Hilsea Lines, Portsmouth


Saturday 9th March 2024


10:00am to 12:00pm



Walk The Hidden Ridge of Hilsea Lines & Foxes Forest

This is an all skill levels photography workshop and walk that explores the Hilsea Lines hidden ridge walk, discovering the overgrown old city defences and woodland, before walking back past the lakes and Foxes Forest.

Our Foxes Forest photography walkshop has always been popular in past years, with this hidden woodland gem of Portsmouth, and with a careful eye it reveals it’s past military history for defending the city from land. New for 2023 is a walk that takes up on the ridge line above the forest starting at Bastion 3. We start off straight away exploring the areas above the bastion casemates, with views out over Portsmouth one way and over Foxes Forest to the north. We’ll walk along the ridge experimenting with composition and looking for natural textures and details. As we head east on this quiet path it takes us to forgotten 7 ton gun concrete gun emplacements we can explore (weather and conditions dependent) and then up and over the train lines for a unique view of the railway tracks. We’ll dip back down and past a military shelter to use for natural framing and textures/details.

We’ll walk back to the starting point via the lakes and Foxes Forest.

This workshop involves a leisurely 2 hour walk with fun & creative photo activities allowing you to find out much more about your camera and how to get the best out from it in the future. We’ll be looking at composition, perspectives, textures, leading lines, creating narrative and also how to take control of aperture and shutter speed.

Expect to see nature colours, historic buildings, hidden history and wonderful natural and man-made textures.

CLOTHING: The ridge trail can be muddy if it has recently rained so appropriate footwear is recommended.


Who will be there?

Group size is limited to 15 per workshop. All ages very welcome, if under 16 please be accompanied by an adult. Please arrive around 15 minutes early for a prompt start for the walkshop.


What do I need to bring?

All you have to do is bring along your camera to take part. It can be anything from a digital compact through to a DSLR and if you want to shoot 35mm film, cool! If you don’t have your own camera we have a selection of digital compacts you are free to borrow for the workshop (please let us know in advance). We can even offer 35mm SLRs for you to use if you like. Many people just bring along the camera they have in their pocket everyday, their smartphone and you’ll learn loads that’ll make a big difference to your mobile photography.


What is access like?

This walk is sadly not wheelchair accessible.


What is a walkshop?

Through Strong Island Media, professional photographer Paul Gonella has delivered photography workshops over the last 10 years to over three thousand people of all ages and abilities across the south coast. Working with partners such as Chichester Harbour Conservancy, University of Portsmouth, Making Space, Hampshire Cultural Trust plus many schools, colleges and youth groups. We developed ‘Walkshops’, where rather than sitting down in a classroom you actively learn different photography skills and techniques out and about with your camera, with support from a professional photographer at every step.

We’ve delivered well over 100 walkshops from Worthing through to Bournemouth and as far north as Surrey and from the summer of 2015 we have run a very successful series of walkshops open to the public in and around Southsea & Portsmouth and along the coast.


Walkshops are 2 hours long and cost £15 per person either, paid either in advance online via PayPal or cash in person at the start of the workshop (please book online for both).

Please book through EventBrite online HERE or via the button below, a booking fee will be added.

Payment can be done online via PayPal or in cash on the day.


If you pay in cash on the day just pay the £15 and we’ll absorb the booking fee – it saves on the inconvenience of having all the loose change in person on the walk.

Where to Meet

At the entrance to Bastion 3 of Hilsea Lines, on Scott Road (Postcode is PO3 5JH).

Parking is available on the road.

There is a bus stop 10 minutes on Copnor Road (walk up Peronne Road), routes 2, PC2, PC3 & SD7, 3, 7 TheStar, 7A, 23 & 700 The Coastliner.

Cosham train station is about 15 minutes walk away (walk over the footbridge over M27 from Tudor Crescent to Peronne Road) .


List of the course tutors

Paul Gonella