This article provides some handy tips for where to look for private accommodation and the average size of student properties.

Portsmouth is a compact, easily accessible island city.

Where most student properties are located

Most houses are found in the central Southsea area (by walking, this is on average 15 to 25 minutes away from the main campus), with a growing number in the Eastney/Milton area (by walking, on average 30 minutes away from the main campus, or 10/15 minutes on the Uni Bus) and also the Fratton area (15 to 20 minutes away by walking from the main campus). See below for more information on each location.


The main student area of Portsmouth is Southsea which has a mixed residential community. It is within easy reach of the Guildhall Campus and is served by local bus routes as well as the free University bus service. Covering the southern tip of the island, Southsea has a mix of student houses, converted flats and studios. This area’s facilities include: supermarkets, laundrettes and banks, as well as medical and dental practices. The main shopping area is Palmerston Road, which offers a range of specialist shops and department stores.


Fratton is located within easy reach of the Guildhall Campus and offers a variety of housing. With its mix of shared houses and lodgings, Fratton is an alternative for students wishing to live outside Southsea. It has a good shopping area with a supermarket and a variety of local shops. Fratton station is on the main railway line to London with easy connections to the Midlands and West Country.

Old Portsmouth

Old Portsmouth is the original and historic site of the city. It is a quiet part of the city, and accommodation is generally of good quality. As a result, it is an expensive area and student accommodation is limited. It has a number of amenities, including pubs and Gunwharf Quays shopping development. Old Portsmouth is about a mile from both Southsea and the city centre and is approximately half a mile from the Guildhall Campus. 


Located at the eastern end of Southsea, Eastney is predominantly residential and offers good quality housing. Unlike Southsea, with its mix of flats and houses, accommodation in Eastney is limited mainly to shared houses. It has a few amenities including a handful of local pubs, close to local shops and transport links. Eastney is approximately two-three miles from the Guildhall Campus.


Milton, is on the eastern side of the city of Portsmouth. The available accommodation is shared houses and lodgings. Amenities are limited to local shops and pubs. A free University bus service links the Milton area with the Guildhall Campus and runs every half an hour Monday– Friday during term-time. Milton is approximately two miles from the Guildhall Campus.

Other districts of Portsmouth

Some students choose to live further afield. Other districts which are mainly residential or commercial and offer limited student accommodation are; North End, Buckland, Copnor, Hilsea, Landport, Portsea and Stamshaw.

Off the island

Gosport, Hayling Island, Cosham, Drayton/Farlington, Paulsgrove and Wymering are all within five miles of Portsmouth, but offer little in terms of student accommodation. 

Average size of student properties

Most properties are four or five bed houses. This is because most houses in Portsmouth are mid-terrace Victorian properties that have had a downstairs reception room turned into a further bedroom.

We tend not to get a lot of larger (six+) roomed properties, due the increased housing legislation required by landlords to rent out these sized properties, however, they are possible to find.

It is also possible to find flats and houses for two or three people, but bear in mind that these may be slightly more expensive in order to cover the costs of the bills and upkeep of the house.

More information on Portsmouth Studentpad is available here, or see the related articles below for further housing advice.

Enter your email address to receive a notification when the article is updated
Email Address

Was this article helpful
Thank you for your feedback
How can we improve?