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Portsmouth, Hampshire

This unbeautiful harbour city is the last place you’d expect to see a tower of Dubai-esque space-age stylings, and yet, come here and you will see one. Britain’s tallest viewing tower, the Spinnaker Tower gives 350-degree views of up to 23 miles, and has also started hosting stargazing nights. Juxtaposed against this modern marvel, at the Historic Dockyard, 
are the remains of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s favourite 
warship which sank in 1545. A castle, aquarium and 
Charles Dickens’ birthplace should also keep you entertained.

See: visitportsmouth.co.uk; spinnakertower.co.uk

Getting there: Single train tickets from £5; 1hr45mins from Waterloo or 2hrs from Victoria (southernrailway.com)

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London 2012 Olympics - England's best holidays and trips
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