Fort Nelson and Portchester Castle History Walk - plus Poppies: Wave
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Join us for a circular walk taking in some of Hampshire's historical, military and cultural heritage.
The south coast is rich with naval history and this walk explores some of the those sights.
Some of the points of interested on our walk:
The Original Nelson's Column, built in 1807-8 to commemorate the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The architect was inspired by the 4th century AD obelisk at Axum, the ancient religious capital of Ethiopia. It may not be as tall as Nelson's Column in London's Trafalgar Square - but this is the original!
Fort Nelson is probably the best surviving example of a Victorian fortress and has been restored to its original 19th-century state, together with parts of its Second World War heritage. The Fort was built in the 1860s as part of a defensive chain around Portsmouth and its vital Royal Dockyard. The Fort is now home to the Royal Armouries and contains an impressive collection of military hardware within its ramparts, outer fortifications, secret underground tunnels, and ammunition bunkers.
Whilst at the Fort we'll be able to see the Poppies: Wave installation, a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks, originally inspired by Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London.
Portchester Castle is the most impressive and best-preserved of the Roman 'Saxon Shore' forts and was originally built in the late 3rd century. An exhibition in the keep interprets the history of the castle and Portchester village, and displays finds excavated on site.
What to bring
Water: bring at least two litres
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, sturdy trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK but we'll be walking through long grass and nettles for some of the walk!
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
You should a packed lunch. We'll be breaking for lunch at the Royal Armouries where there are picnic benches. There's also a cafe where you can buy snacks and hot and cold drinks.
You should bring snacks to sustain you during the walk and don't forget to bring plenty of water to keep you hydrated.