Portsmouth Piers

11 August 2019

Two piers and three new coaster credits on a blustery day down on the South Coast...

I don't think I've been down to Portsmouth since 2005, so it felt like a visit was overdue - not least because my friends Paul & Helen live in neighbouring Southampton and I'd not yet seen their (not so new) house either! We originally settled on a Saturday in the middle of August, but those plans were thwarted by gale force winds which don't really mix with riding rollercoasters next to the sea, so we bumped the trip to the Sunday instead. Although still blowy, we at least weren't taking off!

Clarence Pier

Clarence Pier is a short walk along the sea wall from Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard

Clarence Pier shops

This view has changed a bit - last time I was down at Clarence Pier there was a Drop Tower and no Big Wheel!

Mad Mouse

The park has two new rollercoasters this year - we chose to ride Mad Mouse first

Mad Mouse lift

Despite the gale force winds having eased, it was still windy enough to stop the cars engaging with the lift chain, meaning the ride ops were having to manually push the cars

Ferry from the top of Mad Mouse

What's brown and smelly and comes out of cow(e)s? The Isle of Wight ferry.

Mad Mouse

As we came back into the station, the ride op asked whether we were enthusiasts ... I guess normal people stay indoors and don't try and ride rollercoasters the day after a storm!

Ride closed

We made the right decision to ride Mad Mouse first: this appeared just as we got off.

Tidal Wave

Luckily Clarence Pier's other new coaster, Tidal Wave, was still operating.

Tidal Wave

The coaster is really fun - we sat at the back and got pulled over the top of the main drop very forcefully!

Solent Wheel

Before leaving the Pier we decided to take a ride on the Solent Wheel

Solent Wheel view

The windows were very dirty, but we still got some nice views looking down onto the Pier

Solent Wheel ferry

Oh look, it's another ferry!


I'd heard about another coaster close by, and I managed to talk Paul into walking up to South Parade Pier to see what was going on.


I remember being taken to this for school holiday treats as a kid when it was a Sealife Centre.

Solent Wheel

Everything looked promising as we approached the Pier ... we could see a Helter Skelter and what looked like some other rides!

South Parade Pier entrance

The entrance to South Parade Pier

South Parade Pier

The rides have been added to the Pier in partnership with Richard Cadell, who used to run Brean Leisure Park and is current "Dad" to Sooty and Sweep.

South Parade Pier rides

There's a small selection of attractions including Dodgems and some kiddie rides

Happy Caterpiller

We took a ride on the kiddie coaster, Happy Caterpiller - yes, that's the spelling painted on the station!

Food stalls

There are also a nice selection of food stalls and games on the Pier.


It was time to walk back, ready to meet up with Helen for lunch.

Kite Festival

We passed by a kite festival - some of the kites were very impressive!

Clarence Pier

Back at Clarence Pier, we were possibly running a few minutes late.


Last time Paul and I went off riding rollercoasters and were late meeting up with Helen, the story got told in a wedding speech!

Boat park

Something you don't see every day: a multi-storey car park for boats.

Gunwharf Quays

We were rather late by the time we arrived back at Gunwharf Quays and found Helen, but I think Paul and I just about got away with it!


A tasty lunch at Eden.


Thanks to Helen for allowing me to borrow Paul for a few hours, and thanks to you both for a lovely day out beside the seaside.

More about the Parks