Situated at the opening of the Solent Estuary, on England’s south coast, Southampton is a busy port with a long maritime history. It features a wealth of maritime sites and has a great nightlife scene.
To experience Southampton’s maritime history, head to the Town and Shamrock Quays; this is where many famous ships such as The Mayflower and the Titanic once set sail. Some ocean liners still set sail from nearby Ocean Village, but nowadays the quays are busy with people visiting the many trendy bars, restaurants and shops that have replaced the ships and sailors of days gone by.
Near the Quays, housed in a medieval warehouse known as The Wool House, is Southampton’s Maritime Museum which has exhibits on Southampton’s maritime history and houses a large collection of artifacts from Titanic. God’s House Tower Museum of Archaeology contains one of the top 10 archaeological exhibitions in Britain. Located in a beautiful historical building, the museum contains archaeological finds from Southampton and farther afield.
There are plenty of pubs and restaurants to be found along the waterfront, particularly at the Quays complex. Those that fancy a bit of peace and quiet should head to one of Southampton’s magnificent Central Parks in the center of the city, or visit one of the other parks and open spaces that give Southampton its nickname, the Green City.
Evening entertainment is provided by Southampton’s numerous theaters including the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton Guildhall and the Mayflower which is the largest theater in southern England. Another great venue is the Turner Sims Concert Hall, and you can exercise your chuckle muscles at the Jongleurs Comedy Club.
An interesting way to see the city is by taking the Hythe Ferry from Town Quay to Hythe Pier. For great views of the city, walk along the city wall that passes well preserved gatehouses and towers, and you can pause to appreciate the impressive Bargate.