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Southampton Guide

The Best Ways to Spend Time in Southampton

one of the most vibrant cities in the south of England

Whatever your reason for visiting the dynamic city, whether you’re unwinding before a cruise, visiting students in their lively new stomping ground, or enjoying some downtime with loved ones, you’re sure to discover something you love during your time in this Hampshire gem.

Cruising from Southampton

If you’ve booked a cruise or ferry journey that’s leaving from the maritime city of Southampton, why not start your trip early with a night in a nearby hotel? Don’t worry about travelling and parking on the day of your journey – spend the night in a peaceful Accor hotel and enjoy the smoothest start to your holiday. 

The best things to do in Southampton

With so much to do in Southampton, if you’re only visiting for a night or two, you might find yourself spoilt for choice! Here are a few of our top recommendations, with activities to suit visitors of all ages. 
Take advantage of a lovely day at Westquay Shopping Centre
Take advantage of a lovely day at Westquay Shopping Centre

1. Visit Westquay Shopping Centre

Westquay shopping centre is Southampton’s premier retail destination, with over 100 favourite high-street and designer shops for visitors to explore. If you find yourself hungry after a few hours of browsing, slip into one of Westquay’s many stylish restaurants or cafés and refuel. 
You’ll find a cinema and a bowling alley inside the shopping centre, so you can enjoy some entertainment after a successful shopping day.  
Photo: Alex Liivet

2. Stroll around the Old Town

Southampton is home to some of England’s best-preserved medieval town walls, which are marked by plaques throughout the Old Town. Take yourself on a tour of the city’s historic architecture and look out for over 90 listed buildings and more than 30 ancient monuments! 
Enhance your time in Southampton by learning a little about its history. You can enjoy views of the waterfront while you look out for medieval churches, wine vaults, and elegant Georgian houses and hotels. 
Standing in front of SeaCity Museum

3. Discover the SeaCity Museum

The SeaCity Museum, which sits at the heart of Southampton, makes a great day out for visitors young and old. The museum tells the story of local life in years gone by. Learn about the city’s connections with the sea and the famous Titanic and discover how maritime history influences the modern-day. 
Image courtesy of the Daily Echo

4. Have fun at Leisure World

There’s something for everyone at Leisure World, an entertainment complex boasting an IMAX cinema, a nightclub, and a bowling alley. There are international restaurants inside too, so you can fuel up before an evening of fun.  
Visit Leisure World with the family and catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster, or head into Oceana nightclub with friends and dance into the next day. Feeling lucky? Grosvenor Casino has its own bar with sports screens, as well as roulette, poker, blackjack, and more! 
https://www.instagram.com/paultonspark/ #peppapigworld

5. Enjoy a family day at Peppa Pig World

Visit Peppa and her friends at Southampton’s Peppa Pig theme park. Little ones will love meeting Peppa and the rest of the gang from the favourite kids’ TV show. Pose for pictures with Peppa and enjoy nine fun themed rides, including Miss Rabbit’s Helicopter Flight, George’s Dinosaur Adventure, and Grandpa Pig’s Boat Trip.  

6. Explore the University of Southampton

Whether you’re visiting a student or touring the campus as a prospective attendee, Southampton University hosts regular open days and independent visits that let you get to know the establishment better.  
Southampton University boasts five warm and welcoming campuses in the city, with an array of leisure, fitness, and entertainment options as well as world-class research facilities. Experience campus life for yourself while you’re in Southampton! 
Photo: David Ingham

7. Experience an event at St Mary’s Stadium

St Mary’s Stadium has been the home of Southampton Football Club since 2001. Although it’s located just outside the city centre, the stadium is still within walking distance of Southampton’s central High Street and waterfront.  
As well as regular sporting fixtures, St Mary’s plays host to conferences, and music and comedy performances. Why not treat yourself to tickets and enjoy a night at the venue while you’re in the city? 
Be enchanted by a stroll through the New Forest Notional Park (Photo by: Mr. Southampton - Flickr)

8. Explore New Forest National Park

If you have time while you’re in Southampton, visit New Forest National Park for a day of fresh air and spectacular scenery. The national park is a brilliant place to hike and climb, as well as explore some of the vibrant villages and communities located inside the park. 
We recommend you head to Burley, a beautiful New Forest village surrounded by heathland where wild horses and attractive wildlife roam freely.  
Enjoying a meal in town

The best places to eat in Southampton

Whether you’re staying in Southampton for a night, a weekend, or even longer, you’re sure to be looking for the best places to eat while you’re there. When you stay with Accor Southampton you’ll be spoilt for choice, with a great selection of laid-back and more formal restaurants on your doorstep. 
Here are a few of our favourite spots for lunch and dinner: 

Park & Cruise from Accor’s Southampton hotels

You can book one night’s accommodation with Accor and enjoy up to 15 days of cruise parking in Southampton, thanks to our Park & Cruise offer. Let us make all the arrangements for you, so you can relax and focus on the excitement of your trip. 
Getting back late? Why not book a night in a hotel for when your cruise returns to Southampton? Relax a little before your journey home, and leave feeling refreshed and recharged. 
We have three sleek Southampton hotels along the waterfront, all within ten minutes’ drive of the furthest cruise terminals. 
We are delighted to welcome you at our hotels

Novotel Southampton

The four-star Novotel Southampton is a perfect choice for family or business stays, offering bright, airy rooms with plenty of space to relax and unwind. There’s an indoor heated pool, fitness suite, and sauna available for guests to enjoy. With so much happening in the nearby city too, you might need a couple of days to experience everything! 
Breakfast is included when you book your Park & Cruise package with the Novotel Southampton, so you can fuel up for your voyage. We’ll also cover the taxi fare to your terminal; all that’s left for you to do is relax. 
We are delighted to welcome you at our hotels

ibis budget Southampton Centre

The best low-cost option for budget-conscious travellers, the ibis budget Southampton is located next to the Novotel Southampton close to the waterfront. Guests are invited to enjoy a continental breakfast in the morning, and all-day refreshments in our on-site café.  
We are delighted to welcome you at our hotels

ibis Southampton Centre

The ibis Southampton Centre is a modern, minimal option that makes cruising from Southampton easy. Situated alongside the Novotel Southampton and ibis budget Southampton Centre, this sleek ibis hotel boasts proximity to cruise terminals and all the excitement of the city. 
With a 24-hour café and bar and late check-out option, the ibis Southampton Centre is the perfect place to relax while you’re waiting for your cruise to set sail. 
These Accor hotels are just a stone’s throw from Southampton cruise terminals. Southampton Airport is just 15 minutes away by car, while Southampton Central Train Station is just a three-minute walk away.  

Whether you stay for one night before a cruise or visit for a long weekend in the city, we’re sure you’ll find something you’ll love in the colourful city of Southampton.  

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