The Old Town is a vibrant quarter based on its own historic identity. It has a mix of building design dating to the 12th century, Victorian architecture, and contemporary design. The Old Town is clearly bordered on three sides by one of the longest surviving stretches of medieval town walls in the country.
Southampton will always be associated with the ill-fated liner, RMS Titanic, which set sail from shore in 1912. You can take a guided tour with Tourist Guides Association and explore various memorials and other related points of interest of this tragic story. A self-guided booklet may be purchased at the Tourist Information Centres.
The Southampton Hall of Aviation (Solent Sky) depicts the history of aviation in the Solent area with a collection of authentic aircrafts dating back primarily to the 20th century. It houses a Spitfire and a Sandringham Flying Boat, among others. Many exhibits were produced locally.
At the heart of Southampton’s performing arts tradition is the majestic Mayflower Theatre, the largest theatre in Southern England. This opened in 1928, and has undergone extensive refurbishment. You can see musicals, ballet, operatic productions as well as comedy acts and evenings with celebrities.
Take a short boat journey from Southampton’s Town Quay to this popular holiday island. Once there, you can enjoy plenty of attractions and fun activities. The beautiful landscape has a mix of forests, wide sandy beaches and chalk cliffs - ideal location for a day trip.
A 12 minute river crossing from Southampton brings you to the picturesque harbour town of Hythe from where your choice of bike can be collected. You are then free to explore the New Forest with its beautiful scenery, historic castles and famous sea views. Hythe Ferry +44 23 8084 0722 Prospect Place, Hythe, Southampton Cyclexperience +44 23 8084 0765 Suite 4a South Street Centre, 16 South Street, Hythe, Southampton [email protected]
Southampton is probably the greenest city in Southern England. Close to the Old Town are seven Grade II listed formal parks, which have been fully restored to their former Victorian glory and have their traditional bandstand, rose gardens, elaborate fountains and imposing sculptures which evoke the city’s history and civic pride. There are plenty of activities to do here such as mini-golf course, basketball court, a skate park and cricket pitches. There are also guided walks and regular music sessions in the bandstand.
Built in 1290, as the home of a Southampton man who made his fortune trading with Bordeaux, and is one of the earliest surviving merchant’s houses in England. It has been restored to its mid-14th century appearance and replica furnishings provide an insight into medieval life.
Sightseeing walks and tours in and around Southampton is a great way to explore the city. Many guided walks on a variety of themes are arranged by See Southampton and Southampton Tourist Guides Association. They provide both public and private walking tours. Consult the web sites for more info.
The huge 326 acre Common park, just a short walk from the city centre, is a haven for flora and fauna and has been designated a UNESCO site of special scientific interest. The Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the local ecology and wildlife.
Southampton offers a wide range of sports facilities including golf (The Municipal Golf Course), Tennis (David Lloyd Tennis Club), sailing, canoeing/kayaking, swimming and diving, and general leisure centre activities. Southampton Golf Club Golf Course Road Bassett Southampton www.southamptongolfclub.co.uk David Lloyd Leisure Off Brownhill Way Frogmore Lane Southampton Hampshire www.davidlloyd.co.uk Woodmill Outdoor Activities Centre www.woodmill.co.uk +44 300 0200 135
If you like football then you should head over to St Mary's Stadium which is the home of Southampton F.C. The stadium has undergone some constructions between December 1999 and July 2001 at a total cost of £32 million. Besides watching football you can take a stadium tour where you get the chance to see the players' dressing rooms, warm-up room, tunnel entrance and the tactics board where the players gather round for pep talk. The tour lasts for one and a half hours.
The White Star is an award winning restaurant and hotel. The restaurant boasts 2 AA Rosettes for food and dining. Here they offer you fresh, locally sourced meals in a classic modern British style. At the bar you can enjoy the very best drinks and cocktails.
Ennio’s is recognised as one of the finest Italian restaurants in Hampshire. The speciality is fresh fish and seafood, with 10-12 different varieties daily. The most popular dish is "Grigliata Mixta" which is mixed fish and seafood grill - a good way to sample a variety of flavors at once.
Banana Wharf is a modern and atmospheric restaurant on the waterfront. It is popular with families and mooring yacht folk. The restaurant opens from early breakfast (Sat & Sun starting 8.30am) all day to late at evening, and offers a fusion of oriental and tropical influences in its dishes.
Everyone in Southampton who’s into food knows the legendary Oxford Brasserie. Never resting on laurels, they’ve revamped the restaurant’s image to reflect the contemporary menus and understanding of the modern working lunch. In the evening, the restaurant transforms into an intimate, relaxed oasis.
If you would like to eat a big juicy steak then you should head over to this steakhouse. Buffalo Bill's is a family-run restaurant with an extensive menu of mouth-watering ribs, great steaks, chicken wings, home-made beef burgers and more. Polish the meal with a New York cheesecake or pecan pie.
The Art House Gallery Café is a volunteer-run, multi-disciplinary art venue and café. It’s located in the heart of Southampton’s evolving cultural quarter and they also offer organic food and drink. Immerse yourself into the place's unique atmosphere of creativity.
Located quite close to the busy Oxford Street nightlife district, The London (housed inside an imposing 19th century building) is an old-fashioned pub that offers entertainment almost every night, including cabaret, pub-quizzes and karaoke. The bar staff are extremely helpful and friendly.
Established in 2001, Orange Rooms is winner of Southampton’s Best Bar Award. A great place for a burger (be sure to try the Lamb far-kofta), or to unwind with a cocktail and soak in the music and good times. Orange Rooms features blues every Monday and various other shows throughout the week.
Conversation takes precedent over loud music in the traditional environment of this Southampton pub. The friendly staff serve hot meals and ales at reasonable prices. The drink selection is quite extensive, and includes ciders, draft & bottled beers (including exotic Polish & Chinese), and more.
This lively bar is located in London Road right at the heart of Southampton's vibrant nightlife. Kelly's Bar offers entertainment and drinks every night, and Wednesdays are normally reserved for karaoke. The DJs get the crowd going with party tunes increasingly as the night progresses.
One of Southampton's places to be for party-goers, Junk is a rather informal nightclub with two separate music areas - indie and electro beats are spun upstairs, and RnB and hip hop music played in the downstairs zone. DJs like Calvin Harris and Dizzee Rascal are known to have made appearances here.
The Marlands shopping centre contains around sixty shops. Here you can find street fashion, lifestyle, furnishings and toys. Major retailers run shop here such as Matalan, Poundland, CeX, The Disney Store and Claire's Accessories. For food, stop by Stakks Pancake House or JRC Global Buffet.
Citizens of the European Union member-states, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) only require a valid passport to enter the UK. Residents of a further 10 countries do not require entry visas for stays under 6 months: the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Nationals of some further countries do not require a visa, but need to hold an entry certificate. Use the UK Government website to check for specific requirements: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.
Southampton has its own international airport, serving approximately 50 destinations courtesy of around 12 airlines. It has the closest plane-to-train link of any European airport with frequent services to the city centre (8 minute journey time). Booking in advance can save you up to 43%. You can book your ticket online. www.thetrainline.com There are multiple bus services that operate between the city centre and the airport. The journey time from the city centre and the airport is approximately 30 - 40 minutes. The Uni-Link bus service operates between the airport, Southampton city centre and waterfront. www.unilinkbus.co.uk Velvet Bus runs to Hedge End and Eastleigh (stop located outside train station). The First Group run hourly buses between the airport and city centre. www.firstgroup.com Wheelers Connect line operates on weekdays, and runs between Airport Parkway, Eastleigh Bus Station, Boyatt Wood, Chestnut Avenue, RSH Hospital and the city centre of Southampton. Southampton Airport is easily accessible by car from the M27 and the M3, which is connected to the M25, so to the whole country. There are over 200 taxi companies serving Southampton airport and the surrounding areas, many of which specialise in airport taxis and can offer great rates.
Southampton has a wealth of public transport links to help you get around the city and further afield. However, keep in mind that transport tickets purchased for use of a particular line cannot be used on others. Most buses stop at the central train station. Regular inter-urban services link to and from Southampton operated by: First Group www.firstgroup.com Bluestar www.bluestarbus.co.uk Velvet www.velvetbus.co.uk Wilts & Dorset buses www.morebus.co.uk Uni-Link www.unilinkbus.co.uk
There are direct local rail services that run from Southampton Central to Totton, Romsey, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh and Southampton Airport. You can also catch the train from 7 local stations (Redbridge, Millbrook, Swaythling, St. Denys, Bitterne, Woolston and Sholing) to Southampton Central or other destinations.
There are two ferry services to the Isle of Wight leaving from Town Quay (Red Funnel and The Hythe Ferry). Red Funnel has two services to the Isle of Wight. The Red Jet is a high speed service which carries foot passengers between Town Quay and West Cowes. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes. Then there is the Vehicle Ferry between Town Quay and East Cowes which you can take if you are travelling with a bicycle. Journey time is approximately 55-60 minutes. www.redfunnel.co.uk +44 844 844 9988 The Hythe Ferry travels between Town Quay and Hythe Pier carrying foot passengers and cyclists. The journey time is approximately 10-15 minutes. www.hytheferry.co.uk +44 23 8084 0722
There are several taxi companies serving Southampton and the surrounding areas. Star Taxis - Southampton +44 744 332 2004 www.startaxiuk.co.uk Radio Taxis House +44 23 80 666 666 www.radiotaxis-southampton.ltd.uk Nick Rumsey Taxi Service +44 7870 198968 This small taxi company service clients throughout Southampton. Specialising in long distance travel, wheelchair accessible and six seats vehicle is available.
All medication is readily available, either over the counter or on prescription. Boots the Chemist have 2 stores in the city centre: WestQuay Retail Park Open 8.30am-8pm Mon-Fri (7.30pm Thurs), 8am-6pm Sat and 11am-5pm Sun 19 - 29 Above Bar Street Open 8.30am-6.15pm Mon-Sat, 10.30am-4.30pm Sun Southampton is home to some of the best healthcare in the country with excellent hospitals and clinics, highly skilled staff and groundbreaking research. Southampton City Primary Trust is the organisation responsible for ensuring you get the NHS care you need. List of local Doctors: www.southamptonhealth.nhs.uk/gplist If you need 24 hour urgent medical care, telephone NHS Direct (Tel: 111). They can give you free medical advice and direct you to the nearest hospital with 24 hour accident and emergency department.