20 Best Things To Do In Southampton, England

things to do in Southampton Uk

Southampton is a major port city in the United Kingdom. This historic city is not only a bustling waterfront location; it is home to several commercial and entertaining activities. Southampton has a charming and inviting appeal characterized by a wide range of leisure facilities, fabulous art galleries and museums. Best known as the location where the famous Titanic set off on its ill-fated voyage to New York, this city has the longest surviving stretch of medieval walls in the country too. See an exhibition on the Titanic story at Sea City Museum, take a walk along with the large parks in the city, go shopping for charming art pieces or dine in any of the top culinary locations in the city. You would not run out of places to visit in this waterfront city. Here is a list of the best things to do in Southampton, UK.

1. Check out the historic artifacts at Tudor House & Garden

Tudor House, Southampton
Source: Photo by user Peter Trimming used under CC BY 2.0

Tudor House & Garden is Southampton’s most historically significant building. It was built in the late 15th century for a wealthy merchant family. Now, Tudor House is a museum which displays historical exhibits from the Edwardian and Victorian eras. Also on display in the house are artifacts and items covering over 900 years of the city’s history. You can listen to the audio guides as you check out the uniquely reconstructed rooms and kitchens in the house.

Tudor House & Garden

Address: Bugle St, Southampton SO14 2AD, UK

Website: Tudor House & Garden

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 3pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Fri)

Price: 5 - 7 USD

2. Play with the friendly animals at Manor Farm Country Park

Bottle feeding the lambs!

Posted by Manor Farm on Sunday, 26 May 2019

A variety of friendly farm animals, impressive traditional farm buildings and a fun-filled farm-themed play area is at this place to see. Manor Farm Country Park is an interactive historical farm in the city. A perfect place for a beautiful family day out, this farm has plenty of friendly farm animals to meet. After seeing the animals, you can take a tour of the traditional farm buildings, take a farmyard walk, and enjoy a selection of good food and drinks at the café on the farm.

Manor Farm Country Park

Address: Pyland’s Ln, Southampton SO31 1BH, UK

Website: Manor Farm Country Park

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

3. Have a picnic at Southampton Common

December sunshine on Southampton Common. #Southampton

Posted by SEE Southampton on Saturday, 2 December 2017

Southampton Common is the most significant open space in the city. Covering 147.71 hectares (365 acres) of land, ‘The Common’ consists of parks, lakes, woodland forests, green grasslands, ponds and lovely sticky wetlands. At ‘The Common,’ there are a lot of places to explore, relax and have fun. Other than its open spaces, there are also walking and cycling trails, areas for bird watching and even portable toilets during the high season. Don’t miss visiting Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Center on-site for the complete outdoor sanctuary experience.

Southampton Common

Address: The Avenue, Southampton SO15 7NN, UK

Website: Southampton Common

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

4. Walk around the historic Southampton town walls

Stretching just over a mile in length, the Southampton Town Walls is a circuit of ancient walls in the city. Take an enlightening walking tour of this medieval wall starting from the beautiful Bargate. Explore the medieval wine vaults, see the only medieval church remaining in the city and get a front-row seat to watch the ships as they arrive and leave the city ports. You can also check out artworks and information boards lining the wall. The town walls are open to visitors all year.

Southampton town walls

Address: Southampton SO14 1JU, United Kingdom

Website: Southampton Town Walls

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm; Mon - Thu: 10am - 3pm (closed on Fri)

5. Learn about the city’s maritime history at SeaCity Museum

SeaCity Museum is a multi-million-pound museum opened on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s departure from the city’s port. Learn about the fascinating story of the people of Southampton and their rich maritime history at this facility. The museum also tells the story of the people and goods that have traveled to and from the city since the early 19th century - including the Titanic. Nicknamed the “Gateway to the World,” SeaCity Museum also displays a one-ton replica of a massive ocean liner and real audio accounts by survivors of the infamous Titanic disaster.

SeaCity Museum

Address: Havelock Rd, Southampton SO14 7FY, UK

Website: SeaCity Museum

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 8 - 11 USD

6. Explore the historic Medieval Merchant's House

Medieval merchant's house
Source: Photo by user Lupusaesticus used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Medieval Merchant House is an English heritage building close to the city center. Built in the 12th century, this historic house has been preserved in its original state. Explore the half-timbered building on a guided tour, see the stylish ancient furniture and walk around its medieval bedchambers. The house also has a well kept vaulted underground croft where all its goods and merchandise were preserved. Experience first-hand how it would have felt to live in Southampton back in the day.

Medieval Merchant's House

Address: 58 French St, Southampton SO14 2AT, UK

Website: Medieval Merchant’s House

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 11am - 4pm (closed from Mon - Fri)

Price: 5 - 8 USD

7. Watch a captivating stage performance at Mayflower Theatre

Posted by Mayflower Theatre on Saturday, 17 August 2019

Opened in 1928, Mayflower Theater has been one of the top entertainment venues in Southampton for years. Originally called the ‘Empire Theatre,’ the 2,300-capacity theater has hosted major events and shows in the city. The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles are some of the famous acts that have graced the stage in this place. You can watch entertaining performing acts, musical shows, and stage dramas or opera concerts on a visit to Mayflower. The theater even hosts some of Britain’s famous comedians occasionally.

Mayflower Theatre

Address: 22-26 Commercial Rd, Southampton SO15 1GE, UK

Website: Mayflower Theatre

Opening hours: Sat: 9:30am - 6pm; Mon - Fri: 10:30am - 7:30pm (closed on Sun)

8. Pay your respects to the fallen victims at Titanic Engineers' Memorial

Titanic Engineers Memorial 2017
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Geni used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Titanic disaster of 1912 is a big part of the history of Southampton. Several of the engineers and workers on that ill-fated ship were from this city. A bronze and granite monument was erected in 1914 in memory of the engineers that lost their lives in the mishap. This memorial monument still stands tall in the city, with the names of all the victims carved beneath it. You can visit this place and pay your respects to the brave engineers who built the Titanic.

Titanic Engineers' Memorial

Address: London Rd, Southampton SO14 0DA, UK

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

9. Admire stunning works of art at Southampton City Art Gallery

If you are looking for a place to get a feel of Southampton’s artistic excellence, then Southampton City Art gallery is where to go. This gallery was established in 1939 and it is home to over 5,000 fantastic artworks spanning more than 800 years. Contemporary British paintings, sculptures, art pieces by luminaries of the 20th century and many more art collections are on display in this outstanding gallery. The venue also boasts foreign artworks and a stunning 14th-century altarpiece, enough to keep any art lover awed.

Southampton City Art Gallery

Address: Civic Centre, Commercial Rd, Southampton SO14 7LY, UK

Website: Southampton City Art Gallery

Opening hours: Sat: 10am - 5pm; Mon - Fri: 10am - 3pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free

10. See the impressive aircraft in Solent Sky Museum

Southampton was once home to a major aviation manufacturer. This part of the city’s history has been kept alive at Solent Sky Museum. This is a museum with a fantastic collection of aircraft models, photographs and real-life flying machines. It has, in its collection, the famous Spitfire fighter plane which was developed in the city - including several propellers and jet engines, a huge flying boat and the award-winning Supermarine racing seaplane. See more about the fascinating flying race history of the city at this aviation museum.

Solent Sky Museum

Address: Albert Rd S, Southampton SO14 3FR, UK

Website: Solent Sky Museum

Opening hours: Sun: 12pm - 4pm; Mon - Sat: 10am - 4pm

Price: 6 - 10 USD

11. Enjoy beautiful views of the port with Hythe Ferry

The best way to the comings and goings of Southampton waters is by taking a short trip to the market town of Hythe on a ferry. Enjoy all the beautiful sights usually gotten only on luxury cruise trips, and look up to the enormous vessels at the harbor. The boat moves every half hour and takes 10 minutes. After crossing to the other side, you can make an exciting walk along the beautiful Hythe Pier, home to the oldest pier train in the world.

Hythe Ferry

Address: The Pier, Prospect Pl, Hythe, Southampton SO45 6AU, UK

Website: Hythe Ferry

Price: 8 - 13 USD

12. Watch a live football match at St Mary's Stadium

Source: Photo by user David Ingham used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Experience all the thrills and excitement of the English Premier League at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. St. Mary’s is home to Premier League football club, Southampton F.C, and it is the only place in Southeast England where you can enjoy the game live. You can watch any of the team’s home games and savor freshly prepared drinks and food in the stands. The stadium even offers a tour of the dressing rooms, players’ tunnel and all the facilities behind the scenes.

St Mary's Stadium

Address: Britannia Rd, Southampton SO14 5FP, UK

Website: St Mary’s Stadium

13. Make your own bricks at Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum

Posted by Military And Historical Explores on Monday, 5 August 2019

The last steam-driven Victorian brickworks factory in the UK hums to life in the city of Southampton. Hear the distinctive sounds; see how bricks were made back then and be fascinated by the authentic smells this museum has to offer. There are tons of hands-on block-related activities for everyone at this museum. Get free snacks, drinks and even have a go at making your brick in the factory. There is a gift shop for all your souvenir needs.

Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum

Address: Swanwick Ln, Swanwick, Southampton SO31 7HB, UK

Website: Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum

Opening hours: Sun: 11am - 4pm; Wed - Thu: 11am - 4pm (closed on Fri, Sat, Mon & Tue)

Price: 5 USD

14. View the stunning Steamship Shieldhall

things to do in southampton uk | view the stunning steamship shieldhall

Europe’s largest functioning steamship is moored in a port near King George V Graving Dock in Southampton. SS Shieldhall was launched in 1955 as a sludge boat and then it was converted into a cruise ship. Volunteers now run this massive and impressive boat and open for visitors to tour. You can visit SS Shieldhall, explore its deck, engine room, boiler room, steering room and steam winch. You can also see how a steamship works or catch one of its several cruises between May and September each year.

Steamship Shieldhall

Address: 110 Berth, Southampton SO15 0HH, UK

Website: Steamship Shieldhall

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

15. Admire the colorful flowers at Exbury Gardens

Exbury Gardens - Exbury, England - DSC04032
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daderot used under CC0

Exbury Gardens is a spectacular 80.9-hectare (200-acre) land filled with rare trees, Riverside walk pathways, sprawling parklands and stunningly beautiful flowers. This site is home to the world-famous Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. See the stunning and colorful arrangement of flowers, stroll through the tranquil setting and discover wildlife in its natural home. Exbury Gardens also offers a magnificent miniature railway which tours 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) of the northern part of the gardens, tea rooms, an adventure play area and art exhibitions.

Exbury Gardens

Address: Exbury, Southampton SO45 1AZ, UK

Website: Exbury Gardens

Opening hours: 10am - 5:30pm (daily)

16. Have a picnic at the beautiful Royal Victoria Country Park

The perfect place for a unique outdoor experience is the Royal Victoria Country Park. This park has open spaces with ancient woodland, ponds and boardwalks. There are several spots for picnics and barbeques. Royal Victoria Country Park offers fantastic views across Southampton Water, a miniature railway and lots of play areas for the kids. If you don’t have a picnic basket, the park has an excellent café that serves hot food and cold drinks. It is the right place for family fun in the city.

Royal Victoria Country Park

Address: The Park Office, Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley Abbey, Southampton SO31 5GA, United Kingdom

Website: Royal Victoria Country Park

Opening hours: 8am - 9pm (daily)

17. Wander around Ocean Village Marina

Situated on the banks of Southampton Water is Ocean Village Marina. This place, however, is more than just a marina. Ocean Village is surrounded by restaurants, cinemas, shops and bars, making it an excellent place for recreation. It has a rich history as it was the principal dockyard where the Titanic started its voyage. The marina is famous for hosting world yacht races too. This lively marina is right in the heart of the city and offers everything, including excellent views of the port.

Ocean Village Marina

Address: 2 Channel Way, Southampton SO14 3TG, UK

Website: Ocean Village Marina

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

18. Go shopping at Westquay Shopping Centre

WestQuay Shopping Centre

Posted by Travel to Places by Sin Fong Chan on Thursday, 15 October 2015

You can’t visit Southampton without going shopping. Westquay is the premier shopping location in the city. This shopping center is home to over 100 stores - including notable designer brands. Its stores are spread across three different levels and offer everything you may want. Satisfy all your shopping desires and even grab a meal at any of the dining outlets within the center. It is located close to the central train station for easy access. There are rentable electric scooters to help you get around the complex faster.

Westquay Shopping Centre

Address: Harbour Parade, Southampton SO15 1QF, UK

Website: Westquay Shopping Centre

Opening hours: Sat: 9am - 7pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm; Mon - Fri: 9am - 8pm

19. Go skiing at Alpine Snowsports Southampton

The only place to hit the slopes for a thrilling ski experience in the city is Alpine Snowsports Center Southampton. Whether you love snowboarding, skiing or you’d like to have fun on the Ringos, this center offers you such and more. It has different activities for different levels of snowsports experts. Even if you have no previous experience, you can learn how to ski and snowboard at this fun and interactive center. The center is safe for children.

Alpine Snowsports Southampton

Address: Thornhill Rd, Southampton SO16 7AY, UK

Website: Alpine Snowsports Southampton

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 8am - 8pm; Mon - Fri: 6:30am - 10pm

20. Listen to vibrant live music at The Brook

Mike Rosenberg performing at Southampton Brook
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Editor5807 used under CC BY 3.0

One of the most beautiful places to witness live music performance is Brook Southampton. The area has a capacity of up to 600 people and it hosts extraordinary events every day. Catch the sight of a live performance by rock, jazz and blues artists on the stage of The Brook. There is always a fantastic act performing at this quaint venue. It has a bar so you can get a beer while you watch live music in a friendly atmosphere.

The Brook

Address: 466 Portswood Rd, Southampton SO17 3SD, UK

Website: The Brook

Opening hours: Sat: 8am - 12am; Mon - Fri: 8am - 11:30pm; Sun: 7:30pm - 11pm

Experience the best waterfront vacation in Southampton

The city of Southampton gives you all you can imagine in a waterfront destination. Massive cruise ships, historic buildings, medieval shipping districts, excellent waterfront restaurants, fascinating museums, fantastic art galleries and several more are what this city boasts. Home to a Premier League Football Club, there is no shortage of things to do in Southampton, UK.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Colins is a quiet individual who always tries to find the meaning and beauty of things around his environment. This passion has led him to begin his journey in photography and hiking nature...Read more

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