Old City Walls

Old City Walls which includes a statue or sculpture and heritage architecture

Old City Walls

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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.

Top Trending Hotels Near Old City Walls

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Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour
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Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
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4 out of 5
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Holiday Inn Southampton, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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ibis budget Southampton Centre
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