Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy, is steeped rich in maritime history and culture. Nestled on an island in the Solent, you can expect plenty of outdoor activities to keep you and the family entertained, making Portsmouth City an ideal place to bring up foster children.
In recent years, there has been a lot of money put in to renovating the Portsmouth skyline. With the famous Spinnaker Tower, the popular Historic Dockyard, and the bustling Gunwharf Quays shopping centre, this is a great location for an exciting day out learning about the Naval history of the city.
Spend the morning exploring the Dockyard. Tour the HMS Victory where Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson commandeered her winning many a battle, gaze in wonder at the Mary Rose – the pride of Henry VIII’s fleet and get on board HMS M.33, the Royal Navy’s only survivor from the Gallipoli campaign in World War 1.
Then walk the short distance to Gunwharf Quays for a spot of lunch in one of the many restaurants that look out over Portsmouth harbour, and tempt the kids up the Spinnaker Tower, 170 metres tall with amazing views overlooking Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent. Travel up to the viewing deck and show your bravery by crossing the glass sky walk 100m high above sea level.
If you’re up for something a little more active then get yourselves to Southsea, the seaside resort of Portsmouth. Your foster children will love all of the exciting activities at Clarence Pier. They can have fun for hours playing in the arcade and fun fair. Or why not spend an hour or two in Pirate Pete’s adventure playground. A 100ft pirate ship awaits the children with an array of tunnels, ball pits, a bouncy castle and a soft play zone for the little ones. For the older children why not let them face their fears at Pier Pressure! A high ropes challenge that the whole family can enjoy, and will leave you all feeling exhilarated and excited once you have completed the course.
Just a short walk from Clarence Pier you’ll find the popular Canoe Lake. The children will love seeing all of the beautiful swans that grace the water, and you can get involved in some brilliant activities -- crabbing, paddling and boat rides. Close by are also the stunning Rose Gardens, which are a great place to unwind and relax with a family picnic, and is also home to the Model Village which your foster children will love exploring.
As many foster carers know, another brilliant activity for the children in your care, involves anything to do with animals. And in Portsmouth there are plenty of places to visit that will allow them to interact with some brilliant creatures.
The Blue Reef Aquarium is not only a fun place to discover an array of sealife, but is also educational and will teach the children all about conservation and how to protect the marine environment. There’s a giant ocean tank, with a viewing tunnel, that has an abundance of sharks, rays, tropical fish and a coral reef to gaze at in wonder. There are also designated areas for reptiles and amphibians, and an aquarium nursery where you can see all the baby sealife.
Or, if it’s a sunny day why not take a short journey to Staunton Farm and Country Park? Set in acres of ancient woodland with its beautiful landscapes, this park is award winning. The farm itself has plenty of animals for the children to pet, feed and interact with. From the classic farm animals like pigs, chickens and sheep to more exotic animals like llamas, alpacas and a herd of Longhorn Cattle – the children will love seeing them all. There’s also a fun new play barn to spend some time in, and a Victorian Glasshouse, the largest on the South Coast to discover exotic species and tropical flowers and plants.
So as you can see, Portsmouth City is a brilliant place to bring up your foster children, with its abundance of activities suitable for all of the children in your care. And it won’t be just the kids that will be having the time of their lives, you’ll also get to discover Portsmouth in a way like never before – and have an excellent time doing it!