Southampton doesn’t get a whole lot of attention compared to many other English cities. Even as far as coastal getaways go, it’s often not at the top of the list. At the end of the day however most English cities have quite a bit of character, and that makes pretty much all of them worth visiting. To that point, these are some of the things you might enjoy in Southampton, on the Solent near the southern coast.
The SeaCity Museum is perhaps the most commonly mentioned tourist attraction in Southampton, and with good reason. It’s a large, state-of-the-art museum that focuses on Southampton’s connection with the sea, which is extensive and historic. This is a city that, for much of history, was Britain’s most active port. Its situation on the Solent near the Isle of Wight gives it one of the largest natural harbors in Europe, and it’s even the city from which the Titanic set off. This fascinating museum covers all of that and more.
For history buffs, the city walls may be even more interesting to look at and walk by as the SeaCity Museum. The walls date back to the 14th century, and are still fairly imposing today. Following along the walls you can also see some other ancient Southampton sites, such as St. Michael’s Church, but the walls themselves can brilliantly feed your imagination about what a city like this may have been like hundreds of years ago.
Ennio’s doesn’t necessarily look like much on the outside. It’s in a nice part of town near the High Street and very close to the official Southampton Port (which is certainly worth looking at in person). But from the outside it’s more or less just a plain red brick building. On the inside, it’s arguably the best restaurant in town, and with great views of the surrounding area to sweeten the deal. The main focus is on Italian food, but the resident chef changes things up on occasion also.
Some major British cities have casinos. This, by contrast, is a bingo hall, and one of the best in the country. That might not sound like a major draw, but this is actually a brand new venue, having opened at the start of 2016. It’s a symbol of a mild comeback for bingo in general, and a fun place out for a few drinks and games in town. Even if bingo isn’t your thing, you might want to give it a look. It challenges the narrative that bingo is just a game for elderly players and cruise ship passengers.
Stonehenge isn’t actually in Southampton, but it’s close enough that the drive can take less than an hour, which makes it one of the main attractions in the area. Stonehenge has been mesmerizing travelers for centuries, not least because we still don’t fully understand what its precise purpose was or how it was built. It’s a wondrous enough monument, however, that it’s even become a popular subject among alien visitation conspiracy theorists. An attraction that baffles people to that extent is worth a visit no matter what you personally think about its history or construction, and a getaway in the old city of Southampton gives you a nice excuse to check it out.