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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > England > Southampton

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Things to see in Southampton

Attractions

Medieval Merchants' House

Owned and run by English Heritage, this is one of the earliest surviving merchants' houses in England. All the furniture has been authentically recreated and visitors are able to get a glimpse of what life was like for a prosperous wine merchant, John Fortin, who lived in the house with his family over 700 years ago.

Address: , 58 French Street, Southampton, SO1 0AT
Telephone: +44 370 333 1181.
Opening times:

Sun 1200-1700 (Mar-Sep).

Website: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/medieval-merchants-house
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

St Mary's Football Stadium

With a capacity of 32,505, St Mary's is the largest football stadium in southern England outside of London. It has been home to Southampton football club since 2001 and hosts regular fixtures, especially during from August to May. The area gets extremely busy on match days, so plan to arrive well in advance.

Address: , Britannia Road, Southampton, SO14 5FP
Telephone: +44 845 688 9448.
Opening times:

Dependent on match times.

Website: http://www.saintsfc.co.uk
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Mayflower Theatre

Culture vultures should definitely head to the Mayflower Theatre, the largest theatre in southern England. It opened in 1928 and puts on an impressive programme of musicals, ballet, traditional pantomime, opera and comedy acts.

Address: , 22-26 Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE
Telephone: +44 23 8071 1811.
Opening times:

Dependent on show times.

Website: http://www.mayflower.org.uk
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

SeaCity Museum

This central, family-focused museum opened in 2011 and brings Southampton's maritime history to life with a constantly evolving selection of exhibitions, events and activities. There's an education zone for children and a large range of artifacts from the city's maritime and archaeological archives.

Address: , Havelock Road, Southampton, SO14 7FY
Telephone: +44 23 8083 4536.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.seacitymuseum.co.uk
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Solent Sky (Hall of Aviation)

Southampton and the Solent played a pioneering role in aviation development, and it was here that the world's first seaplane was built. It was also the birthplace of the Spitfire fighter plane that has become so synonymous with WWII. This museum houses many historic planes and you can even sit at the controls of a jet fighter.

Address: , Albert Road South, Southampton, SO14 3FR
Telephone: +44 23 8063 5830.
Opening times:

Tue-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1200-1700.

Website: http://www.solentskymuseum.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Southampton City Art Gallery

The city's impressive art gallery is housed in an elegant art deco building in the heart of the Cultural Quarter and contains over 3,500 works of art spanning six centuries of European culture, with works from artists diverse as Gainsborough and Gilbert & George. It also has a stirring exhibition of 20th-century British art.

Address: , Civic Centre Road, Southampton, SO14 7LP
Telephone: +44 23 8083 3007.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1000-1500, Sat 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.southampton.gov.uk/libraries-museums/art-gallery
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre

Set in the southeast corner of Southampton Common, the Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre grounds are planted and managed as different wildlife habitats and it is a great place to learn about the different ecosystems. This is good for family visits and the perfect place to get away from the city centre and get back to nature.

Address: , Southampton Common, Southampton, SO15 7NN
Telephone: +44 23 8067 1921.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1100-1500, Sun 1200-1600.

Website: http://www.southampton.gov.uk/people-places/parks-open-spaces/hawthorns
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

New Forest Wildlife Park

Set across 10 hectares (25 acres) just outside the city, this thriving wildlife park offers the chance to see a huge range of species in their natural habitat. Watch otters at play, get up close and personal with several deer species, and let the kids loose in the adventure playgrounds.

Address: Longdown, Deerleap Lane, Ashurst, SO40 4UH
Telephone: +44 23 8029 2408.
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 1000-1730 (summer), Mon-Sun 1000-1630 (winter).

Website: http://www.newforestwildlifepark.co.uk
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Woodmill Outdoor Activities Centre

This former mill claims to be the only outdoor activity centre in the UK that has access to four different types of water: a placid lake, the flowing River Itchen, a tidal estuary and high tide whitewater. This makes it a perfect place to learn how to kayak or canoe - but there are other fun activities on offer as well, including archery and climbing.

Address: , Woodmill Lane, Southampton, SO18 2JR
Telephone: +44 23 8091 5744.
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 0900-1700.

Website: http://www.activenation.org.uk
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Royal Victoria Country Park

Once home to the biggest military hospital in the British Empire, this 81-hectare (200-acre) park on the outskirts of Southampton is a perfect picnicking spot. With a railway train, children's park areas and great views of the ships coming in and out of the port, it's also a popular place for families.

Address: , Netley Abbey, Southampton, SO31 5GA
Telephone: +44 23 8045 5157.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/rvcp
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Tourist Offices

Southampton Tourist Information Centre

Address: , Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LW
Telephone: +44 23 8083 2664.
Opening times:

Mon-Tue 1000-1900, Wed 1000-1800, Thu 1000-1900, Fri 1000-1700, Sat 1000-1600.

Website: http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk

The Tourist Information Point in Southampton Central Library is a good source of on-the-spot advice for visitors. There are also information points at SeaCity Museum in Havelock Road and at the Dancing Man Brewery.

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Featured Hotels

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Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin Hotel

This large chain hotel has clearly spent a lot of time agonising over the finer details, including individually designed headboards created by artists in each of the 65 rooms. The buildings date from 1790 and 1890, and Jane Austen attended a ball in the hotel's Assembly rooms on her 18th birthday. A hotel with genuine character.

Premier Inn Southampton City Centre

A neat, clean and comfortable budget option well placed for exploring the city. It might not be the most exciting place to stay in Southampton, but if your priorities are location and price then this central Premier Inn can't be beaten.

Jury Inn

Book early to get the best prices at this city centre hotel, which overlooks East Park and is within walking distance of the main rail station. With 270 rooms, Jury Inn is the largest hotel in the city. Plus points include flatscreen TVs and supremely comfortable beds in all rooms, as well as free Wi-Fi.

Novotel Southampton

This hotel has a central location near the main railway station and West Quay shopping centre. It has 121 rooms, including four for disabled guests, and there is a swimming pool with exercise area and a sauna. Wi-Fi access is available. The hotel has a bar and restaurant.

The Mayfair Guest House

Most of Southampton's best budget options are chain hotels, but this neat little guesthouse is a nice exception. Set in an elegant Edwardian building, it owes its excellent reputation to warm service, a cosy lounge area with free Wi-Fi and award-winning breakfasts based on locally sourced ingredients.

Grand Harbour Hotel

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Louvre, this iconic hotel stands out both for its architectural style and for its facilities. Many of the 173 rooms have sea views, there are suites with Jacuzzi baths and double balconies for luxury lovers, and the in-house fitness centre has a state-of-the-art gym and a pool as well as several therapy rooms.