Older couple walking with luggage to entrance of cruise terminal banner

Make it Southampton: See before you sail!

Heading to an exciting adventure on the seas is always a big part of a cruise, but why not make it extra special? Discover more about the amazing port of Southampton with an overnight stay before or after your holiday. With accommodation choices from four-star splendour to budget brands, stretching your visit needn’t break the bank and plenty of hotels provide cruise parking and a shuttle into town.

Packed with excellent restaurants, shopping galore and superb live music venues, you’ll be in holiday mood in no time and also discover a city full of surprises!

Morning pre-cruise or afternoon post-cruise

Sun shining above St Michaels Church

Get to grips with the city’s impressive history with a walkaround the Town Walls starting at the Bargate, the original Norman gateway to the town. The walk will uncover the history and stories of Southampton which has been a port for centuries. There are interesting stops along the route including the Tudor House and Garden which features an excellent audio guide charting the rise and fall of the town and its residents over the last 800 years. Spend time in its pretty garden and enjoy a hot drink and cake at the café.

Pop in to the oldest surviving church in the city, St Michael’s, founded in 1070 and situated just across the square from the Tudor House and Garden. Nearby, don’t miss a look at the 15th century timber framed Westgate Hall, situated next to West Gate – the departure point of the Mayflower in 1620.

If you’re visiting on Friday, Saturday or Sunday visit the God’s House Tower a mixed arts venue with changing exhibitions along with a popular café. The tower also has a permanent “Stories behind the Stones” attraction which tells the history of the building and has a fabulous view out across to the waterfront and eastern docks.

Woman with pink scarf and boots walking in Westquay with Flannels shopping bag 1

Another ‘Must See’ attraction in Southampton is the SeaCity Museum. This fabulous interactive museum tells the story of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic which set off on its final voyage from Southampton. Step back in time and listen to the stories of the people who were there and the impact the disaster had on the town of Southampton. There are also exhibitions about Southampton’s role as the Gateway to the World and an exploration of Southampton’s rich and diverse history.

If time allows and you’d like some retail therapy, explore the popular Westquay Shopping Centre. It has over 100 stores including big brand names such as The LEGO Store, The White Company, Zara, Apple, Hollister, John Lewis and Marks and Spencers. There’s also a huge choice of restaurants including many well-known brands.

Art-lovers should head to the Southampton City Art Gallery in the Cultural Quarter, entrance is free and it houses more than 5,000 works of art across eight centuries and there’s an ever-changing display of contemporary art exhibitions.


Westquay Shopping Centre foodcourt and upper shopping level

You’ll find no shortage of dining options wherever you stay. For familiar restaurant names, visit the top floor of Westquay where most restaurants stay open till 8pm or Westquay South which offers outdoor dining options overlooking the Town Walls.

For a great night-time vibe, check out the Oxford Street area for independent restaurants and relaxing pubs. If it’s a special occasion, splash out at the ‘Pig in the Wall’ or Marco Pierre White's Steakhouse Bar & Grill. Or visit Ocean Village for a dinner with a view over the marina to get you in a nautical mood or extend those holiday cruise vibes.

Related Entries
You May Also Like

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on all things Southampton!

Submitting your information...

Submitting your information...

Thank you! You will receive an email to confirm your subscription.

Back to top