Years ago, my mother introduced me to Portsdown Hill (a favourite viewing point) with her graphic, grim recollection of how she watched a German bombing raid over Portsmouth in World War II reduce the city to ashes. In her later years, she often asked us to drive her up to The Hill (as we call it) to look out over her beloved city.
That fascination is now visited upon myself. Since I moved back down South, I myself am now drawn to Portsdown Hill and regularly take the Hound for walks up and down its banks whilst looking out over the city. From the left hand side, you can see Hayling Island, Portsmouth, Southsea over to Gosport on the right. The Isle of Wight offers a misty backdrop in the far distance. Once wooded and part of the ancient Forest of Bere, Portsdown Hill long ago was cleared for pasture. Now grassed over, today the slopes are ideal for casual strolls, for catching the rays or for picnicking. If you don’t picnic, you can always try out one of Mick’s Monster Burgers (reputedly excellent by the way but not really my thing) or visit The Churchillian at the top of the hill – http://www.churchillian.co.uk/.
This link gives some good historical information on Portsdown Hill but is a little out of date re the car parks referred to as abysmal – they are not too bad now and several are available strung out along the highest point of the Hill. http://www.portsdown-tunnels.org.uk/portsdown/about_portsdown.html
Contributor: Sue Lowry