Southampton, England | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
Average: 9 (1 vote)


Southampton, England

Southampton is a port city on England's South East coast.
Southampton has been a settlement since Roman and Saxon times, in Roman times the town was known as Clausentum. The Roman ruins are situated in a suburb called Bitterne Manor. In Saxon times the town was known as Hamwic. 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 defenses remain throughout the city, most notably the


in the middle of the city center. 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 have quite a modern feel to it.
Southampton has grown rapidly in the past... Read more

Southampton, England

Southampton is a port city on England's South East coast.
Southampton has been a settlement since Roman and Saxon times, in Roman times the town was known as Clausentum. The Roman ruins are situated in a suburb called Bitterne Manor. In Saxon times the town was known as Hamwic. 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 defenses remain throughout the city, most notably the


in the middle of the city center. 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 have quite a modern feel to it.
Southampton has grown rapidly in the past 30 years, becoming one of the 20 largest cities in England. The two universities (Solent University and the University of Southampton) mean that there is a large student population.


As with the rest of the UK, Southampton experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb). Its southerly, low-lying and sheltered location ensures it is among the warmer, sunnier cities in the UK. It has held the record for the highest temperature in the UK for June at 35.6 °C (96.1 °F) since 1976.

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Southampton, England: Port Information

Southampton has 4 cruise terminals:
  • Mayflower Cruise Terminal
  • QE2 Cruise Terminal
  • Ocean Cruise Terminal
  • Southampton City Cruise Terminal
When there is a liner at each of them (only 1 vessel can dock there at a time), a temporary terminal can be used.

Southampton Cruise terminals are located about 80 miles from London. You will reach the train station within just 5 minutes by cab. You'll find yourself in the capital of the United Kingdom after about an hour and a half ride on a train.

Get around Southampton, England

My Journey is a website funded by the Department of Transport as a hub for travel information in and around Southampton.
The Southampton Buses Android app features public transport journey planning across all bus and rail operators in the city.

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 pedestrianized.

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 center. The city center itself 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 ten minutes during the day. Most of the services radiate out from the city center but there are also some cross-city routes. Some services also extend to settlements outside the city.
  • Bluestar (formerly Solent Blue Line)
  • First
  • Stagecoach
  • Uni-link
  • Velvet
  • Wilts & Dorset
By train
Southampton's main station is Southampton Central, on the north-west edge of the city center. Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway and Eastleigh are all served by regular trains on the South West mainline. Other stations in Southampton receive only less-regular stopping services, these stations are, Redbridge, Millbrook, St Denys, Swaythling, Bitterne, Woolston, Sholing.

What to see in Southampton, England

  • The Bargate - a medieval gatehouse sat slap bang in the middle of the shopping center. The top floor is now a Heritage Visitor Centre.
  • The Central Parks - established in the 19th century and listed Grade II on English Heritage's Register of Historic Parks, they benefited in 2001 from a £4.5m Heritage Lottery grant.
  • The yearly Southampton Boat Show.
Art galleries
  • City Art Gallery contains some 3,500 works of art covering six centuries.
  • Millais Gallery contains the work of up and coming artists and designers.
  • The Bargate Monument Gallery - The Bargate has been refurbished and given a new lease of life as a contemporary art gallery and home to the arts organization A Space.
  • The John Hansard Gallery 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

    , Havelock Rd. Daily 10 am-5 pm. Opened in 2012 to replace the old Maritime Museum, SeaCity contains two main galleries: the first telling the history of Southampton through artifacts and interactive displays; the second dedicated to the voyage and sinking of SS 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 of Archaeology. Home to one of the most outstanding archaeology collections in England and traces the history of the city from its origins as a Roman town to the age of empire under Victoria. The building - God's House Tower - is in itself noteworthy as the first purpose-built artillery fortification in England.
  • Medieval Merchant's House, 58 French Street, SO14 2AT, +44 2380 221503. One of the earliest surviving merchant's houses in England. It has been restored to its mid-14th-century appearance and replica furnishings provide insight into medieval life. 
  • Tudor House and Garden, Bugle St. Daily 10 am-5 pm. Built in 1495 for Sir John Dawtry, the Controller of Customs in Southampton. 
  • Solent Sky (Hall of Aviation), Albert Road South, Southampton, SO14 3FR (near Ocean Village), +44 2380 635830. Daily 10 am-5 pm. 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) and a Spitfire as well as Schneider Trophy racing seaplanes. 
  • Calshot Castle

    , Calshot Road, Calshot, SO45 1BR (20 miles south of Southampton), +44 2380 892023. An artillery fort, built by Henry VIII. 

What to do in Southampton, England

  • For up to the minute information on what to do in Southampton, visit the city's Events & What's On calendar.
  • Visit one of the many Theatres.
  • The Mayflower is the largest theatre in southern England, offering blockbusting West End musicals as well as ballet and operatic productions.
  • The Nuffield Theatre, based on the university campus, hosts performances from Shakespeare to contemporary drama.
  • the Turner Sims Concert Hall is a medium-sized venue owned by the University of Southampton, which sees frequent performances by internationally-renowned classical, jazz and world music artists.
  • Southampton Guildhall offers a multipurpose venue, mostly featuring touring comedy and rock acts, but also classical concerts and civic functions.
  • Odeon cinema at Leisureworld.
  • Cineworld Cinema at Ocean Village has a wide choice of films.
  • The Harbour Lights Picture House overlooking the Ocean Village Marina, which shows independent and European films.
  • See live music at the Brook, the Talking Heads, and the Joiners.
  • Take a walk on Southampton Common - 326 acres of grass and woodland, including an Urban Wildlife Centre, paddling pool, play area, and fishing lake. Very busy during the summer months, and a popular afternoon hangout for students.
  • Walk the walls - follow the signposted original course of the historic town walls, gatehouses, and towers, which are among the most complete in England. Around half of the original one-mile circuit still survives, including the famous Bargate.
  • Watch a football match - Southampton F.C. of the Barclays Premier League, the top division in England, play at the St Mary's Stadium, which is only a 15-minute walk from the city center. The derby matches with neighboring Portsmouth F.C. have plenty of fire.
  • Watch a cricket match - Hampshire County Cricket Club play at the Ageas Bowl (formally, the Rose Bowl) in West End, on the north-eastern fringes of Southampton. As well as domestic matches, the ground also regularly hosts international fixtures.
  • Take a ride on the Hythe Ferry from Town Quay to Hythe Pier, viewing the shipping in the docks.
  • There are a large number of sailing schools based in and around Southampton, particularly on The Hamble. Most if not all offer courses based around the Royal Yachting Association's certificates. 

What to eat and drink in Southampton, England


There are two main areas for eating out in Southampton; the first is Oxford Street (towards Ocean Village) and the second is around Bedford Place (just North of the city).
Oxford Street has a selection of higher class (and therefore more expensive) restaurants.
  • White Star. English/Traditional 
  • Kutis. Indian 
  • Pilgrim House. Chinese 
  • La Regata. If you are looking for sea-side eating with a touch of history. Spanish tapas restaurant situated in a Georgian-style building directly adjoined to the 14th-century walls is a good choice and has views overlooking the historic Harbour House, the ferry terminal and Hythe. 
The choice in Bedford Place is rather more varied; ranging from Moroccan and Mexican (Cantina Mexican) at the Southern end of the road through student style curry houses and a Chinese to some late night kebab and chip shops. In terms of value for money the Pride Of India is one of the best Indians in the city, but most of the restaurants are good value, if not exactly awe-inspiring taste-wise.
Walking distance from Bedford Place is the area of town that used to be known as Hungry Hill; Commercial Road where the existence of the Mayflower Theatre has meant a thriving trade for various restaurants in pre- and post-theatre eating. Again the choice is varied although generally the quality to cost ratio is not as high as it might otherwise be; although Buon Gusto (Italian) and Cafe Pattaya (Thai) are particularly recommended.
There are obviously the usual range of fast food chains spread throughout the city; formerly Burger King and McDonald's faced each other across the Bargate like petulant children with the gate itself acting like a peace-making mother, but McDonald's gave up the fight and fled to the West Quay shopping center in which you can also find a large selection of 'sit-down' restaurants like Pizza Hut, Nando's, Pizza Express, Yo Sushi!, Wagamama and Cafe Rouge. Furthermore, there are many takeaways in Southampton that do delivery and allow you to pick up the food yourself. 


As is to be expected of a large port with two universities, there are a lot of places to drink in Southampton. The city center features two pubs dating from Tudor times, the Red Lion in High Street, in particular, is steeped in history.
  • Portswood is the drinking area of choice for students at the University, so keep away from places like The Hobbit, Clowns, and Jesters ("Jesters"), The Gordon Arms and The Mitre if you want to avoid students. While The Hobbit can be studenty, it is definitely worth a look as it is a quirky pub with a massive beer garden and live music every night of the week. The Shooting Star (previously known as Kolebka) is a relaxed jazz bar with live music every Friday night. For those looking for a more alternative atmosphere, there is also The Dungeon Nightclub, with cheap drinks, friendly staff and customers with a varied spectrum of music from metal/industrial on Saturdays to 'cheese', indie and general rock music.
  • The Talking Heads, further up on Portswood Road, contains a mix of students and locals and provides a good selection of live music. Further up the road, The Brook is a dedicated venue for bands.
  • The Polygon (also referred to as "Bedford Place") is where most of the clubs and bars in the city lie, such as "Junk" (A club featuring modern dance music), "Orange Rooms" (A club/bar with a wider variety of music) and "Pop World" (A retro-themed nightclub).
  • The Marina area has a good (albeit expensive) selection of seafront bars.
  • The Red Lion in High Street dates back to Tudor times and is a must-see. It's usually fairly quiet as well. For those looking for something more lively, The Platform Tavern nearby on the waterfront is an excellent bet as it features live jazz and blues music and a superb selection of local real ales.
  • The Angel located next to one of the central parks is an excellent 'local' type pub in the city center featuring a free drinks quiz and friendly landlord. The Royal Oak nearby is also an excellent pub featuring regular live music, karaoke and quiz nights as well as drinks promotions, it is also very friendly although it can be a bit studenty.
  • The city center also has the usual spattering of chain pubs, including Slug & Lettuce, two Wetherspoon's, Walkabout, Bar Risa and Que Pasa.
  • Outside of the city center are the usual local pubs, some of which are excellent and others which are best avoided. The Park Inn in Shirley and the Wellington Arms and Waterloo Arms in Freemantle all have an excellent range of real ales while the Richmond Inn in Portswood is a great traditional pub with a vintage till and real ales. Nearby and next to St Denys railway station are two more excellent pubs, the Junction Inn and South Western Arms. The Rockstone in Bevois Valley is brilliant: it has a great selection of beers, whiskeys, and rums, and the selection of food is vast, ever-changing and of impeccable quality.
  • There is a useful directory of the local pubs and bars at which includes maps to find the pub and a few featured pubs as well.
  • Gay Southampton (Online Guide), +44 845 388 6328. An online guide to the bars, clubs, and saunas in Southampton. Comprehensive What's On listings. 

Shopping in Southampton, England

Southampton sells itself as the shopping capital of the South Coast and the West Quay shopping center does nothing to dispel you of that opinion. John Lewis and Marks And Spencer are the major draws, but there are 97 other shops happy to separate you from your hard-earned cash. An extension to this popular shopping center opened in 2016 and includes a 10 screen 4k Cinema, up to 20 extra restaurants, and a public square.
The Marlands is a smaller shopping center constructed to a PostModern design in 1991. The rent is lower than West Quay and hence the retailers are less salubrious. Retailers include Route One, CEX and The Disney Store.
For more shopping, Above Bar Street is the main pedestrian thoroughfare joining the shopping centers to each other with even more retailers, large and small. You won't be surprised to find that the same stores as are on most British high streets such as TK Maxx, HMV, Topshop, and Primark have made this their home. Above Bar Street is also the home of special shopping events. The German Market runs in December, and the area around the Bargate has the Farmer's Market on the second Saturday of each month.
Immediately to the east through either the independent side streets of Hannover Street or East Street is a large Debenhams department store.
A short walk to the north of Southampton's main city center are Bedford Place and London Road. By day and night, the bars, coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants are a hive of activity.
South East of the city center, Oxford Street hosts independent boutiques, salons, bars, and restaurants and maintains a more historic feel.

Safety in Southampton, England

Levels of crime in Southampton are similar to other UK cities. There is a strong police presence in the city center at night time, especially around the clubs and pubs. A night bus service is available to allow people to get home safely. 

Language spoken in Southampton, England

English is the official language.


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