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Literary connections have firmly placed Portsmouth on the cultural map.Along with the birthplace of Charles Dickens, open as a museum, the city is home to an extraordinary collection of artefacts relating to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, on view at the Portsmouth Museum in a display entitled A Study In Sherlock.Annual festivals include the International Kite Festival, the Bookfest and the Victorian Festival of Christmas in the Historic Dockyard.Affectionately known as The Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent is the world capital of ceramics – associated with such famous names as Wedgwood, Portmeirion, Moorcroft and the more contemporary Emma Bridgewater.It offers wonderful views over Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent.Other attractions along the waterfront include the D-Day Museum, Southsea Castle, Royal Marines Museum and the Blue Reef Aquarium.
Thirty years after she was raised from the Solent, the £35million heritage project has built a major new museum to complete the conservation, reuniting the hull of the Tudor warship sunk in 1545 with many of its 19,000 artefacts recovered from the seabed.
You can also shop in some 20 pottery factory shops around the city, where items can be bought for much less than their normal retail price.
Moorcroft Pottery this year celebrates 100 years of its factory being based on the same site, so it's a good time for you to visit the Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre, home to a shop, museum and the original 1913 Grade II listed bottle kiln that 'proudly soars into the Staffordshire skyline'.
Key places to visit include the Cathedral, Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Dragon Hall, Strangers' Hall and Bridewell Museum, which tells the history of the city.
Last year, Norwich received worldwide recognition by becoming the first English city to hold the accolade Unesco City Of Literature.