Southampton Mini Guide
Southampton is a major port where ferries operate daily to the Isle of Wight
. The city has always been coupled with maritime history and developments. Part of the city walls remain and Bargate, built by the Normans, is a fine example of a city gate. Many luxury liners are berthed in the harbour and it is a primary port for cruise ships as well as being a significant container port. Southampton is arguably the UK's premier venue for water sports and particularly sailing where various regatta and events are held throughout the year.
West Quay shopping centre is one of the UK’s top shopping centres with over 100 stores and an additional three shopping centres are to be found in the city. There is plenty to do in the city, so book your Southampton car rental and have a look around. Royal Victoria Park has 200 acres of parkland including a Heritage Centre and the Mayflower theatre hosts a number of West End shows. The Guildhall stages jazz and rock as well as contemporary and classical music. For eating out there is a good choice of restaurants, bars and clubs. Leisure World has a casino, bowling alley, several restaurants, bars, a cinema and two nightclubs.
There are several museums including Tudor House, The Maritime Museum and Solent Sky. The Southampton Boat Show is held annually each September. For sport lovers there is an excellent sports centre in Southampton which includes a dry ski slope, all-weather pitches, cross-country routes and tennis courts.
Hampshire is a beautiful area and car hire is an excellent option to explore this scenic county. The New Forest is approximately 27km from Southampton and is a stunning area to visit. The forest has several national trails and is ideal for walkers. Cycling is also a popular pastime and bicycles can be hired in the Forest. Horse riding is also available.
There are many car routes through the Forest although care should be taken as the forest is home to ponies, deer and cattle as well as many other wild animals and birds. The seaside resorts of Poole
are also close by.
Southampton is a major city on the south coast with history dating back to the Stone Age. There are remains of the defensive walls dotted around the city and especially down near the port.
The city’s museum has hundreds of artefacts dug up from there and the main Roman settlement of Clausentum on the site of Bitterne Manor. Hire a car to drive there and, whilst the manor is now privately owned, the parkland around it is owned by the council and is open to the public for delightful walks along the River Itchen.