Walking is a free and easy way to be active and stay healthy. Portsmouth is an ideal city for walking and has the highest walk to school rate in the country, with over 70% of children walking to school every day.

In addition to the historic waterfront and coastline, Portsmouth boasts a wide range of parks, gardens and open spaces to walk in. From beautiful formal parks to small pocket parks and informal wildlife havens, it's easy to walk away from the busy city streetscape into greener surroundings.

There are plenty of ideas for walks below, whether using the services of a walk leader, or following trail maps.

Portsmouth healthy walks

Healthy walks are free volunteer-led walks, which take place throughout the week at different locations across the city. There are a variety of walks to cater for all abilities and many are buggy friendly. Children who are not in buggies can attend, as long as they are accompanied and able to walk the distance. See the brochure in the documents section below for more details, including walk distance and times.

 

A printed brochure is available. To request a hard copy please call the Independence and Wellbeing Team on 023 9284 1762, or to download click the link in the document link at the bottom of this page. 

 

Guided city walks

Discover Portsmouth on foot. Visitor Information Service offers a programme of guided walks, so you can enjoy the tourist sights while getting fit.

Social Strolling

This group offers short strolls to places of interest around Portsmouth for people living with dementia, recovering from stroke or brain injury, or with other vulnerabilities, along with their carers.

 

They meet at the John Pounds Centre, Queen Street, on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 1pm, with the walk starting at 1.30pm. The walk is free but the group often stops for tea and cake at the end, which requires payment.

To find out more contact socialstrolling@yahoo.com or call 07977 000322. 

 

Portsmouth Ramblers

For those who are looking to join in with longer and more challenging walks, the Portsmouth Ramblers offer moderately paced 5 to 9 mile walks on Saturdays, with faster paced 1 to 15 mile walks on Sundays. The group also run short Friday walks and some extra Saturday walks to more distant parts in the summer months. Most walks have a pub/café either at the end or at lunch time.

For more information and contact details visit: www.portsmouthramblers.org.uk

Other local organisations offering walks:

In addition to the beautiful coastline with views to admire in all directions, Portsmouth boasts a wide range of parks, gardens and open spaces to walk in, which are valued by the many thousands of people who use them every day. Both Victoria Park and Southsea Common are listed on the Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.

Milton Park, Baffins Pond and Hilsea Lines have won prestigious Green Flag awards - a benchmark of a quality park or green space. From beautiful formal parks to small pocket parks and informal wildlife havens, it's easy to walk away from the busy city streetscape into greener surroundings. 

You can download below a list of all the parks and open spaces in Portsmouth, as well as two tree trails for Victoria Park and Milton Park. 

Hilsea Lines Wildlife and Military History trail leaflets are also downloadable below if you'd rather take part in a nature walk, they are organised by Hilsea Lines Ranger Service and Friends of Portsdown Hill. 

  • Solent Way
  • Fort Widley Nature Trail
  • Millennium Promenade - The Millennium Promenade is just over two miles long and stretches from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to Southsea Castle. It is marked by a chain link in the ground or by columns topped with the Millennium motif. The chain route set into the surface historically represents the chain that was tightened across the harbour entrance at times of potential risk. Follow the trail to discover the hidden history of the city's waterfront and enjoy the ever changing views of the Solent.

This route runs for a total distance of 12 miles from Alice Holt Forest near Farnham linking villages and towns in east Hampshire. It runs south across the South Downs to the final 5 miles which is within the city boundary of Portsmouth. The route gets its name from the journey of the oak grown at Alice Holt to dockyards such as Portsmouth for medieval ship building. This route enters the city at the south eastern corner of Portsmouth at the Hayling Ferry and continues in a westerly direction along the coastline of Portsea Island finishing at the Historic Dockyard.

This is a 60 mile walking route linking Milford on sea with Emsworth Harbour. Much of this follows the coast of Hampshire including the city of Portsmouth. The route begins in the city at the Gosport Ferry and follows the seafront through old Portsmouth and continuing east along the promenade. This rounds the island and runs along the eastern side the island north toward Farlington marshes. The route continues past the marshes, out of the city and toward Emsworth.

  • Pilgrim's Trail
    This 155 mile route follows the footsteps of the Pilgrims who made the long journey to worship in Normandy and those who wished to come to worship at the shrine of St. Swithun, the former teacher of Alfred the Great. This enters the city of Portsmouth from the north and travels south alongside the carriageway toward Hilsea and then follows the coastal route along the western side of the island, through Tipner and Stamshaw to reach the end of the English section at the international ferry port.
  • Wayfarers Way

This route is a 70 mile walk that runs between Emsworth to Walbury Hill in Berkshire. The section of this route that runs through Portsmouth follows Portsdown Hill Road east west taking in the spectacular views of the city from its highest point.

Living Streets offers tips to increase how much you walk each day with the aim that you do at least 20 minutes every day.

 

Active10 launched by Public Health England, is a free App that can help monitor how much you're walking and provides tips on how to fit bursts of brisk walking into your day.

 

The British Heart Foundation has a great booklet on walking. It describes how to keep your heart healthy and happy by walking your way to fitness. Whatever your age, size or physical condition, you are likely to benefit from being more active. See the documents section below. 

UPDATE - 12 August 9.30am:

Unfortunately this afternoon's Green Space Challenge event is being cancelled because of the bad weather forecast. We know this will disappoint people so we will be trying to find another date when hopefully everyone can enjoy our green spaces without getting wet.

 

 

Introducing our first Green Space Challenge!

 

Sunday 12 August. Start at 12pm and finish between 3pm and 4pm.

 

We have put together a free, family-friendly walking event which showcases the incredible natural environment and green spaces right on our doorstep.

 

This is a fantastic school holiday activity to get children and adults on their feet and out in the fresh air exploring the local environment, with the added bonus of collecting prizes for completing the routes.

 

There are two routes available which start at 12 noon. A shorter route of 3.5km allows walkers to stop at three activity stations and takes approximately two hours to complete so you could begin your walk between 12pm and 1pm. The longer route of almost 6km includes five activity stations which should take the average walker around 3.5 hours, starting at 12 noon. 

 

There will be activity stations along the route where you can chat with friendly representatives from our partner organisations - Portsmouth Friends of the Earth, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Baffins Pond Association, Fratton Big Local, and our own Active Travel Team. Simply pick up a stamp card and a pedometer from any station and take it with you to the next station to be stamped. You can start at any station and walk in any direction. When you have collected your stamps you can claim your free prize. Each station will feature fun activities to get involved with.

 

Why not bring a picnic and make a day of it? There are also shops and cafes on Tangier Road as well as a Onestop on Hayling Avenue. Please remember to dress appropriately for the weather, and stay hydrated by bringing a bottle of water with you.

 

For a map of the route see below.

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