Portsmouth is a historic naval city and was once a central part of the world's ship building industry. It is also the birthplace of the author Charles Dickens, and the bedroom where he was born is still found in the city. During the Second World War, Portsmouth took a battering from the many bombs dropped on the area, and this has resulted in the city having a colourful mix of traditional and modern architecture.
Visitors to the city can still see the dockyard that is steeped in 800 years of naval history, with famous warships and the Mary Rose Museum among some of the attractions of the site. The Spinnaker Tower is a 170 metre viewing structure that was opened here in 2005. The modern construction has become a signature feature of Portsmouth city centre and it attracts visitors from all over the world.
The waterside location offers a variety of possible sporting activities, including wind-surfing, water-skiing, and sea fishing. There are several sporting facilities in Portsmouth's sports halls, including martial arts training among many other options. Cyclists and walkers will also enjoy the several miles of cycle paths around Portsmouth.
Portsmouth has traditionally been revered for its significance to the ship building industry. The ship building tradition still continues to this day, with Vosper Thorneycroft still building warships and carriers for the Royal Navy. A massive two-thirds of the Royal Navy's ships are housed in Portsmouth naval docks, showing that that the city's reputation as a world leader within the shipbuilding industry is still relevant today.
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