Hidden History

SEE Southampton and the Southampton Tourist Guides Association popular Hidden History Walks* are a stroll through the past of the City, exploring the Walls of the Old Town, with your Guide recounting tales of yesteryear, and bringing to life historical characters, and life-changing events.

We will tell you about Southampton’s association with the Romans, Saxons and Vikings, the building of the Town Walls  – standing since the 1300s – and the City’s ancient legends. We have ‘keys to the city’, enabling us to open up the locked doors of the Medieval Towers and Wine Vaults! We will see the Bargate, Southampton’s most famous monument; walk along the Western Walls with distant views to St. Mary’s Church and the New Forest; pass the oldest Church in the City, St. Michael’s, and the oldest Museum, Tudor House. 

Southampton Bargate - Hidden History Guided Walks and Talks on Southampton's HIstory

Places associated with Jane Austen’s time in the city are included, and the City’s Spa Period from 1750-1830 is described. The Mayflower and Speedwell departed from Southampton, and important locations associated with the Pilgrim Fathers are covered, as is the City’s connections with the Titanic, which sailed from here. The City’s role in conflicts from the Battle of Agincourt, through to the Blitz and Normandy Landings on D-Day are also addressed.

Walks last 1&1/2 hours and are gently-paced, however some stairs are involved. If you have any problems with these, or with heights or enclosed spaces, please let our Guide know, and they will be able to adjust to help you. Walks will finish near the lower end of the High Street – your guide can assist with directions to any part of the town you wish to visit or head to thereafter.

Walks run at 10.30am and 1.30pm on Saturday and Sundays from Sat 2 April until Sun 30 October, starting from the Lions at the Bargate in the City Centre. The cost is £7, children below 16 are free, but must be accompanied. Walks will then take place on Saturdays and Sundays during the winter months November – March, commencing at 1.30pm at the Bargate.

The majority of City Centre Car Parks are well placed for access to the Bargate, especially the Eastgate and Albion Place Car Parks. Please note parking is free on the Western Esplanade on Sundays until 1pm, which gives time enough to enjoy our Sunday ‘Hidden History’ morning walk!

* For 2022/23, Southampton’s two guiding associations, See Southampton and the Southampton Tourist Guides Association are working in partnership to deliver a series of Southampton History Walks on weekends throughout the year.

SEE Southampton – More history than you ever imagined!