10 things to do in Southampton, UK

The 10 most popular tourist attractions in Southampton

The port of Southampton is located on a peninsula between the mouths of the Test Rivers as well as the Itchen and boasts one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Until the 1930s, it was England’s busiest port for transatlantic passenger travel, and giant liners like the Queen Mary were built in local shipyards. Hundreds of thousands of emigrants left the country on ships sailing from here, including the Titanic. It is still busy with ports and is a great place to watch large cruise and cargo ships come and go, especially from the excellent Hythe Ferry which runs regularly through the Solent, the 20 mile wide strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland.

Excellent shopping facilities are both in and out of town, one of the best Westquay , and the town also hosts numerous cultural events such as the Southampton International Film Festival , Other popular places in Southampton: New Forest and Isle of Wight , and nature lovers will also appreciate the city’s many green spaces and parks, including the 326-acre Southampton , Another area of countryside is near Itchen Valley Country Park, a beautiful 440-acre hotel offering great hiking and biking.

See also: Where to stay in Southampton

1 Medieval City Walls

Medieval City Walls

The best views of Southampton’s 14th-century medieval walls-the third longest continuous section of city wall in Britain-are obtained at the West Esplanade and the site of the Evening Tower of Whist. The only remaining medieval church in Southampton is St. Michael’s Castle, built in the 11th century and containing Norman relics and a font of Thurn marble.

Follow the walls south to Mayflower Park, which is opposite the Mayflower Memorial to the Pilgrim Fathers and the Woolen House, a 14th-century warehouse. Also nearby is the Tower of God House on Winkle Street, a 12th-century hospital dedicated to St. Julian’s. (A variety of entertainment, guided walks through the old walls and medieval vaults are available).

Location: Bargate, Southampton

2 Tudor House and Garden

Tudor House and Garden

The magnificent Tudor house in St Michael’s Square was built in the late 15th century for a wealthy merchant family. The museum now features exhibits from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, as well as periodic exhibitions spanning more than 900 years of local history. Visitors can use free audio guides while enjoying reconstructed kitchens and numerous artifacts, including Georgian and Victorian jewelry and archaeological finds from the medieval and Tudor periods.

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Another classic old house to visit is the Medieval Merchant’s House on French Street. Built in 1290, this historic townhouse – one of the only surviving examples of its kind – is filled with period furniture, wall-mounted windows, and unique architectural flourishes that offer a fascinating insight into the living conditions of a wealthy 13th-century family.

Location: St Michael’s Square, Southampton

Official website: www.tudorhouseandgarden.com

3 Beaulieu.

An easy 14-mile journey southwest of Southampton through parts of the New Forest , the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu is one of the world’s largest museums devoted to the automobile. Its many exhibits include the official collection of original James Bond vehicles as well as other famous movie cars, including the flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter .

Also of note is the fantastic Palace House and Gardens, formerly the Great Gatehouse of 13th-century Beaulieu Abbey, with its immaculate lawns and paths overlooking the Beaulieu River.

Location: Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

4 Maritime Museum

The SeaCity Museum tells the story of Southampton’s residents and their role in Britain’s rich maritime history, including the stories of those who have left (or arrived) at the port over the centuries. It also tells the story of Southampton’s connection to the ill-fated Titanium , which sailed from the port in 1912.

The Art Deco 1930s Civic Center where this fascinating museum is located is also the Southampton City Art Gallery, with its interesting selection of some 3,500 works, including old masters and English artists from 1750 to the present, as well as a valuable collection of ceramics.

Address: Havelock Road, Southampton

Official website: http://seacitymuseum.co.uk/

5 Titanic Trail

titanium went to Southampton on her doomed maiden voyage to New York, and as a result, numerous places around the city are associated with it. One of the best ways to learn about the city’s connections to the ship is through the informative Titanic Trail (maps are available from local tourist offices and many popular tourist attractions around town).

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Along the way, you’ll visit the remarkable Titanic Engineers Memorial in East Park, a beautiful bronze and granite monument that opened to a crowd of 100,000 Southampton residents in April 1914 (none of the ship’s 35 engineers survived). Nearby is the Titanic Musicians Memorial, dedicated to the ship’s musicians.

6 SS Shieldhall.

SS Shieldhall Les Chatfield / photo modified

Part of the British National Historic Fleet, the SS Shieldhall is the largest surviving working steamer of her type in Europe. Built in 1954 as one of the Clyde this impressive vessel is fully restored and serves as a working example of the machinery typical of the large ships that surrounded the world’s oceans between the 1870s and 1960s.

In addition to educational and sightseeing outings, the ship makes regular appearances at the Southampton Maritime Festival , every summer, which brings together many events, displays and attractions, including historic ships, vehicles and fly-overs by vintage aircraft.

Location: 110 Berth Street, Southampton

Official website: www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk

7 Solent Sky

Solent Sky Antony *** / photo modified

Solent Sky uses a fantastic collection of models and photographs as well as 19 magnificent aircraft to tell the story of Southampton’s aviation heritage. The region is famous for its experimental and developmental work between 1908 and the late 1960s, the most famous of which is the iconic flashy , Museum exhibits include the huge Sandringham flying ship and the supermarine racing seaplane (predecessor to the Spitfire) that won the Schneider Trophy in the early 1930s.

Address: Albert Road South, Royal Crescent, Southampton

Official website: www.solentskymuseum.org

8 The Old Town and the barges

Old Town and Barges.

Just south of downtown, Southampton’s Old Town has many unique sites associated with famous residents and visitors, including William the Conqueror, Henry V, William Shakespeare, the Pilgrim Fathers, Isaac Watson and Jane Austen.

Originally built as the main entrance to the medieval city, the 800-year-old Bargate marks the entrance to Old Town and is used to house temporary art exhibits and events. Numerous plaques have been laid from Bargate to the shore to mark key events, from early Roman settlement to the opening of the National Oceanographic Center .

Location: Bargate, Southampton

9 Ocean Village

Ocean Village Henry Burroughs / photo modified

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Just east of Southampton’s old town, Princess Alexandra Dock has been transformed into a modern leisure and shopping center. Smart yachts are moored in the harbor in front of Canute’s Pavilion, with its designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants, movie theaters (including art house and foreign language films), boat tours, sailing facilities, and great views of the cruise ships moored at East Dock.

Location: Ocean Village, Southampton

10 Netley Abbey.

Nith Abbey Pimlico Badger / photo modified

The magnificent ruins of Nettley Abbey, founded in 1239, have inspired many English writers, poets and artists over the years, most notably the painter John Constable , The village of Nettley is also worth visiting and is associated with famous people such as Queen Victoria, who laid the foundations for the Royal Victoria Military Hospital which Florence Nightingale helped design. It was also said that Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional Dr. Watson trained. Nearby is the Royal Victoria Park, which encompasses about 200 acres of woods and parkland, as well as a small pebble beach.

Location: Netley, Hampshire

Official website: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/netley-abbey/

Where to stay in Southampton for sightseeing

In Southampton, most of the major attractions are scattered throughout the city, including the Tudor House and Garden, the old city walls, the SeaCity Museum, and the Titanic Walkway. For easy access to all of these attractions, as well as the port, downtown makes a great base – especially for regular visitors. Visitors traveling to the city aboard a cruise ship often stop near the south end of town for easy access to the terminals. Here are some highly rated hotels in these convenient locations:

    Luxury Hotels: The elegant, modern and contemporary Novotel Southampton has a fitness center and indoor pool. It is close to West Quay shopping center and a 5-minute drive from the cruise ship terminals. The hotel is also conveniently located to the port and less than a five-minute walk from the Tudor House and Garden Hotel. The Grand Harbour Hotel has a glass facade with a triangular shape and a cozy indoor pool. Some rooms have sea views. The Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin, located in a heritage Georgian building, combines original architectural features with modern decor, steps away from the old city walls and the Tudor House and Garden.

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Best 10 things to see and do in Southampton, England

Top 10 things to see and do in Southampton, England

Best 10 things to see and do in Southampton, England

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Southampton, the cruise capital of Europe, offers something new, exciting and enjoyable for everyone. As a local, or 1 of the 4 million visitors the city gets each year, you should have no trouble finding an art gallery, music venue, restaurant or garden that fits your taste and budget. We’ve described 10 things to see and do below that the masses will love

Solent Sky Museum.

The importance of aviation history is on display at the Solent Sky Museum in Southampton seven days a week. Between 1910 and 1960, local manufacturers produced an incredible variety of machines, including experimental rocket fighters, hovercraft, helicopters and spacecraft. You can take a tour of a Sandringham flying boat or enjoy sitting in the cockpits of a jet fighter and let your imagination run wild.

Tudor House and Garden

John Witegon, Walter and Jane William, Sir John Daughtry, Lady Isabel Lister and Sir Richard Lister are just a few of the local stories from the last 800 years that you can experience at Tudor House and Garden. The House and Gardens offers many interesting activities, tours and exhibits to keep everyone in the family happy!


Riverside Park.

With six soccer fields, two cricket fields, a tennis court, a skate park and three playgrounds, Riverside Park is located along the Itchen River and certainly deserves its place on our list. When you walk along the river, you can expect to be greeted by all sorts of wildlife, including salmon, water voles, kingfishers, dragonflies, otters, various wobblers, and sometimes cuckoos!

Mayflower Theatre.

UK music concerts, opera, ballet and musicians always stop by The Mayflower – and it’s easy to see why. The theater offers much more than fantastic performances, including an award-winning restaurant, VIP boxes and conference rooms for hire, fully licensed bars, 2,300 strong crowds, and, if you’re a fan of the paranormal, presumably an old man ghost who sits backstage in a wicker chair.

St. Mary’s Stadium.

St. Mary’s Stadium has been home to Southampton FC’s Premier League soccer team since 2001. In addition to watching a top-flight soccer game, you can always visit St. Mary’s on a non-Saturday and enjoy one of their tours. Walk around the 32,505-capacity stadium, stand in the locker rooms and act professional as you leave the players’ tunnel.

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Maritime City Museum

Southampton has a strong and fascinating connection to the sea and the Titanic in particular. Immerse yourself in the history of the Titanic tragedy with the interactive 1 Titanic 1:25 scale and learn more about the people who boarded and worked on it as you make your way around the various events and exhibits.

Homestead Park.

Help milk cows and keep chicks, rabbits and ducks as you make your way around the beautiful Manor Country Park. Enjoy a variety of daily “meet the animals” sessions, stop at the outdoor playground and refuel at the cafe. The sound of birds and the beautiful backdrop of bells and woods make for a very enjoyable walk for you, the young ones and the pups!


Over three floors, Westquay boasts some of the best names in retail. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sundays. You can go to more than 90 major stores, including River Island, M & S, Coast and Zara. All this shopping is thirsty, and hungry, working – treat yourself to a bite to eat at Harry Ramsden’s, Pizza Express, Pret a Manger, Wagamamas or even “sassy” Nando’s.


Go Ape Southampton.

Hidden in 440 acres of woods, Go Ape Southampton offers a fun-filled day out for the whole family. At 40 feet, Go Ape Southampton is the highest course in the South of England. Giving you over 1, 4 feet and 10 years, you can choose to follow either Tree Top Adventure or Tree Top Junior and finish with a 250-meter adrenaline-based zip wire on both courses.

Titanic Design Engineers Memorial

Back in April 1914, more than 100,000 people gathered in Andrews Park to witness the unveiling of a memorial statue of the Titanic’s design officers, built in memory of all the engineers who had died two years earlier: 24 engineers, six electrical engineers, two boilermakers, one plumber, one clerk and Joseph Bell, chief engineer of RMS Titanic. The monument reads:

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