Half term and holidays can sometimes beg the question, ‘how am I going to entertain the kids this week?’ Well, thanks to our local free papers, we decided to go and take a look at the lego activities that were being advertised at the Spinnaker Tower – Portsmouth
Living locally, we had already taken advantage of the residence discount. But unlike the first time, today was sunny, and although I had no intention of going up, I just knew the main attractions would be at the top.
As we approached, the boys were getting excited about a) getting to play with lots of Lego and b) going up the Spinnaker Tower.
When we arrived, I was surprised to see a mosaic of Portsmouth Habour being built out of Lego within the reception area. Great, I thought, we don’t have to pay to get in. Ha! Famous last thoughts.
Lego Mosaic of Portsmouth Habour
Once the boys had finally added their pieces, I asked if there was anything else from them to do that involved Lego. ‘Yes’ replied the member of staff, ‘it’s all upstairs. There is Lego for building your own tower and bits of figures for the kids to build their own Mash-Up’.
And there it was, the clever marketing bit were they attract you with the bait, giving you an example of what’s available, and then they put the rest of the attraction in a place where you have to part with your money. It’s called clever marketing.
Anyway, at this point, Joshua’s ears had pricked up at the words ‘figures’ and ‘Mash-Up’. These were his favourite things to do with his Lego. So, after almost pulling my trousers down, tugging at them whilst repeating, ‘please can we go up?’, I decided to part with my money and venture up the tower for only the second time in two years.
What to Expect
As you can expect, the views of Portsmouth were amazing, and I have to admit, the weather can make or break your visit. Last time we visited, it was a grey, wet and very windy day. We did check the weather forecast before we went and it was supposed to clear. But it didn’t, at least, not until we got home.
What also surprised us a little was the fact that the tower was swaying, yes, that’s right, the Spinnaker Tower was swaying! With my wife not being great on traveling, she actually felt, ‘sea sick’ and didn’t really enjoy herself.
Now, although our first trip only lasted about twenty minutes, there is a plus side. The Spinnaker Tower offers a guarantee. In picture three of the gallery above, you will see three forts in the Solent (Spitbank Fort, No Man’s Fort and Horse Sand Fort). If, on the day of your visit, you are unable to see all three of them, you will receive a free re-entry ticket for the Spinnaker Tower. There are terms and conditions attached so please read them before making your claim.
The pictures above were taken from the main viewing deck, but there are actually three decks in total. The lift will drop you off at the main deck and then from there you can walk up to the cafe just above you followed by the open deck after that. All three floors are accessible by lift, but you are only able to get the lift down from the Cafe (unless you are disabled).
The Glass Floor
The glass floor is a great feature and creates a ‘buzz’ between the kids. If you’re going to venture onto it, you’ll have to take your shoes off. We wouldn’t want to break it now would we?
Once the boys had finished building their Lego and filling in a questions and answers sheet (that had been put together by Sky Captain Vugo), we discovered that this time we had been in the tower for an hour and a half. And in contrast to the previous trip, a good time was had by all.
Spinnaker Tower Prices
Prices for the Spinnaker tower vary but basic prices are £9.50 for an adult and £7.50 for children £7.50. But there is a reduced price of just £29.00 for a family and children under 3 go free.
Concessions – Senior Citizens and students are £8.50 but must produce valid ID on the day.
Residents – Residents of Portsmouth and Gosport are entitled to a discount. Adults are £7.15, children are £5.65, senior citizens and students are £6.40 and whilst under 3’s are still free, there aren’t any family discounts available.
Online Booking – If you book online today, you will get a discount of 15%
Military Discount – Members of the military are offered 25% off the standard entrance price of the Spinnaker Tower. The offer is for up to 4 people (ID holder plus 3 people) but presentation of a military ID card must be shown when booking.
Parking Prices – Parking is within the main shopping complex of Gunwharf Quays and it cost us £2.90 for up to two hours.
Spinnaker Tower Resturant – Although the views from the cafe were great, we unanimously voted to go and have some lunch at our favourite Cafe in Old Portsmouth called ‘The Spinnaker Cafe’.
Directions to The Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays
Tel: – 023 92857520
Website – www.spinnakertower.co.uk
|Viewing Decks and Souvenir & Gift Shop||Waterfront Café|
|1st Jan to 31st July
1st Sept to 23rd Dec
|Every day from 10am
Last entry 5.30pm
|Sun – Thurs: 9.30am – 6.30pm
Fri & Sat: 9am – 6.30pm
(last orders 6pm)
|1st Aug to 30th Aug||Every day from 9.30am
Last entry 6pm
|Sun – Thurs 9am – 6.30pm
(last orders 6.00pm)
Fri & Sat 8.30am – 6.00pm
Well, that’s it for now. We had an enjoyable day and I’m sure it was down to the activities that were on during the half-term holiday.
If you have visited the Spinnaker Tower, please share your experiences by leaving your comments in the box below. In the meantime, here are just some of the many photos taken on the day.
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