Portswood ward is bounded on the east by the river Itchen and has a population of around 14,600. Neighbouring wards are Bassett and Swaythling to the north, Bevois to the south and Shirley to the west. The area has a mix of accommodation, including large detached houses with gardens, flats, terraced houses and student accommodation. The main Portswood area is vibrant with busy local shops. To the north is the residential area of Highfield, which also houses the campus of the University of Southampton. To the east is the densely populated and riverside area of St Denys which has a railway station and is the gateway to Bitterne via the Cobden Bridge.