Portsmouth: Seafaring past and present

To plan and arrange your tour, call us on: 01709 385500

Alternatively, if you’re interested in booking a tour for a smaller group, take a look at what our sister site offers: legerbattlefields.co.uk

‘Pompey’, a fortress, a safe haven, a fleet anchorage, a logistics base and a dockyard: Portsmouth is a city that will always be associated with the development and growth of the Royal Navy as protectors of these shores and as ‘policemen’ of the British Empire. This tour discovers the sites associated with this great seafaring past. Other aspects of the area take us from Roman times to the 21st Century.

HMS Victory in Portsmouth
HMS Victory in Portsmouth

The tour, based in the Solent area, can be tailored to your requirements, from two to four days and can visit a selection of the sites listed below, or any others in the area that you would like to visit – perhaps a day on the Isle of Wight?

The final cost of the tour would depend on your choice of visits added to the tour. An optional guide can be provided throughout.

The Royal Dockyards

Including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, The Mary Rose, The Naval museum and much more.

The Royal Marines museum

In the old Officers’ mess, learn about its history from 1664 to the present day.

Spitbank Fort

A massive man-made fort built in the sea one mile from Portsmouth harbour.

Fort Cumberland

An 18th Century fort protecting Langstone harbour.

Royal Navy Submarine museum

This includes a walk through tour of HMS Alliance, the only surviving example of a Royal Navy A-Class submarine.

Fort Nelson and the Royal Armouries

Visit underground and overground sites on Portsdown Hill.

Porchester Castle

Learn about Romans, Normans and Saxons at this beautiful site on the water’s edge.

D-Day museum

This museum features the Overlord embroidery.

Calshot Castle
Calshot Castle

A Tudor castle and 20th century seaplane base.

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Dating from AD43, this was rediscovered in the 1960s.


An 18th century house, famous as the home of Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Tangmere Aviation museum

Learn about the RAF in the Battle of Britain at this historic airfield.

Southsea Castle

Henry VIII and an exhibition of the military history of Portsmouth.

Hurst Castle

History from Henry VIII to the Second World War.

Southwick House

General Dwight D Eisenhower’s Headquarters prior to the D-Day invasion.

Chichester Cathedral

Nine hundred years of British history.

Bucklers Hard

A historic shipbuilding village near Beaulieu.

Portsmouth Cathedral
Portsmouth Cathedral

A walking tour round Old Portsmouth (Cathedral, Garrison Church, Round Tower and Spice Island) or a walk along Southsea common with its many Memorials and historic pier.

Suggested Itineraries

All tours can be tailor-made to suit your needs. Some groups have specific sites that they wish to visit including graves, where they may wish to lay a wreath. Others like to combine a history tour with some leisure time, such as a day visit to Bruges, a visit to Bellewaerde Theme Park outside Ypres or add on a visit to Disneyland® Paris.

Download and print brochure page

All our tours include:

  • Pick-up and drop-off at your school or chosen pick-up point
  • Executive class coach travel (subject to availability)
  • Return travel on Eurotunnel (or P&O Ferries, if you prefer)
  • Entrance to all museums throughout the tour
  • Full board accommodation for tours lasting two days or more
  • Exclusive Teachers’ Information Booklet and Pupil Worksheets
  • Personal Battlefields Tours Executive to assist with tour planning
Jacqui Shaw - Our Head of Schools and Colleges Battlefield Tours

Expert guidance and planning

Here at Holts, we believe that Battlefield Tours are an important part of how a student learns about history, and perhaps even themselves. We have passion, experience and the knowledge to help make the most of your Battlefield Tour and make it an experience for your students to remember for a lifetime.

Our Head of Schools and Colleges Battlefield Tours, Jacqui Shaw, was educated at Reading and Cambridge, and has worked as a teacher for over 20 years. Inspired to learn more after visiting the Battlefields herself on a school tour, she has been returning ever since and is excited to be able to bring the experience to new generations of students. With Holts, we seek to bring history to life, understand the past, and ensure a memorable and rewarding Battlefield Tour for your students.

To arrange and plan your tour, call us on 01709 385500