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Here are the 5 top shopping destinations in Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a vibrant city on the south coast of England, known for its rich naval history, stunning coastline and excellent shopping. As far as shopping goes, Portsmouth offers a wide range of options from the high street stores to independent shops selling unique items.

The shopping experience in this waterfront city is well worth a visit. Major destinations include Gunwharf Quays, Commercial Road and Cascades Shopping Centre, which are well-known for their high street brands. Palmerston Road and Albert Road are also popular for the variety of independent shops.

Want to know more about shopping in Portsmouth? Here’s the guide. These are the 5 best shopping destinations for your bucket list. And there’s something for everyone, from the latest in fashion to antiques. With plenty of shopping opportunities, the only thing to hold you back is the limit on your credit card.


Gunwharf Quays Shopping Centre

Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, England.
Gunwharf Quays | Tim Sheerman-Chase

Gunwharf Quays goes back to the 17th century when it was used as a military barrack and for storing armaments and ammunition. The military closed and sold the site in 1995 and was later redeveloped into a premier shopping complex. Besides shopping, the area is also one of the most happening places in the city.

There are excellent transport links to Gunwharf Quays. It’s close to the Portsmouth Harbour railway station, the Hard Interchange (station for coaches and local buses) and the Wightlink Ferry Terminal. Coming by car, there’s a 24/7 multi-level underground car park with 1,500 parking bays (fees apply).

If you need to find your way to get here, use the Spinnaker Tower as a marker. The tower overlooks the waterfront and is right beside the complex. It’s well laid out to wander and enjoy your time. In the centre is a picturesque canal with a marina. If you’re looking for a hotel, the 3-star Holiday Inn Express is right in Gunwharf Quays.

Gunwharf Quays has everything you need for a great shopping trip. This shopping heaven is home to more than 90 major designer outlets. Regular discounts are a major lure to the outlets. What’s more, discounts are deep offering big savings of as much as 60 per cent off the retail price!

Shopping at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, England.
Shopping at Gunwharf Quays | Lewis Clarke

You’ll only find outlets offering famous brands at Gunwharf Quays. Top names in fashion include Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld to name a few. For sportswear, you can find global designer brands like Nike, Adidas, Champion, Asics and Under Armour.

For shoes, Kurt Geiger and Dune offer a range of designer styles including formal shoes and sneakers. For handmade gentlemen’s shoes and boots, look no further than Loakes. Osprey, Coach, Radley London and UGG offer their selection of leather goods and accessories including handbags, wallets and belts.

Hour Passion carries celebrated names in watches such as Longines, Rado, Tissot, Balmain and Certina. Pandora, Ernest Jones and Swarovski offer beautiful jewellery in various designs. From other outlets, you’ll find established names for homeware, kitchenware, fragrances, skincare and beauty products.

Besides shopping, there are over 30 restaurants and cafés to spoil you. For leisure, there’s the 14-screen multiplex Vue Cinema and 26-lane Hollywood Bowls. You can also charter boats from the marina for scenic trips across the Solent. And the top of the 170-metre (560 feet) Spinnaker Tower offers amazing views of the city and the Solent.

Check out hotels in Portsmouth – You can find a range of options from the budget-friendly to luxury.

Shopping on Commercial Road

Commercial Road in Portsmouth, England.
Bus stop on Commercial Road | Editor5807

Commercial Road is 1.2 miles (2 km) northeast of Gunwharf Quays and passes through the city centre. Shopping here also includes a short section of Arundel Street that extends west from Commercial Road. It’s primarily closed to traffic, except for the north and south ends of Commercial Road where vehicles are permitted.

Being in the city centre, Commercial Road benefits from excellent transport links. Taxi drivers are familiar with the area. Local buses stop at both ends of Commercial Road. If driving, there’s a multi-level car park at Cascades Shopping Centre. Another is the NCP Market Way open car park, just beside the centre.

This beloved shopping street is a treasure trove of high-street stores and independent shops. Shopping here also includes the indoor Cascades Shopping Centre, located on the west side of Commercial Road – this prominent shopping centre deserves a separate mention in the next section.

There’s plenty to buy on Commercial Road including fashion, sportswear, everyday clothes, shoes, bags and jewellery to name a few. Feeling hungry? There’s no shortage of where to eat including snack bars, cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets. If you plan to stay near the area, there’s the 3-star Premier Inn Portsmouth City Centre.

Commercial Road in Portsmouth, England.
Pedestrian-only Commercial Road | Graham Robson

Leading fashion retailers here include Primark and H&M. Although based in Cascades Shopping Centre, their front entrances face Commercial Road. In contrast, River Island and Flannel offer their fashion options on their own premises. Another is JD Sports, carrying sportswear from top brands like Nike, Puma and Jordan.

Footasylum and Schuh have a wide selection of footwear, casual wear and accessories from the leading brands. Shoe Zone also offers footwear, ranging from shoes to sandals, but at incredibly low prices. Check out Poundland, a popular variety store offering foods to beauty products at low prices and with plenty of items for just £1!

On Thursday-Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM, the City Centre Market is on the northern half of Commercial Road. You’ll find stalls packed with clothes, tote bags, thoughtful gifts, homeware, flowers and lots more at prices that won’t break the bank. But that’s not all. You’ll find varieties of street foods to tempt the taste buds.

The Portsmouth Christmas Market runs from mid-November all the way up to Christmas Eve, officially kicking off with a dazzle of Christmas lights. Strolling through the wooden cabins, you’ll discover a trove of Christmas gifts, decorations and tasty treats. And there’s live entertainment to add to the festive cheer.

Cascades Shopping Centre

Cascades Shopping Centre in Portsmouth, England.
Cascades Shopping Centre | Paul Gillet

Cascades Shopping Centre is the largest indoor shopping mall in Portsmouth, with 50 outlets all on a single floor. Opened in 1989, the shopping centre underwent a major facelift in 2007, turning it into a bright and airy mall. If you come to shop on Commercial Road, don’t forget to include Cascades.

Many local buses in Portsmouth stop in the city centre near Cascades. The shopping centre has its own multi-level car park (fees apply) and an NCP open car park nearby. Cascades opens daily from 8 AM to 6 PM but on Sundays, it’s from 10 AM to 5 PM. Opening hours for individual stores may vary though.

This indoor mall is home to many high-street favourites, not to mention several independent retailers. Shop for the latest fashion, fine jewellery, prestigious watches, health and beauty products and thoughtful gifts. You can also find home items, books, toys and even vintage clothes.

Primark is the largest store here and there’s plenty to shop for. The store has a chic collection of men’s and women’s clothes at prices that are lower than similar items sold by other leading labels. Their homeware, accessories, footwear, skincare and beauty products are also worth checking out.

Cascades Shopping Centre in Portsmouth, England.
Inside Cascade | Tim Sheerman-Chase

H&M is also one of the larger stores, specialising in fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and young children. And it’s a wide choice of styles from casual to high fashion. Next is another large store, with a vast selection of chic clothes and quality home items. New Look, TK Maxx and Quiz are other leading fashion chains.

HemingCo is an independent retailer of designer brands for men’s clothing. Another independent is Marabella’s, a specialist in children’s fashion. Deichmann has a wide choice of shoe styles and brands for men, women and children. For designer watches and jewellery, check out Ernest Jones and T.H. Baker.

The Fragrance Shop, The Body Shop and Lush are well-known for their body care products and fragrances. Young children will love the toys at Toytown, with many priced at £5 and below. For the sweet tooth, visit Sweets 4 U for the many varieties of traditional sweets at very fair prices.

For drinks, bakery treats and sandwiches, there’s Starbucks. Boswell opens early for breakfast and has a menu of sandwiches, toasties, soups, salads and cakes. Spoon World’s all-you-can-eat buffet menu features foods from around the world. Outside the shopping centre, you can find more options on Commercial Road.

Shopping on Palmerston Road

Shops on Palmerston Road in Portsmouth, England.
Palmerston Road | Editor5807

Palmerston Road is the main high street in Southsea, a suburb of Portsmouth. It’s about 3 km (1.9 miles) from the city centre and 2 km (1.2 miles) from Gunwharf Quays. Being outside the tourist belt, Palmerston Road is not as well-known to most visitors. For the locals, it’s another popular place for shopping in Portsmouth.

The stretch runs in a north-south direction and is cut in 2 halves by Osborne Road. The northern half is closed to traffic and where you’ll find most of the shops. If you’re staying close to Southsea Beach at the 4-star Queens Hotel, Q8 Boutique Hotel or Ashby’s, Palmerston Road is a short walk away.

Coming here by bus, First Bus stops near Palmerston Road on Osborne Road and Kent Road. From the bus stops, it’s less than 5 minute walk to get here. By car, there’s a small nearby open car park on Ashby Place. Another option is the multi-level car park at the Waitrose supermarket on Marmion Road.

You won’t be let down on Palmerston Road. Shopping here also includes small sections of nearby Marmion and Osborne Roads. The retail scene is a mix of high-street stores and independent shops. What’s more, the area is filled with scores of cafés, coffee shops and restaurants to suit every taste.

Shops on Palmerston Road in Portsmouth, England.
Shops on Palmerston Road | Michael Garlick

Among the high-street stores is New Look, a fashion chain for men’s, women’s and children’s clothes. Clarks is known for its high-quality shoes, boots and sandals. Millets is a leading chain for outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment. Robert Dyas offers a range of homeware including appliances, kitchenware and garden items.

Palmerston Road and the nearby Marmion and Osborne Roads are home to scores of independent shops. From the independent boutiques, it’s not only fashion and casual wear but funky clothes as well. You can also find specialist shops for accessories, jewellery, cosmetics, homeware, electronics and health foods.

There’s no shortage of shops selling pre-owned items. Most are by charities such as the British Heart Foundation, OXFAM and Cancer Research UK. Items to look for include vintage clothes, shoes, rare books, vinyl and CDs to name a few. The items are in good condition, and your purchase goes a long way to support the charities.

Don’t miss the Love Southsea Market. The market is on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month. This bustling market is a hive of stalls selling clothes, T-shirts, tote bags, gift items, cut flowers, arts and crafts and much more. Last but not least are the variety of inviting street foods.

Shopping on Albert Road

Shops on Albert Road in Portsmouth, England.
Albert Road | Hassocks5489

Albert Road runs east-west through the heart of Southsea. It’s another area unknown to most visitors but a familiar place to the locals. The retail scene here is unique and unlike other major shopping areas in Portsmouth. As a matter of fact, it’s a vibrant hub of independent and locally owned businesses.

By public transport, First Bus stops near the King’s Theatre on Albert Road. By car, the nearest car park is at the Waitrose supermarket on Marmion Road. It’s a 10-15 minutes walk from the supermarket to Albert Road. Fees apply for parking but you get a discount for shopping at the supermarket.

The area is home to more than 160 independent shops. Not only that are the scores of local takeaways, cafés and restaurants catering to every taste and budget. And there’s the Kings Theatre. Opened in 1907, the theatre is a popular venue for musicals, music, plays, comedy and opera.

Albert Road is easygoing and quirky. Not to mention friendly and welcoming which reflects the local community. When it comes to shopping, there’s a diversity of independent shops to explore. Here, you can find clothes including vintage, antiques, second-hand books, comics, music, jewellery, homeware and lots more.

Parmitters Antiques shop on Albert Road in Portsmouth, England.
Antique shop on Albert Road | Basher Eyre

Bored of Southsea is well-known for its range of streetwear including clothes, shoes and accessories. Tweedy offers clothes, jewellery and accessories with funky designs under its own label. Creatiques is an award-winning bridal boutique, sought by clients for its exclusive range of wedding dresses.

For antiques, Albert Road has quite a number. Parmitter Antiques is a large shop offering from old-time pieces to paintings. Langford Antiques features items like mirrors, glassware, figures, ceramics and jewellery. Tango Tea Collectables, Freddie’s Funky Junk and Southscene are other notable shops for antiques.

For comics, Room 237 Comics offers from mainstream to independent including current and back issues. Soundz has a large stock of pre-owned vinyl, CDs and DVDs varying from classical to punk music. Dress Code offers hard-to-find vintage vinyl and cassette tapes as well as retro clothes and crafted jewellery by local designers.

The Lighthouse, The Moving On Project and Age UK are charity shops popular for pre-owned items. Items to look for include Vintage clothes, shoes, home items and a host of knick-knacks. Southsea Gallery and Corner Collective feature print art by local and international artists. Street Level is a gem of a store specialising in used guitars.