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 on this page, whether using the services of a walk leader, or following trail maps.

Report a near miss while walking

If you’ve had a ‘near miss’ incident in Portsmouth, which made you feel unsafe when walking or cycling around the city, or if you’ve seen one, we’ve created online forms you can use to report it. What qualifies as a near miss may differ from one person to another, so please report any incident you feel was a near miss.

Council-run walks in Portsmouth

Wellbeing Walks

Wellbeing Walks are a volunteer based scheme offering free led walks in Portsmouth. The scheme is run jointly by Portsmouth City Council and The Ramblers Association. All walks are led by an experienced Walk Leader, who will make you feel welcome to the walks and explain the route that we are taking. Whether you used to enjoy walking but have lost your fitness or want to get started to improve your wellness, we’re all in it together. We’re a friendly bunch so you’ll get the warmest of welcomes. Everyone walks for their own reasons, whether to ward off illness, manage health conditions or boost their wellbeing. Yet we all get more out of it by walking together.

A list of the walks is available online at – Ramblers Wellbeing Walks – Ramblers. This list is updated weekly and you can find contact details for the walks on the website. If you have any queries, please contact Charlie on 02392841762 or Charlie.johnson@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

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.

Occasional guided walks

Social Strolling

Social strollers is a nice, friendly, young at heart group who meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month in a different location in Portsmouth. We take a slow, short stroll to places of interest to create conversation and create memories. We also take days out outside of Portsmouth.

The group is open to all vulnerable adults, who are able to walk a short distance to the location that we are going to.

If you would like to learn more about the strollers or join, please text Trish on 07775 651103. The group costs £1 to attend every two weeks, which goes towards subs for our group.

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:

Open spaces and trail leaflets

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.

Local self-guided walks

  • 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.

Local long-distance paths

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 of the island north toward Farlington marshes. The route continues past the marshes, out of the city and toward Emsworth.

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.

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.

Ideas to help boost your walking

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.