5 Reasons to Pay a Visit to Southampton

Situated some 70 miles south of London, Southampton is a major port city with a rich history. Most only travel to the area due to it being a transport hub, but Southampton has so much to offer beyond the surface. If you need convincing, here are five reasons why it is worth spending a day — or two — exploring Southampton:

Travel, Visit Southampton, Southampton. Travel Guide
5 Reasons to Pay a Visit to Southampton
(photo: visit southampton)

1. It is the Start of Your Cruise Adventure

Okay, it’s time to get the most obvious reason to visit Southampton out of the way first. As the busiest cruise terminal in the UK, many people flock to the city to set sail for an international adventure. If you browse cheap cruises from Southampton, it’s easy to understand why it is such a popular starting point.

2. Explore the Preserved History

Ever since the Normans rocked up in 1066, Southampton has been a focal point of British history. As you explore the area, you will see different ways its history has been preserved. The Bargate, a World Heritage site, is a medieval gatehouse which has stood proudly in the heart of the city for over 800 years. 

Part-museum, part-historic-site, the Tudor House and Garden is self-described as the “most important historic building” found in Southampton. With part of the attraction dating back hundreds of years, this house provides a fascinating insight into the lives of its residents through the centuries.

3. Museums and Galleries Galore

It’s far from being as flush with museums and galleries as, say, Paris, but Southampton has its fair share of such attractions. In that regard, one of the city’s best is the SeaCity Museum. This museum details the story of the Titanic, and how the ship — which departed from Southampton — affected the city both before, and after, its tragic demise. 

Solent Sky Museum is a showcase for Southampton’s aviation history where actual plane exhibits are combined with historical documentary footage. For a slice of culture, visit the Southampton City Art Gallery. First opened in 1939, this gallery is renowned internationally due to its fantastic collection of art — both contemporary and historic — on display.

4. See a Show

If you are fortunate enough to be in Southampton when a show is on, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Mayflower Theatre. This Grade II listed building, which features a capacity of 2,300, regularly hosts touring West End theatre productions. Music shows and comedy performances also complete the regular schedule at the Mayflower Theatre. Fun fact: local legend says an old man, residing backstage in a wicker chair, haunts the theatre.

5. Retail Therapy at Westquay

If you’ve returned from your cruise and still have some spending money left, head over to the Westquay Shopping Centre. This is one of the UK’s most popular shopping centres for a reason, as it packs in over 100 retailers. Fashion, toys, technology, beauty — every category you can think of is covered via a large mix of popular high street names. If you’re feeling peckish, the Westquay also boasts a generous selection of restaurants and fast-food outlets.

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