More than just a trip to the coast, Southampton with its maritime and aviation history, impressive cultural arts scene and great choice of lively outdoor cafés, restaurants and buzzing bars is the ideal destination for a summer city break
Southampton also has a great mix of hotels – those with good availability this summer include:
Harbour Hotel: Set on a small, private marina with a striking ’super yacht’ style design, Southampton’s 5-star Harbour Hotel & Spa is known for its stunning contemporary interiors and uber luxurious spa. For foodies, there’s also its destination restaurant, ‘The Jetty’ serving fresh, locally caught seafood with seasonal ingredients from the New Forest. While the hotel’s top floor and roof terrace features ‘HarBAR on 6th’ with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Solent, outdoor fire pits and a wood fired pizza oven on the terrace. HarBAR on 6th serves food all day – with live DJs and professional cocktail mixologists from 6pm.
With good levels of availability throughout the summer, a stay costs from £248 per night for a double room including breakfast in July and from £221 for a double room with breakfast in August. Tel: 0238 110 3456 https://www.harbourhotels.co.uk/southampton
The Moxy: Industrial chic meets nautical is the theme at Southampton’s Moxy. In a prime central location, the experiential Marriott International hotel brand is close to the Westquay Shopping Centre and the marina. As well as receiving a complimentary Moxy cocktail on arrival, guests can make use of the hotel’s 24/7 self-service food and beverage concept. Prices start from £58 per room this July and August based on two sharing room-only. Tel: 0238 168 0269 www.marriott.co.uk
Ennio’s: A restaurant with 10 rooms on Town Quay opposite Southampton harbour. Rich in history, this prominent red brick building is one of the few remaining warehouses in Southampton. It formed part of the city wall and was once the Geddes Warehouse where Titanic passengers stored their luggage before departure. Its Italian restaurant is one of Southampton’s most popular. Tel: 023 8022 1159 www.ennios.co.uk With decent mid-week availability, double rooms from £130 in August with breakfast.
Room2: A heavenly self-catering hometel, http://www.room2.com is ideally located beside a quiet leafy park yet close to the marina and buzzy Oxford street – lined with restaurants and bars. Stylishly decorated, each room is fitted with a fully equipped kitchenette, dishwasher, dining table, sofa, TV and ensuite shower room. Guests can also make use on the compact onsite gym, laundry, bar and café area. With good availability from 15th August onwards, prices from £120 per night for the Study room, which sleeps two and £170 per night for the Master Loft, an ideal family space which sleeps four and includes a mezzanine level ideal for children. www.room2.com Tel: 0238 057 2222
Top five reasons to visit Southampton this summer include:
Southampton – UK City of Culture 2025 contender – is a hotbed of new artistic happenings this summer. Housed in one of Southampton’s oldest and most important historic mediaeval buildings, God’s House Tower opens 9th July. Following a £3.1million restoration fund the venue’s interactive launch programme aims high, with installations that weave together contemporary art and heritage. More art awaits at Southampton’s City Art Gallery including a major new exhibition in association with the National Gallery including 58 works with paintings by Monet, Gainsborough, Maggi Hambling and Paula Rego. While theatre-goers can also expect exciting performances at the city’s new performing arts hub -MAST Mayflower Studios (MAST). Its debut season includes T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets starring and directed by acclaimed actor Ralph Fiennes as well as Educating Rita starring Stephen Tompkinson. For children, there’s the Grimm Tales, retold by master-storyteller Philip Pullman andthe live science show, Brainiac. https://mayflowerstudios.org.uk/
Take a walk through Southampton’s coastal backstory
Known as the Gateway to the World, Southampton is synonymous with some of the history’s most famous sea voyages. For an interactive insight into the Southampton’s coastal heritage, the Sea City Museum tells the story of the people of the city, their fascinating lives and historic connections with the sea including the fascinating tale of the tragic sinking of the Titanic. Its free to download Titanic Trail is the ideal starting point for visitors. The 75-minute walking tour and map features key locations in and around the city and port providing a fascinating backstory to the ship, its passengers and crew.
Peek into the past at Tudor House Museum and Garden
The Tudor House and Garden offers a look at the city’s 800 year past. Southampton’s most important historic building, the timber-framed property was built in the late 15th Century, with King John’s Palace, an adjacent Norman house accessible from Tudor House Garden, dating back a further 300 years. Tudor House gives a unique and atmospheric insight into the lives and times of both its residents through the years, and of Southampton itself. https://tudorhouseandgarden.com Re-opened 28th June.
Discover the incredible history of aviation
Southampton is also the home of the Spitfire and the Solent Sky aviation museum depicts the incredible story of aviation in Hampshire and the Solent region, with more than 20 aircraft from the golden age of aviation. https://www.solentsky.org
Paddle to the Pub
Located beside Southampton’s river Itchen (a short drive from the city centre), Woodmill Activity Centre offers everything from high ropes, climbing, bushcraft and archery – to paddleboard, canoe and kayaking fun. Family boats and vessels for the mobility impaired are also available. As well as tutored discovery sessions (£22 for adults and £12 for children) which cover basic tuition and an introduction to all the on and off water activities available at Woodmill; the centre also offers equipment hire from £14 per hour and a paddle to the pub experience. Costing £35 for adults and £25 for children this guided round trip enables participants to enjoy an idyllic paddle along the River Itchen, before disembarking at The White Swan Pub for some refreshments with a view.
For news and inspiration about what’s on and what to do in the city www.visitsouthampton.co.uk