People walking along Oxford Street on a sunny day

Make it Southampton: What a difference a day makes!

If you live in Hampshire, Wiltshire or Dorset, you’ll probably already know about Southampton’s fantastic shops, but did you know its history stretches back more than 800 years or its association with the famous Titanic or the Spitfire? With its impressive art galleries and museums, great nightlife and theatre and wonderful international cuisine, Southampton is a fantastic day out whatever the weather.


Tudor House Gardens with buildings in the background

Get to the heart of Southampton’s history by walking the Town Walls. Start at the Bargate, and then follow the Walls learning about historic buildings and stories of the town along the route. Allow an hour or so to stop at the Tudor House Museum and Garden which gives a unique insight into the lives of its residents, more than 800 years of history is brought to life with an excellent audio guide. The Tudor Knot Garden is a real gem, created from historical documents as it may have been in the 1500s.


People dining in outdoor terraces of restaurants on Oxford Street

For a wide choice of lunch options including many familiar brand names head to the top floor of the main Westquay shopping complex or Westquay South which offers indoor and outdoor dining overlooking the Town Walls. Further lunch or dining options include the Oxford Street area which has plenty of independent restaurants and pubs to choose from.


1st Base Gallery

Spend the afternoon on activities to suit your group – art, shopping, children’s entertainment – there’s no shortage of choice.

Top of the list should be the SeaCity Museum. This fabulous interactive family-friendly museum tells the story of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic which set off on its fatal voyage from Southampton in 1912. The story is told through the eyes of people connected to the Ship and the city which really brings to life the drama at the time and the impact the disaster had on the entire town.

There are also exhibitions about Southampton’s role as a Gateway to the World and an exploration of the city’s rich and diverse history. To explore the whole Museum will take a couple of hours and It’s all under cover so ideal for a wet day.

If you are looking for retail therapy, Westquay is the place to start. It has more than 100 stores including big brand names such as The LEGO Store, The White Company, Zara, Apple, John Lewis & Partners and IKEA just outside the centre. The centre links directly with the main high street at Above Bar which offers plenty of further shopping and eating outlets.

To keep the kids entertained Southampton has plenty of leisure facilities, no matter what the weather. Take your pick from trampoline parks like Injoy at Ocean Village, a Houdini Escape Room, bowling1st Base indoor baseball centre, The Quays Swimming and Diving complex, climbing walls and more.


Ocean Village Panorama view of marina

If time allows head to Ocean Village for dinner. There are restaurants and bars here to suit all tastes many offering alfresco dining or a meal with a sea view.

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