Things to do in Southampton, what you can do, what to expect

Overview for visitors to Southampton

Things to do in Southampton Leisure World Southampton

Leisure World: Southampton cinema, restaurants and nightclubs

Southampton is a city with a population of around 240,000 and has quite wide spread of industries. It is one of the UK's major commercial ports and has a large university.


Unlike many port cities it's quite spacious and spread out with many parks and open spaces. It is also a major regional shopping and entertainment centre.

Historically, it has been an important port for centuries. All in all then an interesting mix of old and new, with superb shops, beautiful parks and gardens and an ideal base for exploring places like Stonehenge, Salisbury and Portsmouth make it a nice place to stay for a while.

Southampton has so much to offer its visitors. Heritage, lots of shopping centres, great sports and recreational facilities.


Choose to eat al fresco on the waterfront, or sample cuisine from around the world in the city's restaurants, and enjoy an evenings entertainment in one Southampton's wide choice of theatres and clubs.


Sightseeing in and around Southampton

In terms of traditional sightseeing in Southampton, the focus is very much on the Old Town down by the waterfront. There are still sections of the original city walls and several medieval buildings you can visit plus several museums in this area.


At the tourist office you can pick up walking trail leaflets or take a guided tour for a more detailed insight into Southampton's fascinating past.


Qualified city guides, most of whom are Blue Badge holders, give regular tours of the city's medieval walls and maritime waterfront, starting at the Bargate. The tours take in key sights, like the Maritime Museum and the city walls.

Parts of the City Walls remain and can be walked by following the 'Walk the Walls' signs. The 14th and 15th century towers have been restored, and God's House Tower is now home to a museum of local archeology.


Things to do in Southampton - shopping & nightlife

Thinsg to do in southampton, Southampton Old Town

Walking tour of
Southampton Old Town

Southampton is a thriving regional shopping centre and entertainment centre.


There are several indoor shopping centres in the area, namely West Quay, The Mall Marlands, Bargate and East Street.


The traditional High Street is alive and well, all the more modern shopping centres are accessible or integrated into the old High Street. All the major chains that are in the UK have a presence here.


As an attempt to ensure the whole city centre is not dominated by chain stores, the city council have designated East Street a "speciality shopping" district.


West Quay, located in the heart of Southampton city centre, boasts over 90 stores including some of the larger chain stores spread over three shopping levels.


You can walk to all the shops easily from all the central Southampton hotels.

Southampton's exciting nightlife is renowned in the region. There are traditional and historic pubs and funky bars and music venues: everything from lounges where you can have an intimate drink to clubs where you can party late into the night listening to your favourite sounds.


Along the waterfront is a Casino and there is more than one multiplex cinema.


The Mayflower Theatre, in the heart of the city centre, is the largest theatre in Southern England and hosts shows, musicals, national opera and ballet companies.


Further afield from Southampton

Southampton is a major public transport hub. Frequent trains will take you to Salisbury or Winchester, medieval towns with major Cathedrals.


From Salisbury there is a tourist shuttle to world famous Stonehenge.


The train continues from Salisbury to Georgian Bath, one of the most popular cities in England to visit.

Going east of Southampton, a little way along the coast is Portsmouth, a base for the British navy and with their history there is much of interest to see. Going the other way is the New Forest, a renowned beauty spot.


The above just scratches the surface. There is so much to see you shouldn't get bored staying in Southampton.

Guided day & half day tours from Southampton

We specialise in providing bespoke tours for all visitors staying in Southampton whether you are an individual or a large group.


We can collect and return you from your cruise ship or Southampton hotel and provide a memorable tour from a couple of hours to a full day with our knowledgeable driver/guides.

Guided tours from Southampton details

Map of Southampton Hotels & Cruise Terminals
The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways
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