Free tour

Free tour of Historic Old Portsmouth

Duration: 1h and 30min
Languages: English
Guru: Steve
Registered on February 11, 2023

Hi, I'm Steve, the lead guide for Portsmouth of the Past Free Walking Tours. Having lived in and around the city for over 40 years, I have extensive knowledge of the quirky or secret places that you might miss. Your guides love engaging with visitors from all over the world to this wonderful city. What makes Portsmouth unique? It is all about its people, their lives, loves, and losses. It is not about boring buildings and dreary dates. As such I am a storyteller, making our history real to people today.

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  • No minimum number of attendees
    No minimum number of attendees is required for the tour
  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free
  • Accepts electronic payment
    This tour allows payment by electronic means or credit card

Tour description

We offer tours of the historic parts of Old Portsmouth. We focus on its people and stories of their lives, loves, and losses, not dreary dates or boring buildings.

Please note: the tours do not enter the Historic Dockyard, go on its ships, or visit the Spinnaker Tower.

Your guide has lived in Portsmouth for over 40 years.  He has an unrivaled knowledge of historic Portsmouth from its Roman origins to the present day, delivered in a fun, engaging, and informative manner.   The tour is supported by historic pictures, maps, etc.

The full tour route is approximately 2 miles and wheelchair/mobility scooter friendly.  We are also dog friendly.

Tour groups are limited to 12 people, ensuring you can hear & engage. 

For international travellers, summary sheets of the key points are available in several languages.

A children's workbook/pencils are available to take away to ensure their engagement and interest.

For people with connections to Portsmouth, your guide has extensive data on past naval losses, people lost during World War 2. You may have local history you never knew!

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    The Hard Interchange, Portsea, Portsm...
    The Hard Interchange, Portsea, Portsmouth PO1 3PU, UK
  • 1
    Outside visit
    The Hard

    Just outside the historic dockyard, also known as Devil's Acre, reflecting its history of drinking, & pressgangs.

  • 2
    Outside visit
    HMS Warrior

    See this magnificant ship from 1860

  • 3
    Outside visit
    St Georges Square

    The oldest dock area from the 13th century with a monument to Britain's greatest engineer

  • 4
    Outside visit
    The Camber Docks

    Portsmouth's oldest commercial area from the 14th century.

  • 5
    Outside visit
    Spice Island

    The entertainment centre of Portsmouth for over 600 years!

  • 6
    Outside visit
    Hotwalls Beach

    See the Solent and hear the story of the Ghost Ship!

  • 7
    Outside visit
    Portsmouth Cathedral

    The cathedral of the Sea, started in the 13th Century and finished in 1990s!

  • 8
    Outside visit
    Gunwharf Quays

    Finish your tour with a coffee, glass or wine or delicious food

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

8 ratings
By category
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Devika 20 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
Had an absolutely wonderful time experiencing the docks, the beach and the islands. Coming out of the city with a completely different perspective on James Bond movies and taking home the baffling histories of bars and brothels.
Steve 15 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled alone - May 2023
A really pleasant and informative experience. Information provided that gives an insight to the area that we walked and the people that lived there . Fascinating, cannot believe I hadn't gone along before now.
Rebecca 14 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in group - May 2023
We had such a fun and informative your with Steve, who is very passionate about Portsmouth and very knowledgeable. Recommended!
Elsa 09 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
Thank you very much for the very interesting and entertaining tour on Sunday. It was great to discover such interesting facts and characters from Portsmouth, well done!
Lisa 07 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
Steve was very friendly and very knowledgeable about Old Portsmouth. He immediately put the group at ease. I discovered lots of interesting facts about the area and would definitely recommend this tour for others.
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Who is this tour for?

Suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Suitable for carrying pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
There is no minimum number of people required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Electronic or credit card payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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See availability