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Nelson's Last Walk

Nelson said his final farewells to Emma Hamilton and their daughter Horatio after dinner on Friday 13 September 1805, when he left his beloved Merton Place for Portsmouth.

His route took him 5 miles west to Kingston, where he joined the Portsmouth Road. After an uncomfortable night with occasional stops to change horses, his post-chaise passed through the Landport Gate in the fortifications around Portsmouth at about 6 am on Saturday 14 September, arriving at the George Hotel in the High Street shortly after.

Nelson rested at the George Hotel in Old Portsmouth and it was from here he left on his last 'walk' through to the seashore before embarking for his flagship HMS Victory off the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately the George Hotel was destroyed by enemy action in 1941 and the site is now occupied by housing appropriately called George Court.

By the time Nelson was ready to leave on his famous 'last walk', the High Street was so crowded with people that he could not get through. He left the George by a back door onto Penny Street. After some 100 yards he turned left into Green Row (now Pembroke Road and past the buildings now The Royal Naval Club *), until he reached the ramparts behind the King's Ravelin, where he turned right.

Keeping the ramparts and the magazine behind the King's Bastion on his left, he turned left into the narrow tunnel under the Long Curtain. He emerged onto the footbridge over the moat to the Spur Redoubt, where he turned left into a narow passage that led him through the Redoubt wall and onto the beach, where his barge was waiting.

As the barge left the shore the spectators gave Nelson three cheers, which he returned by waving his hat. Turning to his Flag Captain, Thomas Hardy, he said: 'I had their huzzas before, I have their hearts now'.

Source: www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/leisure