Activities & Events

Conference Events

Registration & Reception

Sunday 15th December, Portsmouth Guildhall

Registration will open in the Guildhall from 4pm on the afternoon of Sunday 15th December, followed by a drinks reception in the evening, 6.30-8pm.

Public Event - Exploring the Universe of Black Holes with Gravitational Waves

Tuesday 17th December, Guildhall auditorium

The recent discovery of gravitational waves from colliding black holes has provided us with a new window onto astrophysics and cosmology. Prof Bernard Schutz (Cardiff University) will host a informative and lively discussion on Wednesday evening between 7.30pm and 9pm in the Guildhall with a panel of leading experts in the emerging field of gravitational wave astronomy: Prof Sheila Rowan, Prof Bangalore Sathyaprakash, Dr Tanja Hinderer and Dr. Laura Nuttall. Tickets are free of charge for both conference delegates and members of the public, but need to be reserved in advance HERE as there is only a limited amount

Conference Dinner

Wednesday 18th December, Historic Dockyard

The conference dinner will be held on the evening of Wednesday 18th December in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, home to many famous ships of the Royal Navy, including HMS Warrior and Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory. The dinner will be held starting at 7.30pm in Boathouse 7 with a traditional English 3-course dinner including reception drinks and table wine.

What to do around Portsmouth

There is a variety of local events and activities that you may want to attend either by yourself or in the company of other conference attendees and colleagues. In this section we present a small selection. For a more extensive list, consult the official ‘Visit Portsmouth’ website.


Parkruns are casual, free-for-all 5km runs (not races) that have become well-known events not only in England where they originate from but nowadays in many countries all over the globe. Our local run takes place at 9am every Saturday morning on Southsea esplanade, starting from Speakers Corner, next to The Briny restaurant. Free and open to all, you can register on the parkrun website and join more than 2 million runners at parkruns around the world.

Portsmouth vs Ipswich Town

Our local football club, Portsmouth F.C., is going to play against their guests from Ipswich from 3pm on Saturday 21st December at Fratton Park. Experience the passion and excitement of the English football league first hand at one of the most atmospheric grounds in the country –  Fratton Park. The University of Portsmouth are official sponsors of Portsmouth F.C. (“Pompey”). We have a limited number of free tickets available exclusively for registered participants at the Texas Symposium. email First come, first served. You can also buy tickets online – but they are likely to sell out early!

Historic Dockyard

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is home to three world famous historic ships, the Victory, The Warrior and the Mary Rose as well as the interactive Action Stations and the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Travel back in time as you come face to face with over 800 years of history. Visit the new £27 million Mary Rose Museum which provides one of the best insights into Tudor life. Climb aboard a harbour tour and view unrivalled views of Britain’s modern frigates, destroyers and helicopter carriers as well as historic buildings and world famous ships.

Delegates will receive a 50% discount on full Dockyard Tickets.

Gunwharf Quays

Gunwharf Quays is a modern waterfront retail & leisure complex.

It boasts an impressive range of designer outlets stores as well as a wide range of bars and restaurants, many with stunning views of the harbour.

Spinnaker Tower

Situated on the South Coast this stunning 170 metre tall Icon boasts 350˚ panoramic views.

Walk across the large glass floor 100 metres above sea level or enjoy the breath taking views from the Cafe in the clouds with a cup of tea and slice of cake.

Delegates will receive a 20% discount at Spinnaker Tower.

For further information on the Spinnaker Tower please click here.

D-Day Story

The D-Day Story is a visitor attraction located in Southsea, i.e. the southern-most part of Portsmouth. It tells the story of Operation Overlord during the Normandy D-Day landings and the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany occupation in World War 2, in which the ports around Portsmouth played a major role in.

It is told using the personal possessions and words of the people who took part. Stunning imagery, audio-visual presentations and hands-on interactives help to bring the story to life. Based on ordinary people working together to achieve the extraordinary, The D-Day Story features the experiences of men, women and children.

It just underwent a major refurbishment for the 75th anniversary of the events which added many more interesting unique exhibits.

For further information please click here.