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Old City Walls

Follow Southampton’s ancient Norman walls to discover medieval churches, a king’s wine cellar and the hotel where Jane Austen celebrated her 18th birthday.

Trace the fascinating history of one of the world’s greatest ports by exploring the Old City Walls of Southampton. First created by the Normans to protect their castle and defend their land from invaders, today the walls stand as one of many reminders of old Southampton. Among the most intriguing sites are old wine vaults, medieval churches and the old houses of merchants.  

The Normans built the walls in stages over three centuries, beginning in 1180. Step back through the ages on a guided walk. If you’d rather explore at your own pace, look for the information panels and signs which will guide you along the walk. Start from the old town’s historic entrance, a giant section of wall with a large archway, in Bargate. It makes a fascinating sight against the backdrop of a typical commercial street. 

Capture photos of the port where ships still dock today, then make your way to Arundel Tower, a drum tower built on top of the wall. Enter the vault that was transformed in the 13th century from a castle into a wine cellar for the king. Browse the old, stone houses built by wealthy merchants. Call by the 18th-century spa and seaside resort where the likes of Jane Austen attended balls. 

Look out for more vestiges of the old town as you walk behind the walls. Visit the Holyrood Church, a memorial to merchant seamen who lost their lives at sea. Then head to Westgate to see the monument of the Mayflower and the Speedwell, which passed through the port on their way to America.

The guided walk has a fee; however, it's free for children under 16 years of age. The walk takes place every Saturday and Sunday morning, beginning at the monument in Bargate. You can find the old city walls in the center of Southampton, which is situated just north of the River Test. Mayflower Park, Queen’s Park and St. Mary’s Stadium are nearby attractions also worth visiting if time allows.


Guide to Exploring Old City Walls


Top Hotel Deals

See all 921 Properties near Old City Walls
Southampton Harbour Hotel £140
Southampton Harbour Hotel

Southampton Harbour Hotel

5 Maritime Walk, Ocean Village, Southampton, England
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Southampton City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Solent Sky Museum, Ocean Village Marina and St. Mary's Stadium. WestQuay Shopping Centre and Southampton Solent University are also within 2 miles (3 km). Southampton Woolston Station is 23 minutes by foot.

    Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour £56
    Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour

    Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour

    West Quay Road, Southampton, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Southampton City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old City Walls and WestQuay Shopping Centre. Southampton Solent University and Mayflower Theatre are also within 1 mile (2 km). Southampton Central Station is 15 minutes by foot and Southampton Woolston Station is 30 minutes.

      Jurys Inn Southampton £37
      Jurys Inn Southampton

      Jurys Inn Southampton

      1 Charlotte Place, Southampton, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Southampton City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Southampton Solent University and Mayflower Theatre. St. Mary's Stadium and WestQuay Shopping Centre are also within 15 minutes. Southampton Central Station is 14 minutes by foot and Southampton St Denys Station is 22 minutes.

        Holiday Inn Southampton £51
        Holiday Inn Southampton

        Holiday Inn Southampton

        Herbert Walker Avenue, Southampton, England
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Southampton hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 10-minute walk of Mayflower Park and WestQuay Shopping Centre. Southampton Cruise Terminal and Southampton Solent University are also within 1 mile (2 km). Southampton Central Station is 18 minutes by foot.

          room2 Southampton £58
          room2 Southampton

          room2 Southampton

          1 Queen's Terrace, Southampton, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Southampton City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Queen's Park and Ocean Village Marina. WestQuay Shopping Centre and Southampton Solent University are also within 15 minutes. Southampton Woolston Station is 23 minutes by foot and Southampton Central Station is 23 minutes.

            Novotel Southampton £53
            Novotel Southampton

            Novotel Southampton

            1 West Quay Road, Southampton, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Southampton City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Grosvenor Casino and Southampton Cruise Terminal. Mayflower Theatre and WestQuay Shopping Centre are also within 15 minutes. Southampton Central Station is 7 minutes by foot and Southampton Millbrook Station is 24 minutes.

              Charles Hope Apartments Southampton
              Charles Hope Apartments Southampton

              Charles Hope Apartments Southampton

              Exchange Court, Back of the Walls, Southampton, England
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Southampton City Centre, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of WestQuay Shopping Centre and Southampton Solent University. Mayflower Theatre and St. Mary's Stadium are also within 1 mi (2 km). Southampton Central Station is 20 minutes by foot and Southampton Woolston Station is 24 minutes.

                The Star Hotel £39
                The Star Hotel

                The Star Hotel

                26 High Street, Southampton, England
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Southampton City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Tudor House and Garden and WestQuay Shopping Centre. Southampton Solent University and Mayflower Theatre are also within 15 minutes. Southampton Central Station is 17 minutes by foot and Southampton Woolston Station is 27 minutes.