30 Fun Things to See and Do in Southampton


Looking for fun things to do in Southampton? With the city’s rich maritime history and vibrant cultural scene, you shouldn’t be dissapointed.

From its historic walls and iconic docks to its sprawling green spaces, Southampton boasts a plethora of activities sure to captivate visitors and locals alike.

Whether you’re a history aficionado, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking the best spots to unwind and have fun, Southampton promises a treasure trove of experiences.

Read on as we now showcase 30 fun things to do in Southampton.

Explore SeaCity Museum

Southampton, with its illustrious maritime past, comes alive at the SeaCity Museum.

Ideal for families and history enthusiasts alike, this interactive museum brings to the forefront Southampton’s connection to the Titanic, as well as its broader seafaring history.

Exhibits are engagingly presented, ensuring visitors of all ages leave with a newfound appreciation for the city’s significant nautical legacy.

If you’re seeking educational yet fun things to do in Southampton, this museum should top your list.

Address – Havelock Rd, SO14 7FY

Admire Artworks at Southampton City Art Gallery

For art lovers charting a course through Southampton, the City Art Gallery is an essential stop.

Boasting an extensive collection that spans eight centuries, it showcases everything from classic Renaissance pieces to contemporary British art.

Frequently updated exhibitions mean there’s always something fresh to see, making it a continually evolving space for art appreciation.

A visit here promises not just visual delight but also a deep dive into artistic narratives.

Address – Civic Centre Rd, SO14 7LP

Discover Tudor House and Garden

Step back in time and experience the rich tapestry of Southampton’s history at the Tudor House and Garden.

A reflection of over 800 years of history, this charming timber-framed building offers a glimpse into the daily life of its former residents.

The adjoining garden further complements the historic atmosphere, making it a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.

It’s a must-visit for anyone keen on exploring historical attractions as well as memorable and fun things to do in Southampton.

Address – Bugle St, SO14 2AD

Board SS Shieldhall

SS Shieldhall stands as a testament to Southampton’s maritime grandeur.

As the largest working steamship in Britain, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience sea travel of yesteryears.

The ship hosts regular voyages, allowing guests to marvel at the engineering prowess while also enjoying the serene vistas of the Solent.

A trip aboard the SS Shieldhall is more than just a cruise; it’s a journey through time.

Address – Berth 48, Eastern Docks, SO14 3QN

Learn at Solent Sky Museum

Aviation enthusiasts and curious minds alike will find the Solent Sky Museum an engaging destination.

Charting the history of aviation in Southampton and the Solent area, it houses an impressive collection of aircraft, including the famed Spitfire.

Interactive displays and knowledgeable staff ensure visitors get an in-depth understanding of the region’s pivotal role in aviation history.

Address – Albert Rd S, SO14 3FR, UK

Attend Southampton Boat Show

For those who have a passion for all things maritime, the Southampton Boat Show is an event not to be missed.

This annual extravaganza showcases the finest in marine design, from luxury yachts to practical dinghies.

With a plethora of exhibitors and interactive displays, it’s a hub of innovation and excitement.

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or just enjoy the ambiance of a nautical event, this boat show offers something for everyone.

Address – Mayflower Park, SO15 1HJ

Shop at Westquay Shopping Centre

Retail therapy in Southampton reaches its zenith at Westquay.

This premier shopping destination boasts a vast selection of high-street names, designer boutiques, and a diverse food court.

Its modern architecture, coupled with its waterside location, makes for a delightful shopping experience.

For those planning a shopping spree or simply looking to enjoy a leisurely stroll, Westquay is the place to be.

Address – Harbour Parade, SO15 1QF

Visit St. Michael’s Church

St. Michael’s Church stands as a beacon of Southampton’s rich heritage.

With parts of the structure dating back to the 11th century, it’s the city’s oldest building still in use.

The church offers a serene atmosphere, ideal for reflection, and its striking architecture is a treat for history and architecture enthusiasts alike.

Address – Castle Way, SO14 2AD

Stroll through Southampton Common

A verdant oasis in the heart of the city, Common is a perfect spot for relaxation and recreation.

Spanning 365 acres, it offers picturesque lakes, woodland walks, and play areas.

Whether you’re keen on birdwatching, jogging, or simply picnicking with family, the Common provides a refreshing escape from urban hustle.

Address – The Avenue, SO15 7NN

Watch a Performance at Mayflower Theatre

Renowned for its eclectic lineup of shows, the Mayflower Theatre is a cultural gem in Southampton.

From captivating musicals to thought-provoking dramas, it promises a world-class theatrical experience.

The theatre’s opulent interiors and state-of-the-art acoustics ensure an immersive experience, making it a must-visit for arts aficionados.

Address – 22-26 Commercial Rd, SO15 1GE

Walk the Old Town Walls

Dive deep into Southampton’s history by walking its medieval town walls.

These walls, which once protected the city from invaders, offer a captivating journey through time.

As you traverse the well-preserved battlements, gates, and towers, you’ll gain insights into Southampton’s storied past.

Guided tours are available, offering in-depth narratives of the city’s evolution.

One of those must-visit Southampton attractions that’s both fun and insightful.

Address – Western Esplanade, SO14 2AQ

Relax at Ocean Village Marina

Ocean Village Marina, with its blend of leisure and lifestyle offerings, is a sought-after destination.

Overlooking the calm waters, visitors can enjoy a range of waterfront restaurants, bars, and cinema.

The marina also hosts various events throughout the year, making it a vibrant hub of activity in Southampton.

Address – 2 Channel Way, SO14 3TG

Enjoy a Day at Riverside Park

Riverside Park, located alongside the River Itchen, offers a tranquil setting for nature lovers and families.

With its picturesque walking trails, children’s play areas, and opportunities for fishing, it’s a haven for outdoor activities.

Visitors can often spot a diverse range of bird species, making it a favoured spot for birdwatchers.

If you’re seeking top Southampton attractions that won’t break the bank, then this is well-worth a visit.

Address – Woodmill Ln, SO18 2JJ

Climb at Southampton Climbing Wall

Those looking for adrenaline fuelled activities in Southampton itinerary, should be well-satisfied with this popular climbing centre.

Catering to climbers of all skill levels, this facility provides challenges for both beginners and pros.

With safety at its forefront and experienced instructors on hand, it’s an exciting way to stay active and try something new in the city.

Address – St Mary’s Leisure Centre, St Mary’s Rd, SO14 0BL

Step Back in Time at The Medieval Merchant’s House

Delve into Southampton’s medieval history by visiting The Medieval Merchant’s House.

This restored 14th-century building provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of a prosperous merchant during the medieval era.

Furnished rooms, period details, and informative displays paint a vivid picture of historic Southampton.

It’s an immersive experience that history buffs would certainly cherish.

Address – 58 French St, SO14 2AT

Wander Around Netley Abbey

Netley Abbey, the ruins of a 13th-century Cistercian monastery, is an evocative site that transports visitors back to a bygone era.

The abbey’s Gothic architecture, combined with its serene surroundings, makes it a photographer’s delight.

The ruins tell tales of monastic life, royal visits, and the passage of time. For a dose of history and tranquillity, Netley Abbey is a must-visit.

Great for Southampton family outings.

Address – Abbey Hill, Netley, SO31 5FB

Relax at Watts Park

Centrally located in Southampton, Watts Park offers a serene urban escape.

Lush greenery, flowerbeds, and sculptures dot the park, making it a preferred spot for relaxation.

The park also hosts various events throughout the year, from music festivals to art exhibitions, adding to the city’s vibrant cultural calendar.

Address – Cumberland Pl, SO15 2NP

Experience Nature at Itchen Valley Country Park

Spanning 440 acres, Itchen Valley Country Park is a nature lover’s paradise.

With its expansive woodlands, meadows, and ponds, the park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

 Marked trails guide visitors through various habitats, ensuring a rich nature experience.

Whether you’re hiking, birdwatching, or simply enjoying a picnic, the park offers a refreshing break from city life.

Address – Allington Ln, West End, SO30 3HQ

Observe Animals at New Forest Wildlife Park

A short drive from Southampton’s bustling centre lies the New Forest Wildlife Park, a haven for native and exotic animals alike.

From playful otters to majestic deer, the park offers close encounters with nature’s wonders in a woodland setting.

Informative talks and feeding sessions add to the educational experience, making it an ideal outing for families and wildlife enthusiasts.

In our book, one of the best places to visit in Southampton and the surrounding area.

Address – Deerleap Ln, Colbury, SO40 4UH

Marvel at The Bargate

Standing proudly amidst the city’s modern landscape, The Bargate serves as a reminder of Southampton’s medieval past.

As a former entrance to the walled city, this Grade I listed building is adorned with intricate sculptures and battlements.

Its central location makes it a convenient landmark to visit and serves as a starting point for exploring the historic Old Town.

Address – Bargate St, SO14 2DA

Revel in History at Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum

Dive deep into Southampton’s industrial heritage at the Bursledon Brickworks.

As the last remaining steam-driven brickworks in the UK, it offers a unique window into the brick-making history.

Interactive displays, live demonstrations, and hands-on activities ensure an engaging visit for all age groups.

Address – Swanwick Ln, Swanwick, SO31 7HB

Cycle the Solent Greenway

For cycling enthusiasts and casual riders, the Solent Greenway offers a scenic route along Southampton’s coastline.

This dedicated cycle path provides breathtaking views of the Solent and Isle of Wight.

Benches and picnic spots along the way make it perfect for a leisurely ride, while its flat terrain ensures accessibility for riders of all ages and abilities.

Address – Solent Way, Southampton

See Bursledon Windmill

As Hampshire’s only working windmill, Bursledon offers a unique journey into the county’s agricultural past.

Visitors can observe the milling process, explore the inner workings of the windmill, and even purchase freshly milled flour.

Set amidst a peaceful rural backdrop, Bursledon Windmill promises both education and tranquillity.

Address – Windmill Ln, Bursledon, SO31 8BG

Picnic at Royal Victoria Country Park

Royal Victoria Country Park provides a picturesque setting for outdoor activities.

Once home to the largest military hospital, today, it boasts vast green spaces, a tranquil lake, and a model railway.

The park’s chapel offers panoramic views of Southampton Water, while the well-maintained trails are ideal for walking, jogging, or cycling.

With dedicated picnic areas, it’s the perfect spot for a sunny day outing.

Address – Netley Abbey, SO31 5GA

Sail at Southampton Water Activities Centre

Nestled by the scenic Southampton Water, the Water Activities Centre is a hub for all things maritime.

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a novice, the centre offers a range of water-based activities, from kayaking to windsurfing.

With trained instructors on hand, safety is paramount, ensuring an exhilarating experience for all.

Address – Floating Bridge Rd, SO14 3FL

Explore Hythe Pier and Marina

Hythe Pier, stretching out into the Southampton Water, is one of the longest in the UK.

A leisurely walk down the pier offers mesmerizing views of ships and the distant cityscape.

The adjoining marina, with its yachts and boats, adds to the maritime charm.

Don’t miss the Hythe Pier Train, one of the world’s oldest continuously operating public pier trains.

Address – Prospect Pl, Hythe, SO45 6AG

Engage with Mottisfont Abbey

Perfect for Southampton day trips, Mottisfont Abbey is a historic priory set amidst stunning gardens.

The abbey’s interiors boast intriguing artworks, while the gardens shimmer with seasonal blooms.

The River Test flowing alongside adds to the picturesque setting.

With its blend of history and nature, Mottisfont Abbey promises a delightful excursion.

Address – Mottisfont Ln, Romsey, SO51 0LP

Discover Holly Hill Woodland Park

A blend of deciduous and evergreen woods awaits visitors at Holly Hill Woodland Park.

Situated between the River Hamble and Bursledon, this park provides an enchanting woodland setting with serene lakes, waterfalls, and a rich array of birdlife.

It’s the perfect place for nature enthusiasts to explore, with various paths meandering through the dense woods.

Address – Barnes Ln, Sarisbury Green, SO31 7BH

Visit Solent Sky Museum

Dedicated to the aviation history of Southampton and the Solent area, the Solent Sky Museum showcases over a century of aviation achievements.

With a collection of iconic aircraft, including the famous Spitfire, the museum offers an in-depth look into the region’s rich aviation legacy.

Interactive displays, photographs, and memorabilia further enrich the visitor experience.

Address – Albert Rd S, SO14 3FR

Explore Manor Farm

Manor Farm offers a glimpse into traditional farm life.

Operating since the 14th century, today’s visitors can experience live demonstrations of farming activities, interact with farm animals, and even partake in some tasks.

The historic buildings and picturesque setting by the River Hamble add to the charm, making Manor Farm a delightful step back in time.

Address – Pylands Ln, Bursledon, SO31 1BH

For more ideas about fun things to do in Southampton, visit the official tourism site.


Dale Shelabarger

Dale is the owner and founder of Cottages to Rent which he launched back in 2005. As well as promoting holiday cottages, Dale blogs regularly about top UK holiday destinations, visitor attractions and places of historical interest.