If you’re in Southampton, it’s worth checking out the SEE Southampton tour guides new walk – East Side Story. A complement to the guides’ popular and long-established walk on the city’s Western Walls, East Side Story looks at the heritage of this side of the city.
Taking place every Saturday throughout the summer, the walk takes visitors south from the Bargate along the High Street (also known as the QE2 mile), the waterfront and then to the remains of Southampton’s eastern fortifications and city walls.
Among the stories being told on this 1½ hour walk are tales of Jane Austen – her early school; the All Saints Church where she attended service, and of her 18th birthday party, celebrated by attending a ball at the Dolphin Hotel. The walk also touches upon the Pilgrim Fathers and the Mayflower, and Southampton’s links with other notable ships, including the Titanic. We call into Holy Rood, ‘The Church of the Sailors’, destroyed during the second world war and now a Merchant Navy Memorial Garden which provides an oasis of calm next to the bustling High Street.
Tracing the lines of the Eastern Walls, sections of which still remain, and the dry ditch, later to form part of an ill-founded project to establish a Southampton Canal, the walk then passes by the remains of the Southampton Friary, including a rare Dovecote. Two vaults are visited on the walk, 94 The High Street, infamous as the site of a second world war bombing raid in which 28 people died, and Lankaster’s Vault, an early wine vault later used as a workshop for the production of the local cloth known as Hampton serge.
Also new for 2017 will be the opportunity for visitors to enter Southampton’s iconic Bargate, a 30 minute tour, recounting the history of the building and allowing visitors the rare opportunity to visit the roof, for spectacular views across the distant Southampton Water to the New Forest and the Isle of Wight.
For more information, visit: www.seesouthampton.co.uk or call 07770 842728, or to contact other Southampton guides, click on the button below.