Located in south of England, the city of Southampton has a wealth of history, galleries and museums to explore. Honestly, Southampton has a lot of the best things to do all over town.
All of this makes it a place perfect for a day trip or a longer getaway on the weekends.
And not only that, but it is also a great city where you can rely on traveling around the region (it is absolutely amazing). You will be spoiled for choice, especially with South Downs National Park, dramatic coastline and Isle of Wight nearby!
So to make sure you get the most out of your trip, I’d like to share some gems you can’t miss in Southampton.
Check out the best things you can do in Southampton below. Enjoy the most amazing journey!
1.) Tudor House and Garden
Considered one of the oldest and most important Tudor buildings in Southampton, the Tudor House and Garden is a dazzling place not to be missed in the city.
Holding over 800 years of valuable history of the city, the wooden building was built in the 15th century. At the time it was a wealthy private house that stood proudly in much smaller Southampton. Today, it is a museum that explores the vast history of the region and is great for a little enjoyment inside.
Stroll through each room and exhibit that will provide you with everything from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. We love here.
3.) Titanic Trail
Did you know, Southampton is closely tied to the cult ship – the Titanic? It was the first port she left before sinking after hitting that iceberg on the route to New York City.
To commemorate that fateful voyage from Southampton, numerous places were built dedicated to the ship and the overall tragedy throughout the city.
To make sure you see them all, Southampton has its own Titanic Trail which is really easy to walk to in an hour, or so.
Starting from the Civic Center, it leads to the mind itself.
Along the way, you’ll see a bunch of significant places that have to do with the Titanic. In all, there are about 13 places to see, such as the Monument to the Titanic Engineers in East Park. It is a fairly recognizable monument made of bronze and granite, which was built in memory of 35 engineers who lost their lives when the ship sank.
Along the way, keep an eye out for the Titanic Musician Memorial, which pays homage to the ship’s musicians.
In addition, you can download for free Map of the Titanic Trail (Pdf) and follow it directly from your phone.
This medical gate has seen a lot of things over the years! It is part of the long history of the city and was built as early as the 12th century.
Although a visit to Bargate will not take you long, it is still worth a visit because it is in the heart of Southampton and so easy.
Then head out in the afternoon and grab a bite or wander the nearby street shops (at West Quay Mall).
We loved the chilled vibration Heartbreakers for some of their cocktails. You may also catch live music for the weekend.
5.) SeaCity Museum
If you love museums, then SeaCity Museum is a place you can’t miss!
Paying homage to the maritime history and heritage of Southampton, one of the best things about Southampton is to round out the city’s history.
Being one of the main ports in England, the two permanent exhibitions pay homage to their connection to the sea. One celebrates the role of the city as a passage between Britain and the rest of the world, while the other is the city’s connection to the tragic story of the Titanic.
In addition to a model of the Titanic, the museum also has a Disaster room that recounts an investigation into the ship’s bad fate from the 1930s. There are even reconstructions and audio accounts of survivors that you can listen to.
Oh, and another place to see is the tonal replica of the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary.
6.) Medieval city walls
The city walls were a feature of many medieval cities in England, and Southampton was one of the greats!
Without going into the long history of the walls, in fact, a pile of French raids in 1338 led to Southampton, which surrounded the city with a wall.
This spacious wall, separated by eight gates and supported by an incredible 29 towers, was the pride of the city; with some that still stand to this day.
The one-kilometer circle lingered along Bargata Street, the back of the walls, the city quay and the western Esplanade. It’s worth taking a gander and one of the best things in Southampton if you love history.
7.) New Forest National Park
One of English National Parks, New Forest is the perfect place to visit if you want to get away from the city a bit.
With piles of trails, hills, deserts and woods, it’s a place where you can really get away from it all.
We love the Solent Way walk which is absolutely beautiful. Yes, it’s about 60 miles long, but you don’t need to do it all in one go!
Also, if you have time, take a peek at New Forest Water Gardens. It is absolutely beautiful and such a beautiful little place on a sunny day.
Oh, and if you prefer a day at the beach in the New Forest area, head to Calshot Beach. Just watch out for sunscreen, as the wind can trick you into your skin!
8.) Solent Sky Museum and John Hansard Art Gallery
As closely connected as Southampton is with the sea, so deeply connected with the sky; and the Solent Sky Museum will tell you why.
Featuring an impressive collection of models and photos from the golden age of aviation, this is exactly the place for genders if you like the history of aviation and technology.
While you are here, you will also explore the early decades of the 20th century. It was when Supermarine, an aviation manufacturer, settled in Southampton where he designed the highly regarded Spitfire fighter jet.
It’s worth leaving if you’re into aviation, but if you don’t want to, you might miss out. If that sounds like you, jump on John Hansard Art Gallery instead of that.
Within the Cultural Quarter there are many exhibits and seasonal highlights that are worth seeing.
9.) Medieval Trade Hall
The stone house from the center of Southampton is the house of a medieval merchant.
Inside the English Heritage estate you will find replicas of furniture, wall hangings and living conditions as if you are back in the 14th century. It’s worth a look, especially if you want more cities with a long (and pretty epic) history.
Oh, too, don’t forget to visit Westgate Hall (about a 1-minute walk away) or Netley Abbey (about 4 miles away).
Although in ruins, it is one of the best surviving abbeys in all of southern England.