HA Branches Tour 2022: Portsmouth and the defence of the realm

Sunday 12 June to Friday 17 June 2022

Published: 8th October 2021

HA Branches Tour: Portsmouth and the defence of the realm

Sunday 12 June to Friday 17 June 2022

Tour leaders: Elizabeth Yarker and Kathleen Morris

Join us for an historic tour that takes in a range of historical places, topics, time periods and stories. The tour will start with the Romans at Portchester Saxon Shore Fort, best preserved of all third-century coastal defences, with its fascinating Norman castle in one corner and church in another. Then, of course, we head for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to visit the Mary Rose with an amazing evocation of Tudor life, and HMS Victory where we ‘walk in Nelson’s footsteps’.

There will be a visit to the Docks to visit the Royal Navy’s first iron-clad warship, HMS Warrior, and M33, only survivor of the Gallipoli Campaign, plus the Dockyard Apprentice exhibition and the museum. With luck, we may see one of the new aircraft carriers.

Operation Overlord was planned in Portsmouth, commemorated at The D-Day Story in fascinating detail. We see the dramatic D-Day tapestry, and LCT 7074, the only surviving D-Day tank carrier. Just behind The D-Day Story is Henry VIII’s Southsea Castle, typical of the 1540s and in use for centuries. We also visit the D-Day Map Room at General Eisenhower’s HQ, Southwick House, which is a short but safe distance from Portsmouth. Fort Nelson, one of ‘Palmerston’s Follies’, illustrates 1860s defences. Do its guns ‘point the wrong way’? The Royal Armouries Museum think not. We find out why.

The Isle of Wight is enticingly close, so we board the ferry to visit Carisbrooke Castle, Charles I’s nemesis. Fortified from Norman times or earlier, it was updated in time for the Armada. Then we enjoy Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday home, and its spectacular Durbar Room.

Next there will be a visit to the unique Fishbourne Roman Palace and nearby Chichester, where we head for the cathedral, a real gem. There will be an opportunity to pay our respects to the RAF at Tangmere Museum, which has so many tales to tell – from the SOE to the world speed record. Quite different, Butser Ancient Farm finds practical answers to archaeological questions, and offers insight into prehistoric farming with reconstructions based on the evidence.

Accommodation, costs and booking

The accommodation and base for the tour is the Marriott Hotel.

Cost: £850 per person, with £150 single supplement.

The price, based on a minimum of 20, includes five nights, dinner, bed and breakfast, coach travel, entry fees and guided tours.

Our contract is with Greatdays Holidays Ltd of Altrincham ABTA & ATOL protected.

For further details and a booking form contact: Elizabeth Yarker on 01905 352997 or at 35 Prestwich Avenue, Worcester WR5 1QF.