The historic city of Southampton is much more than just a cruise stop or shopping destination. Its appeal lies in its diverse nightlife, exciting retail opportunities, varied leisure facilities, superb art and heritage attractions, lively events programme and of course the excitement and charm of a bustling waterfront location.
Step back in time and take a guided walk of the city's old walls by the Southampton Tourist Guides to really appreciate the city, and head to the newly refurbished timber-framed Tudor House and Gardens in the Old Town, with over 800 years of history.
Don't miss the fabulous new Sea City Museum which houses a permanent exhibition of Southampton's Titanic story, as the famous ship left Southampton Docks for the start of its ill-fated voyage.
And a short drive away, Solent Sky depicts the history of aviation in the Solent area and tells the story of the legendary Spitfire designed in Southampton.
Southampton's cultural offerings include the magnificent award-winning City Art Gallery and Southampton Guildhall, as well as a superb choice of fine theatres, galleries and international events such as the annual Boat Show.
With the magnificent WestQuay, Southampton has added to its extensive portfolio a state of the art shopping facility with almost a hundred shops, whilst close by are three further excellent shopping centres as well as the traditional specialist shops making Southampton one of the top shopping destination in the South of England.
Southampton's exciting nightlife is renowned in the region with its historic pubs, funky bars and music venues.
Titanic enthusiasts can visit some of the city's major Titanic related sights which include war memorials, the former White Star headquarters and the Grapes pub. A downloadable version of the 'Titanic Trail' is available online.
Visitors to the city can take tours of the old Norman Town which include the gates, walls and medieval vaults.
Southampton has plenty of green spaces for those who like to sit and relax in a park, or enjoy a stroll in the sunshine. Southampton Common is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest, located just outside the city centre to the north. Stretching 326 acres, this lovely expanse of green space is home to grasslands, wetlands, nature trails, parkland, a cemetary, a fishing lake and a play area. There is also a pub called the Cowherds and Hawthorns Wildlife Centre on the Common.
The city centre is also home to award-winning central parks which are popular with local sportsmen and picnickers. Hoglands Park, Palmerston Park, Houndwell Park, Andrews Park and Watts Park offer a great escape from the bustling city.
For information on tourist guides in the area, visit the Southampton Tourist Guides Association website
Food and Drink
The bustling port of Southampton offers an international flavour to a culinary trail around Hampshire
Here you’ll find food from around the globe, with specialist shops as well as restaurants offering Thai, Indian, Greek, Spanish, Italian, American, Chinese, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Afro-Latino menus.
Take it easy and linger in one of the city's cool cafés and restaurants with menus from all over the world or enjoy the waterfront setting at Ocean Village with its popular restaurants, bars and cinemas.
Oxford Street and Bedford Place are among the liveliest areas and offer a wide choice of restaurants as well as popular bars and nightclubs. Away from the city centre you’ll find more restaurants in Southampton’s suburbs.
A choice of pubs and restaurants in nearby Hamble offer relaxed dining and some lovely river and marina views. Among them is the Jolly Sailor pub, where BBC1’s Howard’s Way was filmed in the 1980s. While you’re in the area don’t forget to visit the restored Bursledon Windmill, which still produces its own flour.
Don’t miss the Southampton Mela in July, which is a celebration of the city’s diverse cultures and communities. From Bollywood and Bhangra music to Polish dancing and Flamenco there’s plenty to enjoy, including a range of international foods.
There’s also an annual Southampton Beer Festival, at the Guildhall, celebrating real ales.
The gallery, based in Southampton’s Civic Centre opened in 1939. The art gallery attracts art-lovers, curious amateurs as well as those who simply enjoy the atmosphere of a gallery. Southampton City Art...
West Quay is the premier shopping destination on the south coast, offering a great selection of retail brands, located in Southampton city centre. There are over 90 stores to choose from including John Lewis...
Tudor House was built in 1495. Over the centuries it has been a family home and an artist's studio, and housed businesses including a dye-house and a bookbinder. You can explore the history of this...
The museum is uniquely concerned with the development of the aviation and aircraft manufacturing companies in the Solent area over the past century and also houses the Air Training Corps National Museum...