Portsmouth has three main shopping areas:

  • Commercial Road (in the city centre, close to the University Campus)
  • Gunwharf Quays (waterfront complex with shops, bars and restaurants and home of the Spinnaker Tower)
  • Southsea (Palmerston Road, Albert Road, Marmion Road, Elm Grove).

Online shopping

If you wish, you can buy everything online and have it delivered to your room/accommodation before you arrive.

Online companies such as Click2Campus or UniKitOut offer a wide range of 'All-Essentials' student packs.

Some supermarkets (Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Waitrose) offer easy online services delivering your shopping at your door.

Items to consider:


Bedding can be bought in sets in shops such as Argos from around £15. Department stores such as Marks & Spencer (Commercial Road), Knight & Lee (Southsea) and Debenhams (Commercial Road and Southsea) sell a wide variety of bedding separately. Prices will vary.


Academic texts are available from Blackwells (the Students' Union, Cambridge Road) and Waterstones (Commercial Road). Blackwells offer many book schemes to save students money. Please ask in Blackwells for more details. There are also second-hand bookshops selling cheaper books but those will not necessarily have what you are looking for. You will find many of these shops in Albert Road, Southsea and Fratton.


You will need a warm coat for the British winter. The cheapest places to buy clothes are the various second-hand shops, where a warm winter coat will cost approximately £15. New coats in the UK start from around £30 (a £30 coat may not be particularly warm) and could go up to £200 for leather or suede. You should also buy gloves, a scarf and hat!

Commercial Road offers high-street fashions at reasonable prices. At Gunwharf Quays, you will find designer label outlets (designer clothes at discount prices). If you prefer alternative clothing, Southsea offers a mixture of high-street fashions, charity shops, vintage boutiques and designer stores.

Please note that some brands such as Topshop and Miss Selfridge offer special discounts for students.


General groceries

  • Asda (Fratton Road) is a large supermarket offering a selection of food, drink, clothing and household goods at competitive prices.
  • Iceland (Commercial Road and Palmerston Road) is known as a frozen food supermarket where you can also purchase fresh food and snacks.
  • Lidl (Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton) is a discount supermarket. Very cheap but limited selection.
  • Sainsbury's and Tesco (Commercial Road and Fratton) are both large supermarkets where you will find a wide range of food, drink, clothing and household goods at competitive prices.
  • Waitrose (off Palmerston Road) is a small supermarket. Higher quality and higher prices.
  • Cooperative Food (next to The Union, Commercial Road, Southsea) is a small store offering a rich variety of ready meals and food on the go.


  • Commercial Road Market is held Thursdays to Saturdays and sells fresh fruit and vegetables plus many other household and fashion goods.
  • Old Portsmouth Fish Market is open every morning. Get there early for the best choice.

Asian and Halal foods

Kitchen utensils

  • Argos (Commercial Road) and many shops in Gunwharf Quays sell kitchen sets for reasonable prices.
  • Cutlery, crockery, pots and pans can be bought separately from department stores (see the 'Bedding' section above). For more specialised items, try some of the international grocery stores or chinese stores listed above.
  • You can also buy kitchen utensils from second hand shops but you may have to shop around to get what you need. It is also possible to buy them from shops in either Albert Road, Southsea or Fratton Road, Fratton. Prices are cheaper but the selection is limited and the quality varies.

Toiletries and medicines

All toiletries can be bought from Boots, Superdrug, supermarkets and most chemists. Medicines will also be available in those shops ('over-the counter' medications that do not require a prescription from your doctor). However, if you want to buy prescribed medication, you need to go to a pharmacy (Boots, Rowlands). You can also purchase prescribed medication at a supermarket dispensary (Asda).

Other items

Phone cards: are available from a number of convenience stores such as WHSmiths and most newsagents.

TV licence: You must buy a TV licence if you are watching live TV or BBC Iplayer. You can get this online or from shops displaying the 'PayPoint' sign.



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