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Southampton is a city with exceptional connectivity, regionally, nationally and internationally with an international airport, Europe's largest cruise port, two ferry ports and national rail and coach links. Add to this the fact that Southampton is located at the convergence of two major motorways, and it is easy to see why our city is one of the easiest to reach. If you are arriving or leaving Southampton on a cruise, please refer to our cruise pages for more information.

Southampton Central rail station is served by direct trains to and from many cities across the country including:

South Western Railway services to: London Waterloo (approximately 1 hour 20 minutes), Bournemouth (approximately 30 minutes) and Winchester (approximately 17 minutes).

Southern Railway services to: Brighton (approximately 1 hour 55 minutes), London Victoria (approximately 2 hours 30 minutes) and London Gatwick Airport (approximately 1 hour 55 minutes)

Great Western Railway services to: Bristol (approximately 1 hour 40 minutes), Portsmouth (approximately 50 minutes), Brighton (approximately 1 hour 50 minutes) and Salisbury (approximately 30 minutes).

Cross Country Train services to: Birmingham (approximately 2 hours 30 minutes), Oxford (approximately 1 hour 20 minutes) and Manchester (approximately 4 hours 7 minutes).

The local rail network services many suburbs and towns on the periphery of the city including Eastleigh, Romsey, Woolston and Redbridge as well as to Southampton Airport. It is also possible to connect to destinations in the New Forest National Park too at Ashurst and Brockenhurst.

For timetables, train fares and tickets for any UK train services visit National Rail Enquiries . See the map at the top of this page for approximate journey times.

Southampton International Airport is the leading 'fast track' airport in central-southern England.

The airport is located on the northeast side of the city, near to Eastleigh and has easy access from the M27 and M3 motorways. It takes just 6 minutes by train and around 20 minutes by bus to reach the city centre from the airport.

Southampton International Airport serves many UK and European destinations and has flights to and from destinations including The Channel Islands, France, Scotland, Ireland, Spain and Italy.

The following airlines currently fly in and out of Southampton International Airport:

  • Blue Islands
  • British Airways
  • Eastern Airways

Although a small airport, Southampton International Airport has all the amenities you will need including places to eat and drink, a duty-free shop, WH Smith, cash machines and a bureau de change as well as WiFi access. Outside the terminal, you will find three airport car parks - Priority Parking, Short Stay Parking and Long Stay Parking. All options can be pre-booked and all give easy access to the terminal.

Southampton International Airport is served by Southampton Airport Parkway railway station, a stopping point for trains to and from London Waterloo (journey time approximately 1 hour 10 minutes) and Southampton Central Station (just a 10 minute journey). There is also a taxi rank at the airport and a bus stop from which you can catch the Unilink buses into the centre. Car hire is available from across the road of the airport terminal.

Further afield, the following airports can also be used to travel to Southampton:

  • London Heathrow Airport is approximately 60 miles to Southampton
  • Bournemouth International Airport is approximately 28 miles to Southampton
  • London Gatwick is approximately 80 miles to Southampton

Southampton is the cruise industry capital of Europe, home to luxury liners such as the majestic Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. P&O, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Cunard cruises set off on many of their luxury world voyages from Southampton's port. For more information on cruising to or from Southampton, please see our cruise pages .

There are two Red Funnel ferry services to and from the Isle of Wight departing from Town Quay; a high speed service for foot passengers (23-25 minutes) and a ferry for vehicles, cyclists and foot passengers (55-60 minutes). The foot passenger service heads to West Cowes, and the vehicle ferry to East Cowes. Passengers are advised to book ferries in advance, particularly if travelling by car or over the school holidays and for major events such as the Isle of Wight Festival.

A half hourly ferry service to Hythe (for access into the New Forest National Park) also leaves from Town Quay. This service is for foot passengers and cyclists.

Cross-channel ferry services including Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries operate from the nearby port of Portsmouth, offering fast and regular crossings to and from France and the Channel Islands.

The main National Express coach station for the area is located on Harbour Parade.

National Express coaches also pick up/drop off at the University of Southampton and St Mary’s Stadium.

Coaches travel to and from various destinations all over the country including many major airports such as London Heathrow and the popular destination of London. Coaches to London Victoria Coach Station take approximately 2-3 hours depending on the time of day of travel.

Southampton has excellent road links, with access from both the M3 and M27 motorways.

The Southampton City Council parking map shows council owned and managed car parks as well as on-street car parking places around the city. The interactive map also shows the car parks’ postcodes, charges and opening hours.

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For information on coach parking and group travel, please see our group travel page ., you may also like, steamship shieldhall steam to the solent..., steamship shieldhall steam to the solent and see the cruise ships depart, cab my ride.

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Southampton is England's leading passenger port. It is rich in historic embarkations, from Henry V's fleet bound for France and the battle of Agincourt to the Mayflower, the ill-fated Titanic, and the maiden voyages of the great ocean liners of the 20th century such as the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth 2 . Parts of the town center can seem mundane, having been hastily rebuilt after World War II bombing, but bits of the city's history emerge from between modern buildings. The Old Town retains its medieval feel, and some remnants of the old castellated town walls remain. Other attractions include a decent art gallery, extensive parks, and a couple of good museums. The Southampton Boat Show, a 10-day event in mid-September, draws huge crowds.

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15 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Southampton, Hampshire

Written by Bryan Dearsley Updated Dec 24, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Bryan Dearsley visited England in the spring of 2022 and spent eight weeks exploring its towns and cities, including Southampton.

The southern port city of Southampton in Hampshire boasts one of the world's largest natural harbors. 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.

Southampton, Hampshire

Hundreds of thousands of emigrants departed the country on ships sailing from here, including aboard the ill-fated Titanic . It's still a busy port and is a fun place to visit to watch large cruise and cargo ships come and go. The views are especially good from the excellent Hythe Ferry service that runs regularly across the Solent, the 20-mile-wide strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland.

Excellent shopping facilities are located both in and around the city, one of the best being Westquay . The city also hosts many cultural attractions and events, such as the Southampton International Film Festival . Other popular things to do in Southampton include exploring the New Forest and the Isle of Wight .

Nature lovers will also appreciate the city's many green spaces and parks, including the 326-acre Southampton Common . Another area of countryside to visit is nearby Itchen Valley Country Park, a beautiful 440-acre property offering great hiking and biking.

For details of these and other great reasons why this vibrant city is one of the best places to visit in England, read our list of the top attractions and things to do in Southampton, Hampshire.

See also: Where to Stay in Southampton

1. Walk the Medieval City Walls

2. visit the tudor house and garden, 3. the medieval merchant's house, 4. see vintage vehicles at the national motor museum, beaulieu, 5. visit the seacity museum, 6. stroll the titanic trail, 7. board the steamship shieldhall, 8. see the planes at solent sky, 9. explore old town southampton and bargate, 10. enjoy a stroll around ocean village, 11. take in a show at the mayflower theatre, 12. explore the collections at southampton city art gallery, 13. take a hythe ferry, 14. take a walk in southampton's central parks, 15. drive to netley abbey, where to stay in southampton for sightseeing.

Medieval city walls

The best views of Southampton's 14th-century medieval walls, one of the longest unbroken stretches of medieval walls in Britain after the city of York , are obtained from the Western Esplanade, also the site of Wind Whistle Tower. The only remaining medieval church in Southampton is St. Michael's on Castle Way, built in the 11th century and containing Norman relics and a font made of Tournai marble.

Follow the walls south to Mayflower Park, which lies opposite the Mayflower Memorial to the Pilgrim Fathers, and Wool House, a 14th-century warehouse. Also nearby is the God's House Tower on Winkle Street, a 12th-century hospital dedicated to St. Julian.

Medieval City Walls

A variety of fun guided walking tours of the old walls and medieval vaults are available. Try the easy-to-follow self-guided tour option, with maps available from the Tudor House shop.

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. Now a museum, it displays exhibits from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, as well as periodic exhibitions encompassing more than 900 years of local history.

Visitors can use free audio guides while enjoying the reconstructed kitchens and numerous artifacts, including Georgian and Victorian jewelry and archaeological finds from the medieval and Tudor periods.

A shop and café are located on the premises, and regular events and learning opportunities are available for visitors to participate in (check the attraction's website for details).

Location: Bugle Street, St. Michael's Square, Southampton, Hampshire

Official site: www.tudorhouseandgarden.com

The Medieval Merchant's House

Another classic old home to visit is the Medieval Merchant's House in French Street, just a short stroll from the city center. Built in 1290, this historic townhouse has been fully restored and is one of the only surviving examples of its kind in England.

Highlights of a visit include seeing collections of period furniture and wall hangings, and unique architectural flourishes that offer a fascinating insight into the living conditions of a wealthy 13th-century family. A picnic area is available for visitor use in the property's attractive garden.

Address: 58 French Street, Southampton, Hampshire

Official site: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/medieval-merchants-house

Beaulieu & the National Motor Museum

An easy 14-mile journey southwest of Southampton through parts of the New Forest , the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is one of the world's largest museums dedicated 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 , as well as some of the homemade cars constructed for the Top Gear TV series.

Also of note is the fantastic Palace House and Gardens . Formerly the 13th-century Great Gatehouse of Beaulieu Abbey, it's a delight to explore for its immaculate spreading lawns and walkways overlooking the Beaulieu River. There's also the opportunity to ride the attraction's monorail and vintage buses.

Address: John Montagu Building, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Official site: www.beaulieu.co.uk

SeaCity Museum

The SeaCity Museum tells the story of the people of Southampton and their role in Britain's rich maritime history, including the stories of those who departed from (or arrived in) the port over the centuries.

A must-see here is the Titanic Story . This fascinating exhibit tells of Southampton's connection to the ill-fated vessel, which sailed from the port in 1912. The 1930s Art Deco Civic Centre that houses this fascinating museum is also home to the Southampton City Art Gallery .

Address: Havelock Road, Southampton, Hampshire

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

Holyrood Church along the Titanic Trail

The Titanic departed Southampton on her doomed maiden voyage to New York, and as a result numerous sites around the city are associated with the vessel.

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 tourism offices and many popular tourist attractions across the city, or on the SeaCityMuseum website .

Titanic Trail

Along the way, you'll visit the remarkable Titanic Engineers' Memorial in East Park, a beautiful bronze and granite monument unveiled in front of 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.

Another interesting stop along the way is Holyrood Church . Built in 1320, it was destroyed during WW2 but its ruins have been dedicated as a memorial to those who served in Britain's Merchant Navy. It also serves as home to the Titanic Crew Memorial .

Address: 3-5 Bernard St, Southampton, Hampshire

Steamship Shieldhal

Part of Britain's National Historic Fleet, SS Shieldhall is the largest surviving working steamship of her type in Europe. Built in 1954 as one of the Clyde sludge boats, this impressive vessel has been fully restored and provides a working example of the machinery typical of the great ships that plied the world's oceans between the 1870s and 1960s.

In addition to educational and sightseeing outings, the ship regularly appears in the Southampton Mayflower Maritime Festival held each summer. Highlights of this three-day spectacle include a host of activities, displays, and attractions, including historic vessels, vehicles, and fly-overs by vintage aircraft.

Location: Berth 110, Southampton, Hampshire

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

Solent Sky

Solent Sky uses a fantastic collection of models and photographs, as well as numerous magnificent flying machines, to tell the story of Southampton's aviation heritage. The region is famous for its experimental and development work between 1908 and the late 1960s, the most famous being the iconic Spitfire .

Showpieces of the museum are the huge Sandringham flying boat and the Supermarine racing seaplane, the predecessor of the Spitfire that won the Schneider Trophy in the early 1930s.

Address: Albert Road South, Royal Crescent, Southampton, Hampshire

Official site: www.solentskymuseum.org


Just to the south of the city center, Southampton's Old Town has many unique locations associated with famous residents and visitors. These include William the Conqueror, Henry V, William Shakespeare, the Pilgrim Fathers, Isaac Watts, and Jane Austen.

Originally built as the main gateway to the medieval city, 800-year-old Bargate marks the entrance to the Old Town and is used to host temporary art exhibits and events. Numerous plaques have been laid from Bargate down to the waterside to commemorate key events, from the early Roman settlement to the opening of the National Oceanography Centre .

Location: Bargate, Southampton, Hampshire

Ocean Village

East of Southampton's old town, Princess Alexandra Dock has been transformed into a modern leisure and shopping center. You'll see plenty of luxury yachts moored in the harbor in front of Canute's Pavilion, with its designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and cinemas, including one for arthouse and foreign-language films.

It's a delightful and easy area to explore on foot, regardless of your pace. Other fun things to do in Ocean Village include boat trips, sailing facilities, and enjoying the great views of the cruise ships moored in the Eastern Docks.

Location: Ocean Village, Southampton, Hampshire

Mayflower Theatre

Built in 1928, the 2300-seat Mayflower Theatre offers a varied program of professional stage shows and music. In addition to the latest West End theater productions, rock and pop bands, and orchestras, comedians make this a regular stop on their touring schedule.

The theater also offers a number of fun dining experiences, including a high-end afternoon tea and show-time sweet treats (advance booking required). Fun behind-the-scenes tours are also available.

Address: 22-26 Commercial Rd, Southampton, Hampshire

Official site: www.mayflower.org.uk

Southampton City Art Gallery

Housed in the same building as the SeaCity Museum, a visit to Southampton City Art Gallery is one of the top free things to do in Hampshire. Here you'll see an interesting selection of some 3,500 works of art.

Opened in 1939, highlights include old masters and English artists from 1750 to the present, as well as a valuable collection of ceramics. Food and shopping facilities are available on-site and nearby.

Address: Civic Centre, Commercial Rd, Southampton, Hampshire

Official site: www.southamptoncityartgallery.com

Hythe Ferry

Given its importance as one of the world's largest and busiest ports, it should come as little surprise to learn that Southampton also serves as an important ferry hub for local passenger traffic, too. And if there's time in your travel itinerary, a ride aboard a Southampton ferry can be a lot of fun, even if it's a short one.

A fun excursion can be enjoyed aboard the vessels of the Hythe Ferry. Sailing from the Town Quay (parking is free), this 15-minute, passengers-only journey to the town of Hythe offers superb views back over the city, as well as of the many large cruise ships that berth here. In fact, it was from these docks that the RMS Titanic departed on her fateful journey.

Part of the fun is the journey to the ferry departure point at the end of Hythe Pier. Used by tourists and commuters alike, the Hythe Pier Railway is the UK's oldest electric pier train, in operation continuously since 1909 to transport passengers along what is one of the longest piers in the country (it's 640 meters long).

Be sure to spend a little time exploring Hythe, too. In addition to the splendid views back over Southampton, it can also serve as a jumping-off point from which to explore the lovely New Forest area, or the popular National Motor Museum at Beaulieu; local bus services will get you there in minutes, as it's just five miles from Hythe.

Address: The Pier, Prospect Pl, Hythe, Southampton, Hampshire

Official site: https://hytheferry.co.uk

William Chamberlayne Gas Column

One of five lovely central parks to explore in Southampton, Houndwell Park is located just minutes from the city center and is a great place to spend time if you're in need of some green space. In addition to a medieval- and maritime-themed playground for the kids, the park features numerous benches along its tree-lined and shady pathways.

A notable landmark is the 50-foot-tall William Chamberlayne Gas Column , built in the early 1800s. From here you can also explore four other connected parks, including East Park , worth visiting for its memorial to the Titanic 's engineers.

Address: 563 Vincents Walk, Southampton, Hampshire

Official site: www.southamptonrocks.co.uk/listings/houndwell-park

Netley Abbey

The magnificent ruins of Netley Abbey, founded in 1239, have inspired many English writers, poets, and artists over the years, most notably the painter John Constable . The village of Netley is also worth visiting and is associated with famous people such as Queen Victoria, who laid the foundation stone of the Royal Victoria Military Hospital, which Florence Nightingale helped design.

It's also where Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional Dr. Watson was said to have trained. Nearby is the Royal Victoria Country Park, which covers some 200 acres of woods and parkland, as well as a small shingle beach.

Location: Abbey Hill, Netley, Hampshire

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

In Southampton, most of the top attractions are scattered around the city, including the Tudor House and Garden, the old city walls, the SeaCity Museum, and the Titanic Trail. For easy access to all these attractions as well as the port, the center of town makes a great base, especially for first-time visitors.

Visitors traveling to the city to board a cruise ship often stay near the southern end of town for easy access to the terminals. Here are some highly rated hotels in these convenient locations:

Luxury Hotels:

  • Sleek, bright, and modern, the pet-friendly Novotel Southampton has a fitness center and indoor swimming pool. It's also near the West Quay Shopping Centre and an easy five-minute drive from the cruise ship terminals.
  • Also handy to the port and less than five minutes on foot to the Tudor House and Garden, Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour Hotel has a triangular-shaped glass facade and an inviting indoor pool. Some rooms have sea views.
  • The Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin , in a heritage-listed Georgian building, blends original architectural features with modern decor, steps away from the old city walls and the Tudor House and Garden.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Handy to the cruise ship terminals, Holiday Inn Southampton boasts a pool and sea views and is at the top end of the mid-range options, while The Blue Keys , north of the city center, is popular for its great-value rates and friendly staff.
  • In the heart of the city, Premier Inn Southampton West Quay Hotel offers modern comforts near a popular shopping mall, a short hop from the Tudor House and Garden.

Budget Hotels:

  • The pet-friendly Ibis Southampton Centre offers clean, basic rooms in a convenient location near the West Quay Shopping Centre and Southampton Central Station.
  • Less than two kilometers from the city center, the homey Elizabeth House Hotel has free parking and a bistro-style restaurant, while The Regent Guest House , slightly farther from town, is a B&B with warm, welcoming staff.

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Home » Europe » United Kingdom » 21 Things to Do in Southampton that AREN’T WAX MUSEUMS (2024 Edition)

21 Things to Do in Southampton that AREN’T WAX MUSEUMS (2024 Edition)

Southampton is the iconic city that big farewell to the Titanic, hosts world-renowned sailing races, and is steeped in maritime history. It’s a huge city, and its seafaring culture is embedded into everything.

With medieval monuments and museums galore, you’ll find there are plenty of things to do in Southampton to keep you busy.

This coastal city is not just known for its nautical activities but is surrounded by stunning nature spots such as the nearby New Forest National Park. Foodies will undoubtedly enjoy eating their way through Oxford Street.

Whether you’re visiting as a family or on an epic solo adventure across the UK, you’ll find plenty of attractions in Southampton. In fact, there’s so much to do that choosing what to do in Southampton is the hardest part of planning your trip.

To help you out, I’ve prepared this guide to the best things to do in Southampton for any type of traveler. So, let’s take a look at the many wonders that await in Hamshire’s largest city!

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The Top Things to Do in Southampton

Backpacking the UK and not sure what to see first? Then check out my favorite places below! In my opinion, these are the places that you really don’t want to miss if you want to experience the very best of the city.

Explore the major attractions in one day

Explore the major attractions in one day

An absolute must if you’re short on time, then walking the city with a local is the best way for covering a lot of ground in less time. Get up close and personal with some of Southampton’s most coveted spots like the Mayflower Memorial, the Town Quay, the Titanic Engineer Officers Memorial, and more!

Discover the Secrets of the Titanic

Discover the Secrets of the Titanic

Uncover the lesser-known Titanic sights hidden around the city and find out more about how the ship’s design influenced the future of shipbuilding. Check out the Grapes Pub, an institution known for its historical connection to the ill-fated vessel.

Head to Winchester

Head to Winchester

A quick 30 minutes drive from Southampton takes you to the cathedral city of Winchester. Enjoy its many historical attractions, take in the gorgeous Medieval architecture, and learn about the Knights of the Round Table.

Live on a Yacht

Live on a Yacht

Immerse yourself in Southampton’s seafaring culture by staying aboard this generously-sized motor yacht moored on the Ocean Village Marina. Take advantage of the yacht’s well-equipped kitchen or treat yourself to a delicious seafood feast at one of the restaurants on the marina.

Southampton City Art Gallery

Check out the City Art Gallery

Wander the beautiful hallways of Southampton’s most famous gallery, housed in an Art Deco building. Allow the kids to roam free at the interactive ‘Please Do Touch’ trail which provides tactile exhibits aimed at children.

1. Check Out the SeaCity Museum

SeaCity Museum

Let’s start off with one of the most sought-after activities in Southampton. The SeaCity Museum opened in 2012 to mark the 100 th anniversary of the Titanic’s departure from Ocean Dock. Tourists from all over flock there to see the Titanic Story exhibit which includes an interactive model of the ship.

See how the crew lived aboard the vessel and listen to first-hand testimonies of survivors as they take you through that harrowing night.

Another head-turner at the museum is the replica of the RMS Queen Mary which, at one ton, makes for quite a stunning display.

If visiting in summer, you may wish to get your tickets in advance since same-day tickets are often sold out.

  • Entrance fee: $11.50 (adult), $8.40 (under 16s), $9 (seniors 65+), $35.10 (families 2 adults and 3 children)
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 3.30 p.m.)
  • Address: Havelock Rd, Southampton SO14 7FY, UK

2. Stroll Around the City with a Local

Explore the major attractions in one day

Ideal for travelers who are pressed for time, walking around the city with a local takes you through the city’s most iconic spots in less than two hours.

Snap selfies with the Tudor House and learn about the history behind this iconic building before making your way over to the Mayflower Memorial, a 50-foot-tall monument that commemorates the Mayflower’s departure to the New World.

Enjoy a quick tour of the vibrant Town Quay, then head over to the Dolphin Hotel, known for its stunning Georgian architecture. Discover popular points of interest like Southampton’s Cenotaph and the Titanic Engineer Officers Memorial before concluding your tour at Andrews East Park.

Whew! Talk about covering a lot of ground in little time! Remember to wear comfy shoes.

  • Entrance fee: $17.28
  • Hours: Various time slots from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.   
  • Address: West Quay Shopping Centre, Western Esplanade, Southampton SO15 1QE, UK

3. Board the Historic SS Shieldhall

Not only is the SS Shieldhall part of the British National Historic Fleet, but it’s also among the largest working steamships in Europe.

Indeed, an excursion on this historic vessel is often said to be among the best things to do in Southampton- and for good reason!

Experience the golden age of steam travel, see the traditional instruments on the bridge and check out the SS Shieldhall’s steam-powered steering gear which is similar to the one that was used on the Titanic.

You’ll also have a chance to chat with the Captain and the crew. After moseying around the ship, kick back and relax while listening to the commentary as the vessel glides down Southampton Water and the Solent.

  • Entrance fee: $32 to $162, depending on the cruise  
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Address: 110 Berth, Southampton SO15 0HH, UK

4. Sleep on a Motor Yacht

Live on a Yacht

If you are looking for somewhere to stay that’s truly unique, you may wish to consider this spacious motor yacht moored on the Ocean Village Marina.

After all, there’s no better way of experiencing Southampton’s seafaring legacy than to immerse yourself in the maritime world!

Fitted with all the comforts of home, this yacht boasts two bathrooms and two bedrooms to sleep four guests comfortably. There’s also an extra bed to accommodate an additional person.

Spend a day exploring nearby attractions like the SeaCity Museum and Netley Abbey, then return to the yacht where you can rustle up a meal in the kitchen. Enjoy an Al Fresco dinner on the lounging terrace while soaking up gorgeous bay and city views.  

  • Entrance fee: $183/night
  • Hours: Check-in from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., Checkout at 11 a.m.
  • Address: Ocean Village Marina, Southampton, UK

5. Be Awed by the Medieval City Walls

Medieval City Walls

Wondering what to do in Southampton on a beautiful summer’s day? Well, why don’t you walk the famed Southampton city walls?

Dating all the way back to the 14 th century, Southampton’s medieval walls are among the longest in Britain and well worth a visit in my opinion!

While you’ll be treated to the best views of the walls from the Western Esplanade, I would absolutely recommend that you cover the circular marked circuit to properly take everything in.

As you stroll through this one-kilometer circuit, look out for the artworks, information boards, and interpretation panels that’ll provide more information about the walls. The trail also takes you across Bargate, one of the most impressive medieval town gates in England.

  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Hours: Open 24 hours 
  • Address: Old Town, Southampton, SO14 2AR, UK

6. Check out the Southampton City Art Gallery

Southampton City Art Gallery

Housed in a stunning Art Deco building, the Southampton City Art Gallery offers the opportunity to enjoy various types of exhibitions, ranging from drawing, sculpture, film, painting, and more.

Stroll through the ornate halls while taking in various types of exhibits, including a unique ‘Designated Collection’ which consists of over 5,000 works spanning 8 centuries. If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll no doubt enjoy the ‘Please Do Touch’ trail which is an interactive and tactile exhibition that’s specifically aimed at children.  

Be sure to check out the Firehall Room where artist-run groups and local artists curate their own exhibits. Year-round art workshops for kids are also available, although they fill up quickly during summer.

  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Monday to Friday), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday) 
  • Address: Civic Centre, Commercial Rd, Southampton SO14 7LY, UK

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7. Take the Ferry to Hythe

Hythe ferry

Given the city’s nautical heritage, it should come as no surprise that boarding the Hythe ferry is among the top things to do in Southampton!

Not only does this activity takes you across Southampton Water, but you’ll also get to tour the village of Hythe. The crossing takes only 10 minutes and there’s a ferry every half hour. Free parking is available at the Town Quay.

I would advise you to board the ferry later in the afternoon so you can enjoy a beautiful sunset from the Hythe Pier.

In the village center, you’ll find a Georgian High Street dotted with plenty of quirky boutiques. There’s also a vintage electric train that runs down the length of the pier.

  • Entrance fee: $8.40 (adult), $6 (children),
  • Hours: 7.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
  • Address: The Pier, Prospect Pl, Hythe, Southampton SO45 6AU, UK

8. Uncover the Secrets of the Titanic

Discover the Secrets of the Titanic

If you think you know everything there is to know about the Titanic, think again!

Perfect for fans of the movie or big ships in general, this activity takes you across the lesser-known Titanic sights hidden around Southampton.

Explore the history behind the ship’s design and learn about how its structure shaped the future of shipbuilding. Then, have a pint at the Grapes Pub which holds plenty of Titanic-related secrets.

In fact, this vintage pub used to be popular with the Titanic crew and dock workers. Best of all, this activity gives you 10% off at the pub!

In addition to the Titanic, you’ll get to learn more about the Royal QE2 Yacht and the Mayflower.

  • Entrance fee: $19.68
  • Hours: 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.   
  • Address: Town Quay, Southampton SO14, UK

9. Wander the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

Are you looking for outdoor things to do in Southampton? How about a visit to the Sir Harold Hiller Gardens, located in nearby Romsey?

Founded by horticulturalist, Harold Hillier in 1953, this arboretum houses a staggering collection of shrubs and trees. Some of the garden’s highlights include the Hydrangea Walk, Azalalea Woodland, Himalayan Valley, and the Centenary Border which is one of the longest double borders in the country.

Coursed by winding pathways, the park also features fun activities for kids such as a flying carpet swing, wobbly bridge, tree house, and bamboo tunnel.

Dogs are welcome in the Hiller Gardens so feel free to bring your furry friend along for a stroll!

  • Entrance fee: $12.50 (adults), $2.80 (children 5 to 16), $27.60 (families 2 adults and 2 children)
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Address: Jermyns Ln, Romsey SO51 0QA, UK

10. Explore Nearby Winchester

Head to Winchester

The great thing about Southampton is that it’s really easy to take day trips. You can take a day trip to London , Portsmouth, or my personal favorite, the medieval city of Winchester.

Winchester is a half-hour drive from Southampton and is a cathedral city known for its many historical attractions.  

By far the most disguisable landmark in this city is the Winchester Cathedral which is the largest of its kind in Europe. If you want to explore the cathedral and other Winchester landmarks while avoiding the crowds, you can consider this guided tour of the city.

Marvel at the Medieval architecture, hear stories about the Knights of the Round Table, and learn more about the city’s literary legends as your guide takes you through popular points of interest.

If all that sightseeing makes you hungry, you’ll be glad to learn that the activity offers a discount at the historic Wykeham Arms pub.

  • Entrance fee: $14.76
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Address: Winchester SO23 8UH, UK

11. Take the Kids to Manor Farm Country Park

Parents looking for things to do in Southampton with kids will no doubt be thrilled by a visit to the Manor Farm Country Park.

This picturesque Victorian farm boasts just about everything you need for a rural day out with the family. Children can run to their heart’s content in the outdoor play area, featuring a play tractor and pedal tractor circuit.

You’ll also find an Anderson shelter, Blacksmith’s forge, historic barns, a pond, and a wildlife garden. In addition to all those cool things to explore, you can check out the Park’s Victorian schoolroom and wartime cottage.

While the Park has a tearoom, you’re also welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy on the idyllic grounds.

  • Entrance fee: $10.20 (adults), $6.60 (children 3-16)
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.   
  • Address: Pyland’s Ln, Southampton SO31 1BH, UK

12. Attend the Southampton Boat Show

Southampton Boat Show

Travelers visiting Southampton in mid-September will be privy to the largest boating festival in England, the Southampton Boat Show .

This festival is held in Mayflower Park and features different facets of the naval industry. Some of the festival’s key attractions include celebrity appearances, sailboat companies, and various types of watersports.  You can even get out on the water by renting a boat of your choice.

Fans of marine vessels will be glad to learn that there’ll be over 300 boats on display. From sailboats to kayaks or even catamarans and superyachts, the festival certainly has a vessel for everyone!

Now, I do have to point out that this festival attracts over 100,000 visitors so it’s always a good idea to get your tickets in advance.

  • Entrance fee: $38.50 (adults), $20.50 (seniors 66+), free for up to 2 children under 15 per adult ticket
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.   
  • Address: Town Quay, Southampton SO14 2AQ, UK

13. Live Out your Downton Abbey Fantasies

Enjoy an immersive experience in the glamorous world of Downton Abbey with a visit to Highclere Castle, located less than an hour from Southampton’s center. This is one of the most iconic castles in the UK and should not be missed off any itinerary!

Travelers looking for fun things to do near Southampton will no doubt relish a tour of this iconic mansion: check out the formal dining room where the Dowager Countess used to deliver her delightfully witty lines and pose for pictures on the stately staircase.

Remember to allocate yourself some time to wander the expansive gardens outside.

While it’s not necessary to book in advance, summer admission tickets are often sold out, so your safest bet would be to get your early bird tickets through the castle’s official website .

  • Entrance fee: $33.25 (adults), $19.30 (children), $90.60 (family with 2 adults and 2 children)
  • Hours: 10.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday through Thursday and Sunday) 
  • Address: Highclere Park, Highclere, Newbury RG20 9RN, UK

14. Hike the New Forest National Park

Outdoorsy travelers, this one’s for you! Located just 15 minutes outside Southampton, the New Forest National Park offers the kind of idyllic setting for getting away from it all.

With rolling hills, ancient woodlands, open heathlands, and an abundance of trails, this venue is home to the Solent Way Walk which links Milford-on-Sea and Emsworth Harbor. Don your hiking shoes and wander the soothing countryside as you soak up the gorgeous sights. Plenty of excellent photo opportunities await, so be sure to charge your phone!

Keep your eyes peeled for the annual Walking Festival, offering history hikes, family strolls, wildlife walks, and more.

  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Address: New Forest National Park, UK

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15. Catch a Show at the Mayflower Theatre

One of the city’s prominent cultural draws, the Mayflower Theatre actually dates all the way back to the roaring ’20s!

Plenty of big names performed there in the past, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Queen.

Full of tradition and atmosphere, this historic property now hosts various types of musicals and productions. If you’re looking for things to do in Southampton at night, you can always catch an opera or check out a stand-up show by one of England’s best comedians.

There’s also a restaurant on-site if you want to grab something to eat before the show.

  • Entrance fee: Dependent on show
  • Hours: 9.30 a.m. to 20.30 p.m. (Monday to Thursday and Saturday), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Friday)
  • Address: 22-26 Commercial Rd, Southampton SO15 1GE, UK

16. Visit Stonehenge and Salisbury

Take a Day Trip to Bath and Stonehenge

Okay, since the many mysteries of Stonehenge lie less than an hour from Southampton, it would be a terrible shame to skip out on this activity, don’t you think? After all, this is easily one of the most iconic sites in all of Britain!

If you’re not short on time, you may wish to book this combo tour of Stonehenge and Salisbury.

Relax as a luxurious, air-conditioned vehicle drives you to Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s often said to be an archeological marvel. After your fill of pictures, you will be driven to the Salisbury Cathedral, known for having the tallest spire in the country.

Remember to check out the original Magna Carta document preserved at this site.  

  • Entrance fee: $362.06
  • Hours: Dependent on tour
  • Address: Various pickup points in Southampton

17. See What’s on at the Southampton Common

This is easily the place to be if you would like to catch a local festival during your stay in the city.

One of the most popular things to do in Southampton, the Let’s Rock Southampton Retro Festival usually takes place in July. This family-friendly event gathers various artists to perform plenty of ’80s hits.

In addition to this, the Southampton Common usually hosts the Common People Music Festival in May and lively biannual fairs in April and August.

But it’s not just about festivals though: I can totally recommend a visit to the Common even if there’s nothing going on. A nature lover’s dream come true, this open space is enhanced by grassland, ponds, woods, and waterways.

  • Address: The Avenue, Southampton SO15 7NN, UK

18. Enjoy a Day Trip to Portsmouth

Take a Hovercraft Flight to the Isle of Wight

Portsmouth is another destination that’s within easy reach of Southampton. Not only do these two cities lie within a half-hour’s drive of each other, but they both share a naval past, perfect for history buffs who would like to learn more about the British maritime world.

Spend a day touring popular Portsmouth points of interest like the Mary Rose Museum, Southsea Castle, and the awe-inspiring Spinnaker Tower.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even consider this thrilling hovercraft flight that’ll take you from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight in just 10 minutes. Over there, you can relax on the beach or check out the boutique shops and restaurants before hopping on a hovercraft back to Portsmouth.

  • Entrance fee: $30.24
  • Hours: Operating hours from 8.15 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.
  • Address: Clarence Esplanade, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 3AD, UK

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19. Discover the Solent Sky Museum

Here’s a great activity for both kids and adults – especially if you’re looking for indoor things to do in Southampton!

This aviation museum showcases the history of aviation in Hampshire, the Solent area, and Southampton. You’ll be treated to an incredible collection of photographs, models, and actual planes.

The Solent Sky Museum is also home to the Supermarine Racing Seaplane and the Sandringham Flying Boat. And yes, you’ll even get to climb aboard this giant vessel!

There’s no doubt that the most popular piece is the Spitfire fighter plane which once used to be the most famous airplane in the world.

Depending on when you’re visiting, you can even catch an event such as the Vintage Tram Celebrations.

  • Entrance fee: $12 (adults), $7 (children), $24 (family ticket)
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday to Saturday), 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)   
  • Address: Albert Rd S, Southampton SO14 3FR, UK

20. Tuck into a Traditional Meal on Oxford Street

There’s nothing quite like sitting down to classic British grub after an exhilarating day of sightseeing and that’s something you can experience for yourself by visiting the famous Oxford Street.

London’s Oxford Street is primarily known for its high-end boutiques, but Southampton’s counterpart is bursting with an array of pubs, restaurants, and cafes.

Plenty of Al Fresco dining spots are available, so patrons can spill out onto the quaint street and savor their meals while gazing out at this historic street.

A personal favorite of mine is Oxford Brasserie which is especially known for its Sunday Roast and typical English fares like Fish and Chips. On Friday night, the restaurant flares into life with live music and shows.

  • Hours: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Saturday), 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Sunday)
  • Address: Oxford Brasserie, 33-34 Oxford St, Southampton SO14 3DS, UK

21. Delve into the Local Sport at St. Mary’s

Whether you’re a footie fan or simply looking for things to do in Southampton with kids, a tour of St. Mary’s stadium is truly an unforgettable experience.  

Home of the Premier League Southampton F.C., this stadium is the largest of its kind in South England. Go behind the scenes and potter about in parts of the stadium that you don’t see on matchdays.

Walk down the iconic tunnel and take a tour of the changing rooms alongside an experienced guide who’ll take you through Southampton F. C’s history as you explore the press conference room and admire the club’s many trophies.

Just remember that (for obvious reasons!), this unique experience is only available on non-match days.

  • Entrance fee: $24 (Adults), $18 (children)
  •  Hours: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. (non-matchday weekends and school holidays)
  • Address: Britannia Rd, Southampton SO14 5FP, UK

Where to Stay in Southampton

With so many great things to do in Southampton, it should come as no surprise that the city offers an extensive range of accommodation options to suit just about every budget. From Beds and Breakfasts to Airbnbs and even glitzier hotels, you can be sure that Southampton’s got you covered.

Below are my recommendations for where to stay.

Best B&B in Southampton – Arches Lodge

Arches Lodge

Commanding an excellent location close to Southampton Airport, this quintessentially British B&B boasts comfortable twin or triple rooms. All units feature a microwave, fridge, and kettle- perfect for those late-night snacks! Fuel up with a hearty, cooked-to-order breakfast every day before heading out to explore the city. If you’ve got an early-morning outing lined up, you can always preorder breakfast to go.

Best Airbnb in Southampton – Luxury Studio in City Centre

Luxury Studio in City Centre

A stylish studio nestled in the city center, this Airbnb is well-suited for couples or solo travelers. Offering classic home comforts like a dedicated workspace and laundry facilities, this place lies close to some of the best attractions in Southampton. The High Street, Bargate, and WestQuay all lie within a four-minute walk from the accommodation. You’ll also enjoy proximity to lively Ocean Village. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around, but if you don’t want to eat out, you can always use the modern, well-equipped kitchen to fix a quick meal.

Best Hotel in Southampton – The White Star Tavern

The White Star Tavern

This 19 th -century inn-turned-hotel lies on Southampton’s eclectic Oxford Street. You’ll find plenty to explore within walking distance, including the Solent Sky Museum, Medieval Merchant’s House, and Tudor House Museum. As the evening winds down, you can always treat yourself to dinner at the on-site restaurant which was even awarded 2 AA Rosettes for its excellent quality.

Some Additional Tips for Visiting Southampton

Before you zip up that suitcase, be sure to check out my handy travel tips to ensure you have an absolutely epic time in Southampton!

  • Look out for events . There’s always something fun going on in Southampton, so make sure to check flyers and hotel/hostel notice boards to see what’s on before you go. Just remember to book your tickets ahead of time in peak season.
  • Wear comfortable shoes . Southampton is a super walkable city, and it’s quite easy to stroll from one attraction to the next. Don’t forget to don your comfiest pair of shoes to keep any blisters or soreness at bay!
  • Look out for free attractions. There are lots of free venues and attractions in Southampton, so keep your eyes peeled for those. Examples include The Common, the Southampton Town Walls, the City Art Gallery, and Bargate.
  • Take a few day trips. Southampton is an excellent jumping point to other British cities, and this is something that you should totally take advantage of. Salisbury, Winchester, and Portsmouth are just a few of the cities that lie just a quick drive or train ride away.

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They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

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Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Southampton

Southampton is a city of vast naval history, culture, and nature, all mixed up in one! It’s an amazing place to explore and is brimming with countless galleries and museums, not to mention an abundance of outdoorsy adventures.

Strolling through the Medieval-style, cobbled streets will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. While it’s the largest city on the southern coast, you’ll still find plenty of great attractions close to each other – perfect for an afternoon of leisurely sightseeing!

Along with the extensive range of attractions in Southampton, you’ll also find an abundance of pubs and cafes to drop in for a quick break.

Whether you want to chug back some pints in an old-fashioned pub, hop on a ferry, or revel in the many historic sights, you can be sure that Southampton has you covered!

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And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Sophie Steinebach

Sophie Steinebach

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9 Best Things To Do In Southampton, England

Best Things To Do In Southampton

Perched in the south of England , the city of Southampton has heaps of history, galleries and museums to explore. There’s honestly a shedload of the best things to do in Southampton dotted all across the city.

This all makes it the kind of place that’s perfect for a day trip or a longer weekend getaway.

Best Things To Do In Southampton

Not only that, but it’s also a great city to base yourself on for a trip around the wider region (that’s totally stunning). You’ll be spoilt for choice, especially with South Downs National Park , dramatic coastlines and the Isle of Wight close by.

So, to make sure you get the most out of your trip, I wanted to share some gems you can’t miss in Southampton.

Best Things To Do In Southampton

Take a look, below, at the best things to do in Southampton. Have the most amazing trip!

1.) Tudor House and Garden

Best Things To Do In Southampton

Considered one of Southampton’s oldest and most important Tudor buildings, the Tudor House and Garden is a dazzler you can’t miss in the city.

Holding over 800 years worth of the city’s history, the half-timbered structure was built way back in the 15th century. At the time, it was a wealthy private home that stood proudly in the much smaller Southampton. Nowadays, it’s a museum that explores the vast history of the region and is great for a little gander inside.

Best Things To Do In Southampton

Take a wander through each of the rooms and exhibitions that’ll give you the lowdown of everything from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. We love it here.

Read more: Best things to do in the South of England

3.) Titanic Trail

Best Things To Do In Southampton

Did you know, Southampton is closely tied to the iconic ship – the Titanic? It was the first port it left before sinking after hitting that iceberg on its route to New York City.

To commemorate that fateful journey from Southampton, numerous sites have been constructed and dedicated to the ship and the overall tragedy all across the city.

To make sure you see them all, Southampton has its very own Titanic Trail that’s really easy to stroll over an hour, or so.

Beginning at the Civic Centre it takes you to a ramble to the memorials themselves.

Along the way, you’ll get to see a heap of significant places to do with the Titanic. In all, there are around 13 spots to see, like the Titanic Engineers’ Memorial in East Park. It’s a pretty distinctive bronze and granite monument that is built in memory of the 35 engineers who lost their lives when the ship sank.

Along the way, make sure to look out for the Titanic Musicians’ Memorial which gives homage to the ship’s musicians.

Plus, can download the free Titanic Trail map (Pdf) and follow it right from your phone.

Read more: Best things to do on the Isle of Wight

4.) Bargate

Medieval Gate In Southampton

This medical gatehouse has seen a lot of things over the years! It’s part of the city’s long history and was built way back in the 12th century.

Best Things To Do In Southampton

Although a visit to Bargate won’t take you long, it’s still worth taking a gander as it’s right in the centre of Southampton and so easy.

WestQuay Shopping Centre in Southampton

Afterwards, head across in the afternoon and grab a bite or wander the high street stores (in West Quay Shopping Centre) that are nearby.

Best Things To Do In Southampton

We loved the chilled-out vibe of Heartbreakers for some of their cocktails. You might even catch some live music on the weekend.

Read more: Best beaches in England

5.) SeaCity Museum

Best Things To Do In Southampton

If you love museums, then the SeaCity Museum is a place you can’t miss!

Paying tribute to Southampton’s seafaring history and heritage, it’s one of the best things to do in Southampton to get a rounded history of the city.

Being one of the major ports in England, the two permanent exhibitions pay tribute to their connection with the sea. One celebrates the city’s role as the gateway between the UK and the rest of the world, while the second is the city’s connection with the tragic story of the Titanic.

Aside from a model of the Titanic, the museum has a disaster room that retells the 1930s enquiry into the ship’s ill fate. There are even reenactments and audio accounts from the survivors that you can listen to.

Oh, and another spot to see is a one-ton replica of the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary, too.

Read more: Best cities in England to visit

6.) Medieval City Walls

City Walls In Southampton

City walls were a feature of many medieval cities in England, with Southampton being one of the greats!

Without getting into a long history lesson, it was actually a heap of French raids in 1338 that led to Southampton surrounding the city by the wall.

This vast wall, separated by eight gates and supported by a whopping 29 towers was the pride of the city; with some still standing to this day.

A one-kilometre walking circuit has been retained along Bargate Street, Back of the Walls, Town Quay and the Western Esplanade. It’s well worth taking a gander and one of the best things to do in Southampton if you love history.

7.) New Forest National Park

New Forest Near Southampton

One of England’s national parks , New Forest is a perfect place to visit if you fancy a little getaway from the city itself.

With heaps of trails, rolling hills, heathland and woodland, it’s the kind of place where you can really get away from it all.

We love the Solent Way Walk that’s totally gorgeous. Yes, it’s about 60 miles in length but you don’t need to do it all in one go!

Also, if you’ve got time, take a little peek in the New Forest Water Gardens. It’s totally beautiful and such a gorgeous little spot on a sunny day.

Oh, and if you fancy more of a beach day in the New Forest area, then head across to Calshot Beach. Just be sure to pack your sunblock, that wind can be deceiving on your skin!

Read more: Best national parks in the UK

8.) Solent Sky Museum & John Hansard Art Gallery

Art Gallery in Southampton

As much as Southampton is closely associated with the sea, it’s also deeply connected with the skies, too; and the Solent Sky Museum will tell you why.

Housing an impressive collection of models and photographs from the golden age of aviation, it’s the kind of place that’s great for a gander if you love aviation and tech history.

Whilst here, you’ll get to explore the early decades of the 20th century, too. This was when Supermarine, an aviation manufacturer, settled in Southampton where it designed the iconic Spitfire.

It’s well worth going if you’re into your aviation but you might wanna give it a miss if not. If that sounds like you, pop over to the John Hansard Art Gallery instead.

Right within the Cultural Quarter, it has a heap of exhibits and seasonal highlights that are well worth checking out.

9.) Medieval Merchant’s Hall

Best Things To Do In Southampton

A stone’s throw away from Southampton’s centre is the Medieval Merchant’s house.

Inside the English Heritage property, you will find replicas of furniture, wall hangings, and living conditions as if you’re back in the 14th Century.

It’s well worth taking a look, especially if you want more of the city’s long (and pretty epic) history.

Best Things To Do In Southampton

Oh, also, don’t forget to visit Westgate Hall (about a 1-minute walk away) or Netley Abbey (around 3 miles away).

Although in ruins, it’s one of the best-surviving abbeys in all of southern England.


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15 Unique & Fun Things to do in Southampton, England

Last Updated: July 6, 2023

*FYI - this post may contain affiliate links, which means we earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase from them. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Check out our Privacy Policy and Disclosure. for more info.

Southampton is a port city in Southern England famed mostly for its cruise terminal, and… well, to be honest, not much else.

When I tell people I’ve been to Southampton, they often ask why. Did I need to go to Costco for hot dogs? Pillage IKEA for meatballs? Or perhaps I was boarding a cruise, or hurling myself onto a flight?

The answer is (shockingly) none of the above. I was just being my usual (annoyingly curious) self, and let me tell you, I’m glad I took the time to go.

Granted, Southampton isn’t the prettiest city in terms of aesthetics. Heavy bombings during WWII meant that much of the city today is rebuilt. Unlike other South Coast cities, it’s also not the most ideal beach destination, with no sandy beaches at all close to the city centre.

… But, with those expectations managed, Southampton has a surprising amount of cool things to see. There’s a ton of unique history here (after all, this was the first departure point of both the Titanic and the Mayflower), plus there’s quite a few fun surprises for those openminded enough to give it a chance.

SO, if you’re wondering what to do in Southampton, I’ve got you. From visiting spite-consulates made for fictional kingdoms to prancing around some epic museums, here are the top fun things to do in Southampton, England.

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Save this list of Fun Things to Do in Southampton for Later!

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1. Visit the SeaCity Museum

For my fellow museum fangirls, a visit to the SeaCity Museum is one of the best things to do in Southampton, particularly if you’re interested in the story of the Titanic.

The SeaCity Museum contains exhibits on the history of Southampton as a hub for migration and, most famously, the Southampton Titanic Story.

In case you didn’t know, the Titanic embarked on its first (and final) voyage from Southampton, with 724 out of the 908 crew members being from the city.

The museum centres the stories of these crew members from Southampton, providing new perspectives to a story we know far too well from 1997 movies which gave us crushes on Leonardo DiCaprio and door-related trust issues.

Of course, the SeaCity Museum isn’t just about the Titanic – you’ll find plenty of info on the maritime history of Southampton in general as well, making for an overall insightful experience that really helps you “get” Southampton a lot more.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR VISITING:  SeaCity is open seven days a week and costs £9.50 for adults. You can also get joint passes to see SeaCity and the Tudor House & Garden for a discounted price.

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2. Get a Photo of the Titanic Engineers’ Memorial

While on the subject of the Titanic, the SeaCity Museum isn’t the only thing to do in Southampton for those interested in the Titanic Story. There’s also the Titanic Engineers’ Memorial, one of the most beautiful and unique Southampton attractions, located in East Park.

When the Titanic was lost, the chief engineer officer, 24 engineers, 6 electrical engineers, two boilermakers, a plumber and a clerk all died while remaining at their posts, committed to their jobs. They continued to fight the rising waters as the ship sank, and delayed it as much as possible so others could escape.

Since 1914, this stunning bronze and granite memorial has stood in the park to honour the sacrifice of those brave engineers. The monument depicts statues of Nike (the Greek goddess of victory) along with carvings of the engineers. It’s a lovely spot to visit and remember their sacrifice.

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3. Relax in Mayflower Park

There are a number of free things to do in Southampton, including spending time in Mayflower Park.

This park is an excellent spot to see the sunset and have a look at mega cruise ships which usually dock here as well. If you visit during the day there’s a playground for kids, benches, public toilets and a café to sit and enjoy watching the world go by.

Directly opposite the park is the Mayflower Pilgrims’ Memorial, which is also worth visiting. On that note…

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4. See the Mayflower Pilgrims’ Memorial

As I said, the Mayflower Pilgrims’ Memorial is located across the road from Mayflower Park, and also looks very pretty at dusk when the illuminating lights are switched on.

The Mayflower is famous for being the ship which brought the pilgrims to the New World (America) in 1620. While most accounts say the Mayflower departed from Plymouth, it actually first sailed from Southampton along with another ship called the Speedwell.

The Speedwell developed leaks and so both ships stopped off at Plymouth for repairs, although the Speedwell was then abandoned. This memorial was erected in 1913 at the spot where both ships originally sailed from Southampton, so it’s a unique little piece of history well worth checking out.

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5. Walk Around the Medieval Town Walls

Searching out the remains of the medieval town walls is one of the most fun things to do in Southampton, and there’s even a circuit with information panels along the way.

As I mentioned earlier, Southampton was heavily bombed during the Blitz in WWII, which is why most of the city now appears very modern (it all had to be rebuilt). The medieval walls which once enclosed the city managed to escape relatively unscathed though, and are now conserved because of their historical importance.

If you’re looking to see some history and get a walk in, you could do the entire 1.6 miles route, past more than a dozen old towers and gates.

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… But if you’re short on time (or energy!) head to the western section to see some beautiful arcades like in the photo below.

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6. Admire Bargate

One of the remaining gates in Southampton’s medieval walls is Bargate, which is also the most impressive.

Bargate used to be the main entrance to the city, so it’s very fancy with 11 heraldic shields and 2 (restored) lions made of iron guarding the gate. This gate was originally built in 1180 but has been updated and added to in the following centuries.

There’s a building surrounding the gate which has been used in the past as a prison, the city’s guildhall, a court, police headquarters, a museum, and a gallery although nowadays it’s not usually open to the public.

You can still walk underneath the gate and admire this Grade I listed building though – it’s quite an interesting contrast to all the modern shops along Above Bar St.

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7. See Spitfires at the Solent Sky Museum

There are lots of cool things to see in Southampton, including a number of historic planes at the Solent Sky Museum.

This is an aviation and aircraft museum (formerly known as the Southampton Hall of Aviation) which mostly focuses on the history of the planes that were produced in the Southampton, Solent and Hampshire regions – particularly the Supermarine Spitfire.

The Spitfire was famously used during WWII and is still popular today, but did you know it was manufactured in Southampton?

Aircraft enthusiasts will love being able to see the many planes on display here, along with cockpit sections and engines. The Hampshire Police and Fire Museum is also part of this interesting attraction which is open every day and costs £12 for adults.

8. Visit the Wellington Arms

If you’re interested in some quirky stuff to do in Southampton, I would suggest you head to the Wellington Arms for a drink and a fun story!

The Wellington Arms is a charming little pub that bills itself as the British consulate for the Kingdom of Redonda, a kingdom that (long story short) is located in the Caribbean between the islands of Nevis and Montserrat.

Although not officially recognized as a kingdom, its roots go back to 1865, when a man named Matthew Dowdy Shiell claimed it for himself, later passing the crown down to his son, and appointing knights and dukes along the way.

You can read the “kingdom”‘s full story here.

But what does this kingdom have to with Southampton, you might ask? Well, back in 2007, the pub’s landlord came up with the idea of turning it into a consulate to skirt an upcoming smoking ban. He consulted with the King of Redonda who knighted him, and went on to pursue this wild loophole.

I don’t think he was able to avoid the smoking ban in the end, but there’s still a golden plaque marking the pub’s status as a Redondan consulate… and yes I must re-iterate that this is a completely true story.

9. Explore Holyrood Church

Okay, onto more serious Southampton activities: visiting Holyrood Church.

Holyrood is one of the five original churches in Southampton, although today it’s now a memorial dedicated to sailors of the Merchant Navy.

Originally constructed in 1320, this church was ruined during the Blitz in 1940, but rededicated as a memorial in 1957. The remains of the church are quite unique and beautiful, especially the little mechanical men underneath the clock (you can just see them in the photo below) which used to strike small bells every quarter of an hour.

This recognisable monument is quite a cool place to visit and have a wander around while exploring the city, so be sure to add it to your list of things to do in Southampton!

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10. Have Dinner at the Former Royal Pier

Just like other coastal cities such as Blackpool, Brighton and Bournemouth, Southampton was also once home to a beautiful pier.

The Southampton Royal Pier was first opened in 1883 and was an elegant place to stroll along while enjoying views of the ships that passed by – like the Titanic in 1912. Unfortunately, the pier was damaged over time and became derelict, but the gatehouse building still remains.

Today this building is home to a fancy Indian restaurant called Kuti’s Brasserie, which is both a delicious and stunning spot for a meal while looking out over the historic pier remains!

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11. Shop Up a Storm

Ask South Coast locals why Southampton is worth a visit, and I guarantee someone will bring up the fantastic shopping.

Indeed, this is often THE city that shoppers flock to during the holidays, and for special occasions. Why? There’s just so much choice.

There are quite a few places to go shopping in Southampton but my personal favourite is the Westquay Shopping Centre.

Not only is this a massive shopping mall filled with shops, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, and other businesses, but the main entrance also looks really cool next to part of the medieval walls.

With over 130 shops inside and regular events held on the esplanade throughout the year, this is a very buzzy part of the city to explore, and well worth a visit if you’re looking to do some shopping.

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12. Have a Drink Where Jane Austen Lived

Today, the Juniper Berry is a charming traditional English pub where you can have some drinks and a meal, but it was once the home of famous British author Jane Austen!

Austen is usually more associated with Bath and Winchester, but she and her family also called the original building on this site home for three years between 1806 and 1809.

That house was unfortunately demolished in 1901, but there’s a small plaque on the exterior of the building marking where it was, which is part of a Jane Austen heritage trail through the city.

If you do decide to follow the trail then the Juniper Berry is the perfect stop for a refreshment break along the way!

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13. Step Into History at the Tudor House and Garden

The Tudor House and Garden brings ancient history to life and a visit to this fascinating museum is one of the most unique things to do in Southampton.

Originally built in the 1180s, the Tudor House and Garden was actually the first museum ever to open in Southampton, in 1912. Throughout the years it was used as a merchant home, a lodging house and a number of small businesses before it was nearly demolished.

Today this museum recreates the rooms and lives of former tenants, so it’s a fascinating step back in time to explore. The garden is also a recreated formal garden from the Tudor period and is particularly pretty.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR VISITING:  The Tudor House and Garden is closed on Friday but open all other days from 10am – 3pm (and until 5pm on weekends). Entrance costs £6 for adults, and can be combined with a ticket to also visit the SeaCity Museum.

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14. See Medieval Life at the Medieval Merchant’s House

Another one of the top things to do in Southampton is a visit to the fascinating and interactive Medieval Merchant’s House.

The house was originally constructed in 1290 by a prosperous merchant, although it has lived many lives in the centuries since, including as a lodging house, a beerhouse and even a brothel.

The building was then partially damaged during the Blitz, which actually revealed most of the medieval structure still within it.

Now this Grade I listed building is cared for by English Heritage, and it’s also been turned into a beautiful museum with replica period furnishings showing what the original merchant’s home might have looked like.

It’s quite fun to explore the shop at the front and then see how the wealthy family would have lived. No doubt, for history nerds, this is a Southampton must-do.

15. Visit the Beaulieu Motor Museum

Lastly, while located outside of the city centre, one of the most popular activities in the Southampton area is a visit to the Beaulieu Motor Museum to see some very famous cars.

While it’s actually about a half-hour drive out of central Southampton, any automobile enthusiast will jump at the chance to see the more than 285 different vehicles on display.

Many of the vehicles housed here are historic or famous, including ones from TV and films including Mr Bean’s mini and the flying Ford Anglia from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”!

Top Gear fans can also enjoy the special exhibit that’s dedicated to cars that have been featured on the show and a ticket to the Motor Museum includes entrance into the family home of the museum’s original founders as well as the ruins of Beaulieu Abbey.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR VISITING:  Tickets to the National Motor Museum cost £27 for adults (or £24 if you  buy them online  in advance) but this also includes entrance to the Palace House & Gardens, Little Beaulieu, Beaulieu Abbey, The Secret Army Exhibition and unlimited rides on the monorail.

Did I miss any of your favourite things to do in Southampton?

Let me know in the comments so I can add more recommendations to my list!

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25 Fun Things to do in Southampton UK (written by a local!)


Southampton is a coastal city in the UK situated in the southeast about 2 hours’ drive from London. It is known for its huge port both for goods and passengers. From here you can see new batches of mini coopers being shipped out to the world and fancy cruise ships taking people to the Mediterranean, which often results in traffic chaos in the city centre. The city is also famous for its excellent shopping centre – the West Quay and the medieval Bargate. Another interesting fact about Southampton is that it’s one of the 18 UK cities that don’t have a cathedral (historically, cathedral cities were granted city status by virtue of having a cathedral).

fun things to do in Southampton

However, not many people know, which always surprises me, that Southampton port is where Titanic started its first and last trip to New York!

I made Southampton my home town 15 years ago when I came to the city as a university fresher. Find out all the fun things to do in Southampton from the local, including less known but super cool activities and places!


10 Best Spa Hotels in Southampton UK for a Relaxing Escape

Best places to stay in Southampton

Luxury Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa

fun things to do southampton

Southampton Harbour Hotel is located in the Ocean Village – a trendy part of the city, and it’s been built in recent years. The hotel boasts a spa featuring a pool, sauna, hot tub and a range of beauty and pampering treatments. The hotel is also renowned for its restaurant with excellent vegetarian options and a fancy bar with a sunset view over the marina.

Midrange Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour

Southampton what to do

This 4-star hotel is situated in Southampton’s heart, a minutes’ walk from the city’s historic walls and West Quay Shopping Centre. The hotel has a spa centre featuring an indoor pool, sauna and a gym. Guests can also enjoy a meal in The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill.

Budget Jurys Inn Southampton

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Jurys Inn boasts a range of modern en suite rooms. The hotel is situated in the heart of Southampton, overlooking East Park, and it’s within walking distance to Southampton’s main attractions. 

25 Fun Things to do in Southampton

1. visit bargate.

things to do southampton, bargate Southampton

Bargate was built by the Normans invaders as a part of fortification to the city in around 11th-12th century. In the subsequent centuries, Southampton became a thriving international port exporting wool and importing wine from France. The river connection to Winchester and a reliable road to London facilitated that function.

Today the Bargate stands majestically on the southern end of High Street, it’s an integral part of Southampton skyline and a prime stop in all Southampton sightseeing tours . You can walk through its archway and imagine how it was in medieval times. Above the entrance, in a niche, there is a statue of King George III.

The Bargate is Southampton’s icon, one of the main attractions in Southampton and also a common meeting point. From here, I recommend finding and exploring the old city wall and to the right of the Bargate. If you only have a limited time for things to see in Southampton, you can’t miss the Bargate!

2. Explore the Historic Walls

places to go southampton, historic walls, Southampton

The Southampton town walls were built in medieval times to protect the city from foreign invasions. They were two kilometres long with eight gates and twenty-night towers. Today they are one of the best-preserved medieval fortifications in the entire country. Exploring the city walls is one of the best Southampton things to do, and guess what, it’s free!

You can find the start of the wall at the southern top of Above Bar Street marked by the Bargate by walking north along the wall. It is possible to walk up the first part of the wall, this can be accessed from Bargate Street. Walk all the way to the tower where you can get a great view of Southampton. There is also an information board with some exciting history fats about the walls.

The next stretch of the wall faces the new part of the West Quay with various restaurants having outdoor sittings. It is great to come here on a summer evening and sit outside facing the historic wall all beautifully lit up.

As you walk on the other side of the wall, you’ll find yourself in a tranquil neighbourhood. It always surprises me how peaceful that area is in the middle of the busy city somehow protected from the whole hustle and bustle.

3. Discover the secrets of the Titanic on a walking tour

things to see southampton

For history fans, this tour by Viator is probably the most interesting. You get to find out more about the history of Southampton as a port and its importance today and of course a lot of juicy stories about the Titanic itself!

The tour is about two hours long and takes you along the town walls and main Southampton attractions. The Titanic tour is one of the coolest Southampton activities that can be enjoyed by friends, couples and families alike.

4. Shop until you drop in West Quay Shopping Centre

west quay, Southampton

The West Quay Shopping Centre is probably the most visited attraction in Southampton, especially on the weekend. It is one of the biggest shopping centres in the southeast with a good selection of high street brands including two-storey Next, M&S, Zara, Apple Store and more.

In recent years, a new part called The Watermark has been built with a huge variety of restaurants, a new cinema and bowling alley. If you’re looking for some indoor activities Southampton’s Watermark is a great place! The Watermark has quickly become the new place to be for eating out and hanging out with friends. I believe it’s due to its location by the historic wall, which is super cool.

There is plenty of parking space but on the weekend arrive early to avoid traffic.

5. Take a walk at Southampton Common

Southampton Common

The Southampton Common covers over 300 acres of land, and it’s one of the places to go in Southampton for walks and picnics. Also, every Saturday morning you can join here a 5 km park run, which is free. The park has two ponds where you can feed the ducks and see different varieties of birds.

There is also a very cosy pub – The Cowherds where you can warm up by the fire in the winter or have a refreshing pint outside on a summer evening. This pub is also great for a tasty Sunday roast. Pub lunch is one of the all times best things to do in Southampton this weekend or any other weekend. You can’t go wrong with a hearty meal!

Funfairs take place around Easter time in the Common grounds and many different charity races at different times of the year.

I used to live by the Common, and I have fond memories of going for early morning runs around the park training for the Race for Life to raise money for cancer research.

6. Learn about Southampton history at Tudor House

tudor house, Southampton

Tudor House situated on Bugle Street is one of the most important Southampton tourist attractions. It is also one of the most essential pieces of history in the city, so if you’re looking for best places to visit in Southampton for history enthusiast, you cannot miss it. It was built in the 15th century, and over the years it housed artist studios and different tenants. The house includes a Renaissance-style garden from where you can access a Norman House. Today, different interactive displays inside the house are showcasing its history.

If you’re already in the area pop into St. Michael’s the Archangel Church dating back to the 11th century, just across the street from the Tudor House.

7. Have a craft beer at Dancing Man Brewery

dancing man brewery Southampton

Dancing Man Brewery situated next to the docks, is a unique place to have a drink and one of the best bars in Southampton. The brewery is located in a 14th century Wool House that until the recent years housed the Titanic Museum. Today, it is one of the best bars in the city with an impressive selection of house brews! They also have a restaurant upstairs with good veggie options and a great view over Southampton harbour. If you’re a fan of brewing, take a tasting tour with them.

The best time to visit is in the late afternoon, sit outside in one of the wooden benches, watch the sun go down over Southampton Water and sample some of their home brews.

8. Visit The Southampton City Art Gallery

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The Southampton City Art Gallery is an excellent place to pop in and one of the best art galleries in Southampton. It is located in the Civic Centre Building of attractive architectural style and just across the road from a small but cute park.

The gallery is internationally renowned and connected to the Tate in London so you can always expect a good quality exhibition. The exhibits change periodically so check their website before visiting to find out what’s on. Oh, did I mention that the entrance is free?

9. Visit the ruins of Netley Abbey

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Netley Abbey is one of the best-preserved ruins of an abbey built by Cistercian monks in the 13th century. Visit the romantic ruins, which are situated just across the Itchen River a few kilometers from the city center. The ruins are located in Netley, by the Southampton Water with some great walking paths along the shore and are one of the best free things to do in Southampton. There is also a vast green area by the water which is perfect for a picnic and some nature time.

I used to live in the area and, walking by the shore in Netley was my favourite weekend activity.

Entrance: free

Address: Abbey Hill, Netley, Hampshire, SO31 5FB

10. Watch the sunset at Royal Victoria Country Park

Victoria Country Park

The park is situated on the easter side of the River Itchen about 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre. The park has a picturesque setting by the river with a beautiful red brick chapel standing in the middle of the vast green parkland.

The area is excellent for walking, cycling or picnic. I love bringing a book and just chilling on a sunny day on one of the benches, followed by a Mr Whippy from a traditional ice cream van! The Royal Victoria Country Park is also perfect for an outdoor date.

If you’re trying to come up with what to do in Southampton for a date here is an idea for you. Come with a blanket and a picnic basket, including a bottle of bubbly in the afternoon and stay until the sunset. The open grass area facing the water is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down!

Entrance: free but parking charges apply

Address: Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley Abbey, Southampton SO31 5GA

11. Watch a movie at the Harbour Lights Cinema

ocean village Southampton

Harbour Lights Picturehouse is situated in the Ocean Village overlooking the harbour. If you fancy an alternative cinema experience and one of the best quirky things to do in Southampton, this is the place for you. The Picturehouse cinema displays gripping and thought-provoking films from around the world, not just mainstream Hollywood productions. There is a more intimate and personal vibe there, and the best part is that you can enjoy a bit of culture with a glass of wine in your hand!

Address: Southampton SO14 3TL

12. Have a veggie lunch at Thrive Café

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Thrive Café is by far my favourite café in Southampton! It is the only café in the city that is entirely vegan with an exciting menu that will make happy all the carnivores too!

They have a range of amazing salads that come in hearty portions, yummy burgers (you wouldn’t even know that there is no meat in them) and every Saturday they bake pizzas. The place is always packed, which says a lot! I love their smoothies too, try the biscoff milkshake or the super green smoothie with avocado and spirulina. Also, have a look at their cake selection, many are also gluten-free or try their waffles topped with ice cream!

Address: 18 Hanover Buildings, Southampton SO14 1JX

13. Watch a play at the Mayflower Theatre

Mayflower Theatre, what's on southampton, whats on southampton

Southampton city is home to Grade II listed theatre that features West End Theatre shows when they tour the country. If you’re looking for the best days out in Southampton for culture fans, the Mayflower Theatre is a solid option. The venue’s capacity is a staggering 2,300, and there is always some exciting play or ballet on offer. Check their website to find out whats on in Southampton. The venue includes a restaurant and a bar where you can get a glass of wine during the play break.

Address: 22-26 Commercial Rd, Southampton SO15 1GE

14. Go on a ferry ride to Hythe

Hythe ferry dock things to do in southampton

Catching a ferry to Hythe is definitely one of the most fun activities Southampton has on offer and a great opportunity to seethe city from a different perspective! Take a small ferry from Town Quay, and if you’re lucky, you will see big cruise ships like Quin Merry 2 and Quin Elizabeth stationing in the Southampton Water.

You can take your bike on the ferry, and after visiting Hythe, another great option is to spend an active day cycling in the New Forest.

At Hythe, there is a historic train that takes passengers from the boat along the pier. Hythe is a pretty small village and one of the best places to visit near Southampton to escape its hustle and bustle. Take a stroll along the Promenade that overlooks Southampton and some luxurious cruise ships that come to Southampton every week. Continue to Hythe’s Georgian High Street with cute shops and some great places to eat.

Return ferry ticket – £7.50

15. Dine at The Watermark restaurants

west quay shopping centre Southampton

The Watermark complex has been built in recent years as an extension to the popular West Quay shopping centre. It has quickly become the trendiest place to go for a meal. Dining at the Watermark is one of the best things to do in Southampton at night! The choice of restaurants is extensive, some of my favourites include Thaikun, The Real Greek and Bills. Most of the restaurants are facing the city’s historic wall, which is beautifully lit up in the evenings creating a lovely atmosphere.

The city also organises different events in the space in front of the historic wall including ice rink during the Christmas period and cute sun lounger area for watching Wimbledon in the summer.

16. Watch the sunset in the Ocean Village

southampton things to do

The Ocean Village is another trendy place in Southampton not to be missed if you’re looking for evening entertainment and one of the fun things to do n Southampton for adults. In the past, most Southampton football players were known to have luxury apartments overlooking the yacht marina. There are a few places that you can grab a drink and spend the golden hour chilling outside on a summer evening. That includes Banana Wharf, Triago Lounge, Pitchers and Piano and most upmarket of them all situated in the Harbour Hotel.

Best things to do near Southampton

17. go hiking in the new forest.

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I always loved the fact that the New Forest is basically situated on Southampton’s doorstep and living so close, I took the full advantage of this fact, going for forest walks most weekends!

The New Forest is only a short drive away, and it’s one of the best things to do around Southampton for unwinding and relaxing from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The New Forest has a rich history dating back to the 11th century when it was centre for royal getaways and hunting trips. Today it is a National Park and a place of outstanding natural beauty with expansive pastures and beautiful heathlands that turn purple and pink in the early autumn. And if you like animals, you’ll be in for a real treat, there are plenty in the forest! The cutest ones are the New Forest ponies that can be spotted everywhere, fluffy donkeys, caws and wild pigs. In the spring you can see them with their little ones!

There are countless walking paths and great cycling routes to get you moving. For details, check their official website here. Don’t forget to stop in Lyndhurst which is known to be the New Forest capitol with cute tea rooms, local ice creams and a Ferrari salon (that seems to be its main attraction).

18. Buy some plants at Sir Harold’s Hillier Gardens

Sir Harold’s Hillier Gardens

This garden centre is situated in Romsey a 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre and it’s one of the best Southampton places to visit. There are 180 hectares of a beautiful garden with many interesting types of flowers, trees and decorative bushes. Best time to visit the garden is during the late spring when everything is blossoming or during October time to see the golden autumn colours. There are different events organised throughout the year and various exciting activities for children. Check their website for details.

Entrance – £10.50

19. Have a ‘purrfect’ coffee at Paws for the Thought Cat Café

travel southampton uk

This is a little more unusual thing to do than your typical things to do in a city type of activities, but it’s so worth it. If you love cats as much as I do, then give it a go. Basically, Paws for the Thought are a cat charity that houses rescue cats and allows you to play with them and get their affection!

This is the perfect place to relax, have a coffee and get some cat therapy. I love the concept because I love cats, but I’m also allergic and travel lots so I cannot commit to having one at home.

You can find the café in Romsey, which is about 20 minutes’ drive from Southampton city centre. Romsey is a gorgeous small town with an impressive abbey dating back to the 10th century and some great traditional pubs.

Address: 4 Church St, Romsey SO51 8BU

20. Eat at Offbeet New Forest Restaurant

This is a styled farmhouse restaurant literally out on a field in Marchwood. All food is vegetarian, with many vegan and gluten-free options. It is innovative and non-pretentious place. If you’re up for trying something different, then I can’t recommend this place enough!

The menu is diverse and frequently changes from Vietnamese noodles, Italian gnocchi to Greek styled tacos. Prepare yourself for a culinary party. They also offer cooking classes.

On my last visit, I remember sitting outside watching the sun go down over the field. It is such a great place with a unique and no fuss vibe!

Address: Sunnyfields Farm Jacob’s Gutter Lane, Totton, Southampton SO40 9FX England

21. Go gin tasting at Bombay Sapphire Distillery

bombay saphire gin distillery

Not many people know that Bombay Sapphire Distillery is located in Hampshire under an hour drive from Southampton. Visiting the distillery in the summer is a fantastic day out. I know a lot of friends that did it for their birthdays and hen parties. The ticket includes a tour of their beautiful grounds where you find out the history and the beautiful art of gin making. In a lab, you will be able to make your own gin using different plants. And for an additional price, you can take part in a cocktail making class which is brilliant and of course involve some drinking too. This is an excellent activity for everyone that loves gin.

You can take a train from Southampton to Overton station and get a taxi or if it’s a nice day take a leisurely walk along the London Road towards the distillery. The distance is about 2.5 miles.

Address: Laverstoke Mill, Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7NR

Best activities in Southampton

22. go ziplining at go ape.

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Go Ape is situated in the Itchen Valley Country Park in the woods and by the river, and it’s an excellent place to test your balance and fear of heights! The whole trail takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete, and it’s packed with suspension bridges, Tarzan swings and zip lines. Anyone with a little balance can do it, and it’s a one of the best things to do with kids in Southampton.

And when you’re done, there is a café and a picnic area to chill out. The park gets really busy at weekends so I would recommend booking your tickets outside of peak times as the parking also gets filled up quickly.

I did Go Ape for my 30th birthday, and it was great fun. It is definitely not only for little kids, although they are probably the best at walking on robes. Some of the paths were very challenging and a little scary, but my overall experience was very positive! Go Ape is one of the best attractions Southampton has in store for activate couples and families.

Entrance: £26

Address: Go Ape Southampton Itchen Valley Country Park, Allington Ln, Southampton SO30 3HQ

23. Paddle your way through the weekend at Woodmill Outdoor Activity Centre

travel southampton uk

The centre offers different paddle sports activities such as canoeing, SUP and kayaking. You can either rent the equipment and go explore the nearby river or take part in an organised group event. If you’re new to stand up paddleboarding, you can get onto an introductory course and get a certificate here.

The surrounding area is delightful, and the stream is slow, so even if you’re not experienced, you will be able to manage to paddle just fine. There is also lots of green space by the river which is perfect for a picnic and chill afterwards. Woodmill Centre is an excellent attraction Southampton offers for the activate lot!

Address: Woodmill Ln, Southampton SO18 2JR

Best Southampton Events

24. tour the multimillion yachts at southampton boat show.

southampton boat show

Southampton Boat Show is one of the most significant yearly events that take place in the city and one of the biggest marine shows in the whole country that attracts many visitors.

It usually lasts for a week, and it provides an excellent opportunity to find out more about the marine industry. There are various exhibitors each year, and probably the most exciting activity is to get a tour of some luxury yachts that most of us can only dream about owning.

Tickets: £12.50

Address: Herbert Walker Ave, Southampton SO15 1EE

25. Dance away at the Common People Festival (currently suspended)

Common People Festival was a large pop music event that took place every summer in the Southampton Common. In 2018 it had famous headliners such as James Arthur, Lily Allen and Ride. However, in 2019 sadly the organising company went into administration over some massive debts, so the festival hasn’t happened since then. But hopefully, in the future, the event finds new sponsors and resumes its operations.

You may also like:

Top 10 beaches near Southampton

15 Prettiest Villages in The Cotswolds

29 Epic UK Staycation Ideas

24 Day Trips form London by Train

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A Guide to best things to do in Southampton UK written by a local. #southampton #southamptonthingstodo #southamptonengland

Mal is a Polish-British travel photographer and writer with over 4 years experience. As the co-owner of multiple travel websites, her work has been featured in places like USA Today and Seattle Times.

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The Places Where We Go

Southampton UK – One Day in the Splendid Cruise Capital of Europe

In this article, we’ll take you to one of England’s most beloved cities – Southampton. Located on the south coast of England, Southampton is a famous cruise port city that attracts visitors worldwide. And that is why many people travel to Southampton – to embark on a cruise. Today, it is often called the “Cruise Capital of Europe.” But there’s more to Southampton than just its port. We discuss what to do during one day in Southampton in this article.

Southampton has a rich medieval history and vibrant culture, offering plenty to do if you have one or more days to explore this charming destination.

From its humble beginnings as a small fishing village, Southampton has grown into a bustling city with a rich maritime heritage. In modern times, Southampton is known as one of the UK’s largest commercial ports, with its docks handling millions of tonnes of cargo each year. But it’s not just about the ships and trade – Southampton offers a unique blend of old and new, with modern shopping centers, medieval walls, museums, and galleries.

The Places Where We Go contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you when you purchase using one of these Amazon links.  Read our disclaimer and privacy policy for more information.

A Popular Destination for Cruise Ship Travelers

Nearly two million people pass through Southampton each year to enjoy a cruise.  If you’re one of these, you have a choice to make.

You can get to Southampton and spend a day or more there before your cruise. Or, if your schedule permits, you can fly into London, spend several days there, and then make the journey down to Southampton.

We spent five days in London on our trip before journeying to Southampton. We had time on our calendar to permit this schedule before our Southampton cruise departure, and it made our journey seem like a few mini-vacations strung together.

If you travel to Southampton as part of a cruise itinerary, you’ll also need to decide how long to spend in Southampton. Your choices include arriving the morning of your cruise departure or one or more days before boarding your ship. Or, if you’re looking for a great day trip destination from nearby parts of England, you’ll find plenty to do in this great day trip destination.

Keep reading for ideas on how you want to spend time in Southampton.

Looking at Southampton from cruise ship

Getting to Southampton

Southampton is a well-connected city, making it easy to travel to from anywhere in the UK. The most popular way to reach Southampton is by train, which takes around 80 minutes from London’s Waterloo station. This was our mode of travel, and it cost us just over $100 U.S. for two passengers on one-way train tickets.

At the Southampton Train Station, you’ll see directions for Cruise Ship passengers getting off the train, as many people go straight from the station to the cruise terminal. You can take a taxi or bus from the train station to the city center, just a short distance away. We booked a stay at the Harbor Hotel, which was too far to walk from the train station. So, we hailed one of the many taxis available just outside the train station to drive us to our hotel.

Southampton Central Train Station - view of outside of the station

If you prefer traveling by car , Southampton is easily accessible via the M3 and M27 motorways. The drive from London takes approximately 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. There are also several coach services available, which offer affordable and comfortable transportation to Southampton.

The nearest airport for international travelers is Southampton Airport, just a short 15-minute drive from the city center. From here, you can take a taxi or bus to reach your destination in Southampton.

You can also arrange a private transfer from London Heathrow to Southampton Cruise Ports .

travel southampton uk

Exploring Southampton

As you journey through Southampton, you’ll notice its well-preserved medieval walls and stunning architecture. There are also several museums and galleries that showcase the city’s rich history. If you’re interested in learning about Southampton’s historic past, you’ll find history preserved in several museums.

You might be looking for things to do before a cruise in Southampton. Or, you might be interested in what to do on a day trip or a weekend in Southampton. Here are a few of the top sights and places to visit on your visit to Southampton:

Southampton City Walls

Southampton City Walls encompass an impressive half-mile-long stretch of medieval forts that survive from the age of pirates. 

When originally built, these historical defensive structures encased the entire city. Constructed in the 1360s following an attack by French and Genoese Privateers, these walls played a crucial role in defending the population.   These walls have witnessed many significant historical events, including sieges, battles, and invasions. 

Today, they are among the most complete city walls surviving in the United Kingdom.

We walked along the marked trail called “Walk the Southampton Walls. ” The trail spans 1.25 miles around the perimeter of the ancient medieval trading town. This captivating walk showcases 13 remaining towers, six city gates, and half a mile of robust stone walls and arcades. 

Legend has it that the pirate Grimaldi, the attackers’ leader, used the loot from Southampton to establish the Principality of Monaco. Notably, these 14th-century walls served as the first structures in Britain to embrace the defensive technologies of gunpowder and cannon. Although the walls gradually fell into disrepair in the 18th century as their necessity diminished, many of Southampton’s older buildings are intricately built into, onto, or alongside these magnificent walls.

We walked among the old stone remains, took photos, and read the historical descriptions at several places, including the Medieval Mayor’s Wine Vaults, Westgate – a beautifully preserved medieval gatehouse, and the Bargate, one of Southampton’s most iconic landmarks – the ancient entrance into the medieval town.

Ruins at Southampton City Walls

Holyrood Church

After walking among the Southampton City Walls, it’s a short walk to see the ruins at the Church of the Holyrood.

Holyrood Church in Southampton, a medieval church with a rich history, was tragically destroyed during World War II bombing raids and never fully restored, although the ruins remain preserved.  Initially built in 1320, the church has a rich historic significance.

The Middle Ages saw Holyrood Church in Southampton serving as the central place for worship at the heart of the town. It became a significant focal point, attracting crusaders en route to the Holy Land, soldiers marching to Agincourt in 1415, and even Philip II of Spain in 1554, who stopped there on his journey to marry Queen Mary at Winchester Cathedral. Holyrood Church was indeed a historic hub of activity, playing a vital role in the town’s vibrant past.

In November 1940, the port city was blacked out during a German bombing raid. However, the German Luftwaffe used the white-painted spire of nearby St. Michael’s Church as a landmark and dropped nearly 10,000 bombs on the city. The destruction in the historic city center was immense.

During the WWII Blitz, the church suffered significant damage, with only the tower and chancel remaining intact. The destruction resulted in the loss of the wooden spire and the great west window, while the central area of the church was utterly destroyed. 

Saved from complete removal, the bombed-out ruins were transformed into a stunning memorial garden in 1957. 

Today, it is a memorial to merchant sailors who once worshipped here and victims of the Titanic. 

We walked through the ruins that were accessible to us. Inside the roofless structure, the Southampton Oral History Unit audio displays provided narration from people connected to the Titanic disaster and the church’s destruction. We spent several minutes listening to both audio displays.  

Holyrood Church ruins in Southampton

God’s House Tower

God’s House Tower is a historic structure located at the south-east corner of the city walls. Originally a gatehouse in the late 13th century, the structure got its name from the nearby hospital of God’s House, which assisted impoverished travelers since 1168.

God’s House Tower evolved into a fortification designed to accommodate cannon weaponry. It played a significant role in protecting the area and functioned as a storage space for gunpowder, guns, and ammunition.

The need for defense diminished in later centuries, and the building was transformed into the Town Jail during much of the 1700s.

Eventually, in 1961, the Museum of Archaeology was established within the tower, providing a glimpse into the rich history of Southampton.

God's House Tower in Southampton, England

Mayflower Memorial

The next stop is the Mayflower Memorial. Located on Town Quay, the Grade II listed monument commemorates the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers to America aboard the Mayflower and Speedwell in 1620.

In Southampton, the Mayflower stopped for repairs before embarking on its journey to the New World. The ship also took on additional passengers and supplies in the city, making it an integral part of the Mayflower’s voyage.

The memorial was erected in 1913, with a dedication ceremony attended by descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers. It is a 50-foot-high column of Portland Stone and bears the names of those who sailed on the Mayflower and a bronze plaque depicting the ship itself.

We visited the monument to reflect on the courage and determination of those who sailed on the Mayflower over 400 years ago. The memorial serves as a reminder of Southampton’s role in American history and its enduring ties to the United States.

Mayflower Memorial in Southampton

The Weigh House

On French Street, you can visit the Weigh House.  It housed the royal Tron, or the renowned weigh beam scales and weights, dating back to the mid-thirteenth century. This landmark played a crucial role in weighing merchandise, notably wool before they embarked on their journey from Southampton to various ports across Europe.

The Weigh House in Southampton

Southampton Castle

Southampton Castle was built after the Norman conquest and played a crucial role in the wine trade through Southampton docks. It was upgraded in the 13th century, becoming equipped with cannons. However, it declined in the 16th century and was eventually sold off. 

Today, only a few remnants of the castle remain visible in Southampton. The Castle Watergate, built in the 13th or 14th century, is still preserved and forms a part of the city walls. 

Visiting here, you can explore Castle Vault and learn about the castle’s history through guided tours and informative panels.

Southampton Castle ruins

Titanic Memorials

You can walk to numerous memorials in the city center dedicated to preserving the memory of the Titanic. The city recalls the history from April 10th, 1912, when the ‘unsinkable’ ship called Titanic departed Southampton port. With 3,327 passengers and crew on their way to New York, it would hit an iceberg four days later and sink.

Several memorials in the city pay tribute to the victims of the Titanic. The memorials pay homage to the engineer officers, the crew, musicians, sea-post officers, restaurant staff, and local victims.

The Solent Sky Museum

Rated #1 on TripAdvisor, this museum showcases the city’s rich aviation history with an extensive collection of aircraft and flying boats, including many iconic models from military and civil use.

And it’s where you can visit the birthplace of the Spitfire. Hampshire and Solent were centers for aviation research between 1910 and 1960. During this period, over 26 aircraft manufacturers were here and built craft ranging from biplanes to spacecraft. 

If you’re a fan of aviation history, plan to stop at the Solent Sky Museum.

Steamship Shieldhall

Rated #2 on TripAdvisor, the Steamship Shieldhall in Southampton is the largest working steamship in Britain. Built in 1955, Britain’s last surviving steam-powered coastal cargo ship played a crucial role in transporting goods along the UK’s coast.

It is a tribute to Britain’s maritime heritage, operated by dedicated volunteers. Visitors can experience the golden age of steam by enjoying excursions or visiting the ship.

Explore the impressive engine room with its original steam engines and the traditional bridge with gleaming brasswork. And you can see the ship’s steam-assisted steering gear, similar to that used on the Titanic.

Today, the Steamship Shieldhall offers day cruises during the summer, taking guests on a nostalgic journey to the Golden Age of Steam. A dedicated team of volunteers, from the captain to the deckhands, keeps the entire operation afloat and ensures the ship’s continuous seaworthiness. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, the Shieldhall will continue to sail through the seas for many more years.

If you want to visit the steamship, check its website for sailing dates – primarily on weekends in the summer.

SeaCity Museum

#4 on TripAdvisor is the SeaCity Museum, which brings Southampton’s rich history and maritime connections to life. The museum showcases the intriguing stories of the people of Southampton, including their fascinating lives and significant role in the Titanic story. 

Explore the interactive exhibits, such as a 1:25 scale model of the Titanic, the immersive ‘Disaster Room,’ and a courtroom recreation of the Inquiry held after the tragedy. Beyond the Titanic, the museum also highlights Southampton’s position as a gateway to the world through its historic collections and tales of those who have arrived or departed from the port over the past 250,000 years. 

The museum offers a family-friendly environment with hands-on activities and facilities for children. 

Mayflower Theatre

Another top 5 location on TripAdvisor is The Mayflower Theatre. If you enjoy the theater, you’ll find a variety of touring musicals, opera, ballet, and comedy shows. The theater has a stunning restaurant called Ovation, where you can enjoy exceptional seasonal menus.

New Forest National Park

Approximately 20 minutes from Southampton, you can escape the bustle of city life and immerse yourself in nature at the New Forest National Park. This peaceful retreat spans over 200 square miles and is home to abundant flora and fauna.

A popular day trip destination for locals and tourists, the New Forest National Park offers numerous activities such as hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and wildlife watching. You can also visit charming villages within New Forest and try delicious local cuisine.

Shopping in Southampton

After exploring Southampton’s rich history and natural beauty, you may want to indulge in some retail therapy. One of the best places to do so is at Westquay Shopping Centre.

Located in the heart of Southampton, Westquay is a shoppers’ paradise with over 100 stores and a plethora of restaurants and cafes. Opened in 2000, it has been a popular destination for locals and tourists, offering a diverse range of high street and luxury brands.

Not only does Westquay cater to fashion lovers, but it also has an impressive selection of home decor stores, electronics shops, and beauty salons. You can shop ‘til you drop, then grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or relax with a cup of coffee at one of the cafes.

Westquay Shopping Centre in Southampton - outside view

Safety in Southampton

Safety can be subjective and vary depending on factors such as the time of day, the specific area within the city, and individual experiences. 

However, according to Numbeo’s Crime Index 2022, Southampton has a moderate crime rate with a score of 45.99 out of 100 (with 100 being the highest level of crime). This means that while crime does occur, it is not considered excessively high compared to other UK cities.

Regarding safety, the Safety Index for Southampton is rated at 54.01 out of 100 (with 100 being the safest). It’s important to note that these ratings are based on visitors’ perceptions of this website in the past three years.

During our visit, we found ourselves being watched and followed near St. Michael the Archangel Church in an area that was not populated with other people. Looking like tourists with our GoPro cameras and vlogging devices, we noticed a couple of men lurking in corners behind us and continued to track our movements wherever we went. We quickly made our way towards a busy shopping area where there was a police presence, and it was here that we finally shed our followers. Ultimately, nothing happened, but we watched our backs for over one hour.

Again, it’s always advisable to stay vigilant, be aware of your surroundings, and take standard precautions to ensure personal safety.

The Food Scene in Southampton

Southampton is a city known for its rich maritime history, and this is reflected in its food scene. With easy access to fresh seafood, visitors can expect to find a variety of dishes featuring locally caught fish and shellfish.

In addition to seafood, Southampton also has a diverse range of international cuisines due to its multicultural population. From traditional British dishes like fish and chips to Indian curries, Italian pasta, and Chinese stir fry, there is something for everyone in Southampton.

Visitors can also explore the local farmers’ markets and try out fresh produce from the surrounding countryside, such as Hampshire’s famous strawberries.

Overall, Southampton offers a vibrant food scene with many options for various tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a fancy dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a quick bite at a street food vendor, you’ll find it in Southampton. So come hungry and ready to explore the city’s delicious offerings!

Maritimo Lounge

The menu for lunch at Maritimo Lounge is versatile, offering something for nearly every palate. For our lunch at Maritimo Lounge, we started with a soup of the day: a carrot, tomato, and onion vegetable offering.  This was served with ciabatta rolls and butter; this was an excellent start to lunch. 

We had one Honey Roasted Beetroot and Feta Flatbread order for our entree. This entree had chickpeas, tomato and red pepper salsa, pomegranate seeds, and mint on a flatbread.  This combination satisfied us and kept us going until dinner time.  

Tea is served in a teapot with a little milk vessel on the side.

The lunch experience was enjoyable, and the menu was robust.

Front entrance to Maritimo Lounge Cafe Bar in Southampton, England

Harbar Restaurant at the Harbour Hotel

You’ll find enjoyable dining on the 6th floor of the Harbour Hotel for a dinner option. Called the Harbar Restaurant, we enjoyed views of the Marina from our table, and seating options include indoor and outdoor tables.

The menu has excellent options available – and the bar menu is immense. For dinner, our entrees include sweet peas and mint tortellini served with asparagus and a quinoa salad (cauliflower, kale, carrot, chickpeas, tahini), which we accompanied by a glass of Merlot.

It is a lovely dining experience, reasonably priced, in a very attractive location.

Lodging in Southampton

When visiting Southampton, you have a variety of lodging options to choose from. Whether you prefer luxury hotels or budget-friendly accommodations, there is something for every traveler.

Here are our top choices for Southampton lodging. All options below are  rated 8 or better  on Expedia at the time of this post.

Budget Accommodations in Southampton

ibis Southampton Centre Hotel

ibis Southampton Centre

✔️Onsite cafe and bar

✔️ Prime location – easy access to train station and attractions

Leonardo Hotel Southampton

Leonardo Hotel

✔️ Eco-certified hotel

✔️ Spacious rooms

✔️ Near cruise terminal

Mid-Range Accommodations in Southampton

The Pig in the Wall in Southampton - outside view

The Pig in the Wall

✔️Boutique Hotel – Each bedroom is unique

✔️ Vintage furniture and free-standing bathtubs

Ennios Boutique Hotel Southampton - View of inside room

Ennios Boutique Hotel Rooms

✔️Stylish accomodations

✔️ Award-winning Italian restaurant on premises

Luxury Accommodations in Southampton

Room inside Harbour Hotel in Southampton England

Harbour Hotel

✔️Large, clean rooms with heated floors

✔️ Complimentary gin

✔️ Transportation to cruise terminal

No 4 Carlton Hotel Southampton - Inside room

No. 4 Carlton Hotel

✔️ Elegant & refined

✔️ Luxurious bedding

Learn How We Stay in Hotels for Free

Southampton , England – Know Before You Go

✈️ Closest Airport: Southampton International Airport (SOU)

⏰ Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in Winter, (GMT+1 in Summer)

💰  Currency:  Pound Sterling – Currency Converter

🔌  Electricity Socket:  In England, you’ll encounter type G plugs with three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. The electricity supply in England operates at 230V voltage and 50Hz frequency . For visitors from other countries, you’ll need this  universal travel adaptor .

Fun Facts About Southampton

Jane Austen resided in Southampton with her family for two years following her father’s demise. During her stay, she commemorated her 18th birthday at the Dolphin Hotel. Notably, it was here that Austen penned one of her captivating novels, namely Sense and Sensibility.

On March 5th, 1936, the WWII-era Spitfire aircraft first flew from Southampton Airport.

Nearly 450 cruise ships dock at the Southampton Port yearly, transporting over 1.5 million passengers on holiday adventures.

How many days to spend in Southampton?

We could see many of the places identified in this article in a single day. For a more immersive experience of what the city offers, we recommend at least two days for your visit.

travel southampton uk

Listen to our Southampton Podcast

Southampton is a fascinating cruise capital of Europe, offering something for every type of traveler. From its rich history and culture to its vibrant food scene and stunning waterfront views, this bustling port city has no shortage of things to see and do. Whether spending just one day or longer exploring Southampton, these top lodging options offer the perfect base for your adventures.

We’ll see you at the places where we go. Julie & Art Learn more about us here


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Art Dobrucki is a travel writer and podcast host for The Places Where We Go. With his wife Julie, they bring their travel stories to curious travelers to inspire adventures. Art is also a composer and keyboardist with several albums to his credit. Check out more information on our About Us page.

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Best Travel Agencies in Southampton

Expert recommended top 3 travel agencies in southampton, uk. all of our travel agencies actually face a rigorous 50-point inspection , which includes local reviews, history, business standards, ratings, satisfaction, trust, price and their trading excellence. we have a strict “no pay to play” policy., bon voyage travel and tours, barrhead travel, tui holiday store.

Bon Voyage Travel and Tours

Bon Voyage Travel and Tours is a leading specialist in holidays to the USA and Canada. Founded in 1979, the company soon established itself as a tailor-made tour operator to North America with an unwavering commitment to high quality, high-value holidays. They contain over 20,000 pages filled with holiday ideas and itineraries, no two holidays are the same and the team of experienced consultants hand-craft each trip to match the interests, tastes and budget of the individual traveller. The team at Bon Voyage have, between them made over 1,500 trips to the States and Canada, familiarising themselves with new product ideas and opportunities and negotiating the best deals for their clients. As an ATOL licensed tour operator, Bon Voyage creates each holiday themselves, dealing directly with the customer rather than selling through travel agents. Their contracts are with leading airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, accommodation providers like Fairmont and Hyatt, car hire companies National, Alamo and Avis and ticket and excursion providers from Disney to a jazz brunch. The commitment to customer service extends from first enquiry to and beyond the return from holiday. A 24-hour e-mail and phone service supports customers while travelling, and the company’s app acts as a digital escort full of information and suggestions as the itinerary unfolds. Bon Voyage has arranged over 100,000 holidays and has earned a Platinum satisfaction rating of 4.9 on the Feefo platform from its clients. Leading destinations include the Deep South, taking in the music centres of Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans; California and the West for the stunning Pacific Coast Highway, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Western Canada. UNIQUE FACTS: • Over 40 Years Of Experience and Unrivalled Expertise • Great Customer Service. • All Holidays Fully Financially Protected • ATOL Licence 2913 • ABTA Member V6171 • Visit USA Association Appointed.


  • sal***@b***o.uk
  • bon-voyage.co.uk
  • 02380 248248

Working Hours:

Tbr® inspection report:, bon voyage travel and tours reviews.

These guys planned my wife's 60th birthday holiday of a lifetime. Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans. Just perfect start to finish. They made so many great recommendations for us to consider. And Graceland was the top highlight of so many highlights.
Used Bon Voyage twice they are that good, and will use them again. They know what they are talking about, they can get you into places that others (eg Virgin) cannot. And the staff are really good; they listen to what you want, and don't sell you things you do not need. First class.
Very friendly and helpful staff. Holiday cancelled thro Covid 19. Full monies refunded almost immediately. Will certainly re-book in the future with Bon Voyage and would 100% recommend them.

Help others: Click Here to send review or send us your review to [email protected] . Negative and positive review will be used for rating. Make a difference.

Barrhead Travel

Barrhead Travel has a distinguished reputation as a prominent travel agency in Southampton. They are uniquely positioned as the UK's foremost independent British travel agents. With a vast network encompassing 70 locations across the country, a proficient team of over 900 travel experts with global expertise, and a history spanning 42 years in the travel industry, Barrhead Travel is your go-to destination for holidays and tailor-made travel experiences. Regardless of your desired travel destination worldwide, allow them to assist you in planning your next journey by matching you with the perfect travel agent who specializes in your specific area of interest. Their team of travel specialists each brings their unique expertise to the table, ensuring that you can quickly locate the ideal travel expert based on their area of knowledge. Planning your next vacation should be effortless and enjoyable, and with a dedicated travel specialist, you can expect a seamless getaway to your chosen destination. At Barrhead Travel, they are committed to passing on the cost savings to their valued customers. Being entirely independent, they provide impartial advice and curate tailor-made holidays that align precisely with your preferences and requirements. Your travel experience is in expert hands when you choose Barrhead Travel. UNIQUE FACTS: • Fully Financially Protected • Exceptional Customer Service • Authentic Travel Experiences • ABTA & ATOL Members.

  • Book Appointment
  • sou***@b***o.uk
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  • 023 8033 3733
  • 0330 094 8364


We have ordered a holiday with Barrhead Travel Southampton for the first time and have been absolutely blown away by their fantastic service. We have been on several cruises and they managed to get us a brilliant deal on MSC Virtuosa, whilst also being accommodating when I was being a diva and requested a cabin change! Paperwork has all been completed and on time whilst they are easily accessible via email at all times. Katie & Steph (I believe) have been incredible and always nice to have a chat & laugh with. Will be back soon to book our next adventure.
We have delt with a lovely young lady called Katie, she could not have been more helpful and considerate with all our needs. I would definitely recommend Barrhead as everyone in there was friendly. Very efficient and professional. Will 100% book again through her.
Great travel agent. Have used them from booking Egypt to cruises. Stephanie is always willing and able to make changes and sort us out. Can’t recommend them enough.

TUI Holiday Store

TUI Holiday Store is a globally renowned travel company with an exceptional reputation. Their primary objective is to craft holidays that allow clients to "Discover Smile." They specialize in offering extraordinary experiences in some of the world's most coveted destinations. More than 50 per cent of their customers now enjoy their stay in hotels that have received prestigious global awards for their eco-friendly and ethical standards. TUI Holiday Store provides an array of tours that enable travellers to explore exotic locales such as Costa Rica, South Africa, and Japan in an entirely new and captivating manner. Additionally, they offer multi-destination trips featuring an impressive selection of over 5,000 possible combinations. TUI Holiday Store's expertise also extends to cruises. Through Marella Cruises, travellers can travel to over 120 destinations, including onboard tips and service charges. Moreover, their Travel Money service presents advantageous rates for more than 50 different currencies worldwide, all without any commission. You'll find excellent rates and convenient access to various currencies for your travel needs at the TUI Travel Money counter. UNIQUE FACTS: • Friendly Advice • Great Service • 24/7 Holiday Helpline • ATOL Protected.

  • Online Booking
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  • tui.co.uk/shop-finder/tui...
  • 02380 635263


We went into this TUI branch to book a group holiday for 15 of us. Anita helped us to find the best possible deal and took the time to take down all our details and requirements. We left with a great deal that suited us perfectly thanks to Anita’s patience and experience. Really great service and would recommend 100%!
We booked two holidays with Lauren on Saturday and she was such a great help. She provided a really friendly service and went above and beyond to ensure all of our needs were met. She is a credit to the store and we will definitely be booking any future holidays through her as well. Thank you Lauren!
Ashleigh was incredible, patient with us, and found the perfect holiday. Super kind, professional and helpful. Would thoroughly recommend.

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The Best Time to Visit Southampton, the United Kingdom for Weather, Safety, & Tourism

The best times to visit Southampton for ideal weather are

May 28th to September 30th

based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.

Southampton Travel Guide


  • Perceived Temperature
  • Rain and snow
  • Humidity and wind
  • The busiest and least popular months
  • Overall travel experience by time of year

Other Southampton Travel Info

Weather in southampton.

Average temperatures in Southampton vary somewhat. Considering humidity, temperatures feel cold for about half of the year and otherwise nice with a chance of rain or snow throughout most of the year. The area is less temperate than some — in the 26th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above . If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Southampton, the hottest months are July, August, and then June. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally late July where highs are regularly around 72.6°F (22.6°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 53.9°F (12.2°C) at night.

Southampton Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

Southampton temperatures (celsius), “feels-like” temperatures.

The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.

Southampton Perceived Temperature (F)

Southampton perceived temperature (c), average southampton temperatures by month.

Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.

Show Fahrenheit

Show celsius, precipitation (rain or snow).

If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in Southampton are September, April, and then March. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around early April. For example, on the week of April 2nd there is 1 day of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in early to mid January with an average of 3 days of significant precipitation the week of January 8th.

Chance of Precipitation

The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Southampton.

Snow on the Ground

The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Southampton (in).

Average Rain and Snow by Month

Show inches, show centimeters, humidity and wind.

Southampton has some extremely humid months, and above average humidity throughout the year. The least humid month is April (62.8% relative humidity), and the most humid month is December (82.7%).

Wind in Southampton is usually moderate . The windiest month is January, followed by December and February. January’s average wind speed of around 9 knots (10.4 MPH or 16.7 KPH) is considered “a gentle breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in late December where average top sustained speeds reach 16.3 knots, which is considered a moderate breeze.

Relative Humidity (%)

The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in Southampton.

The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.

Average Wind Speeds

Show wind speeds.

All wind speeds are in knots. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.

Show Relative Humidity by Month

Is it safe to travel to southampton.

Our best data indicates this area is somewhat safe. As of Dec 04, 2023 there are travel warnings for the United Kingdom; exercise a high degree of caution. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories . This advisory was last updated on Nov 27, 2023.

The Busiest and Least Crowded Months

The busiest month for tourism in Southampton, the United Kingdom is August, followed by July and June. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Southampton in December. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.

Estimated Tourism by Month

Most popular months to visit, overall southampton travel experience by season, spring (march through may).

Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderately cold. Highs range from 65.8°F (18.8°C) and 48.9°F (9.4°C) with warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 5 to 6 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is the second busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.

Summer (June through August)

The middle-year months have comfortably cool weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see moderate precipitation with 6 to 7 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Southampton, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.

Fall (September through November)

Fall daily highs range from 68.3°F (20.2°C) and 47.5°F (8.6°C), which will feel chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 5 to 10 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably priced.

Winter (December through February)

Weather is too cold this time of year in Southampton to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 48.9°F (9.4°C) and 43.9°F (6.6°C). On average, it rains or snows a fair amount: 8 to 10 times per month. These times of year are fairly slow with tourists.

Best Times to Travel › the United Kingdom › Southampton, the United Kingdom

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Hotels in Southampton

Travelodge Southampton

Visiting the famous maritime city of Southampton couldn't be easier with our collection of affordable hotels located in the city. Offering a range of attractions, Southampton has a host of activities suitable for all age groups.

Cheap hotels in Southampton

Famous for being the cruise capital of the UK, Southampton is the perfect place to start your holiday with our range of cheap hotels close to the docks. If in the city for business then we also have hotels in Southampton city centre offering convenient access to a number of corporate attractions.

Things to do in Southampton

You could see a show at the beautiful Mayflower Theatre, which hosts large-scale touring musicals, operas and ballets. We have hotels close to the Theatre for those looking for the perfect theatre break trip. For prospective students you may wish to visit the main university or Southampton Solent University on an open day. Alternatively you may wish to stay for a graduation ceremony or just a weekend to see friends. The former town hall, the Southampton Guildhall hosts a range of gigs and concerts that Travelodge is all in easy reach of. Those with children can take them to the SeaCity Museum, which allows children to gain an insight in to the strong maritime connections that the city has. The Tudor House and Garden is also a popular option for those wishing to soak up the 800 years of history that is available in Southampton. For a spot of culture the Southampton City Art Gallery is great for observing internationally celebrated art and eight centuries of documentation, revealing western art spanning from the renaissance to the present day.

Nearby attractions

  • Southampton Solent University
  • Mayflower Theatre
  • Southampton Central Train Station
  • St Mary's Stadium
  • University Of Southampton

Nearby locations

  • Hamble Le Rice

Hilton Southampton - Utilita Bowl

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Arrival Time

Cricketer's paradise in Southampton

Overlooking a tranquil lake, our hotel is adjacent to the Utilita Bowl with sweeping views of the cricket ground. We’re a 20-minute drive from central Southampton, and five miles from the cruise terminal. Our restaurant, Beefy’s, is inspired by the legendary cricketer Sir Ian Botham, and we have a full-service spa, and 18-hole golf course.

Our amenities

Connecting Rooms

Free parking

Non-smoking rooms

Digital Key

On-site restaurant

Fitness center

Pet-friendly rooms

Room service

Business center

Meeting rooms

Rooms and suites

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Hilton Honors member benefits

Hilton Honors Discount rate

Points toward free nights and more

Choose Your Room

Digital Check-In

Hilton Honors Experiences

Hotel policies

Not available


Free in-room and lobby WiFi

Send a future memory

Bar and Lounge Area

Dining and drinks

Inspired by cricketer Sir Ian Botham, BEEFY'S is our signature restaurant serving up a range of modern British dishes. Light lunches and refreshments are available at the eforea Spa Cafe.

Spa Treatment Room

Our extensive range of treatments includes facials, massages, and wraps. We also offer a Thermal Journey to rejuvenate, detoxify, and uplift. Our facilities include an ice fountain, steam room, sauna, and a cozy relaxation lounge. We also have a spa café and offer both day and overnight spa packages. Spa access is not included in bedroom packages unless you have booked a spa break. Access to the spa is for guests 16 and above. Pre booking is required.

Golf course flags and water

Boundary Lakes is The Ageas Bowl's par-69 parkland course. Designed with USGA standard greens, our scenic fairways are sure to challenge all skill levels. Our fully equipped facility includes a pro shop, custom-fitting studio, practice pod, changing rooms. Enjoy refreshments at our bar and clubhouse, overlooking the rolling views.

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Location and transportation.

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Major roadworks planned for Southampton city centre

travel southampton uk

A main city centre road is to be made one-way while months of major roadworks are carried out.

An anti-clockwise system will be in place on Cumberland Place and Havelock Road in Southampton, as work begins on the the northern inner ring road on 5 February.

The scheme will aim to create shorter journey times for drivers, more reliable buses and safer pedestrian crossings, the city council said.

Work will run until the summer.

Southampton City Council said the roadworks would be "significant" for drivers and that some bus services could be diverted as a result.

Money from the £57M government-funded Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) programme in Southampton and Hampshire will fund the scheme.

Southampton City Council map of the ring road

State-of-the-art traffic lights that can adapt to traffic demand will be installed at Bedford Place, London Road, Commercial Road, and West Park Road.

Buses will be given priority to help them cross the ring road more efficiently at two of the junctions.

Footpaths and crossings will also be made safer for people with limited mobility, the city council added.

Eamonn Keogh, the authority's cabinet member for transport, has thanked people for their patience.

"Our aim is to create a network that is safe, attractive and accessible however you get around the city," he added.

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High-speed ferry back in action after oil leak

Razorlight and reef to headline harbour festival, high-speed ferry out of action after oil leak.

Landslip near Ramsey

Manx Mountain Road closed for landslip safety work

Part of the A18 closes overnight for the completion of works to deal with December's landslide.

War Memorial on Douglas Promenade

Call for artists to design Manx sea wall panels

Manx artists are invited to design artwork for a new sea wall set to protect against flooding.

Road sign warning of the road works

Motorists warned of more traffic delays

Access to the Jubilee Oak roundabout is further restricted as Braddan Bridge resurfacing progresses.

Manx money

Tynwald to be asked to approve £46.8m overspends

The extra spending is partly down to inflation rises and wage hikes, the treasury minister says.

Innsworth Roundabout shown with concrete blocking it off

Roundabout on A40 will not open until spring

Work began on the roundabout in 2021 but is not in use despite the main road to it being finished.

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travel southampton uk

  • Rail passenger experience

The Great British Rail Sale returns: discounts on over a million rail tickets

Discounted rail ticket prices will apply to journeys between 30 January and 15 March 2024 across England and Wales.

travel southampton uk

  • the week-long sale starts on 23 January 2024, slashing rail ticket prices on many routes over 6 weeks
  • comes as government seeks to reform the railways and bring more passengers back to the rail network
  • offers on journeys on thousands of popular routes across England and Wales

Passengers will have from 23 to 29 January 2024 to claim up to 50% off selected advance and off-peak rail tickets, through the Great British Rail Sale.

Over a million discounted tickets will be available to destinations across England and Wales, as well as on cross-border trips into Scotland, for journeys taking place between 30 January and 15 March 2024.

Whether it’s a city break, family holiday or countryside escape, passengers are encouraged to make the most of this sale to get to popular destinations across the country.

Popular journeys passengers could claim savings* on tickets for include:

The government is committed to helping families with the cost of living, and working with industry to offer up to half-price rail tickets will not only boost tourism and encourage sustainable travel but also help connect friends and families across the UK.

This follows a  significant intervention to cap this year’s rail fare increase at 4.9% , considerably below the 9% July’s retail price index (RPI) figure on which they are historically based.

This comes as the government delivered its commitment to halve inflation by the end of last year – helping to keep travel costs lower in the long term.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said:

The return of the Great British Rail Sale is good news for passengers, following the success of the previous sale which saw passengers benefit from around £7 million in savings on their travel costs. With discounts on more than a million tickets, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to connect with friends and family and explore great destinations across the country – I hope passengers make the most of this sale and choose to travel by rail.

Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said:

Train travel is the greenest way to explore our towns and cities as well as connect with your family and friends because nothing beats being there in person for those special moments. Following the success of the Great British Rail Sale in 2022, we are really excited that it’s coming back, and customers will be able to once again purchase over a million advance ticket fares starting on 23 January 2024 and enjoy what rail has to offer.

The Great British Railways Transition Team ( GBRTT ) estimate that the first Great British Rail Sale in 2022 saw passengers save around £7 million on rail tickets and encouraged around 70,000 adults who had not travelled by train since the COVID-19 pandemic to take a trip.**

The government and industry are, therefore, launching a second Great British Rail Sale to save passengers money and get more people using our railways.

The Great British Rail Sale is just one way the government is seeking to improve rail passengers’ experience, with London North Eastern Railway ( LNER ) launching a pilot scheme for simpler fares earlier this week, removing the complex web of ticket types and replacing them with options that are simpler, more flexible and better suit passengers’ needs.

Suzanne Donnelly, Passenger Revenue Director at GBRTT , said:

I’m delighted the rail industry has, once again, come together to deliver another huge round of savings on tickets for passengers. At GBRTT , we are focused on driving initiatives that will boost the number of rail journeys people make to reduce the cost of running the railway for taxpayers, whilst providing value for money for customers. The Great British Rail Sale is just one example of what can be achieved through a one railway, joined-up approach.

Sale tickets will start to become available from midnight on 23 January 2024. The Rail Delivery Group will host a central webpage, helping customers find the best deals. Tickets can also be found on all ticket retailer websites for journeys taking place between 30 January and 15 March 2024. Only a limited number of tickets are available, and no further sale tickets will go on offer once sold out.***

Operators are not offering sale tickets on days when their services might be impacted by the strikes announced by ASLEF on 15 and 18 January 2024.

* The savings quoted are against a typical advance purchase ticket, as these tickets vary in price the exact savings may be more or less compared to what a passenger usually purchases.

** Estimate is based on survey data from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and scaled using YouGov data.

*** Travel periods may differ across operators, with few or no tickets available on days impacted by industrial action. More tickets will be made available on days unaffected by industrial action.

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Storm Jocelyn: 97mph gusts recorded after heavy winds hit UK

  • Published 5 days ago

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Watch: How two storms in four days wreaked havoc

Storm Jocelyn has moved across the UK, as gusts of up to 97mph winds swept across the country.

Tuesday was marked by heavy rain in parts, with strong gusts across much of the country on Wednesday morning.

The strongest gust so far, 97mph, was recorded in Capel Curig, north Wales, while in Scotland trains stopped running on Tuesday evening .

The centre of the storm has now passed the UK, and is much weaker than it was on Tuesday night.

However, it will remain windy on Wednesday afternoon across Scotland and some of northern England, where a yellow weather warning for wind was in place until 15:00 GMT and gusts of up to 55-65mph were expected.

The weather for the rest of the week looks unremarkable, with some cloud and rain in some areas, but no clear sign of the next named storm - Kathleen - in the forecast.

It has been a particularly stormy autumn and winter, and Storm Jocelyn is the 10th named storm of the season.

The storms have mainly been driven by a powerful jet stream - fast-moving winds high in the atmosphere - crossing the Atlantic, although global phenomena such as the El Niño event also have an impact.

  • UK weather: Why has it been so stormy this year?

Storm Jocelyn: How do new storms get their names?

Storm Isha leaves two dead and thousands without power

Elsewhere, a search involving coastguard crews, a helicopter and RNLI lifeboats, for a person reported to be in the sea at Porthcawl, south Wales, has resumed after it was suspended overnight.

Both Isha and Jocelyn have disrupted the journeys of many road, rail and air travellers.

ScotRail said a small number of services had resumed on Wednesday, having been suspended on Tuesday evening.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail's customer operations director, said the company was aware of some damage overnight.

Network Rail Scotland said on Wednesday that most routes have been inspected and re-opened, with most being opened in a controlled manner.

An exception is the Highland Mainline route between Pitlochry and Perth, where river levels are too high for inspection to be possible.

TransPennine Express, which runs services between northern England and Scotland, is advising customers not to travel until noon on Wednesday on its Preston to Glasgow and Preston to Edinburgh routes.

Avanti West Coast said its services to and from Scotland would be cancelled until at least midday on Wednesday.

The storm also caused "major disruption" on Northern Ireland's road network , an official said, and the main road to Belfast International Airport remained closed on Wednesday. The QE2 bridge at the Dartford Crossing on London's M25 also shut on Wednesday due to strong wind, but has since reopened.

Labour has called for a "flood resilience taskforce" to be established to strengthen long-term protections for future freak weather events.

In an urgent question in Parliament, shadow Cabinet Office minister Pat McFadden said such a unit should be established "given the frequency of extreme weather events".

In response, Cabinet Office Minister Alex Burghart said the government has learned lessons from past storms, and taken greater efforts to prepare for future extreme weather events.

In Northern Ireland, power has been restored to 52,000 homes since Storm Isha, but 1,400 customers are still without electricity, according to NIE Networks .

Elsewhere in the UK, Electricity North West said power has been restored to 96% of customers affected by Storm Isha.

In northern Scotland, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said that as of 08:00 on Wednesday supplies had been restored to 2,200 customers in the north of Scotland, with just under 2,400 properties currently without.

As of 12:45 on Wednesday there are also 25 flood warnings in place across Scotland as well as 19 in England .

In York, parts of the city have flooded with water levels on the River Ouse already very high, and set to rise further.

Meanwhile, a man who died after the car he was in hit a fallen tree in Scotland during Storm Isha on Sunday has been named as James "Jimmy" Johnstone, 84, from Grangemouth, Stirlingshire. His family described him as a "much loved and well respected family man".

Information boards at Glasgow Queen Street showing all trains cancelled

Motorists are being urged to reconsider making journeys where the weather is expected to be the worst, including western and southern Scotland and north-west England.

"With so much heavy rainfall and debris on the roads, driving conditions will be very challenging," RAC spokeswoman Alice Simpson said.

"We also suggest drivers avoid parking underneath or near to trees," she added.

  • Trains stop across Scotland as Storm Jocelyn arrives
  • Fear Storm Jocelyn could hamper power repairs

Waves crashing at New Brighton beach, Wirral

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  • Severe weather

More on this story

  • Published 22 January

A car is damaged due to a fallen tree during Storm Isha in Linlithgow

'My flight to Bristol got diverted to Paris'

A long queue of people at a sandwich shop

  • Published 6 days ago

Two people walk along New Brighton promenade holding umbrellas

Storm Jocelyn latest: Major disruption on rail network; search for person missing in sea suspended

Weather warnings remain in place for much of the UK today, with rail operators warning of disruption throughout Scotland and in parts of England. The search for a person reported in the water near Wales has been suspended, with a decision on further action to come "at first light".

Wednesday 24 January 2024 10:20, UK

A fallen tree on the line at Arrochar and Tarbet on Monday

  • Complete breakdown of today's weather warnings
  • Rail disruption in Scotland and England continues
  • Person reported in sea off Welsh coast still not found
  • River Ouse breaches banks in York
  • The latest on power cuts
  • Explained :  What do the weather warnings mean?
  • Live reporting by Brad Young

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We're ending our coverage of Storms Isha and Jocelyn - but before we go, here is a quick recap of what to expect for the rest of the day and other key developments this morning.

Wind warnings: Yellow warnings for wind remain in place across Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and much of England until this afternoon.

Rail disruption: Services to and from Scotland remain suspended until at least noon, with passengers told not to attempt to travel north of Preston until then.

Power cuts: Some 2,400 properties remain without power in northern Scotland, according to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

Nearly 100mph winds:  Gusts of 97mph were recorded in the village of Capel Curig, Wales, this morning.

By Brad Young, live reporter

Derek Lambie, 48, from Stirling, says he spent last night dodging bits falling off trees and litter "flying down the street at you at 70mph".

Houses and a primary school in his neighbourhood were left with involuntarily "open-plan gardens" after their fences were blown down, while river levels continued to rise, he added.

"I think we're all becoming used to this kind of weather that is constantly bringing warnings about wind and rain, but actually last night was the windiest that we've felt in quite some time," said Mr Lambie.

"At the moment it feels like when choosing dog walks, you have to pick whether you're going to go out in a gale-force wind, severe gale-force winds or extreme gale-force winds."

The frequency of the storms has left Mr Lambie concerned for what his children will have to contend with as Scotland's climate changes.

"It's every second or third day we're continually battered by this sort of weather," he said.

"It's difficult to tell the kids that it has changed really quite rapidly over the last 10 to 20 years, and in their lifetimes it's going to get worse again."

Mr Lambie continued: "Who knows what the next 10 to 20 years is going to bring for us all."

Some 2,400 properties are without power in Scotland, according to Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).

SSEN said that the north of the country endured several hours of gale-force winds and its teams were working hard to reconnect its customers.

Power has been returned to approximately 2,200 properties, it said.

"Our network has held up well overnight given the strength of winds we have seen across western and northern Scotland, but our teams still face another day of challenging conditions as we work hard to reconnect all of our customers," said Andy Smith, operations director at SSEN Distribution.

Meanwhile, in England, Electricity North West said that "some of our customers are still being impacted" by the storms.

Edinburgh Waverley, usually a bustling train station at this time, has been left a ghost town.

Rail services to and from Scotland have been suspended until at least noon.

Pictures showed some passengers beginning a long wait for services to resume.

The family of an 84-year-old man who died during Storm Isha have said their hearts are broken as they paid tribute to him.

James Johnstone, from Grangemouth, was the front seat passenger in a car that struck a tree on the A905 Beancross Road in Grangemouth just before midnight on Sunday,

Police said Mr Johnstone, who was known as Jimmy, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other occupants of the vehicle were not injured.

He was a "much loved and well-respected family man who left a lasting impression on all who had the privilege to have met him", said the family via Police Scotland.

"Our hearts are broken as a family. However, take great comfort in knowing that he has been reunited with his beloved wife Anne."

Police have appealed for witnesses to the incident.

Winds of almost 100mph have been recorded this morning.

The Met Office said Storm Jocelyn continues to bring "very strong" gusts across the UK, particularly in Scotland.

But the fastest was seen in the village of Capel Curig, Wales, with speeds of 97mph.

Gusts faster than 70mph were recorded in five other locations, with highs of 77mph in England and 74mph in Scotland.

  • Capel Curig, Wales, 97mph
  • Aberdaron, Wales, 79mph
  • Shap, England, 77mph
  • Needles Old Battery, England, 74mph
  • South Uist Range, Scotland, 74mph
  • Drumalbin, Scotland, 74mph

The Met Office has issued three weather warnings for wind today across the UK.

Here we look in detail at the amber and yellow alerts in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Location:  Whole of Scotland and Northern Ireland, North West England, northern Wales and Yorkshire, as well as parts of North East England (Durham and Northumberland) and the Midlands (Derbyshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, and Telford and Wrekin).

Begins:  4pm yesterday

Ends:  1pm 

Warning:  Strong winds may damage buildings, close roads and bring down trees. Recovery efforts off the back of Storm Isha will likely be hampered. Transport and power supply may be affected. In coastal areas, there is a chance of large waves and debris posing a danger to life.

Location: Wales, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, North East England, as well as some areas of East England (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough), South West England (Bristol, Gloucestershire, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) plus Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire.

Began: Midday yesterday

Warning: Strong winds will affect buses, trains, planes and ferries, with large waves expected on the coasts.


A third, amber warning for wind has just expired, but the impacts are set to be felt across transport networks for at least the rest of the morning.

You can find the details below.

Warning: A spell of strong winds has a good chance of causing power cuts and affecting phone services. There will probably be some damage to buildings. Transport cancellations and road closures are likely. Large waves will likely pose a danger to life in coastal areas.

Location: Grampian, Highlands and Eilean Siar, Orkney and Shetland, and Strathclyde

Began: 6pm yesterday

Ended: 8am today

The search for a person reported to be in the sea in South Wales has been suspended.

A coastguard helicopter and RNLI lifeboats began the operation near Porthcawl at 6pm yesterday.

A decision on further action would be made at first light, said HM Coastguard.

Rescue teams were sent from Porthcawl, Port Talbot, and Llantwit Major.

Porthcawl is a seaside town on the south coast of Wales, approximately 25 miles west of Cardiff.

Train operators have warned passengers to expect further transport disruption this morning.

Rail services to and from Scotland remain suspended until at least noon.

Martin Thomson, national operations manager for resilience at Transport Scotland, said: "Across the wider network, we can expect to see more delays and cancellations with ferries, flights and rail into Wednesday morning."

ScotRail said all lines will be checked before services restart, saying "it will be later on in the day before any trains can run".

Flooding, fallen trees and a shed roof blowing onto a high wall above a track were among the issues Network Rail Scotland said it had dealt with last night, adding it would be inspecting routes for damage from first light.

"It'll be done in many ways – teams on foot, in road-rail vehicles, freight locos and empty passenger trains. Our helicopter will be out too, as soon as winds ease," said NRS.

Avanti West Coast told passengers not to attempt to travel north of Preston until at least noon and warned journeys in North West England may take longer due to speed restrictions.

Hello and welcome back to our live coverage of Storm Jocelyn. 

We're expecting the fallout of the storm to continue, even as the harsh weather begins to ebb away.

The 10th named storm of the season has brought an amber warning for wind to parts of Scotland this morning, with much of the UK covered by a yellow alert into the afternoon. 

From 7pm last night, a near-complete shutdown of Scotland's rail network was ordered by ScotRail as parts of the UK saw winds of over 71mph.

Several flights were also cancelled at Dublin Airport. 

Rail lines and some roads will need to be inspected by authorities by daylight before services can resume in some parts of the UK, with fallen trees and other damage likely. 

At least one person suffered life-threatening injuries due to the storm yesterday, after a tree fell on a road in Bristol.

We'll be bringing you the latest updates throughout the day.

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