Now that the weather is getting cooler after one of the best summers we’ve had in 40 years, there’s no need to go into hibernation. There are plenty of events in Portsmouth this autumn to keep you and your family entertained. We’ve picked some of the highlights.
Great South Run – 21 October
£42 to enter, free to watch!
Whether you’re happy donning your running shoes and charging round a 10-mile course, or content just cheering from the sideline clutching a coffee, the Great South Run is a great opportunity to enjoy the city. Taking in the views across the Solent, plus running through Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, this world-class event brings around 20,000 runners to the city each year. The atmosphere is buzzing, whether you’re supporting the main run, or the junior runs on 20 October.
Oktoberfest – 26 and 27 October
Returning for a third year, this popular beer and folk festival will see foot stomping, table bashing and, of course, plenty of beer. This year the event will be held on Castle Field, Southsea, where the Bavarian celebrations will liven up the seafront. German food, singing and a 50-metre bar tent will keep you entertained throughout the weekend.
Gunwharf Quays Firework Extravaganza – 8 November (6pm)
Free (charity donations welcome)
Considered a dramatic launch to the festive season, the annual fireworks display at Gunwharf Quays, hosted by Wave 105, will feature live performances as well as an awe-inspiring waterfront fireworks display. The location is a stunning backdrop to the display and thousands are expected to attend.
Guildhall ice rink – 17 November to 6 January
£10 (adults), £8.50 (child)
Get your skates on! Back again this year, Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square will be transformed by a 612sqm ice rink – large enough for over 200 skaters at a time. Each session lasts an hour, but if you prefer to sit and watch, there’s an alpine chalet bar where you can enjoy mulled wine, hot chocolate or a festive cocktail. Food stalls will also be available.
Dickens Christmas Festival – 30 November to 2 December
£15.50 (adult), £13.50 (child)
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is hosting its popular festive event, themed around the city’s former resident Charles Dickens. The attraction will be transformed into snowy Dickensian streets where you will be able to browse the Christmas markets and enjoy the Victorian street performers and traditional green Father Christmas.
Words: Liz Bourne