It’s near to London, by the sea and full of things to do, but Southampton is a city often overlooked when it comes to the mini break. I’ve spent a few weekends in Southampton visiting my sister who lives there, and whenever I go I’m impressed with what the city has to offer. From places to eat to places to have a wander, there really is loads to do and see in Southampton. And with the Park Stay Go deal at Holiday Inn Southampton, it’s never been easier to enjoy the city. The Holiday Inn is close to all major cruise terminals, making it the ideal place to stop for a pre-holiday mini break.
Places to visit:
With a focus on Southampton’s connection with the sea, SeaCity is a fascinating journey through the city’s maritime heritage and its link to the Titanic. This is the kind of museum that’s great to visit with young children, because of the interactive exhibitions. Plus, it’s based in the heart of the city’s Cultural Quarter, so it’s really easy to get to.
Tudor House and Garden
Described as “Southampton’s most important historical building”, Tudor House and Garden is the go-to place for history buffs. There’s a whole range of displays and facilities to explore, including a reconstructed Tudor and Victorian kitchen and a pretty garden set in the heart of Southampton’s Old Town.
Southampton City Art Gallery
Based in the city’s Civic Centre, Southampton Art Gallery boasts an impressive permanent collection of art, with a focus on twentieth century and contemporary art. There’s also a wide range of exhibitions to enjoy, including sculpture, drawing, photography and film.
Southampton docks cruise
If you head to Ocean Village, you’ll find Blue Funnel, a company offering cruises around the city’s docks. You’ll see the Titanic’s departure point, along with some of the largest cruise ships in the world. The harbour tour also includes a view of the historic dockland wall that dates back to the 1840s.
Take in a show
The Mayflower Theatre has a packed schedule of shows for 2015, including a dance production of Edward Scissorhands, an impressive circus performance from Cirque Eloize and an award winning production of To Kill A Mockingbird.
Places to eat:
Dock o’ the Bay
If you’re looking for a child-friendly place to grab a bite of lunch, then this could be the ideal spot. Dock o’ the Bay won an excellence award four years in a row from Trip Adviser, so don’t just take my word for it. It’s got a relaxed restaurant vibe and everything is cooked fresh to order, using produce from local suppliers.
Although it’s in the city, The Cowherds has a real country pub atmosphere. Situated on the edge of Southampton Common, it’s an ideal spot for families with young kids because after you’ve had your meal you can head to the park nearby to have a play.
Serving up home-made, classic Greek dishes, Fat Fig is a purse-friendly option that won’t leave you hungry. There’s a vibrant lunch and dinner menu, including Greek specialities like Dolmathies and Kleftiko. Makes me hungry just writing about it.
Places to drink:
If all that eating has made you thirsty then head over to the Orange Rooms, winner of the city’s best bar award. It’s got a laid-back atmosphere, with plenty of comfy seating to lounge and enjoy a cocktail or three.
Places to dance:
If you’re on a kid-free break and suddenly feel like you’re 21 again after a few cocktails, then Junk is the nightspot to head to. Winner of “Britain’s Best Small Club award”, it attracts big name DJs including Calvin Harris.
Thanks to Holiday Inn for commissioning this post. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.