Southampton tours and excursions
For a city so intimately connected to the ocean, no trip to Southampton is complete without heading out on a boat trip. Blue Funnel Cruises offer public and private charters along Southampton's waterways, passing sights such as the historic docklands area, the rivers Itchen and Test, and the departure point of the Titanic.Tel: +44 23 8022 3278.
Southampton is relatively easy to explore on foot, with all the main attractions concentrated around the city centre and harbour areas. Regular public walks run by the Southampton Tourist Guides Association start from the historic Bargate - check the organisation's website for times and dates. They can also arrange private walks that are available in several languages.Website: http://www.southamptontouristguides.com
Isle of Wight
A short 20-minute ferry away is the Isle of Wight. This stunning isle of white cliffs, rolling hills and postcard-perfect little villages is the ideal escape from Southampton. Attractions include the UK's oldest theme park, Blackgang Chine (tel: +44 1983 730 330; www.blackgangchine.com), as well as endless restaurants, walks and adventure activities.Tel: +44 1983 813 813.
New Forest National Park
The New Forest National Park is a short drive west of Southampton consisting of 375 sq km (145 sq miles) of open heath and woodland. It is a favourite with outdoor enthusiasts who come to use the spectacular cycle, walking and horse-riding trails. Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and National Motor Museum are situated south of the park.Tel: +44 23 8028 2269.