May Bank Holiday Breaks in Southampton

Head to Southampton this May Bank Holiday and make the most of the city’s new cultural launches, paddle to the pub activities and waterfront meanders

Southampton May Bank Holiday

For a coastal city getaway packed with new cultural attractions, marina walks and water sports, Southampton is the ideal long weekend option this May Bank Holiday. Visit Southampton’s ( top ideas include:

Cultural Explosions with a stay at the Dolphin

Proving why it’s a contender for the City of Culture 2025, Southampton’s cultural scene will take off this May Bank Holiday with some major new launches. From 28 May, Southampton’s City Art Gallery will unveil a significant exhibition in association with the National Gallery. Dance fans are also in for a treat with a new live performance by Rambert2 at the city’s new theatrical hub – the MAST Mayflower Studios (MAST). Part of the MAST’s inaugural season, the double-bill programme will showcase new dance talent with a daring programme of hip hop, jazz, African dance and classical ballet. Tickets for performances on 28 & 29 May start from £10. For more information

STAY: With an alumni of guests including Jane Austen (who celebrated her 18th birthday there in 1793) and William Makepeace Thackeray (who used its grand interior as a writing den), the historic Dolphin Hotel has an impressive cultural past. A three-night bank holiday stay for two costs from £330 including breakfast. Tel: 023 8038 6460

Paddle to the pub then sip cocktails by night at the Moxy

Located beside Southampton’s river Itchen, Active Nation’s Woodmill Activity Centre offers a everything from sit-on-tops, tandems, kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards. Equipment can be hired by the hour or, for a longer adventure, paddlers can enjoy a leisurely afternoon ‘Paddle to the Pub’ round-trip to White Swan pub. Rentals start from £14 per hour for a single seater kayak. For more information and to book activities contact

STAY: The nautical theme continues at Southampton’s latest hotel – the 208-room Moxy. As well as receiving a complimentary Moxy cocktail on arrival, guests at this centrally located hotel can make use of the 24/7 self-service food and beverage concept. Prices for a three-night stay over the May Bank Holiday start from £342 per room based on two sharing room-only. Tel: 0238 168 0269

Waterfront Meander with a sea views from the Grand Harbour Hotel

Southampton’s luxurious Ocean Village Marina is the perfect spot to dine alfresco and take in the yachts and visiting cruise ships. This pretty waterfront spot has an impressive historic backstory which dates to Roman times and features the Mayflower, Titanic and modern day cruise lines. For a peek into the past head to the SeaCity Museum. Alternatively, download the museum’s free Titanic Trail and embark on a 75-minute self-guided walking tour taking in the key locations in and around the waterfront and city, which provide a fascinating backstory to the ship, its passengers and crew.

STAY: With a stunning glass atrium, impressive spa, and wonderful sea views, the Leonardo Royal Grand Harbour Hotel Southampton is the ideal spot to take in Southampton’s waterfront. A stay in one of the many rooms recently upgraded rooms this bank holiday starts from £567 per room for a three-night stay for two. Images here

All activities are subject to Government guidance. For news and inspiration about what’s on and what to do in the city

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