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Southampton (1 day)

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

Key Points:

  1. Southampton is not one of the best travel destinations, but is an important part of travelling around the world.

  2. WikiVoyage has the original version of travelling in Southampton. But we have rewritten and integrated several articles together to create a better version.

According to Wikipedia, "Southampton is a port city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire in southern England. It is located approximately 70 mi (110 km) south-west of London and 15 mi (24 km) west of Portsmouth. The city forms part of the South Hampshire built-up area, which also covers Portsmouth and the towns of Havant, Waterlooville, Eastleigh, Fareham and Gosport."

Here we quote the best way to travel in Southampton provided by wikiVoyage, a multilingual, web-based project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide. Wikivoyage is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other project such as Wikipedia. Please edit the articles and find author credits at the original wikiVoyage article on Southampton. Content on wikiVoyage can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Part 1: Understand. Southampton has been a settlement since Roman and Saxon times. In Saxon times the town was known as Hamwic. The Roman ruins are situated in a suburb called Bitterne Manor - which was known as Clausentum in Roman times. Its privileged position on England's south coast made it Britain's premier trading post. The town became walled in the medieval era, and some remnants of these defences remain throughout the city, most notably the Bargate in the middle of the city centre. Southampton was devastated by bombing during the Second World War, meaning that much of the city and its heritage was destroyed. As such the town and its architecture has quite a modern feel to it.

Part 2: Get Around.

On foot

Southampton City Centre is fairly spread out along a north-south axis, however it is easily possible to walk from the popular Bedford Place student area on the Northern fringe of the central area to the waterfront, much of the route being pedestrianised.

By bike

Southampton has a few dedicated cycle routes; they are not particularly well linked but cyclists should not have a problem navigating the city centre. The city centre is mostly flat; Hampshire tends to undulate.

By bus

Southampton has a good network of bus services, with some principal services operating as often as every 7 minutes during the day. Most of the services radiate out from the city centre but there are also some cross-city routes. Some services also extend to settlements outside the city. Buses accept cash (also giving change) and contactless card payment.

Part 3: Itinerary

  • Bargate. A medieval gatehouse, built about 1180 and extended in 1320, now sits slap bang in the middle of the shopping centre. The top floor is now a Heritage Visitor Centre. The Bargate is also the beginning of the original Old Town Walk (pdf); see Do below.

  • Central Parks, established in the 19th century, form a line through mid-city. South to north these are Hoglands Park, Houndwell Park, Pamerston Park, East Park and Watts Park. At the top end of East Park near the Guildhall and Art Gallery, note the two memorials to those lost aboard Titanic: one for the engineers and one for the musicians.

  • Southampton City Art Gallery, Commercial Road, SO14 7LP, ☏+44 2380 834536, Contains some 3,500 works of art covering six centuries.

  • John Hansard Gallery, Studio 144, 142-144 Above Bar Street, SO14 7DU, ☏+44 2380 592158, Tu–Sa 11AM-5PM. Was created in 1980 at the University of Southampton to combine the University's fine art and special photographic collection. Widely regarded as one of the best places in the country to see contemporary visual art, the gallery also hosts seminars, talks and workshops.

  • SeaCity Museum, Civic Centre, Havelock Rd., SO14 7FY, ☏+44 2380 833007, Daily 10AM-5PM. Opened in 2012, SeaCity contains two main galleries: the first telling the history of Southampton through artefacts and interactive displays; the second dedicated to the voyage and sinking of the RMS Titanic and the Southampton residents who served as crew and passengers. A third space is used for temporary exhibitions, and there is also a cafe and shop. The museum is on the west facing side of the building with the entrance directly beneath the clock tower.Adult £8.50, concessions £6.00, family (2 adults and 3 children) £25.00, under 5s free.

  • Solent Sky (Hall of Aviation), Albert Road South, SO14 3FR (near Ocean Village), ☏+44 2380 635830. Daily 10AM-5PM. The museum is dedicated to telling the incredible story of aviation in the Solent area. Exhibits include a Sandringham flying boat (which visitors can enter), a Spitfire, and Schneider Trophy racing seaplanes.Adult £6.50.

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