If you haven’t been to ILC Portsmouth yet, you might be curious about the local area around the school. As soon as you leave our building on Edinburgh Road, the first thing you might notice is one of the main entrances to Portsmouth’s Cascades Shopping Centre. Inside, you have the choice of popular shops like TK Maxx (for discount designer label clothes), Primark, Next and various other small shops ranging from jewellers such as Goldsmith’s and toy and gadget shops. There are also a number of places to get food and drink such as Starbucks, Subway or a sit-down restaurant such as Boswell’s.
When you leave the Casacdes through the other main entrance, you are in the middle of Commercial Road, which is the main shopping street in Portsmouth. Most of the main stores are located here: Boot’s the chemists, HMV for music and DVDs, Waterstone’s for books, a huge Tesco for all your food shopping and many other small and large shops. There are a number of fast food places like McDonald’s and Burger King, but there is also a health food shop called Holland & Barratt. If you need to check on your UK money, you can find every major UK bank on Commercial Road – such as HSBC, Barclays, Nationwide, NatWest, Lloydsand Santander.
There is a lot of newly-built student accommodation close to the ILC building, so there are always students aroundthe area. Just across from Edinburgh Road, there is the mainline train station called Portsmouth &Southsea, which can take you directly to places like London, Southampton,Brighton, Winchester, Bath, Bristol and Salisbury (for Stonehenge). ILC Portsmouth is very close to all the main bus routes that can take you anywhere in the city and beyond!
Of course, if you want somewhere quieter, there is Victoria Park, which is less than a minute’s walk from the school. There is even a small bird aviary in there if bird watching is your thing. It’s nice just to go there for awalk if you want to see grass and seasonal flowers.
Close to Victoria Park and only 2 minutes from ILC Portsmouth, is the Guildhall area that has the impressive city hall (and a concert venue) and many restaurants, clubs and pubs on Guildhallwalk, as well as the New Theatre Royal, if you want to see a play.
About 10 minutes’ walk down the road from ILC Portsmouth, you will suddenly find yourself at the harbour side and right by the entrance to Portsmouth’s Royal Dockyards, where some very famous old British ships like the Mary Rose and HMS Victory are based. Even if you do not want to go in, you can still see history around you as you walk along ‘the Hard’ (the name forthis area).
Finally, look up and you will see the Spinnaker Tower, which gives you fantastic views at the top. The tower is located in the Gunwharf Quays shopping centre which has superb, luxury shops and more affordable ones. It’s a great place to have lunch or dinner in one of the numerous restaurants. In the evening, it is a centre for Portsmouth’s nightlife with bars, clubs, bowling and a large cinema.
One thing is for sure – you won’t be bored in Portsmouth!