Trails & Tours

Town Quay Park in the summer

Southampton has an abundance of trails that can be completed all year round and the best part is, many of them are free. From history walks to street art, there are different themes and experiences for every type of adventurer. The only trouble you’ll have is deciding where to go first.

Temporary trails

Southampton also has several seasonal trails taking place throughout the year. These are often free and one-of-a-kind experiences scheduled over a short period. Make sure to check back here often so that you may catch them before they’re gone!

Light the South images outside Westquay

Light the South Trail
13th July – 12th September 2024

To raise money for Southampton Children’s Hospital Trust, Wild in Art are launching a summer trail of light houses across Southampton and Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. The sculptures have each been lovingly designed by talented artists from across the UK which will all be later auctioned off for charity. Learn more about this free trail here.

Visit Southampton trails
Coming soon…

We love hosting a wide range of seasonal trails for families to complete over the school holidays. Recent trails included our Southampton Old Town Easter Trail and our Christmas Reindeer Roundup. Keep an eye on this page and our Visit Southampton socials for all the latest trail releases.

Free self-guided trails

Self-guided trails are perfect for those in search of some adventure. Wander and explore at your own pace, stop at as many places as you’d like, and take it all in. All you need to do is grab or download a copy of a trail map and off you go!

Watts Park entrance from Cenotaph

Shirley Spitfire Trail

Did you know that Southampton played a vital role in aircraft history? It was the birthplace of the legendary Spitfire where the first prototypes were designed and crafted right here in Southampton’s Supermarine factory at Woolston. Following the bombings of the factory during World War II, production was dispersed to over 30 ‘secret’ sites across the city. Take a step back in time to discover them through the free Shirley Spitfire Trail. Download the trail map here.

From Parks to Port (Accessible Trail)

Created by See Southampton, this award-winning trail offers an accessible route for all abilities. Displaying accessible places of interest such as John Hansard Gallery, Dancing Man Brewery, and the Wisteria Pergola in East Park, the map also points to the key locations of toilets, lifts, and other facilities that are accessible to mobility aid users. Download your free copy here.

The Esplanade Walk the Walls trail

Walk the Walls Trail

The city has many of it’s original medieval walls still standing today. Stretching along the Esplanade towards Old Town’s Town Quay, you can walk alongside and even atop some of these fantastic pieces of Southampton’s history. Begin your walk at the Bargate and work your way through each stop. You’ll discover plenty of fun facts and notable historic locations along the way. Download the route here.

Southampton's Titanic Trail

Most notably, Southampton was home to many of the passengers and crew that departed on RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage. Dedicated to those who perished in the 1912 ship’s sinking, there are a number of memorials and other points of interest to visit around the city. Download a copy of the map here.

Photo of rear of bargate

Community walks with the Go Jauntly App

Go Jauntly is a free community-based walking trail app designed to encourage more people to get moving. The app currently features trails such as Southampton Public Art Trail, Foodie Tour and the Southampton Common Explorer. Why not give them a go? Discover these and more here.

Discover Southampton’s History Trail

Old Town is brimming with history and heritage, boasting ancient medieval wine vaults and stone ruins. With such a wealth of sights to explore, you can easily spend an entire day immersing yourself in its treasures. That's why we've created a heritage leaflet, packed with 11 must-visit locations and 23 other points of interest to uncover. Access the digital version of our leaflet here.

Winkle Street Golden Face at Gods House Tour

Discover the Winkle Street Faces

A quick stroll down Winkle Street is a favourite among families. Although it may look like an ordinary street at first, if you look closely enough you will find that Winkle Street has more to it than you see. Along the walls, signs, and stones, you will find several sculpted ‘faces’ hidden along the way. Children simply love pointing them out and finding all the funny expressions they have. The faces were originally created by urban artist J_Ace who’s works can be found around the globe.

There is no map for this walk. Simply wander along the street starting from God’s House Tower and count how many you can find.

St James' Way

Embark on a journey of exploration along the St James’ Way, a revered segment of the legendary Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Crafted for modern-day pilgrims and avid walkers alike, this historic path offers the opportunity to retrace the footsteps of pilgrims from centuries past. Spanning approximately 68.5 miles (110 kilometres), the route can be tackled at your own pace, either in stages or over a leisurely five-day adventure.

Begin at Reading Abbey, once the epicentre of the St James cult in England during the Middle Ages, then, follow the path to the port of Southampton, believed to be the departure point where pilgrims set sail for France or Spain to the shrine of St James at Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. Learn more here.

Mosaic of Mr Bounce

Mr Mosaic Trails

As you stroll through Southampton, you're bound to encounter a delightful array of mosaic artworks hidden around the city. From Mr Men characters to iconic superheroes and colourful cartoon flowers, these mosaic masterpieces are part of wider themed walks designed and crafted by the talented artist Will Rosie, also known as Mr Mosaic. Discover the trails here.

Self-Guided Public Art Trail

Get inspired and immerse yourself in the creative world of art! ‘a space’ arts, has curated a public art trail in the city’s Old Town, showcasing the extraordinary works of art that adorn the area. See works such as Fruit Market and Queensway, or the K6 Gallery. Learn more here.

Paid Tours & Tour Operators

If you're new to the city or looking for a deeper insight into its history and its landmarks, guided tours are the perfect option. Southampton offers a variety of tour operators to choose from, ensuring you get the most out of your visit.

Tour guide from See Southampton talking to small group of tourists outside Tudor House Garden

Hidden Histories Trail: The Early Black History of Southampton’s Old Town
April – September 2024

Learn about the city’s early Black History between the 15th - 19th Centuries. Beginning and ending at God’s House Tower, you will be guided around Southampton’s Old Town to hear lesser known stories of Black privateers to plantation owners. For a list of dates, times and pricing, click here.

See Southampton Heritage Guides

Made up of a team of passionate local heritage experts and tour guides, See Southampton is committed to providing entertaining walks and talks for visitors near and far. Their ‘Discover Southampton’s History’ tour is perfect for those looking to learn more about the city’s past. Tours run Saturdays and Sundays until 30th September 2024, departing from the Bargate. For further details and their event programme click here.

Southampton Tour Guide speaking to a group of visitors

Southampton Tour Guides Association (STGA)

Discover Southampton with the knowledgeable guides of the Southampton Tour Guides Association (STGA). With Blue, Green, and White Badges awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding, their team are equipped to lead both public and private walks for locals and visitors alike. Whether you're exploring the city's historic landmarks or delving into its hidden gems, they also offer tours in a variety of languages to cater to your needs. Beer, Booze, Bed and Ghosts, Oh Where The Saints?, and Overground & Underground are just some of the tours on offer. Learn more here.

Southampton Mystery Tours

A treasure hunt for all ages, Mystery Adventure guides are becoming all the rage in cities across England. Created by Jack Wells, you can turn the streets of Southampton into your very own ‘whodunnit’ treasure hunt: The Mystery of Titanic’s Missing Millions. As you follow along, cross off a list of suspects to solve the case. Learn more here.

Oak Tree Tour Guide Katie Santos pointing out a key location to visitors 1

Walk the secrets of the Titanic

In the bustling Port of Southampton, Walsh Tours will take you on your very own journey to uncover the secrets of the RMS Titanic. Along the way, you will also discover the stories of several other famous ocean liners and ships that have visited the city over the years. Learn more here.

With the SO Card you can get 15% off your walk using the promo code HomePort. Click here for further details.

Oak Tree Tours

Discover Southampton and beyond with Oaktree Tours! From tailor-made activities to chauffeur-driven outings, they offer unforgettable experiences for all occasions. Whether you're celebrating a special milestone or simply sightseeing, let them help you plan some meaningful moments during you trip for you and your whole family. Find out more here.

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