Local guide

A Student’s Guide to Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a great choice for your new student home by the sea!

scoops gelato

Scoops Gelato

12 minute bus ride from Catherine House

Do you have a sweet tooth? Head over to Scoops for a taste of this Italian classic!

Kangos Portsmouth

Kango's Piri Piri

3 minute walk from Catherine House

Come and treat yourself to one of the tastiest burgers in town at Kango's. (Great for veggies too!)

University of Portsmouth

6 minute walk from Catherine House

Portsmouth University is spread across the city with many of the buildings being close to the Gunwharf Quays area.

Gunwharf Quays

16 minute walk from Catherine House

Portsmouth's prime shopping centre has stores covering everyone's needs. Why not grab some food and over-look the harbour in the evening?

Spinnaker Tower

17 minute walk from Catherine House

Offering panoramic views over Portsmouth and it's harbour Spinnaker Tower even has a glass floor so you can get a feel for how high you are.

The Astoria

5 minute walk from Catherine House

With a VIP balcony and outdoor area this is a must visit club in Portsmouth. They even have pyrotechnics on the dance floor!


4 minute walk from Catherine House

If you fancy dancing to Spice Girls or N-Sync and practising your best air guitar - head down to Popworld playing music from the 90's, 00's & recent!


Portsmouth Historical Dockyard

19 minute walk from Catherine House

Portsmouth has a long naval history and these docks showcase some of its best features like HMS Victory and the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Cascades Shopping Centre

6 minute from Catherine House

This shopping centre is right on your doorstop - with over 50 stores it's a great place for a bit of retail therapy.

Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum

14 minute walk from Catherine House

Visit a museum dedicated to one of England's greatest writers Charles Dickens. This museum recreates the place where Dickens would have lived.


13 minute walk from Catherine House

A large supermarket that has everything you'll need to do a shopping trip. Don't forget your plastic bags!

Meat & Barrel

25 minute walk from Catherine House

This quirky Craft & Beer Kitchen serves really good home-made meals from Mac ‘n’ Cheese to their Speciality Burgers.

All Bar One

18 minute walk from Catherine House

This stylish city bar offers a range of cocktails & happy hour deals. So perfect to catch up with a  friend & grab a few drinks!

Tiger Tiger

18 minute walk from Catherine House

You should be familiar with this popular club while being in Portsmouth! This is the student hotspot for their famous Monday & Thursday student nights.

University of Portsmouth Dental Academy

11 minute walk from Catherine House

This dental academy is linked to the University of Portsmouth & is only a 11 minute walk from our residence.

Fit 4 Less

1 minute walk from Catherine House

If you fancy a sunrise workout, the closest gym is a hop, skip & a star-jump away!

The Lyberry

5 minute walk from Catherine House

Located on Guildhall Walk, this bar is a favourite with the local students. Offering a range of cocktails and you can even play some beer pong!

South Coast Emporium

25 minute walk from Catherine House

The place for you if you’re after something unique! Made up of a variety of extraordinary items, sold by local artists and traders.

Pyramids Centre

30 minute walk from Catherine House

More than just a leisure complex, this is a great venue where you can experience live music, comedy and sports events.

One Eyed Dog

20 minute walk from Catherine House

Local pub, popular with students and locals alike. Free pool, good music and hosting events such as weekly DJ nights and quiz nights.

Southsea Common

28 minute walk from Catherine House

A popular recreation ground close to the beach, host to several annual events including festivals, circuses and the Portsmouth show.

Portsmouth Guildhall

5 minute walk from Catherine House

A historical building hosting concerts, comedy shows, exhibitions and more. You’re likely to find popular comedians performing here.

The Wedgewood Rooms

29 minute walk from Catherine House

Fancy a giggle? Don't miss out on live comedy, music and arts at The Wedgewood Rooms, one of Southsea's oldest landmarks!


1 minute walk from Catherine House

No more agonizing taxi waits when PRYZM is literally round the corner! You've never been closer to a great time.

Southsea's Pie and Vinyl

20 minute walk from Catherine House

Do you like good music? Do you like good food? Head on over to Southsea's Pie and Vinyl for the ultimate combo!

Portsmouth is a little city with a lot going on, which makes it the ideal place for student life. The University of Portsmouth campus is slap-bang in the middle of the city, so you’ll never miss out on any of the fun.

We should also mention that it’s the UK’s most cost-effective city for students – seriously! NatWest said so in the 2016 Student Living Index. Google it if you don’t believe us.

Once you arrive, you’ll hopefully get acclimatised in no time, but here’s a bit of info and advice to get you started.

Transport Links & Getting Around


Let’s start here, because the sooner you get your bearings, the sooner you’ll settle in.

Portsmouth is a fairly small city by British standards – it is on an island, after all. Transport-wise, this makes life pretty easy for you, because everything you need will be within easy reach.

If you’re a keen cyclist, or you want to become one, you’ll defo feel at home here. The terrain is nice and flat, the roads have plenty of cycle lanes, and you’ll get to take in some stunning views and fresh air when you ride by the coast.

The University of Portsmouth runs a free bus service between its City and Langstone campuses, so getting to your lectures and seminars will be a doddle.

Visiting home and going on daytrips is nice and straightforward too, because the city has two big train stations: Portsmouth & Southsea (right in the middle of the city, and a 30-second stroll from our residence), and Portsmouth Harbour (no prize for guessing where that one is!).

Nightlife, Pubs, Etc.


Whatever your idea of a great night out is, you’ll find it here.
For a full-on student night, you can’t go wrong with Purple Wednesdays, which is held at the Fleet pub and Popworld nightclub (they’re right next to each other). It’s the city’s longest-running student night, so you can expect cheap drinks, bangin’ tunes and DJ sets, and a party atmosphere.

Other decent student nights include Mondays and Thursdays at Tiger Tiger, and ‘The Eskimo Project’ on Fridays at The Astoria and the The Lyberry (two places that are a couple of doors down from each other). For a good laugh and a bit of indie rock’n’roll, head to Scandals Cellar Bar, which is right near all the uni buildings.

But Portsmouth also offers a more civilised night out. Being such a historic city, it has plenty of traditional pubs. By the harbour you’ve got The Bridge Tavern, The Still & West, The Ship Anson, and The Wellington. On Albert Road there’s The Wine Vaults, Leopold Tavern, Little Johnny Russells, and more. We could be here all day naming the city’s pubs, so we’ll stop there… And you’ll soon suss out your own favourites anyway. On that note, going on a pub crawl is certainly one way for you and your new housemates or coursemates to get to know each other!

Activities & Culture


There are lots of things you can get up to when you’re not studying or partying.

Portsmouth is famous for its shipbuilding heritage, so you should definitely go and check out the museums and attractions at the Historic Dockyard at least once while you’re studying here. After you’ve seen enough old ships and all of that, there’s other stuff to do round there – pubs, bars, restaurants, and the No.6 Cinema (for some arthouse film vibes).

The Spinnaker Tower – that huge futuristic-looking tower by the harbour – is a must-visit during your first few weeks. You’ll get a stunning panoramic view of the south coast, and can brave the glass floor if you dare!

Sports and other uni societies are big amongst Portsmouth’s student community. If you’re a keen athlete or you want to become one, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get involved with the sport(s) of your choice, because the city has state-of-the-art facilities and an enthusiastic culture of inclusion.

Shopping Areas


Even though it’s a compact city, Portsmouth has an eclectic shopping scene.

Commercial Road and the adjoining Cascades Shopping Centre have the high-street shops – H&M, Topshop/Topman, TK Maxx, WHSmith, Waterstones, Starbucks, Costa, and all the rest of them.

Gunwharf Quays is a designer outlet, home to the likes of Nike, Adidas, GAP, Dr. Martens, Vans, Ralph Lauren, Levi’s and so on. There’s also a Vue cinema here, plus eateries like Patisserie Valerie, Frankie & Benny’s, Jamie’s Italian, Krispy Kreme, Pret, Nando’s – loads!

Albert Road is the alternative shopping strip: the place to come for vintage clothes, secondhand books, comics, CDs and records, weird antiques, and other such bits and bobs.

Household food is obviously going to be one of your top priorities, so we’d best give you a few pointers! There’s a huge Tesco Superstore about a five-minute walk away from our residence, and also a Tesco Express and an Iceland a little bit closer.

Enjoy Your Student Life by the Sea


Student life’s a beach in Portsmouth. As long as you’re living in decent accommodation.

Take a look at Catherine House, our brand new student residence right in the heart of the city, just a stone’s throw from Portsmouth & Southsea railway station.

Catherine House is opening in September 2017. If you have any questions at all, just email us! catherinehouse@thestudenthousingcompany.com