If you’re looking for an English city break with a difference, then look no further than Southampton. Located on the south coast of England, this historic port city is regularly voted as one of the best places to visit in England. The city centre has been beautifully restored and offers plenty of stunning architecture and views of the River Itchen. There are plenty of attractions and museums that offer something for everyone and there is also a thriving arts scene here. Here are our top 10 places to visit in Southampton:
Get lost in Southampton’s Old Town
The city centre of Southampton has been beautifully restored and provides a truly stunning backdrop for exploring. There is a wealth of architecture to explore, from the centuries-old town walls to modern buildings with stunning interiors. The cobbled streets are a joy to explore and there are plenty of places to stop for a takeaway coffee or a bite to eat. St Mary’s Hill is another great spot for people watching. This is where you’ll find the Medieval Festival, which takes place every August, as well as the Southampton Corn Exchange, a Victorian-style building full of restaurants and shops. The River Itchen is also a great place to get lost. This gentle river runs through the centre of the city, dotted with parks and gardens, and is great for people watching. There are plenty of places to relax with a picnic and enjoy the tranquillity of the Itchen. The Itchen Pathway is a walkway along the river that runs from the city centre to the Solent shore. This is a lovely path to explore and there are plenty of places to stop for a photo or to relax.
Visit the New Forest for Wildlife and Scenery
If you’re looking for a city break with some natural beauty, then head to the New Forest. This National Trust Forest is dotted with National Trust properties and is home to many species of wildlife, including the rare lynx. The New Forest is great for hiking and cycling and you’ll also find art and music festivals here throughout the year, as well as activities such as hang-gliding and microlight flights. With access to the New Forest Pathway, it’s easy to explore the area by foot. There are plenty of neighbouring towns and cities, with Bournemouth being a 15-minute drive away. During your stay you might also want to consider driving to the coast and visiting the stunning Jurassic Coast, where you can explore the remains of the Cretaceous/Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
Go to the Southampton Festival of Music and Arts
The Southampton Festival of Music and Arts is a year-long celebration of the arts in Southampton. The festival runs from early June to early July and features concerts, plays, art exhibitions, and much more. You can find out more information about the festival on its website. The festival is located in the waterfront area of the city, providing visitors with a stunning view of the city. During the festival you’ll find plenty of free activities, including open-air concerts, free art exhibitions, and more. There are also plenty of free activities for children, including a kids’ zone and free face painting.
See some amazing views from St Mary’s Hill
St Mary’s Hill is a great place to take in some stunning views of the city and the River Itchen. The hill offers 360° views from its vantage point, offering a beautiful backdrop to the city. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the historic city centre and River Itchen, as well as the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to the south of the city. There are plenty of places to rest and relax on the hill, including a cafe and a children’s play area. There are plenty of events in Southampton throughout the year that are great for people watching and exploring the city. During the summer months you can check out the Southampton Festival of Music and Arts for free concerts and art exhibitions. St Mary’s Hill is a great place to visit at any time of the year, but especially during the summer months.
Take a stroll along The Reach and Sea View Road
If you’re looking for a relaxing city break, take a stroll along The Reach and Sea View Road. This pathway runs along the waterfront and offers stunning views of the city and the River Itchen, as well as the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to the south of the city. During the summer months you’ll find plenty of free entertainment along the pathways, including live music, free events, and more. The city also has a vibrant nightlife scene, with bars, clubs, and live music venues. During the summer months, many of these places offer free entry to visitors. There are also plenty of parks and gardens in the city where you can relax with a book or a picnic. You can also visit the Botanic Gardens, where you can take in a beautiful view of the city.
Check out The Romanesque Guildhall
The Romanesque Guildhall is a listed building and a great place to visit for architecture lovers. Built in the 12th century, this building is the oldest public building in the city centre. It has been beautifully restored and now houses a museum, as well as art exhibitions and events throughout the year. The building is also home to the Office of the Archaeologist for Hampshire, which investigates the history of the city, and provides information about architecture and archaeology. The Guildhall is a great place to learn more about Southampton’s rich history and is also a good spot for people watching. There are also plenty of museums in the city that will provide plenty of interesting sights and artifacts, including the Fleet Prison Museum, which is a prison that was built in 1787 and now provides an insight into prison life in the 18th century.
If you’re looking for an English city break with a difference, then look no further than Southampton. This historic port city is regularly voted as one of the best places to visit in England. It has a wealth of stunning architecture and beautiful views of the River Itchen, as well as a thriving arts scene. There are plenty of attractions and museums that offer something for everyone, as well as a thriving nightlife scene and beautiful parks and gardens.