For some people, the idea of spending a weekend shopping with the family might sound like a nightmare, but if you travel to Portsmouth, a port city and naval base on England's south coast, then you are definitely in for a treat – and eight million people seem to agree!
Portsmouth's Gunwharf Quays is a dream outlet retail destination which boasts 90 outlet stores, including Coach, Armani, Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, and offers up to 60 per cent discount on regular retail prices. You can also find over 30 restaurants, bars and coffee shops that feature a variety of cuisines. And let's not forget the 14-screen cinema and bowling alley – which will happily keep the children entertained.
Jeff Brazier takes sons Bobby and Freddie for staycation in the Lake District
Also located in the marina is the Spinnaker Tower, which is taller than the London Eye and Big Ben. To get a good glimpse of the port city, don't hesitate in taking the lift that situates you 170 metres above Portsmouth – you will be impressed with the 360 view of the stunning city.
And not too far away, you can find big attractions such as the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Southsea Castle and Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum.
Portsmouth is centrally located on the South coast of England with excellent rail, road and ferry links. From London, it’s only an hour away by car or 90 minutes by rail.
If you are travelling from any other part in the UK, the National Express coach has connections across the country. Residents in the Isle of Wight, Gosport and Hayling Island need not worry, as ferries and the hovercraft operate daily.