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The entrance to Ocean Village harbour in Southampton

Things to do in Southampton before your cruise

Explore Southampton’s hidden gems ahead of your no-fly cruise

Published on 15 Feb 2024

Embarking on a cruise from Southampton is not just the start of a journey; it’s a chance to explore the city’s history and culture. Before setting sail, take some time to explore Southampton and discover its hidden gems. From historic landmarks to scenic parks and delectable dining spots, there’s plenty to see and do in Southampton to kick off your cruise holiday in style. 

Things to do in Southampton

Delve into history at the SeaCity Museum

Start your pre-cruise exploration with a journey through Southampton’s maritime past at the SeaCity Museum. Located in the heart of the city, this fascinating museum offers insights into Southampton’s role in maritime history, including its connections to the Titanic and the Mayflower. Explore interactive exhibits, marvel at historical artefacts and learn about the lives of the people who shaped Southampton’s seafaring legacy. 

Wander through the Old Town

Step back in time as you wander through Southampton’s charming Old Town, where centuries-old buildings and cobblestone streets await. Discover medieval walls, Tudor houses and hidden alleyways as you meander through this historic district. Be sure to stop by the Tudor House and Garden, a beautifully preserved 15th-century home that offers a glimpse into Southampton’s past. 

Explore Southampton Common

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in the peaceful surroundings of Southampton Common. This sprawling green space offers plenty of chances for relaxation and recreation, with tree-lined paths, calm ponds and wide open meadows. Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely afternoon in the park or simply stroll and soak up the natural beauty of this urban oasis. 

Indulge in culinary delights

Treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure in Southampton’s diverse dining scene. From traditional British fare to international cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every palate in this culinary hub. Head to Oxford Street or Bedford Place for a wide range of dining options, from cosy gastropubs to fine dining establishments. Don’t forget to sample some local specialities, such as Hampshire pork pies or freshly caught seafood. 

Visit the Solent Sky Museum

Aviation fans should visit the Solent Sky Museum, which showcases vintage aircraft and aviation artefacts. Discover Southampton’s role in aviation history, from the Spitfire to the first hovercraft. Explore interactive displays, board historic planes and learn about the pilots who flew from Southampton. 

Take a stroll along the waterfront

No visit to Southampton would be complete without a leisurely stroll along the waterfront. Watch ships come and go from the bustling docks, admire the sleek lines of luxury yachts and soak up the maritime atmosphere of this historic port city. Stop by Town Quay or Ocean Village for stunning views of the harbour and enjoy a drink at one of the waterfront cafes or restaurants. 

Shop ‘til you drop

Get your retail fix at Westquay Shopping Centre, Southampton’s premier shopping destination. With over 90 major high-street stores, Westquay offers endless opportunities for retail therapy. Browse the latest fashions, pick up last-minute cruise items or simply enjoy a spot of window shopping as you explore this bustling shopping complex. 

Relax and unwind

Before embarking on your cruise, take some time to relax and unwind at one of Southampton’s spas or wellness centres. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage, indulge in a pampering facial or simply unwind in a tranquil setting away from the stresses of everyday life. Whether you opt for a quick pick-me-up or a full day of relaxation, you’ll emerge feeling refreshed and ready to set sail on your cruise.

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