Free walking tour of Historic Old Portsmouth

Duration: 1h and 15min
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 walking 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.

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!

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

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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
    View on map

    Tours depart from the Mudlarks (girl and man) statue 30 metres outside the entrance to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. During summer a Portsmouth Of the Past banner/ A board is close by. Tour guides normally wear union jack waistcoats or carry a union jack umbrella so you can't miss us!.

  • 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

19 ratings
By category
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Helen 30 Sep 2023
West Thurrock

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Sep 2023
A great tour of Portsmouth with personal stories mixed with historical facts. Steve is a friendly, funny man - just what you need for a tour guide.
Gina 04 Sep 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Sep 2023
A great mix of History, Romance, Ghost Stories and fun! A very interesting walk, thoroughly enjoyed Steve’s company, highly recommended. Fantastic that he supports Cancer Charities too. 😊
Patricia 24 Aug 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in group - Aug 2023
Steve is amazing! We loved the way he explained to us all the gosh and personal stories about Portsmouth
David 06 Aug 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in group - Aug 2023
A good tour delivered by Steve. Great that he also does this to raise money for charity which is very commendable
Eva Kindler 22 Jul 2023

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Jul 2023
Steve is a brilliant tour guide and it was a pleasure listening to him. I've learned so many things about Portsmouth in a very relaxed atmosphere. Thank you for your flexibility regarding the weather! Highly recommendable!
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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