Cathedrals and Churches on the South Coast

3 nights starting from

  • St Philip’s Church, Cosham, Mike Hope’s home church

  • Romsey Abbey – dating back to the 10th century

  • Watts Cemetery Memorial Church – an Art Nouveau masterpiece

  • Chichester Cathedral – with its Chagall windows

  • Imperial Mausoleum of Emperor Napoleon III

Mike Hope’s 9th of an anticipated 15 tours to see all the major churches in England takes us to the South coast to see a wonderful variety of ecclesiastical styles – from Norman to Art Nouveau and including his home town of Cosham, where he was baptised, served as an altarboy, sang as an choirboy and was married – this tour is personal!

Available Departures


21 - September - 2021 £ 569.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings


Day 1: Arrive independently at the Marriott Portsmouth from 15.00.
This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and a talk by Mike Hope – ‘Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Gothic. The continuing development and use of the Gothic form.’ 

Day 2: Chichester Cathedral, Boxgrove Priory, Arundel Cathedral & St Nicholas Church.
Two lovely towns on the agenda today, starting with Chichester and its Cathedral, renowned for its Chagall stained glass windows and being the only church in England with a detached bell tower. A short dive takes us to the ruins of Boxgrove Priory and adjacent Priory church, dating from the 12th century, before moving on to the attractive town of Arundel to see its Victorian Roman Catholic Cathedral and 14th century Church of St Nicholas. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day 3: Compton Church, Guildford Cathedral, Farnborough Abbey, Napoleon III Mausoleum and Waverley Abbey.
Our day starts at the Watts Cemetery Chapel, part of the estate of Victorian painter GF Watts and his wife and an Arts & Crafts masterpiece.  'It is no exaggeration to say the Watts Cemetery Chapel is one of the most beautiful, extraordinary, original, marvellous and magical buildings in the whole of the British Isles!'extolled Lucinda Lambton. Then to the mid-century Cathedral in Guildford, the Benedcitine(active) monastery of St Michael’s at Farnborough and nearby Imperial Mausoleum of Emperor Napoleon III, built in the 19th century French “flamboyant” style. Finally, a packed day concludes with a short visit to the ruins of Waverley Abbey. A second talk from Mike this evening – ‘The church as a commissioner of art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries’ – followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day 4: Romsey Abbey, St Philip’s at Cosham and Portsmouth’s two cathedrals.
We start at Romsey Abbey, dating back to the 12th century, renowned for its  rare rood and the tomb of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Mike is then on very familiar territory as we visit his home church of St Philip’s, where his family are still largely involved and where he served as an altarboy and choirboy.  Then to Portsmouth to see its Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Evangelist and Portsmouth Cathedral, also an integral part of Mike’s childhood and known as “The Cathedral of the Sea.” Return to the hotel for approximately 16.00.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.


  • Three nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Marriot Hotel, Portsmouth, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First night private three-course dinner with wine
  • Second and third dinners at the hotel restaurant
  • All talks, guided tours and admissions
  • Coach touring itinerary and tour manager throughout


  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Double for sole use supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc 
  • Porterage and gratuities


Marriott Portsmouth 

The four-star Marriott Portsmouth is located near to Port Solent Marina and a short drive away from the historic dockyards and Spinnaker Tower. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, bar and lounge, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and comfortable bedrooms with private en-suite bathroom, TV, telephone, air-conditioning, minibar, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. Complimentary car parking is available at the hotel. 

Marriott Portsmouth Hotel Website

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

Mike Hope
Mike Hope author, lecturer, curator and designer, has spent more than twenty-fivwe years at four universities (Staffordshire, Portsmouth, Nottingham Trent and Plymouth) and nearly thirty years delivering Summer School Programmes. He has lectured around the world and was a founder board member of The European Academy of Design. Alongside an extensive publication list, he has researched, designed and curated many exhibitions, and advised on stained glass to the Diocese of Exeter. He specialises in Art and Design History, Stained Glass; Churches and Cathedrals; the English Country House and Garden


Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date. 

Brochure Description
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Very informative and enjoyable thanks to Mike Hope and Driver Oscar.

Review by Muller who travelled 09-October-2019

Brochure Description
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

A very enjoyable and informative tour with excellent leadership by Mike Hope who maintained his enthusiastic approach to each visit throughout the tour.

Review by Peach who travelled 09-October-2019

Brochure Description
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Please pass on to Mike that my husband (who was not on the trip) is delighted with his Art Deco book. I hope to go on more of Mike's tours.

Review by anonymous who travelled 09-October-2019

Brochure Description
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

An excellent holiday, however, the housekeeping (care of my bedroom) was sloppy. After the first night the room had not been cleaned, after the second night the cleaning was inadequate. (Dirty cups not been cleared and the refreshment tray not replenished, shower area in bathroom not properly cleaned. Not good enough for a 4* International Hotel.

Review by Thornley who travelled 09-October-2019

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