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The City
Portsmouth is notable as the UK’s only island city, straddling as it does the island of Portsea. It grew in size around 1180 when a merchant, who owned a fleet of ships, decided the south-west corner of Portsea was an ideal place for ships to land. By the 13th century Portsmouth was described as ‘one of our most important ports’. In 1495 Henry VII changed the town’s destiny by building a dockyard where royal warships could be built and repaired. During the 19th century Portsmouth spread across the whole of Portsea island and in 1809 a new suburb emerged, known as Southsea. During World War II Portsmouth was heavily bombed - subsequently traditional industries vanished, taken over by service industries and tourism.

Wheelchair Access

 Wheelchair Friendly Suitable
Children's UniversityChildren's University

What people are saying...
"My wife and I did the first walk last weekend. It was a nice sunny day, and the walk was brilliant! So much to see, so colourful, with great places to stop to eat or have a drink. Thanks so much for putting this together, we can't wait to go back and do the 2nd walk now."

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Portsmouth Weather?

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Curious AboutPortsmouth is arguably Britain's most historic naval city, and it has really made the most of it. To start with there's a truly fantastic historic dockyard, taking you forward from King Henry VIII's flagship, to Nelson's flagship, to a World War II submarine, to the navy of today! There's a fabulous shopping and restaurant centre built sensitively around historic Quays. A High Street which tells a fascinating story and reveals an unusual cathedral. A seaside walk to a Point with stunning views across the harbour. Wonderful walks along the sea shore, glorious parks to explore, marvellous maritime architecture, and of course the hustle and bustle of a busy port - dinghies, yachts, helicopters, catamarans, hovercraft, ferries, frigates and aircraft carriers. What a wonderful place to explore!
Take our fabulous walks of discovery, and have fun finding answers to clues which tell you more, whilst reading our stories about the most interesting facts.

First Walk
Wheelchair friendlyChildren's University
Historic Dockyard to Sea View

From the splendour of Portsmouth’s historic dockyard with its many fascinating attractions, this walk wends its way past the Harbour station to Gunwharf Quays, home to multiple shops, bars, restaurants and the iconic and spectacular Spinnaker Tower. Quickly onward through the Old Town, with its characterful cathedral, finishing eventually at the Point, with its breathtaking views across the glory of Portsmouth’s harbour (1.5 miles / 2.4 kms)

Second Walk
Wheelchair friendlyChildren's University
Sea View to Southsea

Tearing yourself away from the superb sea views this walk winds through a narrow street, past a round tower, then a square tower, back up to a seashore footpath – restoring your views of the hustle and bustle of seafaring traffic. Just before reaching Clarence Pier, you now head inland, via a tunnel, to finish eventually at Southsea Common – a vast open area extending from Clarence Pier to Southsea Castle
(1 mile / 1.6 kms)

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All locations on a map of the UK





All Locations

We're developing walks in new locations all the time.
Click on a booklet above, or see all our current locations on a map of the UK.