This impressive construction was going to be Portsmouth's celebration of the new Millennium. It was not finished in time however, and was finally opened nearly 5 years late! Because of this, it wasn't called the Millennium Tower as is would have been originally, but the Spinnaker Tower instead. It caused a bit of a storm initially, because some of the local residents rather begrudged paying for part of it through their rates!
Now it is finished, it will undoubtedly attract many people to Portsmouth, and will hopefully prove that it was worth every single penny spent on its construction.
The statistics say that it is the tallest public viewing tower in the United Kingdom. Another attribute it has, is having the largest glass floor in Europe!
The photos were all taken on the same day. They include a couple walking to the tower, and some on the way back.
Enjoy the views.
A view along Palmerston Road. This is one of Portsmouth's shopping areas.
St Jude's Church. Completed in 1851 by the prominent local architect, Thomas Ellis Owen. This church was connected to my primary school.
Our first view of the Spinnaker Tower, taken from Museum Road.
Just to get things into perspective. The viewing area can be seen in this photo. There are three different levels, each 5 metres apart. You can see how small the current viewers appear!
Looking from the front at Gunwharf Quays, the tower in all its splendour.
At the first level now. A view looking through the glass floor.
The entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.
Looking across to a marina just outside Gosport
Hmm... I guess the outsides of the windows do have to be cleaned pretty often. Don't think I'd fancy this though!
Looking towards part of the dockyard. The Warrior is in the foreground. The Victory can be seen a bit further back.
Another look through that glass floor. Terra firma is quite some distance below!
Looking across the southern part of Portsmouth. A train is on its way out of Portsmouth Harbour station. Next stop - Portsmouth and Southsea! You can see some reflections of the people behind me in this shot.
An aerial view of the Gunwharf Quays shopping centre.
Turning round a bit from the previous shot for a slightly squiffy one of the local residential area.
Like a small island off mainland Portsmouth, this is called Spice Island. There is a pub here which you can have a meal at, and watch all the comings and goings of ships into Portsmouth Harbour - Marvellous with a few beers!
Looking slightly left from the previous shot, Camber Dock can be seen here. There is a ferry bound for the Isle of Wight being loaded. In the centre of the shot is Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral. Just behind it is Southsea Common.
Another squiffy shot - sorry! The Cathedral can be seen a bit clearer here. There was a "circus in town" as you can see on the left. One of the unusual sea forts can be seen here. Click here to learn more.
A few shots from the top level. This looks up to the top of the Spinnaker Tower - but wait a minute - what's this?...
...Hmm - an owl - here - Must be a joke by the construction crew!!
A quick look down to the harbour entrance again, because there is a Brittany Ferries ship leaving.
Another view of the Warrior as we're queuing for the lift to go down.
The ferry seen in an earlier shot, has left on its way to the Isle of Wight.
Back at the bottom, and looking up to the glass floor.
A vertical shot to get a better impression of the height.
As far as I can possibly zoom out! Some of the lower illumination lights can be seen here.
The tower from a distance. Part of the Gunwharf Quays shopping centre can be seen just to the right.
Another view of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. This time from ground level.
In Old Portsmouth. The Cathedral tower seen above some roof-tops.
Walking through the "fun-fair" at Clarence Pier, I couldn't resist this shot of a pirate just about to let a cannon off. Part of a "Crazy Golf" complex!
Starting my walk back along the sea-front. One last view of the Tower.
Looking from the old ramparts of Southsea Castle, we can see the South Parade Pier in the distance.
West or East?
If you want to visit the official site and learn more about this impressive construction, go here,
or even here if your appetite for more knowledge is insatiable enough to see it from a civil engineering aspect!
Click here for a shot taken when the Tower was much younger!