Things to do in Southampton

Things to do in  Southampton

Get your sea legs

Known for its well-preserved medieval city walls; 12th-century Tudor House Museum; and for being the Titanic’s departure port, maritime Southampton has played a key role in English history for millennia. But this isn’t a city that resides in the past. In fact, there are plenty of things to do in Southampton, which enjoys a lively reputation thanks to cutting-edge museums such as Sea City, a thriving Cultural Quarter, and a sizable student population. Its proximity to the New Forest National Park, the Isle of Wight, and Stonehenge is an additional advantage.

Top 4 attractions in Southampton

Highclere Castle

A neo-Gothic masterpiece, Highclere Castle is best known for doubling as Downton Abbey in the much-loved TV series of the same name. The turreted, sandstone mansion was created by Sir Charles Barry, the architect behind England’s Houses of Parliament. The site upon which it stands has been in the hands of the Carnarvon family since the 17th century, and the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon now welcome the public to explore the lavishly decorated interior, the Egyptian Exhibition, and the 1,000-acre (405-hectare) Capability Brown–designed grounds.More

Wiltshire Museum

The Wiltshire Museum illuminates the local history of Wiltshire, a county jam-packed with historic sites, from the prehistoric monuments of Avebury to the medieval Gothic masterpiece of Salisbury Cathedral. See gold and amber artifacts dating back to the time of Stonehenge, as well as displays covering Roman, Saxon, and medieval history.More
Port of Southampton

Port of Southampton

The Port of Southampton is the UK's most frequented cruise port, welcoming some of the largest cruise ships in the world, including those owned by Cunard, P&O, and Royal Caribbean. The port also runs passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight and across the channel to France, as well as serves as the gateway to London and wider South East England.More
Solent Sky Museum

Solent Sky Museum

Including an original Spitfire, Sandringham flying boat, and 1920s seaplane, the Solent Sky Museum’s vintage collection encapsulates Southampton’s unique aviation history. A fun choice for aircraft experts and plane-crazy kids alike, the volunteer-run museum offers a personalized learning experience off the city’s beaten track.More

Top activities in Southampton

2-Day Stonehenge, Cotswolds, Bath and Oxford Private Tour from Southampton
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Shared Ride Southampton Cruise Port Arrival to Heathrow Airport or London
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All about Southampton

When to visit

Southampton is busiest in summer, when high temperatures peak at 73°F (23°C), and its waterfront setting really comes into its own. Bank holiday weekends are particularly busy, and festivals including Common People Southampton in late May and the Southampton International Boat Show in September draw flocks of visitors in the shoulder season. Don’t overlook cooler times of year, though: Southampton’s annual Bonfire Night fireworks and Christmas markets and ice rinks make for festive sightseeing.

Getting around

The Southampton Central railway station connects Southampton to destinations across the UK, as does the Southampton Coach Station. Local bus services offer an affordable way to traverse the region, though Southampton is also easily explored on foot, by bike, or by taxi. Ferry services also connect the city to the Isle of Wight and other nearby destinations.

Traveler tips

If you have a car, and a few days to explore Southampton, don’t miss the opportunity to plan a day trip to the Isle of Wight. Less than an hour’s ferry trip from the mainland, the island promises dramatic cliffs like the Needles, pretty beaches like Shanklin, unspoiled towns like Newport, and lots of opportunities for outdoorsy pursuits. Take a self-directed tour or choose a guided tour to see the highlights with ease.


People Also Ask

What is Southampton known for?

Southampton is one of the most important ports in southern England and is known for its rich maritime heritage. Historic ships that famously set sail from Southampton include the RMS Titanic in 1912 and the Mayflower, which transported the Pilgrims between England and the New World in 1620.

How can I spend a day in Southampton?

Start your day in Southampton with a walking tour of the medieval city walls and towers. Then, see the Titanic exhibition at SeaCity Museum, and visit the Tudor House Museum. Leave time to browse the shops at the Westquay shopping mall and admire the views along the waterfront.

What are the nicest parts of Southampton?

Southampton’s medieval city center is an atmospheric mix of old and new, home to the modern Westquay shopping center and remarkably preserved city walls and towers dating from the 10th century. Other picturesque areas include the Ocean Village Marina, the West End, and Riverside Park.

Is Southampton good for kids?

Yes, Southampton is a great city for kids, with lots of fun family things to do. Check out the SeaCity Museum, Solent Sky museum, and Tudor House Museum, enjoy kid-friendly entertainment at Westquay or Ocean Village, and then explore the wildlife reserves and nature of the New Forest National Park.

How far from London is Southampton?

Southampton is about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of London, and takes about two hours by car, along the M25 and M27 motorways. South Western Railway trains also run from London Waterloo to Southampton Central Station, and the average journey time is about one hour and 15 minutes.

Is Southampton worth visiting?

Yes, if you’re arriving at the Southampton cruise port, it’s worth taking the time to stroll around the picturesque medieval center, browse the shops at the Westquay shopping mall, and visit the Titanic Exhibition at SeaCity Museum.

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