Southampton, the county of Hampshire’s largest city, is home to over 253,000 Sotonians. With so much on offer culturally, historically and socially, we are unsurprised by its popularity. Whether it’s the spirited nightlife, the beautiful woodland walks, the ties with the Titanic or the music of Craig David that lures you to Southampton, you can be sure to be kept thoroughly entertained throughout your stay. Below, we offer up 12 reasons why you should be visiting Southampton, England.
The art galleries
With much greater studying opportunities and learning experiences now on offer, it was only a matter of time before Southampton became home to some of the finest up-and-coming artists, not only in the UK but the world. Visit the ever-changing displays of internationally renowned Southampton City Art Gallery, explore the next big thing at Solent Showcase, learn a thing or twenty at the John Hansard Gallery or enjoy a friendly atmosphere and warm cup of tea while discussing local pieces at Art House Gallery and Café.
Offering an award-winning restaurant, VIP boxes and meeting rooms for hire, fully licensed bars and the chance to be a part of a 2,300-strong crowd, the Mayflower produces some of the finest performances in the UK. From UK touring musicals, opera, ballet and musicians, we do not doubt for a second that you will be able to find the perfect show for you.
Find out more about the Titanic
Various experiences and exhibitions, including a 1:25 scale of the Titanic itself, will help you understand the important roles the people of Southampton had to do with the Titanic, as well as the history and fascinating connections with the sea in general.
Some of the finest names in retail are on offer at Southampton’s biggest shopping centre, Westquay. Open from 9am–late (11am on Sundays), you can make your way around over 90 major stores and restaurants including River Island, M&S, Nando’s, Harry Ramsden’s, Coast and Zara.
Watch a Premier League club in action
St Mary’s Stadium has been home to Premier League team Southampton Football Club since 2001. Enjoy watching the skills on display at a top-flight English football match, take your seat among 32,504 other adoring fans, and let the match, noise, mayhem and atmosphere soak in.
A walk through stunning gardens and parks
Southampton is home to some beautifully picturesque walks, surrounded by wildlife. Stroll down the river and you’ll be greeted by salmon, water voles, kingfishers, dragonflies, otter, various warblers and sometimes even cuckoos! For a more rural walk, the sound of the birds and the stunning backdrop of bluebells and forest woodland of Southampton will keep you entertained!
If you find yourself needing a little ‘you time’, take advantage of one of the 15+ spas open for business, offering you therapeutic treatments for your healing, rejuvenation and relaxation. Services include Thai, deep tissue and sports massage, as well as saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs.
Check out the music scene
Southampton’s music scene is vibrant, varied and ever-growing, from dedicated concert halls to pubs and clubs hosting DJ sets and open-mic nights. Some huge names have been on display here including Groove Armada, Ben Howard and Two Door Cinema Club. 2018 promises to be no different!
It’s the home of the Spitfire
Find out just how much of an influence Southampton had on aviation’s history, as you enter the Solent Sky Museum. Home to rocket fighters, hovercraft, helicopters, spacecraft and most famously, the Spitfire!
Speed Boat Tours and Courses
Offering a full range of RYA courses, Rib Charter and self-drive RIB hire, Ocean Sports Tuition is the place to make your boating ambitions become a reality. If you’re just after the thrill, without the qualifications, then you must check out Seadogz, including 60- or 90-minute Extreme Rib Experiences, Treasure Hunts. Ideal for stag and hen parties, too!
A history lesson, every step of the way
You can spend the day walking around the town enjoying little snippets of history wherever you go. From the first gatehouse to hold a cannon, God’s House Tower, to viewing Bargate, Southampton has it all on offer, an ideal city for the photographers among us, or just those with an interest in history.
Enjoy a drink somewhere a little different
From themed pubs like the Hobbit, to bookstore/alehouse hybrids, Southampton has an array of individual and kooky joints to sink your favourite craft beer or cocktail. A varied and lively nightlife, allows you to let your hair down with like-minded people after a long day exploring the history of this wonderful city.