area (Fareham)

Harbour View Playground (Fareham)

Holly Hill Leisure Center Playground (Fareham)

Rowledge Recreation Ground Play Area (Fareham)

Newman Collard Play Area (Fareham)

Blackbrook Play Area (Fareham)

Leesland Park (Gosport)

Megson Park (Gosport)

Bepton Down (Petersfield)

Peel Play Park (Portsmouth)

Landport Adventure Playground (Portsmouth)

Southsea Common Play Area (Portsmouth)

Skate parks

These skate parks are perfect for all levels of skill. Why not pair them with one of the playgrounds above too? If you are looking for more skate parks in Hampshire then have a look at this post.

Abshot Mini Ramp (Fareham)

Bartons Triangle Skatepark (Havant)

Brandsbury skatepark (Portsmouth)

Clanfield Skatepark (Portsmouth)

Denmead Skatepark (Portsmouth)

Emsworth Skatepark (Emsworth)

Fareham’s Park Lane Skatepark (Fareham)

Gosport skatepark (Portsmouth)

Havant Skatepark (Havant)

Hayling Island skatepark (Hayling Island)

Knowle skatepark (Fareham)

Lee-on-the-Solent Skatepark (Lee-on-the-Solent)

Milton Park skatepark (Portsmouth)

Paulsgrove Skatepark (Portsmouth)

Petersfield skatepark (Petersfield)

Purbrook Skatepark (Portsmouth)

Southsea Skatepark (Portsmouth)

Stubbington skatepark (Fareham)

Wickham stakepark (Wickham)

Free days out in Portsmouth

These days out in Portsmouth are great for all ages. We have added a mix of free and paid days out that are perfect for all ages. If you are looking for days out in Hampshire then look at this post here.

Portchester Castle

Porcester Castle is in Church Lane in Portchester. There are two small car parks that do get busy in the summer months so go early if you can.

The castle is surrounded by the sea and it’s a great place to spot incoming boats.

Inside the castle grounds, which are free to enter, are two huge fields. This is a great place to find hidden stones (they have a great Facebook page here) and let your kids run off some steam.

Their cafe is great and they do have public toilets on site.

Southsea Sea Front

Southsea Sea Front is a great if your family want to go scootering or for a bike ride on a flat surface. Opposite the Seafront there is a huge green field that hosts a great playground as well as a great space for picnics and games.

Walk along the seafront a bit more and you’ll come to the lighthouse and Henry 8th Fort that the kids can walk around. The fields this side are hilly but they are great to stand atop to watch the incoming ships come in.

Wherever you park along the seafront you have to pay but they do have toilets either end of the piers and plenty of places to sit down if the kids get tired.

All the paths are flat and there are so many ways you can go!

Royal Armouries Fort Nelson

Open all year round, let your kids run free in this amazing 19 acres of grass ramparts, underground tunnels and views.

Home to the over 350 guns that tell our history through the ages. Live firing takes place every day and professional actors recreate history and are happy to answer any questions you may have! Free guided tours are also available.

Old Portsmouth

Walk around the old grounds, up and down the walls to really experience what this part of Portsmouth used to be like. Start at Clarence Pier and walk towards Gunwalf Quays. As you walk you’ll come across signs and the old walls that talk you through the historic parts of the city.

Portsdown Hill

Full of wildflowers and magnificent views, Portsdown Hill is a great day out for the whole family. Bring a picnic and run around this amazing hill that overlooks the Isle of Wright. While you are there, make sure you spot all the natural wildlife that calls the hill their home.

It’s free to park at the hill too.

You can find Portsdown Hill at Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 1AA.

Canoe Lake

Sat back just from the beachfront, Canoe Lake is a great place to visit for the whole family. It has a car park on-site but that does get busy so there is parking directly around the park. The lake itself is great for crabbing and has been a boating lake since 1886. The park really does have everything you want on-site including a playground, lush green grass, and cafes to suit all tastes.

You can find Canoe Lake at Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, Hampshire, PO4 9RG.


Being on the South coast, Portsmouth have loads of beaches that you can explore. Most are stony but all are fun to play on. If you are looking for more beaches in Hampshire then look at this post here.

Lee-on-Solent Beach (Fareham)

Meon Shore Beach (Fareham)

Hill Head Beach (Fareham)

Stokes Bay (Gosport)

Browndown Point Beach (Gosport)

Southsea Sea Front (Portsmouth)

West Hayling (Portsmouth)

Eastney (Portsmouth)

Calshot Beach (Fareham)

Free Museums

Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery

Reminiscent of a fairy tale castle, with turrets and pointed roofs, Portsmouth City museum may look like something out of a story but it’s actually a former barracks.

It’s a great place to visit to get an idea of what it was like to live in the city and how things have changed over the years.

It’s open daily from 10am to 530pm.

Cumberland House Natural History Museum

This is a wildlife museum like no other. Explore the wildlife around you in this interactive museum that is fun for the whole family.

You can find Cumberland House Natural History Museum at Eastern Parade, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 9RF.

Related Posts: 

Eastney Engine Houses

Open some weekends, this amazing museum shows you how engines have been working throughout time.

You can find Eastney Beam Engine House at Henderson Road, Eastney, Southsea, Hampshire, PO4 9JF.

This is the best list of free things to do in Portsmouth with kids. We've included everything from bike rides to free museums by Laura at Things To Do In Hampshire With Kids

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