Southampton, the county’s central city, is a historic port where many of the world’s largest cruise ships continue to dock. Let’s look at some of the top things to do in Southampton.
The Titanic, for example, set sail from Southampton on her fateful maiden voyage. The city also has an aviation history since it was the site of the Spitfire fighter plane’s assembly in the 1930s.
Southampton served as a staging area for the D-Day landings during WWII and had previously been severely devastated by German bombing assaults due to its economic importance.
Riveting portions of the ancient town, such as the strong Bargate, lengthy sections of the 13th-century walls, and the magnificent Tudor House and garden, may still be discovered.
Things to Do in Southampton – Top 10 Best Things
1. Tudor Mansion and Garden
The Tudor House and Garden, considered one of Southampton’s oldest and most significant Tudor structures, is a must-see in the city.
The half-timbered tower, which houses nearly 800 years of the city’s history, was erected in the 15th century. It was a magnificent private limited residence that stood proudly in the much smaller Southampton at the time. Nowadays, it’s a museum that highlights the region’s significant history and is worth looking inside.
2. Museum of the SeaCity
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On the 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic’s departure from Southampton, this multimillion-pound museum opened in 2012.
SeaCity locates in a newly renovated part of the Civic Centre complex that formerly housed the police station and magistrates’ court.
“Gateway to the World” commemorates Southampton’s history as an important port in England, recording the people and things that have passed through the city since the Middle Ages.
The one-ton replica of the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary, which cruised between Southampton, Cherbourg, and New York until 1967, is a show stopper. The “Titanic Account” tells the story of the world’s most historic maritime tragedy from the crew’s viewpoint, many of whom were stationed in Southampton.
3. Titanic Route
Did you realise that Southampton has a solid connection to the Titanic? It was the first port of call before sinking after colliding with an iceberg on its way to New York City.
Several sites devoted to the ship and the broader tragedy have been built across the city to memorialise that fateful trip from Southampton.
To ensure you see them all, Southampton has its own Titanic Trail, which takes around an hour to walk.
4. Museum of the Solent Sky
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Southampton was the location of the aircraft firm Supermarine in the early twentieth century, which created the beloved Spitfire fighter plane.
This race, as well as the history of the Supermarine brand, form the foundation of this aviation museum.
There’s a Spitfire F.24 and a Supermarine S.6, winning the Schneider Trophy in 1929. A de Havilland Vampire, a Slingsby Grasshopper training glider, a Short Sandringham flying boat, and a Folland Gnat are other British-made aircraft.
This medical checkpoint has seen a lot over the years! It dates back to the 12th century and is part of the city’s extensive history. Although a visit to Bargate won’t take long, it’s still worth a look since located in the heart of Southampton and so convenient. After that, travel in the afternoon to get lunch or explore the local high street businesses (at West Quay Shopping Centre).
6. Medieval City Tower
The Western Esplanade, which also houses Wind Whistle Tower, provides the most incredible views of Southampton’s 14th-century mediaeval fortifications — the third most extended uninterrupted section of the city wall in Britain. St. Michael’s on Castle Way is Southampton’s sole intact mediaeval church, erected in the 11th century and contains Norman relics and a font made of Tournai marble.
7. Tudor House and Garden
The splendid Tudor home in St. Michael’s Square was constructed for a wealthy merchant family in the late 15th century. It is now a museum with artefacts from the Victorian and Edwardian periods and rotating exhibitions covering more than 900 years of local history.
8. Mayflower Theatre
Southampton’s 2,300-capacity theatre debuted as the Empire Theatre in 1928 and is one of the city’s most popular cultural attractions. The Mayflower is a Grade II listed structure that hosted The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Queen from 1950 and 1986, when it was known as the Gaumont.
The schedule dominates by theatrical performances and musicals such as The Kite Runner adaption, War Horse, Blood Brothers, and the Full Monty.
9. New Forest National Park
The New Forest, one of England’s national parks, is a great spot to visit if you want to get away from the city.
It’s the area with artificial grass where you can get away from it all, with miles of paths, rolling hills, heathland, and woods.
The Solent Way Walk is quite stunning. Yes, it’s around 60 miles long, but you don’t have to do it all at once!
10. The Medieval Merchant’s House
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The Medieval Merchant’s House on French Street, only a short walk from the city centre, is another magnificent ancient house to explore. This old townhouse, built-in 1290, has been extensively restored and is one of the few remaining specimens of its sort.
A tour includes viewing collections of period furniture and wall hangings, as well as unusual architectural embellishments that provide an intriguing glimpse into the living circumstances of a wealthy 13th-century family.
Southampton, located in the south of England, offers a rich history, galleries, and museums to explore. Hundreds of the most incredible things to do in Southampton scatter around the city. This makes it an ideal destination for a day trip or a more extended weekend retreat. Not only that, but it’s also a fantastic place to base oneself for a vacation around the surrounding area (which is very lovely). You’ll spoil for choice, particularly given the proximity of the South Downs National Park, beautiful beaches, and the Isle of Wight!
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