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The Semaphore Line: Car Tour

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During the Napoleonic Wars a series of towers was constructed from London to Portsmouth to send signals to the fleet. These were later made more permanent until the advent of railways and electronic messages superseded them in 1847. Our scenic tour today approximately follows the route of these towers from Wisley Gardens to finish with the ever popular cream tea at Ramster Gardens. Few towers themselves remain today but the start is near one such that does, Chatley Heath at Wisley.

The route winds around 120 miles of scenic countryside starting with breakfast at Wisley Gardens. Wisley will provide British bacon rolls, Lingfield sausage rolls, scrambled egg and cherry tomato rolls together with coffee and tea

The planned route will take a south-westerly country run over the North and South Downs to Fort Nelson near Fareham. The out route will roughly follow the “Semaphore Line”, a series off signalling towers used between 1822 and 1847 for communications between the Admiralty in Whitehall and the Naval Docks in Portsmouth.

After Wisley, you may visit the gardens if you wish, we will head for the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson which has 19 acres of ramparts, outer fortifications, secret underground tunnels and ammunition bunkers. You will be able to discover what life was like for soldiers in the Victorian garrison’s barrack rooms, hospital and kitchen.

The Cafe 1871 at the Museum has a seasonal menu of freshly prepared light meals to savour from hearty soups and panini to baked potatoes. Cakes and barista-style coffee is also available.

After the Museum visit and lunch we will head towards Chiddingfold to return to Ramster Gardens for the ever-popular cream tea and a wander round the gardens. The Gardens in May should be in full bloom.

Assembly time at Wisley is around 9 a.m. with signing on and breakfast around 9.30 followed by a briefing at around 10 a.m. with the first car leaving shortly afterwards. Final joining instructions will be sent closer to the date.

We will provide the necessary vouchers for Wisley and Ramster Gardens. Entry to Fort Nelson is free of charge.


Ticket Information

Members £60 per car (2 people)

Non Members £70

Solo or motorbikes £30/ £35

Additional persons £25

To apply please download the forms below.