Portsmouth, England

Introduction to Portsmouth, England

Located on England's sunny south coast, Portsmouth - the United Kingdom's only island city - is one of Britain's most important ports and an increasingly popular tourist spot. 

As one of the Royal Navy's most significant ports and the birthplace of Charles Dickens and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Portsmouth has an extensive heritage and boasts an abundance of unique attractions, most of which are found at the vibrant waterfront. There's plenty to discover, explore and enjoy in this often overlooked city. 

The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard boasts over 800 years of maritime history and its exhibts include the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. Stunning views of the city and the Isle of Wight from the top of the iconic Spinnaker Tower - often called 'Britain's greatest viewing tower' - are not to be missed, while the Round Tower - one of the city's oldest permanent fortifications - and Southsea Castle are well worth a look too. The stylish Gunwharf Quays shopping outlet is home to over 100 premium stores and restaurants - perfect for a little retail therapy.

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Farlington Marshes, Portsmouth, UK

Farlington Marshes

  • Visit Hampshire’s oldest Wildlife Trust
  • Learn about the importance of this rich grazing marsh
  • Don’t forget your binoculars!
Price£65.00-£75.00
DurationApproximately 3 1/2 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

On this tour you will explore Farlington Marshes – Hampshire’s and the Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s oldest reserve - a great favourite amongst so many visitors. 

Farlington Marshes consists of over 125 hectares (308 acres) of flower-rich grazing marsh on the northern shore of Langstone Harbour situation between Portsmouth and Havant. Although Farlington is not far from Portsmouth, there is a sense of being out in the wild as you walk out on the sea wall footpath with views inland over the reserve or out over Langstone Harbour.

Enjoy an hour’s guided walk, with one of the many rangers who work for the Wildlife Trust, who will explain how Farlington has been reclaimed from the sea centuries ago and is internationally important for the bird populations that it supports as well as being a blaze of colour in spring and summer with many flowers and butterflies.

Here at Farlington Marshes many flowering plants have been recorded, including unusual species such as Sea Barley, Bulbous Foxtail and Corky-fruited Waterdropwort. Internationally important populations of migratory birds, particularly large numbers of dark-bellied Brent Goose and the Black-tailed Godwit can be spotted, along with thousands of waders can be seen on the lake at high tide especially in the autumn.  In the summer months, the islands within the harbour area have large numbers of breeding gulls and terns.

If you love your bird life and the outdoors, then Farlington Marshes is the place to visit

Soon it will be time to re-board your coach and return to your awaiting ship, but not before you are taken on a short panoramic tour of Portsmouth and the surrounding area.

 

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately one hour of walking over uneven terrain, therefore we do not recommend this tour to guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Guests are advised to wear comfortable shoes and bring a rain jacket. As with all wildlife in their natural environment, we cannot guarantee the sighting of the mentioned wildlife. 

 


Winchester Cathedral, UK

HISTORIC WINCHESTER & CATHEDRAL (TOUR J)

  • Take in a guided tour of the charming city of Winchester
  • Admire the city’s highlights, including the beautiful Cathedral and Jane Austen’s final resting place
  • Discover the legend of King Arthur as you view his Round Table
Activity Tour
Price£60.00 - £70.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Free time includedFree time included

On this tour, discover the highlights of the historic city of Winchester. Admire the architecture of the impressive Cathedral before visiting the Great Hall, home to King Arthur’s Round Table.

 

It is said that if there is one place that lies at the centre of English history and embodies the romantic vision of the English heartland, it’s Winchester. Upon arrival embark on a guided walking tour of the history-steeped city. Admire many prominent landmarks including Winchester College, the house where author Jane Austen died, the cathedral close and the tiny church of St Swithun upon Kingsgate, which is perched above the city gate.

 

Enjoy a visit to the beautiful 11th century Cathedral, the city’s greatest monument which houses some of the world’s best surviving examples of Norman architecture. Admire the magnificent choir stalls, the spectacular 15th century stone reredos and beautiful stained glass windows. Jane Austen is buried in the Cathedral, and it is also the final resting place of many Anglo-Saxon Kings, as well as two of William the Conqueror’s sons.

Following your tour of the Cathedral, your guide will lead you to the Great Hall, one of the finest survived aisled halls of the 13th century. This historic hall contains the greatest symbol of medieval mythology – King Arthur’s Round Table.

After admiring this legendary sight, you can enjoy time to explore Winchester at leisure prior to re-boarding your tour coach for the return drive to Portsmouth.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately one and a half hours of walking and standing, some of which will be over inclined ground. All guests must be able to board the coach unaided. Please note that those wishing not to take part in the walking tour of the Cathedral can instead enjoy further free time, however to get the most out of this tour, it is not recommended. Guests are advised to wear flat, comfortable walking shoes and to bring a rain

jacket.

 


Stonehenge, UK

MYSTICAL STONEHENGE (TOUR G)

  • Explore the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge
  • Marvel at the magical and mysterious stones
  • Learn more about the theories behind the ancient monument
Activity Tour
Price£70.00-£80.00
DurationApproximately 5 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Stonehenge, an ancient monument of huge stones standing solitary on the Salisbury Plains of Wiltshire, has captured peoples’ imaginations for centuries. The purpose of this enigmatic site – the world’s most famous stone circle - still remains a mystery. Its origins go back as far as the Pyramids and the theories behind who built it have included the Druids, Greeks, Phoenicians and Atlanteans, and its purpose has been the range of much speculation ranging from human sacrifice to astronomy.

Departing the quayside in Portsmouth, embark on an approximate one and a half hour drive to Stonehenge. Upon arrival you can admire the mighty remains of a sequence of monuments erected between 3000 and 1000 BC. Stonehenge is a fascinating spectacle, especially when considering the tools available at the time of construction.

During your visit you can marvel at the trilithons; large doorframe-shaped stone arrangements made up of two standing stones, topped by a lintel stone fixed together by mortise and tenon joints. The stones are aligned so that during the midsummer and midwinter solstices the sun shines straight through the circle onto the central Heel Stone. It seems to have been designed to allow for observation of astronomical phenomena.

Following your visit to the mysterious ancient wonder, journey through the scenic English countryside back to Portsmouth and your awaiting ship.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Some of the walking may be over uneven, grassy terrain. All guests must be able to board the coach unaided. Please note that a shuttle bus system operates to the stones. The journey from the visitor centre to the stones takes approximately ten minutes, however guests can choose to disembark halfway and walk to the stone circle if they prefer. Please note that there may be a short wait for the shuttle bus. Time permitting there may be a chance to browse the gift shop at the visitor centre. Guests are advised to wear comfortable shoes and bring a rain jacket. 


Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth, UK

Old Portsmouth & Spinnaker Tower

  • Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Historic Portsmouth
  • Visit Portsmouth Cathedral
  • Admire the stunning views from the top of the Spinnaker Tower
Price£70.00-£80.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Portsmouth is rightly famed for its naval heritage and Harbour, but besides this there is so much more for you to discover.  Learn about the events and people that have shaped the city across the centuries, including Charles Dickens, who was born in Portsmouth and Arthur Conan Doyle who started writing his Sherlock Holmes stories whilst practicing as a doctor here.

Today, enjoy a panoramic tour of Old Portsmouth, where Portsmouth first started, and discover the City’s many historic buildings. In 1704 royal permission was given for people to build houses near to the dockyard and so a new suburb called Portsmouth Common grew, this changed its name to Portsea in 1792. This new suburb soon outgrew the original town which became known as Old Portsmouth, also known as Spice Island which is where all the spices used to enter the city.

Stop at Portsmouth Cathedral for an inside visit, for centuries this building, the Cathedral of the Sea, has watched, listened and helped the people of Portsmouth navigate the passage of time. It has witnessed war and peace, famous marriages, been bombed and rebuilt and remains a building of greatness and simple enduring beauty. More than this it is a vibrant and lively community set at the heart of the city and diocese of Portsmouth. Embark on a guided tour of the Cathedral and enjoy some tea and cake whilst you marvel at the history of this pretty building.

Back on your coach, you continue your tour to Spinnaker Tower, soaring 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent. The Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben and stands proud over one of the most fascinating seascapes in the world.  Situated on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays, it offers amazing 360° panoramic views of Portsmouth Harbour, the sandy beaches of the Witterings and Selsey Bill in the East to the picturesque Isle of Wight in the South and the rolling hills of Hampshire’s South Downs in the North.  With views stretching out for up to 23 miles, they are a stunning sight to behold.

After a fascinating tour re-board your coach for the return journey back to your awaiting ship.

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility and in wheelchair users. The Cathedral is wheelchair friendly and at the Spinnaker Tower, deck one and two can be accessed by a lift. The highest deck (the Sky Deck) is only accessible by stairs. Guests must be able to board and disembark the coach unaided.

 


New Forest, Portsmouth, UK

Panoramic New Forest

  • Enjoy a scenic tour of the New Forest
  • Admire the sights of Portsmouth and Lyndhurst
  • Learn about the fascinating history of this area
Price£40.00-£50.00
DurationApproximately 4 1/2 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Depart Portsmouth for a leisurely drive to Lyndhurst, the ‘capital’ of the New Forest.

Historical records first mention Lyndhurst in 980 A.D. and then again in the Doomsday Survey of 1086; it takes its name from the Old English name meaning ‘wooded hill growing with lime trees’.  In 1099 William the Conqueror designated a large area as his ‘nova forestra’, or new hunting ground, and this included Lyndhurst. The area was far larger than today’s New Forest National Park and stretched from the River Avon in the west, to Southampton Water in the east, from the Wiltshire downs in the north to The Solent in the south.

Lyndhurst began its life as a royal hunting lodge and Kings and Queens regularly came to visit and stay at the royal manor on the site of the Queen’s House, which is now the headquarters of the Forestry Commission. The Verderers’ Court adjacent to the Queen’s House is also a remnant of Norman times and takes its name from the French word ‘vert’ meaning green, thus the Verderers were the official keepers of the green. The Court was set up to deal with issues concerning the Forest communing system and is still in operation today.

After discovering Lyndhurst, soon it will be time to head back across to Portsmouth for a scenic sightseeing tour of the city.

Portsmouth is rightly famed for its naval heritage and Harbour, but besides this there is so much more for you to discover.  Learn about the events and people that have shaped the city across the centuries, including Charles Dickens, who was born in Portsmouth and Arthur Conan Doyle who started writing his Sherlock Holmes stories whilst practicing as a doctor here.  Discover the City’s many historic buildings and learn how in 1704 royal permission was given for people to build houses near to the dockyard and so a new suburb called Portsmouth Common grew, which changed its name to Portsea in 1792. This new suburb soon outgrew the original town which became known as Old Portsmouth.

Soon it will be time to return to Portsmouth Port and your awaiting ship.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is very little walking with this tour. It is mainly a panoramic sightseeing tour. Guests must be able to embark and disembark the coach independently.

 


Titchfield National Nature Reserve

  • Visit one of Hampshire’s most popular Nature Reserves
  • Learn about the reserve throughout the year, and what can be spotted here
  • Do not forget your binoculars!

 

Price£60.00-£70.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

Farlington Marsh is one of the Trust's oldest reserves and one that visitors return to year after year. This site is a coastal grazing marsh and lagoon which has several pools, both freshwater and brackish, and a broad stream which provide feeding and roosting sites for waders and wildfowl. It is internationally important for the bird population that is supports, such as bearded tit, sedge and reed warblers. Many flowering plants have also been recorded here, including unusual species such as sea barley and corky-fruited water dropwort.Explore Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve – one of Hampshire’s most popular reserves, offering a variety of natural habitats. 

Titchfield Haven is a National Nature Reserve, located in southern England. It encompasses the lower floodplain of the River Meon, near to the point where it flows into the Solent near Hill Head. The Reserve covers 369 acres of the Meon Valley, encompassing a mosaic of natural habitats that include river, fen, pools, reed bed and meadow. Carefully managed, the reserve gives protection to a range of special wildlife and an array of plants which have been recorded since the mid 1930’s with over 500 species now listed at the reserve.

Today you will experience an approximate one-hour guided walk, with one of the many volunteers who work for the reserve. The volunteer guides will explain that the new season brings new interest, from the spectacular black-headed gulls in the spring and summer to flocks of golden plover in the winter. Reserve ‘specials’ include bearded tits and Cetti’s warblers which both breed every year. Spring and summer bring a new interest to the Reserve with over 20 species of butterfly spotted each year. Delicate damselflies and feisty dragonflies can be spotted throughout the summer and into the autumn.

If you are a birdwatcher whose main aim is to collect sightings of rare birds, then Titchfield Haven is the place to visit.

Soon it will be time to re-board your coach and return to your awaiting ship.

 

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is approximately one hour of walking over a boardwalk, and some uneven ground; therefore, we do not recommend this tour to guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Participants are advised to wear comfortable shoes and bring a rain jacket. Please keep to the paths in order to avoid disturbing wildlife. As with all creatures in their natural environment, we cannot guarantee the sighting of the afore mentioned wildlife. Toilets are available.

 

 

 


TOUR B - MYSTICAL STONEHENGE

  • Explore the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge
  • Marvel at the magical and mysterious stones
  • Learn more about the theories behind the ancient monument
Price£80.00-£90.00
DurationApproximately 5 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Stonehenge, an ancient monument of huge stones standing solitary on the Salisbury Plains of Wiltshire, has captured peoples’ imaginations for centuries. The purpose of this enigmatic site – the world’s most famous stone circle - still remains a mystery. Its origins go back as far as the Pyramids and the theories behind who built it have included the Druids, Greeks, Phoenicians and Atlanteans, and its purpose has been the range of much speculation ranging from human sacrifice to astronomy. 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Some of the walking may be over uneven, grassy terrain. All participants must be able to get on and off the coach unaided. Please note that a shuttle bus system operates to the stones. The journey from the visitor centre to the stones takes approximately ten minutes, however guests can choose to disembark halfway and walk to the stone circle if they prefer. Please note that there may be a short wait for the shuttle bus. Time permitting there may be a chance to browse the gift shop at the visitor centre. Guests are advised to wear comfortable shoes and bring a rain jacket. 

 


TOUR H - HISTORIC WINCHESTER & CATHEDRAL

  • Take in a guided tour of the charming city of Winchester
  • Admire the city’s highlights, including the beautiful Cathedral and Jane Austen’s final resting place
  • Discover the legend of King Arthur as you view his Round Table
Price£70.00-£80.00
DurationApproximately 4 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

On this tour, discover the highlights of the historic city of Winchester. Admire the architecture of the impressive Cathedral before visiting the Great Hall, home to King Arthur’s Round Table.

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately one and a half hours of walking and standing, some of which will be over inclined ground. All participants must be able to get on and off the coach unaided. Please note that those wishing not to take part in the walking tour of the Cathedral can instead enjoy further free time, however to get the most out of this tour, it is not recommended. Guests are advised to wear flat, comfortable walking shoes. 

 


Waterness, Portsmouth, UK

Waterness Line Steam Train

  • Travel by steam through ten miles of beautiful Hampshire countryside
  • Take a trip down memory lane
  • Enjoy a local pub lunch
Price£110.00-£120.00
DurationApproximately 5 1/2 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Snack includedSnack included

Enjoy a warm welcome onto the pier as you board your coach that takes you on a scenic drive to the Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line, a famous and interesting example of a real steam train experience.

You will arrive at Alton House for a leisurely cup of tea or coffee before a short walk to Alton Train station to board your steam train and reflect back on the past as the sound and sight of the machine brings your fond memories and visions to life.

Your first stop brings you to Four Marks Railway Station, a truly beautiful area, before carrying onto Ropley Station which was used in the first of the Harry Potter’s film.  It is here where Harry Potter walked over the original railway footbridge where he received his first Hogwarts Express ticket, the famous film location from Kings Cross station was reassembled here at the Watercress line.

Continuing, you board your next train which will take you to your final stop at Alresford, where you will leave the magical station that throws you back into the time of steam trains to enjoy a short walk to the Globe on Lake Pub in Alresford. Savour a two course meal as you revel in the beauty of the area whilst looking out onto the flat lake with a drink in your hand. This is a remarkable and unique experience, not to be missed.

After you have finished your meal, take a leisurely stroll back up to the rail station where your coach will be waiting to transport you back to the pier and your awaiting ship.

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? The walk from Alresford Station to the lunch venue is approximately a third of a mile and vice versa. There are ramps available at the train stations for boarding the trains. 

 


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