Portsmouth is a port city located in Hampshire with a rich maritime history. The town is often called a ‘salty seadog’ of a city and rightly so. The city’s air has been labelled salty by most visitors and the sea is the core of the city. The city’s location and naval heritage means that the city is very vibrant despite a small population. There are plenty of primary, secondary and tertiary learning institutions and other reputable social amenities if you are moving to the UK, Portsmouth in particular. There is plenty for everyone in this spirited and independent island city.
Is Portsmouth a good place to live? The cost of living in Portsmouth is quite high and while people earn high weekly wages and are mostly employed in the town, there are other areas that will prove much better than Portsmouth. Portsmouth is great for those who are hell bent on living by the sea.
No one can truly tell you if a place is right for you or not as the very city has its good and bad bits. Read on to know what moving to Portsmouth is like. Being an island city gives Portsmouth a special aura that is difficult to find in other areas. Many people claim that a town is only as good as the people you will find within it. There are many issues to consider before you decide to move to Portsmouth that will be found in this article.
Is Portsmouth a good place to live?
There are good and bad neighbourhoods in Portsmouth just like in any other city. Portsmouth is an old town but there are places that have reinvented themselves to become quite affluent. Some of the worst neighbourhoods in Portsmouth include Somerstown, Buckland, Paulsgrove, Fratton and Leigh Park. The best neighbourhoods include places like Hilsea, Copnor, Cosham and Eastney.
Crime levels in Portsmouth are quite high as compared to other areas in the South East and in the country in general. Violent crime in the city takes up the majority of the crime in the city. Antisocial behaviour crime is the second highest in the city. It would be a good idea to find out what security measures protect you and your family if you decide to move to Portsmouth.
There are plenty of high ranked institutions of learning in Portsmouth. For starters, Portsmouth has one of the best universities in the country in the University if Portsmouth. In addition, there is Highbury College which is an excellent vocational and academic training institution. Portsmouth College also offers academic courses including Higher Diplomas. Portsmouth also has some of the best secondary schools in the nation. Portsmouth Grammar School and Portsmouth High School are two of the best private schools in the UK. Other high-quality independent schools include St. John’s college, Mayville High School and Ark Charter Academy. Highbury Primary School, Portsdown Primary School, Cottage Grove Primary School and Milton Park Primary School are some of the excellent primary schools in Portsmouth where children can develop their abilities.
Portsmouth has a well managed and active transportation system. Portsmouth does not have its own airport since it was shut down in 1973. The closest airport is Southampton airport which is 32 km away. The airport can easily be reached via train if you are moving to Portsmouth. There are several train stations including Portsmouth & Sea and Portsmouth Harbour both of which can link you to Waterloo. Vehicle access to and from the island is limited to a single motorway linked to the M27/A27 which means serious traffic congestion. There are also several bus services in Portsmouth including the Stagecoach-operated Hoverbus which links people from the city centre to the Southsea Hovercraft Terminal. Being an island city, there are waterway public transportation options like ferries, boats and hovercrafts. You can board a ferry from Portsmouth Harbour to the Isle of Wight among other places. Portsmouth Continental Ferry is the busiest ferry from the city and can connect you to France and Spain.
Portsmouth has varied social amenities that give the city a bustling social life including Mountbatten Leisure Centre, a premier sports centre with a pool and fitness suite. There are social theatre halls like Groundlings Theatre and the Guildhall. There are plenty of clubs and pubs on Gunwharf and Palmerston Road for fun social meetings and late night partying.
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Is Portsmouth a good place to work?
If you are moving to UK, it is good to know that Portsmouth has a low unemployment rate of 4.5% which is still 0.5% higher than the national average. Around 70% of the population work regular full-time jobs.
The average annual salary in Portsmouth is £33,100 which slightly less than the national average of £36,600. The net annual income per household in Portsmouth is £26,200 which is considered quite low and can be attributed to the fact that about 15% of households in Portsmouth are workless.
Portsmouth largest industry is the defence industry. The Portsmouth Naval Dockyard employs about 10% of the Portsmouth population. BAE Systems headquarters are located in Portsmouth and the company is the major employer in the city. Stream Communications, QinetiQ, Dominos Pizza and Highbury College are the other main employers in Portsmouth city. With an average salary of £68,368, being an automation tester is the highest paying job in Portsmouth. A lot of Portsmouth residents are also employed in the wholesale and retail trade industry. Portsmouth is a good place to work and makes up in reliability what it lacks in work variety.
Is Portsmouth a good place to buy a house?
The average price of a piece of property if you are moving to Portsmouth is £279,000 which is slightly below the country average. Out of 105 postcode areas in the United Kingdom and Wales, Portsmouth has the 49th highest average real estate prices.
The average price of a flat in Portsmouth is £170,000. However, the prices could range widely depending on where you decide to stay. In the city centre, a two bedroom flat will cost around £120,000. If you would rather buy a property in an area by the sea with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants then an area like Gunwharf Quays has some of the most expensive property in Portsmouth and a two bedroom flat will cost you between £250,000 and £1,000,000.
A one bedroom flat will cost an average of £600 per month to rent. The average price to rent a two bedroom flat is £900 per month. To rent a three bedroom apartment in Portsmouth will cost you an average of £1250 per month. Four bedroom apartments charge an average of £1400 a month in rent.
Is Portsmouth a good place to retire?
Most retirement properties in Portsmouth are one and two bedroom apartment flats since most seniors require less space. There are plenty of retirement developments in Portsmouth and it is ideal for Navy retirees who will appreciate the naval heritage of Portsmouth. Some of the best retirement properties in Portsmouth include Artkinson Court, Homegrove House, Homeheights, Nightingale Court, Savoy house, Summerson Lodge and Tudor Rose Court. Terraced properties will cost more than flats while detached house are the most expensive of the bunch. If you want to spend your retirement days with a great view of the sea, you will also have to fork over more than your average price.
The prices for retirement homes are slightly higher than normal properties. A one bedroom retirement home will cost an average of £200,000. A two bedroom flat will cost an average of £225,000 while a three bedroom flat will cost £275,000.
Is Portsmouth a good place to visit?
There is plenty for tourists to do in Portsmouth at any given time of the year. A lot of Portsmouth’s attractions are reminders of its storied past but there are modern attractions that make for great experiences too. The Spinnaker Tower would be the first site one could visit in Portsmouth. It is a tower rising more than 100 metres above sea level and offers a great view of the city. D-Day story is a museum that is dedicated to the Allied invasion of 1944 during WW2. The museum has great exhibition galleries and is a great way to connect to the city’s past via heroic stories. Another testament to Portsmouth’s rich history is No Man’s Fort. It is one of three forts that were built in the 19th century to repel Napoleon’s French invasion. It is a military museum accessible by ferry and includes luxurious rooms where you can spend the night. Fratton Park is another attraction that visitors cannot afford to miss.
The Portsmouth F.C stadium has stood since 1898 and has hosted plenty of passion filled matches. “The old girl’ as the stadium is referred to by the team’s supporters comes alive on game days and if you won’t visit the stadium for its rich past, the atmosphere of a game is an experience you do want to experience. The South Sea Castle is another attraction that was built during the middle ages and has stood for centuries. Castles by the sea are not only functional but also very beautiful. Visitors will understand what it took to keep the city safe and can enjoy food from the cafe or beer from the castle’s brewery.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.