Things to do in Southampton, Hampshire
Southampton has been an important port for centuries, situated on England’s south coast and is a fascinating place to visit. Today Southampton is one of the premier venues for sailing and watersports, with some of the best marina facilities on the south coast. An interesting mix of old and new, with superb shops, beautiful parks and gardens, an ideal base for exploring the south coast, the New Forest and the Isle of Wight.
Southampton harbour has been in use since Roman times, witness to many historic events. Legend tells that in 1016 the Viking King Canute commanded the waves to retreat at Southampton. Armies embarked from here during the Hundred Years War to win the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers set out from here in the Mayflower, bound for America. The Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton on 15th April 1912. A memorial to the ensuing tragedy can be seen in East Park.
Southampton is one of the world’s natural harbours, with double tides. The first high tide flooding into the bay from the west followed, in two to three hours by a second high tide from the east - a phenomenon, which makes the harbour suitable for large vessels. The harbour is the home port to some of the world's most famous cruise liners, including QE2, Oriana, Aurora and Arcadia. Visit the Maritime Museum to discover more of Southampton’s heritage.
Parts of the City Walls remain and can be walked by following the ‘Walk the Walls’ signs. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth century towers have been restored, and God’s House Tower is now home to a museum of local archeology. Several city gates can still be seen, Bargate, built by the Normans is a fine example. St. Michael’s Church the oldest in the city, dates back to Norman times, it contains a rare font of black marble imported from Tourni. The nearby Tudor House (now a museum) is a magnificent example of 16th century architecture, with a banqueting hall and reconstructed Tudor garden. The Civic Centre with its distinctive clock tower, is home to the excellent City Arts Gallery. The Hall of Aviation tells the story of the Spitfire, designed by the local aviation pioneer R.J. Mitchell.
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.