How to help families in Ukraine

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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines

  • Take in spectacular panoramic 360-degree views over Portsmouth from the city's newest landmark, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
  • Since opening in 2005, this Portsmouth tower has been visited by over 2.5 million visitors.
  • This architectural marvel has floor-to-ceiling glass walls and offers incredible views stretching up to 23 miles on a clear day. Can you spot the Isle of Wight?

Make your way up the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth and soak up the incredible views from the UK’s tallest publicly accessible tower outside of London. Kids will love whizzing up in the high-speed lift, which takes just 28 seconds to get to View Deck 1 at 100 metres above sea level, travelling at 4 metres per second. Once you have reached the top, you can enjoy breathtaking 23-mile views of the South Coast and beyond! You will see amazing views over Portsmouth harbour, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the Solent and the Isle of Wight (which is often confused for France). Watch as the warships and cruise ships head in and out of the port – can you see the HMS Warrior 1860, the ship closest to the tower and floating in the harbour?

The Spinnaker Tower is the centrepiece of the redevelopment of Portsmouth Harbour.

Soaring 170 metres above Portsmouth harbour, the tower has 560 steps from the base up to the Sky Deck, and is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben. It has already established itself as one of Britain’s favourite attractions.

The stunning Spinnaker Tower glass floor is made up of 4 panes, each of which measure 2050x950mm. The glass is pretty strong, with an overall thickness of 60mm and can hold a total weight of 288 stone – this means that theoretically, two black rhinos could run across the floor at the same time without breaking it! Did you feel a slight wobble? Don’t worry, in high winds the tower has been designed to have a flex of approximately 15mm!

You can even opt for additional activities whilst you are at the top. Why not tuck into some tempting treats with the Clouds Spinnaker Café afternoon tea experience whilst watching the Portsmouth skyline. Do you dare to abseil 100 metres down the face of the Spinnaker Tower? Now you and your mini thrill-seekers can experience the ultimate adrenaline rush and descend this iconic tower!

Although sponsored by Emirates, the UK’s Spinnaker Tower is owned by Portsmouth City Council. Your family is guaranteed to have an action-packed day out here! If you would like to visit some more attractions with breathtaking views, take the family to the London Eye or go for an exhilarating day out climbing up London’s O2 Arena.

What to know before you go

  • If you do decide to take up the challenge of abseiling down the tower, the abseiling platform is at 94 metres on one of the legs of the Tower, visible from the east window. The platform is lowered on the morning of the abseil and is accessible from view Deck 1’s stairwell down a small number of stairs.
  • The Spinnaker Tower doesn't have its own restaurant, but there are two great cafes, the Waterfront Café, situated on the ground floor and the Clouds Café, which is situated on View Deck 2.
  • Alternatively, there are loads of delicious places to eat at Gunwharf Quays, which has over 30 bars and restaurants, including family-friendly chains Five Guys, Nando’s, Pho, Pizza Express and Wagamama.
  • The Spinnaker Tower has disabled access. There is access to the view deck at 100 metres and to the Clouds Café at 105 metres. Unfortunately, the highest deck, the Sky Deck, is only accessible by stairs. There are three disabled toilets on site.
  • There is free carer admission when with a disabled guest.
  • Other than the iconic tower, other places to visit in Portsmouth include the historic dockyard, the remains of Henry VIII’s favourite ship, The Mary Rose, the D-Day Museum, Blue Reef Aquarium, Cumberland House Natural History Museum and Southsea Castle.
  • If you are looking for what’s going on in the area, check out the Portsmouth Guildhall. You will find workshops and activities available, as well as family-friendly shows.
  • There are a variety of events all year round suitable for the whole family if you are visiting Hampshire. With the New Forest wild ponies, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, the 18th-century village of Buckler's Hard, there's fun for all ages.
  • The Spinnaker Tower opening times are 11am until 5pm (last admissions are 4.30pm).

Getting there

  • You will find the Emirates Spinnaker Tower on the waterfront within Gunwharf Quays shopping centre in Portsmouth, which is situated in Hampshire.
  • If you're driving, follow brown signs to Historic Waterfront and Spinnaker Tower from the M275.
  • The closest car park is in Gunwharf Quays. Use postcode PO1 3TZ to get there.
  • If you are coming by train, Portsmouth Harbour railway station is a six-minute walk away from the tower. It has direct connections to London and across the UK.
  • The Isle of Wight ferry port is also only a five-minute walk away.

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