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 12 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.

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 a group of six/two households.

Outdoor Dining

From 12 April, pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants will be able to serve customers outside in tables of six or two households. Some places such as Revolutions and The Standing Order will be first come first serve but other venues operate booking systems so make sure you check the individual businesses before making plans. 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 Bedford 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?

Staying in Southampton

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Under Step 2 of the Government roadmap, some accommodation venues such as The Dolphin Hotel and Room2 will be open for stays in self-contained rooms for single households/support bubbles. All other accommodation remains closed unless travelling for essential reasons such as work.

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 outside. 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.

Southampton From Your SOfa

The cultural venues in the city still remain temporarily closed until May but fear now as you can enjoy a taste of Southampton from the comfort of your own home. Places like Southampton City Art Gallery, Tudor House, SeaCity Museum, Mayflower Theatre and John Hansard Gallery are bringing their content directly to you. Discover virtual tours and exhibitions, live concerts, online events and much more on our Southampton From Your SOfa pages.

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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. 

Tuck in to a takeaway

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Many restaurants will remain closed until 17 May but you can still get some delicious food delivered straight to your door. Why not try Corriander Lounge, Kuti's Brasserie or Mint Dosa for some Indian food or try Thai at Neds Noodle Bar, Mango Thai Tapas, Leelawadee or Thaikhun?

See our blog post of cafes, restaurants and fast-food chains offering takeaway services here.

Get your takeaway delivered via Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat or order directly from the business and collect. 

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

*Page updated 12th April 2021. 

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