Visiting Southampton This Christmas

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We love seeing Southampton filled with Christmas cheer again this year. Whether you're planning to visit the city for shopping, dining, entertainment or all three, you're sure to enjoy a festive day out here.

As the city comes alive this Christmas, we'll be keeping this page updated with the latest information, local events, offers and more, so be sure to come back to see what's new.

Christmas Lights Switch On

Thank you to everyone who joined us last night for an evening of entertainment at the lights switch on event!

We hope you had a great evening and enjoy this highlights video. You can view the photos from the evening on our Facebook Page here.

We'd love to see your photos and videos from the evening so share them on social media using #OurSouthampton

Family Christmas Trail

Explore Southampton with our Free Family Walking Trail

Explore Southampton with our free, festive walking trail, which is back bigger and better than ever!

The trail has been extended from 27th - 31st December 10am - 4pm. We are expecting all the clue hosts to either be open or to have their clue clearly displayed in their window for you.

Follow the trail through the North Pole, South Pole or both, on an adventure around the twinkling city centre. Look out for penguins and polar bears on your way, they will show you the clues. Find all the clues and unscramble the festive phrases to claim your free prizes.

The trail is designed with families in mind and it should take around 45 minutes to complete each trail or 1.5 hours if you do both together. You could do the North Pole Trail one weekend and come back to complete the South Pole Trail.

For more information, click here.

Please ensure that you follow the current Covid-19 guidelines as issued by the Government, which includes wearing a face covering in most indoor spaces. For more information please click here.

Shopping in Southampton this Christmas

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There’s a great range of shops in the city centre including popular high street brands and local businesses. In addition to the German Christmas Market there are two shopping centres: Westquay and The Marlands, as well as the high street and West Quay Retail Park. With brands such as IKEA, John Lewis, Urban Outfitters, Primark, Hamleys and more, you’re bound to find the perfect gift this Christmas.

Love supporting local? Bedford Place, East Street and Old Town are not to be missed, here you’ll find a selection of independent shops, cafes and restaurants.

Check out our shopping directory here.

As of 10th December, you will need to wear a face covering in most indoor settings, including shops (unless exempt). 

Festive Food & Drink in Southampton

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If it’s food you’re looking for, Southampton offers a vast range of culinary delights. Whether you’re having brunch with the girls, a quick bite whilst shopping or an evening meal with your family, the hardest decision you’ll have to make is which restaurant to try first!

For a taste of the options, click here.

Find Your Food Inspiration

Entertainment for all the Family

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Southampton is proud of our arts & theatre venues and they really do know how to put on a good show at Christmas! With two major theatres, three cinemas and lots of independent venues, there’s something to entertain everyone.

See a show at Mayflower Theatre, immerse yourself in history at Tudor House or take in the masterpieces at Southampton City Art Gallery.

Our free city centre walking trail is the perfect way to explore Southampton with little ones who can claim a free prize when they complete the clues.

Explore all events and activities coming up in Southampton.

As of 10th December, you will need to wear a face-covering in most indoor settings, including theatres (unless exempt). 

The Mayflower Cinderella Panto2

The Mayflower Theatre

A strictly magical star cast has been announced with Craig Revel Horwood as The Wicked Stepmother, Debbie McGee as The Fairy Godmother and the legendary Richard Cadell & Sooty in Mayflower Theatre’s pantomime for 2021 - Cinderella.

The Mayflower Theatre also has lots of other productions and musicals on during the festive season.

You can take a look at their full what's on guide here.

MAST Productions 2

MAST Mayflower Studios

Second Star to the Right

Made especially for very young audiences, this production is an enchanting adventure for little ones and their grown-ups. Snuggle up and get ready to travel through the stars, and discover the way to the Neverland.

Peter Pan: An Awfully Big Musical Adventure!

Join MAST Mayflower Studios for their very first Christmas Youth production which promises to take you on a magical journey. This production has been adapted for our Christmas Youth Project cast and features a score with a mix of songs from the musicals and popular music. Join Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell and the Lost Ones as they battle the pirates and the evil Captain Hook in the classic story of the boy who never grew up.


The Stage Door

This one's not for the children!

It's naughty Adult Panto time again and this year you can see The Stage Door's racy take on the well-known classic tale The Wizard of Oz! Join Dorothy as she journeys to Oz to meet the Wizard! What could possibly go wrong?

Find out more and book your tickets for The Wizard of Oz here.

The Stage Door also hosts a great range of adult entertainment throughout the year, find out what's on here.

St Marys Church inspitation for The Bells of St Marys

Hidden History Christmas Walks with See Southampton

On weekends leading up to Christmas, See Southampton Hidden History walks will take on a Christmas theme, recalling Southampton’s Christmas history, music and traditions.

These guided walks include fascinating facts and references including Christmas celebrations of past years at the churches in the city, the marriage of Henry II to Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1154 and much, much more.

SEE Southampton Christmas Walks take place on Saturdays and Sundays between 20 November – 19 December, departing the Lions at the Bargate at 10.30am. Walks will conclude at the Westgate, on the Western Walls, at approx. 12 noon, where visitors are welcome to view an exhibition on the Mayflower and Speedwell (and hear about the origin of Thanksgiving in America) and enjoy a complimentary mince pie.

Tickets for the Christmas Walk are £6. Payment may be made to the guide with cash / credit card ahead of the walk. Accompanied children under 16 years are free of charge.

These walks are not to be missed for those with an interest in the festive history of the city.

Pictured: St Marys Church, inspiration for "The Bells Of St Mary's" mention in a 1963 Christmas hit.

Featured Events

As per Plan B you may be asked to provide an NHS Covid Pass for some larger events and in all nightclubs. You can get your Covid Pass via the NHS App and will need to show vaccination status or a negative test result. You may also need to wear a face-covering in some indoor settings. Please check with individual businesses on their procedures before booking/attending. 

Amazing Discounts This Christmas in Southampton


Get offers, discounts and more from your favourite Southampton businesses with the SO card.

The SO card is totally free and features different deals and discounts. From independent stores to national brands in retail, hospitality, leisure, beauty and everything in-between there is something for everyone to enjoy.

To view the offers available and to get your free digital card, click here.

For a roundup of some of the best deals available in Southampton this Christmas, read our blog.

Travelling To Southampton

If you are visiting Southampton this Christmas there are lots of travel options for getting to and from the city, as well as exploring whilst you're here.

The city centre is just a 10-minute walk from Southampton Central train station and there are lots of car parks close by if you are travelling by car. Head to our Your Visit page for more details on all the options available, which will help you plan your trip.

You can view a map of the city's car parks here.

When it comes to getting around the city, many of the main attractions and shopping areas are within walking distance of each other but if you don't feel like walking or wish to explore the wider city areas, you can catch a bus or grab a taxi through Radio Taxis, West Quay Cars or Aero Taxis. Bluestar buses will also be running a few routes on Christmas day, see their Christmas schedule here. 

As of 10th December, you must wear a  face-covering on all public transport, unless exempt. 

Christmas Inspiration

If you are in need of some Christmas inspiration explore some of the #OurSouthampton blog posts to discover all things festive in Southampton.

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