Also called So’ton, the major port of Southampton offers so many things for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of its main highlights.
Tudor House and Garden
Steeped in history of over 900 years, this is Southampton’s most important historic monument. This lovingly restored site has free audio guides and displays. If you’ve ever wanted to know what life in of yore looked like, this is the place to be. You can easily spend a few hours here, taking in history, drinking a coffee at the shop or dressing up in the old style.
What can be more prehistoric than the Stonehenge? Get into your car and drive an hour away from Southampton to see this monument. Your 45 minute tour will tell you what you need to know about this wonderful formation. A word of caution- book your tickets ahead because the visit is time-bound. If you do not want to drive, you can park at the airport and if you compare airport parking, you’ll find that it is worth it.
Itchen Valley Country Park Fun
Somewhere in this 440 acre lushness lies the gateway to fun and adventure. The venue is just outside Southampton and boasts of some of the fastest zip wires in the region. Make your way through some tricky tunnels, clamber over suspended bridges, shout out like a caveman on the Tarzan Swings, tackle obstacles and even Walk the Plank. Basically, have a blast!
Solent Sky Museum
It’s not just ships that put Southampton on the map. It’s aircraft too. The Sky Museum highlights the important work in experimental and development work done in the field of aviation. If you’re familiar with the Spitfire, you’ll be delighted to know that it was created here. Among the more than 20 airframes is the awe-inspiring Supermarine S6. Sit in the cockpit of a jetfighter or take a guided tour on the massive ‘flying boat,’ Sandringham. This is a must-visit for all aviation buffs.
When the first Pilgrim Fathers set sail to America, they did so from Southampton. In 1620, they did not know that their simple and daring act would forever be etched in history. Mayflower Park celebrates that day and those intrepid travelers. Take a walk, have a sun filled picnic, sunbathe, eat an ice cream. As you laze around, look further and you can see cruise ships making their way through the vast expanse. There’s a lot to do here.
Paying homage to the city’s long association with the sea is the SeaCity Museum. Whether it’s the Titanic (of course) or shipbuilding, historic records and archives, puppet shows or storytelling, you’ll find it all at the Museum. You can buy a ticket that will give you access to both, the Museum here and the one at Tudor House.
Southampton Jane Austen Festival
This year marks the 200th death anniversary of the great author, Jane Austen, who spent most of her life in the region. The entire year will have competitions, walks, performances and talks celebrating the life of the writer. From dance and embroidery workshops to a commemorative ball, look at all the things that inspired Jane Austen to create her unforgettable characters and books.