We've Missed You SO Much

Southampton has been getting ready for your return and we’ve missed you SO much! Our doors are open for you to enjoy your favourite places again and explore some of the new and exciting things happening at the heart of our safe city centre, SO welcome back.

Same at heart

Southampton remains, as always, a friendly, welcoming city offering a diverse range of things to see and do… On this page find links to the latest safety information, what’s open in the city, travel information and inspiration.

What's open in Southampton?

Shopping in Southampton

As of 12th April non-essential retailers are back open and with hundreds of shops in Southampton to choose from the city offers ample opportunity for that much needed retail therapy we have all been waiting for.

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Boasting two large shopping centres – Westquay and The Marlands – as well as bustling high streets and a city centre retail park, shoppers have a range of places to visit. Return to your favourite department stores like Marks & Spencer or John Lewis & Partners, shop big brands such as Jack Wills, Zara, Primark and TK Maxx or discover the small independent stores across the city.

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Head to Westquay Retail Park and get your electronics from Argos or Currys PC World, your clothes from JD Sports or Matalan and your sporting equipment from Decathlon. Upgrade your furniture at SCS or Furniture Village and don’t forget Southampton has the much loved IKEA, for your flat pack furniture and homeware. 

Some shops may be open later than usual so please check with individual retailers for opening times. Find out more about shopping in Southampton here.

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Southampton's city centre market is back open every Friday and Saturday (weather dependent) in their new home in front of the Bargate. 

Enjoy food, handmade gifts, jewellery, crafts, clothes, rugs, phone repairs and much more. Social distancing measures will be in place to keep you safe. 

Hair & Beauty

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The health and beauty sectors are also now back open as long as the business is operating in a COVID-secure way.

You can now get that long-awaited haircut from places like Trevor Mitchell, Harringtons Hairdressing, men-u or New Style Barbers. Or why not pamper yourself with a beauty treatment at The White Rooms, NIM Beauty, AllBeauty or Rubys Nails & Beauty just to name a few.

We highly recommend you book now as there is likely to be high demand and many places may become fully booked quickly. Please remember you must wear your face covering when inside the venue (unless exempt) and your details will be stored for the NHS Test & Trace system.

Health & Fitness

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If you are looking for a post-lockdown fitness resolution then you’ll be glad to hear that outdoor sports facilities and indoor gyms will be open.

Our beautiful green spaces and parks make for the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll or a morning run with a friend. You can also venture up to the Common and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine with friends or family. 

Indoor Dining

Indoor dining is back! As of 17th May, Southampton's restaurants, fast food, takeaways, pubs, bars and cafés will be back open for indoor eating and drinking. Whether you are looking for a three-course meal at Bill's or Ennio's or just a quick bite to eat and a drink at Scholars Arms or Gusto Lounge, we can guarantee there will be a place for you to enjoy inside. 

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Whilst we anticipate the majority of restaurants will reopen next week for indoor dining, some may still remain closed so please check with individual businesses for opening times. Remember to book in groups of no more than 6 or 2 households and be kind and respectful to staff who are working hard to ensure you have a fantastic experience in their venue.

Outdoor Dining

Summer is almost upon us and many of Southampton's hospitality businesses have adapted over the past months and opened up more space outdoors for customers. So if you want to enjoy a drink in the sunshine or book a table for a spot of alfresco dining then Southampton has over 70 restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés for you to choose from. We have rounded up everywhere in the city centre who will be open for some alfresco dining, read the blog here. 

Please remember to follow the latest Government guidelines, see our Keeping Southampton Safe page here to read the latest safety information and what to expect when visiting a business.

Go alfresco in Carlton Place

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Launched last year, the road closure pilot scheme in Bedford Place/Carlton Place is continuing throughout summer which means more alfresco eating and drinking throughout Spring and Summer!

Venues such as XOXO, The Cricketers Arms, The Black Phoenix, Piecarumba, Fever and Vibe and Revolutions benefit from the scheme and will have outdoor seating which you can book in advance or just turn up on the day.

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This pilot scheme was launched last year by Southampton City Council to help facilitate social distancing and improve customer experience and choice. The scheme is supported by GO! Southampton via their Southampton Inside Out scheme which explores new outdoor dining space in the city centre. You can find out more about the Bedford Place road closure here.

What’s more, the area has had a revamp, with a brand new road painting project, supported by local artists and lovely new planters and lighting. So why not head down and support your local businesses by grabbing a bite to eat or drink outside?

Looking for something new in Southampton?

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Not only is the city reopening once more for you to enjoy there are over 20 businesses that have opened in Southampton or set to open in the coming months. Discover food places such as Kokoro and Happy Bean Coffee Bar, gaming venues like High Score Arcade and Geek Retreat and we can't forget MAST, Southampton's newest cultural venues in Guildhall Square. We've rounded up all the new businesses in Southampton, check out our blog post here. 

Southampton's attractions are back! 

From 17th May 2021, all of Southampton leisure and cultural venues can reopen. This includes theatres, galleries, museums, music venues, cinemas, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, heritage sites and other indoor facilities.

Some venues may not open straight away so we recommend checking with individual businesses on their opening hours as well as the covid measures that they have put in place. Most venues will be working at a reduced capacity to adhere to social distancing guidance and you may need to pre-book a time slot to visit the attractions (even if they are free).

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Staying in Southampton

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Under Step 3 of the Government roadmap, all accommodation venues can reopen so you can book that long-overdue getaway with friends or family in Southampton. There's plenty of choice in Southampton for places to stay, from boutique hotels such as The Pig In The Wall and Ennio's to five-star luxury at the Leonardo Royal Grand Harbour Hotel or Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa. 

Please check details with specific accommodation providers for their rules and regulations and as always, do not travel if you have symptoms of coronavirus.

Staying safe in Southampton

A number of initiatives have been implemented to ensure Southampton is a safe, comfortable place to visit. Measures include enhanced city centre cleaning, floor markers and posters to assist with social distancing, increased pedestrianisation and wider footpaths, and plans to improve the city’s secure cycle parking provision.

When you visit Southampton, it's important you follow the latest Government guidance to keep yourself and others safe. This included wearing a face-covering when inside (unless exempt) and adhering to the rule of six/two households when dining inside. For more information on what to expect and what you need to do, head to our Keeping Southampton Safe page here.

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Getting here


There are many ways to get in and around Southampton from bus to bike, and rail to road. Southampton is a strong advocate of sustainable travel and we encourage you to walk or cycle wherever you can.

The My Journey website has lots of information on cycling including safety information, cycle routes and maps and ways to improve your confidence on the road.

Southampton City Council has partnered with Voi on a new e-scooter pilot scheme to get around the city for short journeys, find out more here.

We have strong public transport links which have social distancing and COVID-secure measures put in place to allow for a safe and enjoyable journey. Face coverings are mandatory to wear on public transport and we advise checking service times and with the individual operators for updated information. You can find out more information on protecting yourself and others on the My Journey page here. Visit our Getting Here and Getting Around pages for more information.

Support Local 


If you live or work in Southampton, or nearby, please consider supporting your local Southampton businesses. You can do this by visiting your favourite local shops instead of shopping online or trying somewhere new to go on the high street.

A little goes a long way - why not write a really great review for the café or bookshop you have visited in Southampton, recommend to a friend or even buy a gift card to help support them even more.


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We are so excited to see that events, shows and concerts are set to return to the city this summer. You can keep up to date with the latest events through our What’s On page here so you can book your tickets in advance – or perhaps get them as a present for a family member or friend.

Mayflower Theatre is rescheduling its shows for future dates as well as announcing some amazing new productions coming to the biggest theatre on the South Coast. See what's on here. 

Check out our latest blog posts

Please enjoy the city responsibly by following the latest Government guidelines. 

*Page updated 11th June 2021. 

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