New guides help uncover the past on self-led walks

The Cosham Christmas lights switch-on Picture: Habibur Rahman (171607-4489)

Crowds turn out for switch-on of Cosham’s Christmas lights

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PORTSMOUTH has one of the most diverse geographies in the country – and now it is easier to explore.

That is according to the Royal Geographical Society after it chose the city to be included in an online project, Discovering Britain.

The project offers maps and audio for use in MP3 players for a four-mile self-led tour of the area.

A waterfront walk, it allows people to trace how the city grew to house one of the world’s most important naval bases.

It also pays close attention to leisure, including how Portsmouth came to be a seaside resort in the Victorian era and more recently how Gunwharf Quays sprang up from an industrial installation.

Wartime bombing will come to life on the walk, as the tour explains how Second World War bombing devastated the city.

The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) director, Dr Rita Gardner, said: ‘The only UK city on an island, Portsmouth is a fascinating place bounded by water on all sides.’

See discoveringbritain.org to download the walk guides.