48 hours in Southampton: a new citybreak destination

The opening of the new five-star Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa in Ocean Village, could prove to be the catalyst which launches the cruise capital of Europe onto the city break staycation map of Britain.

A milestone for both the city and owner group, Harbour Hotels, the hotel’s yacht-inspired design not only reflects Southampton’s thriving marine culture, with walls of windows and glass to soak up the marina views, but also boasts one of the most desirable marina locations in the UK.  The hotel is also home to the group’s award-winning restaurant concept, The Jetty, headed-up by chef patronAlex Aitken and his restaurant The Jetty, serving high quality dishes with locally sourced produce.

The hotel began welcoming guests in October 2017, with a starting price for a room, with breakfast, of £185.  Further details can be found at www.southampton-harbour-hotel.co.uk.

It joins an ever-growing list of top-class accommodation in Southampton – including The Pig in the Wall https://www.thepighotel.com/in-the-wall/, and the Hilton at The Ageas Bowl county cricket ground which also boasts both the country’s first Eforea spa and first BEEFY’S, a British tapas bar and brasserie restaurant https://www.ageasbowl.com/hotel-golf-and-spa/.

Major new shopping developments at West Quay, and an expansion of the thriving Cultural Quarter, including the opening in 2018 of the new Nuffield Southampton Theatre (NST City), all add to a general belief that Southampton has that blend of history, heritage and ‘downright new’ that will attract a new generation of visitors to the city.

For further details visit https://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/explore/cities/southampton

A suggested 48-hours in Southampton itinerary is provided below.

Day 1.  Arrive 11.00 

Pick a coffee or bite to eat (options below):

Mettricks Guildhall

Located in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter in the Guildhall Square, Mettricks is an independent coffee house with strong family values that has a four coffee houses across the city. Their mission is to bring better coffee and tea to the city! Mettricks are the only coffee house serving specialty coffee in the city. There’s also a wide selection of brunch, lunch and dinner options.

Opening hours:

Monday – Wednesday – 7:30am – 10:30pm

Thursday – Friday – 7:30am – 11:30pm

Sunday – 9am – 10:30pm

Saturday – 9am – 11:30pm

Website: https://www.mettricks.com

The Art House Café

Also located in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter, this quirky coffee shop is also an art gallery and creative space. Very welcoming, with a wide selection of delicious organic food, this includes options for vegetarians and vegans.

Opening hours:

Monday – Saturday 11am-10pm,

Sunday 12pm-5pm.

Website: https://thearthousesouthampton.org

SeeSouthampton Walking Tours

There’s no better way to get a feel for the city than walking around it! Discover the diverse history of Southampton. With a vast range of tours to choose from, favorite’s include:

Titanic Trail

A fascinating walking tour where you will discover Southampton’s historic buildings and its links with the legendary Titanic. The RMS Titanic started her maiden voyage from the White Star dock in Southampton on 10th April 1912. Five days later in the early hours of 15th April she sank after striking an iceberg.

Mayflower 400

Visiting the places and locations which would have been recognised by the Pilgrim Fathers and the settler passengers before they embarked for the New World in America on the Mayflower and the Speedwell ships back in 1620.

Vaults and Vino

Visit part of the medieval town, explore the vaults which stored French wine back in the 13th century and experience wine-tasting in an iconic 14th century building.

Website: http://www.seesouthampton.co.uk

Dining on Oxford Street

As one of the most historic streets in Southampton with links to the Titanic, Oxford Street offers a dining experience with a touch of class. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner you can enjoy a delicious meal at The White Star Tavern an award winning, pub, restaurant and hotel.  Named after the White Star Line the company which owned the Titanic

Website: http://www.whitestartavern.co.uk


Day 2

Take-in one or more of the City Museums

Based at the heart of Southampton, SeaCity Museum tells the story of the people of the city, their fascinating lives and the historic connections with Titanic and the sea. Learn about Southampton’s Titanic Story, which includes exhibitions on the crewmembers as well as a 1.25 scale interactive model of the Titanic. The museum also tells the story of Southampton as the gateway to the world from the Roman traders, Saxon settlers and Victorian industrialists. In the Old Town, Tudor House Museum reveals over 800 years of history. The timber-framed building facing St Michael’s Square was built in the late 15th century.

SeaCity website: https://seacitymuseum.co.uk/

Tudor House website: http://tudorhouseandgarden.com/

Beer Tasting at Dancing Man Brewery

 Taste some of the best beers in Southampton.  The Dancing Man Brewery is situated in a medieval Wool House built in the 14th century.  The Wool House

Tours include a welcome, tour of the brewery to learn how beer is produced and understand the different styles of beer, and most importantly get to taste the beers.

Website: https://www.dancingmanbrewery.co.uk

Dine with Delicious Dining Group

The independent group of restaurants are located in the Old Town of Southampton.  Choose from Grand Café or Ennios.

Grand Café restaurant and bar is located in South Western House a grade II listed building, formerly the South Western Hotel.  The restaurant was originally the WedgeWood Ballroom and has hosted notable guests such as Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother.

Ennios is located in converted Victorian warehouse serving authentic Italian cuisine. Ennio’s was voted the best Italian restaurant in Hampshire by “Coriere Della Sera” The Numero Uno Newspaper of Milan, Italy

Website: https://grand-cafe.co.uk/

Website: https://ennios.co.uk/

Second night in Southampton, departing the next day.

OR, to extend 48 hours to 72 hours and to see some of the city’s hinterland…

Day 3

Get active in Southampton

And take advantage of getting out on the water.  Have a exhilarating rib ride with Seadogz charging around in the Solent and take in breathtaking views of the Isle of Wight and iconic Needles.

Head to Southampton Watersports Activity Centre on the River Itchen and try out one of the many activities SUP, windsurfing and sailing.

If you prefer your feet on terra firma catch a match at St Mary’s and watch the Saints in a Premier League Match (Or stadium tour).

The Ageas Bowl is home to Hampshire Cricket located 18 min taxi ride from the city centre.  Catch high quality match with both Test Cricket and Twenty20.

The standard out fixture of 2018 will be the England v India test match (30th August – 3rd September 2018), one not to be missed.

Website: http://www.seadogz.co.uk

Website: https://southamptonfc.com

Website: http://www.swac.co.uk

Website: https://www.ageasbowl.com


Explore the New Forest

One of the great things about Southampton is that it’s the gateway to some of the most stunning areas in England, including Hampshire’s New Forest National Park. Getting to the New Forest from Southampton is easy, either travel by train from Southampton Central and be in Brockenhurst in 13 mins or why not take the Hythe Ferry that takes you on a 20-minute trip across the water to the small town of Hythe, New Forest. Here you can pick up the New Forest Tour, an open-top bus service that runs a hop-on-hop-off tour of the New Forest.

Getting the Hythe Ferry:

Head to Town Quay where you can board the Hythe Ferry on the hour or half hour. Service starts at 6:30am Monday-Friday, 8:30am Saturday and 10am Sunday

Getting on the New Forest Tour:

Once you arrive at the Hythe Ferry Terminal you can pick up the New Forest Tour Green Route directly outside the terminal entrance.

Green Route Timings are: 10:24, 11:24: 12:39: 13:39: 14:54, 15:54, 17:09 and 18:09.

The Green Route explores the charming southeast of the New Forest National Park including Beaulieu with its historic abbey, Palace House and National Motor Museum and Exbury Gardens with its Steam Railway.

The Green Route will last approximately 2 hours and will visit:

Lyndhurst – Brockenhurst – Lymington – Beaulieu – Exbury Gardens – Hythe Ferry
You will be able to hop off and enjoy any of the above villages and hop back on the next Green Route bus.

Returning to Southampton:

Once the bus arrives back in Hythe you can hop back on the ferry to Southampton.

Return Service from Hythe is at 10 or 40 minutes past the hour finishing at 7:10pm Monday – Friday, 10:40pm Saturday and 5:40pm Sunday.

Hythe Ferry Website:  http://hytheferry.co.uk/

New Forest Tour Website: http://www.thenewforesttour.info/

Overnight, and end of Southampton staycation.

Southampton’s must not miss events

  • Southampton Half Marathon – 22 April 2018
  • Common People festival – May 2018 (date TBC)
  • Mela Festival – July 2018 (date TBC)
  • Southampton Boat Show – 14-23 September 2018
  • slide

  • slide

  • slide