Home News 9 emblematic sites and districts in Southampton, England
image article

9 emblematic sites and districts in Southampton, England

Located in the south of England, it's a city where historical heritage rubs shoulders with the dynamics of modern culture. Beyond the port activity and the flow of cruise passengers, there are many districts worth visiting during a few days' stay, whether for business or leisure. Here's our selection of 9 iconic sites and places to explore in Southampton, England.
Published on May 24, 2024

1. Bargate

Southampton's medieval heritage is still very much alive today. Located on High Street, 15 minutes from Central Station, the Bargate was the great gateway to the walled city. Built around 1180, it is one of the finest surviving gates in the GreatBretagne.

The Bargate has had many uses over the years. Not only was it the site of the city's first Guildhall, but it was also used as anair raid shelter during the Second World War, to keep residents safe from bombardment.

As you pass through the gateway, you can enjoy the bustle of the High Street shops, before reaching the medieval ramparts.

2. Southampton's medieval ramparts

In this Hampshire port town, the medieval city is very well preserved. At Western Esplanade level, the ramparts rise up before the ultra-modern Westquay shopping center.

Take a walk along the "sentier des murs" or enter the old fortified town, and you'll discover the vestiges of the past: a vault transformed into a wine cellar for the King in the 13th century, 14th-century merchants' houses, a church that now houses the Merchant Navy Museum...

3. Tudor House and Garden

In the heart of the old town, this historic residence is a landmark building. Tudor House and Garden is close to St. Michael's Church. The property bears witness to over 800 years of history and offers a glimpse of life in Southampton at the time. King John's Palace is accessible from the Tudor House Garden.

The half-timbered walls of the façade take you back several centuries. The interior furnishings take you back to the daily life of the time, from the kitchen to the banqueting hall to the air-raid shelter. The garden features period plants, a water feature, a rose arbour and a vine tunnel.

4. Guildhall Square: Southampton's cultural quarter

Guildhall Square is the place to be if you're visiting Southampton and want to enjoy a lively cultural scene. In this part of town, you're bound to find something to occupy your stay in concert halls, museums or galleries. To accompany this artistic dynamism, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in the surrounding bars, cafés and restaurants.

Guildhall Square is home to a variety of facilities, including the O2 Guildhall, Stage Door, Southampton City Art Gallery and MAST Mayflower Studios. The area is also host to many temporary events.

5. The Titanic Trail to the SeaCity Museum

Southampton is linked to the infamous story of the Titanic. Many of the passengers and crew on that maiden voyage were Southampton residents. The port of Southampton was also the point of departure for this dramatic cruise.

Numerous memorials and points of interest have been set up in the town to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the sinking of the ship in 1912. The route takes in such places as the local office of the British shipping company White Star Line and the pub where the crew used to meet.

The SeaCity Museum in the heart of Southampton also tells the story of the RMS Titanic through an interactive model and artifacts from the shipwreck.

6. The Steamship Shieldhall

Southampton's maritime heritage is not limited to the dramatic story of the Titanic. The Steamship Shieldhall is the largest steamship still in operation in Great BritainBretagne. Thanks to a formidable team of volunteers, it is possible to visit an engine room with authentic working equipment and traditional on-board instruments.

But you can also book your own excursion and take advantage of the crossing to discover the sights of Southampton Water and the Solent.

7. Solent Sky Museum

Southampton is not just about the sea. The city has also played a key role in aviation history. The Sky Museum pays tribute to the role of the Solent region in the development of aviation. Some of the first seaplanes, as well as the famous Spitfire, were designed and built in Hampshire.

At the Solent Sky Museum, you can not only look at these relics of a bygone era, you can also enter the cockpit of the jet fighters. The Supermarine factory in Southampton, where the first prototypes were produced, was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. But the town's inhabitants maintained production by relocating it to several secret sites until the end of the conflict.

8. Oxford Street

In this part of town, you'll find British specialties alongside far more exotic dishes. Oxford Street has inherited a unique gastronomy from Southampton's role over the centuries. The city was one of the country's main gateways.

You can move from one country to another during the day, starting with the classic British breakfast, before sampling Indian flavors for lunch, followed by traditional pub fare in the evening.

9. Jane Austen's trail

Attention literature lovers! In tribute to the novelist Jane Austen, a heritage trail was launched in 2006 to commemorate the writer's home in Southampton. Just follow the plaques and you'll discover the places the novelist visited as a child, the places where she spent her many vacations, and the home where she lived for several years.