The city centre is divided into quarters with different attractions appealing to different crowds in each spot, whether it’s touching on Southampton’s vast history, shopping in excellent facilities or enjoying a look at majestic vessels as they pull up to shore. Check out our list below to see where the coolest neighbourhoods in Southampton are located, and find some hidden gems of this marvelous city, too.
The oldest part of Netley feels like a traditional, quaint village, with old shops, colourful cottages and its shingle beach looking across at Hythe. The newer developments have increased Netley’s population, but it has managed to keep its village, community feel. Home to Netley Abbey, the most complete surviving Cistercian monastery in Southern England, it inspires romance writers and poets to this very day.
Located in the north-east of Southampton, you’ll find the beautiful parish of West End. If you’re a fan of sport, West End is home to the Hampshire County Cricket Club and their stadium, the Ageas Bowl. Or, you may fancy a day out at the Itchen Valley Country Park, boasting a play area, play trail, off-road cycling track and a fantastic visitors centre.
Originally the site of Southampton’s first docks, Ocean Village is a marina, residential, business and leisure development close to the River Itchen. Enjoy a day here soaking up the atmosphere, gazing at the beautiful boats, and check out one of the latest movies at Cineworld. Then, finish off the day by tucking in to a hearty meal at one of the restaurants or bars along the front, including Banana Wharf and Chiquitos.
This Northern part of Southampton houses around 2,100 students from the University of Southampton, in its Glen Eyre Halls complex. Bassett also offers up some of the city’s main sporting facilities, including: the Southampton Sport Centre, a 150-acre site used to host the Millenium Youth games, offering facilities for football, netball, cross country, cricket and hockey; Southampton Snowspnorts Centre, boasting three floodlit dry ski slopes (110m, 90m and a nursery 30m slope); and Southampton Golf Course, which opened back in 1935 and offers the choice of an 18- or 9-hole course, and is set in a beautiful woodland environment.
Swaythling is home to the University of Southampton and, on campus, you will find one of the finest places to view contemporary and visual art, the John Hansard art gallery. With university life, a need for excellent public houses, live music, entertainment and theatre is a must – thankfully, Swaythling delivers!
North-east of the city centre, you will find Portswood, home to October Books, a not-for-profit independent bookstore that specialises in environmental, social and political subjects. For something a little lighter, you can enjoy a tipple from your choice of sports bars, nightclubs, real ale pubs and student-friendly pubs – including the themed Hobbit pub, where you can buy a drink named and designed after your favourite character! If you fancy some live music, you can head over to one of two music venues, the Brook or Talking Heads, as they open their doors and help Portswood come alive.