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13 November 2014

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The Spinnaker Tower

You are in: Hampshire > Places > The Spinnaker Tower > The Spinnaker Tower

The Spinnaker Tower

The Spinnaker Tower

The Spinnaker Tower

The stunning 170 metre high Spinnaker Tower on Portsmouth's Harbourside dominates the landscape of one of the world's most famous ports.

The striking landmark has been built on top of the sea bed on the edge of Gunwharf, near Portsmouth Harbour.  It is the UK's tallest building which is open to the public outside of London.

The Tower offers stunning panoramic views which stretch as far as the Isle of Wight, Southampton and along the Hampshire and West Sussex coastlines.  There are three visitors' viewing galleries which sit at 100, 105 and 110 metres.

If heights don't bother you can also look straight down through the tower's unnerving glass floor in the centre of the concrete and steel structure.

The Spinnaker Tower

A glider's view of The Spinnaker Tower

Built as the centrepiece of the Millennium Project for the Renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour, at 170 metres high, the tower is two and a half times the size of Nelson's Column in London.

With the tower standing at the entrance to the Naval Base and historic dockyard, the design is intended to represent billowing sails and the city's strong maritime traditions.

At night the tower is fully illuminated with a range of colours for special events - from yellow for Children in Need to red for Remembrance and a special Christmas tree display in December.

The construction of the tower was plagued by delays and controversy and fell way behind schedule - it was originally conceived in the mid-90s and planned to be completed in time for the millennium.

Pudsey looking at the view from the Spinnaker Towe

Pudsey on the Tower's viewing deck

The last piece of the structure, The 'top cone' spire which is 27 metres tall and weighs 14 tonnes was finally fitted on 17th January 2005 - five years later than originally planned.

After years of delays, the opening date for the tower was finally planned for summer 2005, but the date was put back due to problems with the external lift.  The operators, Heritage opened the tower for business on Tuesday, 18 October 2005.

The opening day didn't go smoothly, with one further embarrassing delay when the city council's project manager, David Greenhalgh was trapped in the tower's external glass lift for over an hour.

The Spinnaker Tower is open daily from Sunday - Thursday 10am - 5pm, Friday - Saturday 10am - 10pm. Closed Christmas Day. More info 02392 857520.

last updated: 23/03/2009 at 11:50
created: 26/05/2006

Have Your Say

What do you think of The Spinnaker Tower?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

I agree with John, the money could have been better spent of cleaning the city

After living in Portsmouth for 3 years I still use the spinnaker to pinpoint where I am in Portsmouth & I don't feel that it is an eyesore at all. It has brought more tourism to Portsmouth & is the first step towards improving Portsmouth & the south.

Mel Parker
Absolutely fantastic, the views were stunning, well worth the money. The glass floor was a bit scary but it was great to see all around at the magnificant views right across to the IOW.


Bernard Cole
Brilliant. Portsmouth City Council are to be congratulated on their determination to see the project through despite constructional and financial setbacks. Their vision has given the South something to be proud of.

Why waste money on the tower when you can up the hillfor free and see so much more hospitals need the money.

The money would have been better spent tidying the city and making the streets safer at night!

James Palmer
The Spinnaker Tower is magnificient. The spelling of some of the people who have had their say reflects UK's education standards.

Denis Hepplestone
The fact the external lift is still not working and is therefore stopping people with disabilities from getting up the tower is a scandal.

I loved the glass floor i went on a school trip and my feet got really cold!!!

charlie harris
i think the spinniker was a very good idia and a stunning anvenu for kids and adults with breth taking viws

Ray Shears
Excellent attraction,and very well worth a visit.Well done Pompey.

i think it is cool

Scary !

vie jones
hospitals are closing down because of th tower. Go to the hill and see the view for free

Tony C
Brilliant views but spoilt by poor choice of expensive souvenears

Richard. from Ravenshead, Notts
Amazing! veiws from the Tower are fantastic. Cannot wait for my next visit, which will be my 3rd.

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