15 Best Things to Do in Southampton, England

15 Best Things to Do in Southampton, England

By will

If you’re looking for an exciting and adventure-filled destination, look no further than Southampton, England.

This lively port city is a truly unique place, full of history, culture, and plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

From historical sites to outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone here — so why not explore the best that Southampton has to offer?

Here are 15 of the best things to do in this bustling city:

1. Walk The Medieval City Walls

Arundel Tower and former city walls in Southampton
Photo by Steve Daniels

Take a journey back in time and explore the Medieval City Walls of Southampton!

Dating from the 12th century, these walls still stand tall today. Walking along them gives you a unique perspective on the city’s past.

You can see some of the original fortifications, including crenellations and arrow slits.

They also offer stunning views across Southampton, with breathtaking views of St. Mary’s Cathedral and Bargate.

Plus, there are plenty of places to rest and take in the scenery as you go!

The walls are an excellent way to get an insight into Southampton’s history and culture.

As you stroll along them, imagine what life was like centuries ago.

There is so much to discover; it’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life for a while.

You will also find some excellent pubs and restaurants nearby; perfect for winding down after a day exploring this historic part of England!

2. Visit The Tudor House And Garden

Tudor House museum garden
Photo by Mr Ignavy

Take a step back in time with a visit to the Tudor House and Garden in Southampton.

The house was built in 1525 and is the oldest building in the city. It’s packed with historic artifacts and antiques, making it a great place to explore.

The garden is also beautiful, filled with colorful flowers and winding paths.

You can take a leisurely stroll through the grounds while taking in the sights of this historical site.

The best part about visiting the Tudor House is that you can experience what life was like during its heyday.

From furniture and artwork to tools used by artisans, you’ll get an up-close look at life centuries ago.

There are also interactive activities for kids that make learning fun while they explore their heritage.

Whether you’re just visiting or looking to discover more about Southampton’s past, this is one stop your family won’t want to miss!

3. The Medieval Merchant’s House

Medieval Merchant's House
Photo by DS Pugh

Southampton’s Medieval Merchant’s House is a stunning and fascinating relic of the city’s past.

Dating back to 1290, it has been lovingly preserved over the centuries and offers visitors a unique glimpse into the life of a medieval merchant.

The house is full of interesting features, including a ‘great hall’ which was used for entertaining guests, as well as an impressive stone fireplace and plenty of ancient carvings and decorations.

The house also boasts a number of rare artifacts from its long history, including furniture, armor, weapons, and pottery from the 15th century.

Visitors can take a guided tour or explore the house on their own; either way, it’s an incredible experience to be able to walk through such an old and historic building.

And if you’re looking for something even more special, there are even ghost tours available!

So if you’re in Southampton, don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to explore one of Britain’s oldest surviving structures.

Soak up some culture at The John Hansard Gallery in Southampton, England.

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This modern art gallery is one of the best places to visit in the city and showcases a variety of works from both international and local artists.

You’ll find an impressive selection of paintings, sculptures, photography, and more on display in this bright and airy space.

It’s a great spot for those looking to explore something new or appreciate the beauty of art.

Plus, it’s free to enter!

A visit to The John Hansard Gallery can be a truly inspiring experience.

As you wander through the galleries, you’ll be able to admire thought-provoking pieces and take part in events or workshops that help bring creativity into your life.

There are also plenty of talks, tours, discussions, and activities that make this gallery a great place for all ages to learn about art and its importance within society.

So take some time out from your day and immerse yourself in the creative world of The John Hansard Gallery – you won’t regret it!

5. The Solent Sky Museum

Nestled in the heart of Southampton, The Solent Sky Museum is a must-see for any history buff.

Here, you can explore the city’s aviation history and learn about its role in World War II.

This impressive museum displays over 30 aircraft from the past century, including a Supermarine Spitfire and a de Havilland Vampire.

You’ll also find an array of exhibits, collections, and documents that chronicle Southampton’s involvement with aviation.

From aircraft engines to flight simulators, it’s an educational experience like no other.

The Solent Sky Museum isn’t just about artifacts though; it’s also about stories.

Through interactive displays, audio-visual presentations, and informative talks, visitors can gain insight into the area’s fascinating aviation heritage.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon of nostalgia or simply want to explore something new, this unique museum will give you a glimpse into a past era that was full of freedom and adventure.

6. The Southampton Fc (St Mary’s Stadium)

If you’re looking for a great day out in Southampton, then St Mary’s Stadium is a must-see.

Home of Southampton Football Club, the stadium offers a unique experience to avid soccer fans.

It includes a museum that displays various memorabilia from the club’s past, as well as a tour of the grounds themselves.

With its modern design, St Mary’s Stadium is one of the most impressive stadiums in England.

The atmosphere at St Mary’s is electric on match days and it’s easy to see why so many people flock here for each game.

The stadium has seating for over 32,000 people and features many different amenities such as restaurants and bars, making it the perfect place to watch your favorite team play.

There are also plenty of activities available outside the stadium including family fun days and events like music festivals.

It’s an ideal setting for all kinds of entertainment, from sports to music and more.

Whether you’re an avid fan or simply looking for something new to do in Southampton, St Mary’s Stadium is definitely worth visiting!

7. The Seacity Museum

The SeaCity Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Southampton, England.

Nestled in the heart of the city, it’s the perfect place to learn about the city’s fascinating maritime history.

From the ill-fated Titanic to the Battle of Britain, this museum provides a plethora of interesting facts and stories about Southampton’s past.

Not only that but there are plenty of interactive exhibits, so you can really get a feel for what it was like living in Southampton during these times. Plus, there are plenty of fun activities for kids to enjoy too!

The SeaCity Museum also houses an impressive collection of artifacts from various points in time throughout Southampton’s history.

You’ll find everything from ancient pottery and coins to modern artworks that document the city’s evolution over time.

There are also special exhibitions showcasing different aspects of life in Southampton – such as fashion, music, and literature – which make for a captivating experience.

It’s definitely worth spending some time here if you’re looking to explore more than just the city itself!

8. The Mayflower Theatre

Next up on the must-see list of attractions in Southampton is the Mayflower Theatre.

Steeped in history and culture, this iconic theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1928.

With a range of productions and events taking place throughout the year, it’s easy to find something to suit everyone’s tastes.

The theatre regularly hosts musicals, concerts, plays, and comedy nights.

It also has an impressive lineup of star-studded shows on offer.

From ballet to family pantomimes, there’s something for all ages and interests.

The Mayflower Theatre also hosts the International Music Festival every summer, which showcases talent from around the world.

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So if you want an evening of unforgettable entertainment during your visit to Southampton, be sure to check out what’s on at the Mayflower Theatre!

Whether you like to laugh or cry, sing or dance – there’s plenty of opportunity here for a truly memorable experience.

9. Explore The Town Walls

The city walls of Southampton are an impressive sight, and definitely worth a visit.

Constructed in the 13th century, they have withstood the test of time, standing as a reminder of medieval England.

Measuring just over two miles in circumference, they form a complete circle around Southampton’s old town.

The walls are made up of 15 towers and five gates, which were built to protect the city from attack.

Exploring these walls is like stepping back into another era. You can almost sense the history that has been preserved here for centuries.

Along your journey, you’ll see many historic landmarks such as Bargate, God’s House Tower, and South Gate.

You’ll also be able to spot some of the remains of the original wall along your route.

For those looking for a unique experience, there are guided tours available that will provide more insight into this remarkable part of Southampton’s past.

It truly is an awe-inspiring place to visit!

10. The Bargate

Next on the list of great things to do in Southampton is The Bargate.

This historical landmark, built between 1180 and 1190, was once part of the town’s defensive walls.

It stands proudly as a reminder of Southampton’s rich history, and visitors can explore its impressive architecture up close.

The Bargate is divided into two sections – the north and south gatehouses – connected by a passageway.

The south gatehouse is particularly interesting as it still has its original Norman arches and stonework intact, making for a memorable sight.

Inside you’ll find an exhibition about the town’s past, which adds to the overall experience of visiting this incredible historic landmark.

The Bargate is rich in history and offers a glimpse into Southampton’s past.

Its stunning architecture will be sure to leave you feeling inspired and ready to explore more of what this lively city has to offer.

With so much to see and do here, there’s no better way to spend your day than taking in all that The Bargate has to offer!

11. Explore The Southampton Common

The Southampton Common is a beautiful park located in the city center of Southampton, England.

It’s the perfect place for people looking to explore nature and take in some fresh air!

With its sprawling grasslands, vibrant flowerbeds, and towering trees, it offers visitors an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of activities to choose from – from walking or cycling along one of the many trails through the park to playing sports such as cricket or football on the vast open spaces.

For those seeking a more relaxing experience, there are plenty of benches and picnic tables dotted around so you can sit back and enjoy the scenery.

The park also has a pond where you can spot ducks paddling around or feed them with birdseed purchased at one of the nearby kiosks.

There’s even an aviary that houses parrots, peacocks, and other exotic birds.

For those who want to stretch their legs further afield, there are also many attractions nearby including SeaCity Museum which tell stories of Southampton’s past and present, Mayflower Park with its picturesque gardens, and Westquay shopping Mall with all its shops and restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Southampton Common is sure to provide something for everyone!

12. See The Medieval City Walls

Leaving the Southampton Common, take a step back in time to the Medieval City Walls.

These walls were originally built around 1290 to protect against foreign invaders, and are still standing today.

The walls are 1.5 miles long and stretch from the River Test to the town gates.

There are four main towers, including God’s House Tower which houses a museum with artifacts from the Medieval period and beyond.

Take a self-guided tour of the walls or join one of the guided tours to learn about the history of this impressive structure.

You’ll be able to see cannons, battlements, and arrow slits, all of which were used for defense during wars fought centuries ago.

Look out over Southampton’s skyline and experience what it would have been like to live in a medieval city – an experience you won’t soon forget!

13. New Forest National Park

The New Forest National Park is a stunning area of England, which offers plenty of outdoor activities and attractions.

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It’s an ideal spot for a day trip or even a weekend getaway.

With its lush forests, rolling hills, and wide open spaces, it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Within the park, numerous walking trails provide stunning views in all directions.

Whether you prefer easy rambles through the trees or challenging hikes up rocky peaks, there’s something for everyone.

The park also has several cycle routes that offer more adventurous riders a chance to explore further afield.

For those who like to take it easy, there are plenty of picnic spots where you can enjoy delicious food while taking in spectacular views over the countryside.

The New Forest National Park is home to an array of flora and fauna; deer, ponies, and other animals roam freely across the landscape.

It’s also brimming with wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and dragonflies – perfect for nature lovers!

There are numerous opportunities for visitors to learn about this unique ecosystem, from guided walks to hands-on activities at local nature reserves.

The park is also full of history; from ancient monuments and historic buildings to centuries-old oak trees.

Here you can connect with England’s past while exploring its present beauty – making it an unforgettable experience for all ages.

So why not take some time out and discover what this majestic place has to offer?

14. The Ruins Of Netley Abbey

Tucked away on the edge of Southampton lies the ruins of Netley Abbey, a must-see for any traveler looking to explore England’s past.

The abbey was founded in 1239 and is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Britain.

It’s no wonder it’s become a popular tourist attraction!

The ruins are open most days and offer spectacular views of the Solent and the Isle of Wight.

You can wander around the beautiful grounds, taking in the history and immersing yourself in medieval times.

The abbey has been carefully restored to show off its original features and there are plenty of photo opportunities for those seeking an unforgettable experience.

There’s even a café at the entrance, so you can grab a cup of tea or something to eat before exploring further.

Visiting this picturesque spot will surely be an unforgettable experience – one you won’t want to miss while visiting Southampton.

So why not head over to Netley Abbey today?

15. Royal Victoria Country Park

The next stop on your tour of Southampton’s many attractions is Royal Victoria Country Park.

Situated on the banks of Southampton Water, this expansive park offers something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for some peace and quiet, an educational experience, or an adventure-filled day out, this spot has it all.

There are over 500 acres of woodland, as well as wildflower meadows and ponds, providing plenty of opportunity to explore and get back in touch with nature.

The park is also home to a number of interesting historical sites, including the remains of a Napoleonic fort that was built in 1803.

You can take a guided tour around the fort and learn about its history and significance, or simply enjoy the surrounding views across the Solent Estuary.

There’s also plenty to do if you’re feeling active: why not try your hand at geocaching or orienteering?

Or if that sounds too strenuous, why not just sit back and relax by taking a leisurely stroll through the park?

No matter how you choose to spend your time here, you’ll be sure to leave Royal Victoria Country Park feeling refreshed and invigorated!

Best Things to Do in Southampton – Final Thoughts

As you can see, Southampton is a great destination for any traveler.

From its ancient walls to its picturesque parks and modern galleries, there’s something for everyone here.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventure, you’ll find it all in Southampton.

I highly recommend taking the time to explore this beautiful city and discover all that it has to offer.

I was so impressed with the rich history of this city, from learning about its past at the Tudor House and Garden to seeing the ruins of Netley Abbey.

And don’t forget about the impressive Royal Victoria Country Park, where you can take in some stunning views of the area.

There are also plenty of cultures to be found at the John Hansard Gallery and The Solent Sky Museum.

Overall, I had such an amazing time visiting Southampton!

It’s definitely worth visiting if you’re ever in England – there are so many incredible things to do here that will leave lasting memories.

Don’t miss out on this unique city – go explore Southampton today!


What are the best things to do in Southampton with kids?

The best things to do in Southampton with kids are visiting the Tudor House and Garden, SeaCity Museum, and Mayflower Theatre.

What to do during the day in Southampton?

The best things to do during the day in Southampton are visiting Manor Farm, Saint Mary’s Stadium, and Watts Park.

Is Southampton worth visiting?

Yes, Southampton is worth visiting because the city is filled with a variety of fun activities and attractions.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.