Group Travel

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Southampton welcomes over 2 million cruise passengers a year as well as the hundreds of thousands of visitors arriving by plane, train and coach.

The city boasts a wealth of fascinating experiences that are available to visitors within a relatively small radius, making it perfect for group travel. As well as the heritage, culture and leisure pursuits found within the city centre, Southampton is also ideally located to serve as a base from which to visit other popular destinations further afield. You can read and download our 2020 Guide for Groups here. 

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A guided tour is the most interesting and enjoyable way to explore a destination as it brings to life the place, the people and its history. There is an excellent choice of knowledgeable guides in Southampton, including those affiliated to See Southampton and Southampton Tourist Guide Association.

Top Attractions

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SeaCity Museum
Based in the heart of Southampton, SeaCity Museum tells the story of the people of the city, their fascinating lives and historic connections with Titanic and the sea through three interactive exhibitions: Southampton’s Titanic Story, Gateway to the World and the Southampton Stories exhibition in the Pavilion. The SeaCity Café has a wide range of fresh locally sourced food available. Find out more here. 

For the driver: free ticket and meal for coach drivers (T&Cs apply) 

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Southampton City Art Gallery
Southampton City Art Gallery holds one of the finest collections of art in the south of England, currently comprising over 5,000 works and spanning eight centuries. Regularly rotating displays feature works from the collection, national touring exhibitions and work by local artists. Find out more here. 

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Tudor House and Garden
Southampton’s most important historic building, Tudor House reveals over 800 years of history in one fascinating location in the heart of the Old Town. Tudor House gives a unique and atmospheric insight into the lives and times of both its residents through the years, and of Southampton itself. It appeals to visitors of all ages and interests, who find the family-friendly activities, interactive technology, fascinating displays and onsite café a winning combination. Find out more here.

For the driver: free ticket and meal for coach drivers (T&Cs apply)

For the above cultural venues, guided tours and self-guided tours can be pre-booked on 023 8083 4536. There’s also a range of creative workshops, talks and tours at each venue all year round, check websites for more details.

Set sail on the SS Shieldhall

Shieldhall – listed by TripAdvisor as the 'No 1 Thing to See and Do in Southampton' would have marked her 65th birthday in 2020, but is holding over her celebrations to 2021! 

Heritage steamship SS Shieldhall has an exciting sailing programme covering the period May - September, with a variety of excursions offered, ranging from 2hr docks cruises to all day sailings. 

As part of a cruise, groups can see the impressive engine room with its original steam engines at work and visit the bridge, complete with its traditional instruments and gleaming brasswork. Run by volunteers, it is access all areas of the ship, and there is an informed commentary of the sights and sounds of Southampton Water and the Solent on all sailings.  The majority of Shieldhall sailings are scheduled to coincide with the departure of cruise ships from Southampton, always the opportunity for the Captain to sound Shieldhall's distinctive whistle and play the 'Shieldhall Organ'! 

Steamship Shieldhall credit Martin Perry

Shieldhall has open decks and a covered Saloon and awning deck, and offers hot and cold food, real ale, wine and tea/coffee on all sailings. A regular sight on the Solent during the summer, Shieldhall delights passengers who wish to experience the magic of 'steam at sea.'

There is a 10% discount for parties of 10 or more on all trips. Special group packages are available with a Titanic, Spitfire and Mayflower theme. For more information, prices and to book tickets please visit go here or call 023 8084 3310.

Group bookings

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Southampton has plenty of venues able to host large groups, including hotels, restaurants, theatres and attractions. Destination Southampton Conference Bureau can assist with group bookings for hotels and restaurants and there is plenty of coach parking available in the city (see below).

Excursions for Cruise Passengers

The guide below has been produced especially for cruise companies wishing to offer their passengers an exciting and engaging excursion in Southampton and the surrounding area.

Coach Parking

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Free coach parking is offered at several locations across the city. This applies for coaches wishing to stop for up to ten hours.

Coach (Bus) Stop for picking up/setting down passengers:

  • Havelock Road (SO14 7FY) has 45 metres to accommodate approximately 3 coaches for 30 minutes short stay to set down and pick up passengers for the SeaCity museum and the Mayflower Theatre.
  • West Park Road (SO15 1AQ) – Bus Stand south side close to multi-storey car park Bus Stand, no stopping at any time except buses.

Coach (Bus) Parking places for up to 10 hour parking. These facilities are intended for long stay Coach parking with a maximum stay of 10 hours no return same day:

  • Herbert Walker Avenue (SO15 1HJ) has 80 metres to accommodate approximately 6 coaches and is located within 10 minutes’ walk of IKEA and 15 minutes from WestQuay Shopping Centre and the shops/malls around The Precinct. Also convenient for the Tudor House and garden on Bugle street.
  • Mayflower Car Park (SO51 1HJ), located within a short walk for the Tudor House and the Isle of Wight Ferry Terminal.
  • Palmerston Road (SO14 1NH) has 30 meters to accommodate approximately 2 coaches and is located under 10 minutes’ walk from WestQuay and the shops/malls around The Precinct and around 15 minutes from IKEA.

Coach parking up to 4 hours, no return the same day Monday-Saturday 8am-6pm

  • Britannia Road (SO14 5QZ), the closest coach parking to St Mary’s Stadium

For queries on all of the above contact Southampton City Council call 023 8083 3008 (lines are open Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5pm. Closed Bank Holidays) or visit Southampton City Council’s website http://www.southampton.gov.uk/roads-parking/parking/

Visitor Map

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You can also download and print the latest version of our visitor map here. 

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