Main conference social events
The main social events of the conference consist of the welcome reception and the conference dinner. Visitor attractions, cafes, restaurants and Southsea’s open spaces will provide a very memorable and enjoyable visit for the conference participants.
Monday evening 25th June, the day before the start of the main conference: a drinks reception at Portsmouth’s Anglican Cathedral, on the High Street, Old Portsmouth. This is a main cultural space in the City, which is used to host concerts and exhibitions. The reception will start at 7.30pm: wine and canapes accompanied by live music. Conference participants may also enjoy walking down to the historical walls on the sea front, which are 200 metres from the Cathedral.
There are lots of Pubs and restaurants in this area if delegates would like to continue socializing.
Due to the success of this conference, the Gala dinner will be hosted in two locations, which delegates can choose between. There is a sit-down dinner hosted in the Portsmouth Guildhall, one of the main concert and entertainment venues across the South Coast. Conference participants are invited to gather at 7pm, ready for dinner which will be served at 8pm. Paying bars will be open on the ground and first floors of the Guildhall until 11.30pm. Alternatively, why not join us in the famous Spinnaker Tower for a less formal fork buffet, where you can enjoy stunning views over Portsmouth, the Solent and the Isle of Wight.
What to do and see in Portsmouth
Portsmouth has a rich variety to choose from. The Historic Dock Yard is home to HMS Warrior, HMS Victory, HMS Mary Rose, Boat house numbers 4 and 6 and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Old Portsmouth walls contain the Square Tower and Round Tower. Built in the reign of Henry VIII, these offer wide views over the Solent and Portsmouth Harbour.
Southsea Castle and the newly refurbished D-Day museum are on Southsea seafront. There are two theatres in the city (Kings Theatre and the New Theatre Royal), both of which have summer programmes. Gunwharf Quays is a shopping and entertainment complex with many reasonably priced restaurants, many with views over Portsmouth Harbour. It is also home to the Spinnaker Tower, a 133m high tower giving wide views over Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
For live music, venues include the Wedgewood Rooms. If you are staying over the weekend either side of the conference, there is open air music at the Bandstand, on Southsea Common. Portsmouth also has a City Museum, and is the birthplace of the famous Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens.
If you enjoy the open air, Southsea Common is 15 minutes away from the conference venue, with cafes, leafy walks and views across the Solent. Southsea seafront is good for running, stretching 4 miles (6.5 km) from Old Portsmouth to Eastney. The Canoe Lake area is popular with families, with a boating lake, playgrounds and cafes. South Parade Pier has recently reopened and is a good place to sample traditional fish and chips. Southsea’s beach (particularly east from Canoe Lake) is also popular; it is shingle (sand at low tide), and the water quality is excellent.
Further afield, there is a hovercraft link to the Isle of Wight, sited on the seafront next to Clarence Pier funfair. There are regular trains to Chichester, with its Roman layout, museums and parks. Fishbourne Roman Palace is the largest Roman building in the UK, with extensive floor mosaics.
If you would like more information about local amenities and visits around Portsmouth, please speak to one of the conference organisers.