Southampton, a historic port city on England’s south coast, is best known as the departure point of the ill-fated Titanic on its maiden and final voyage. More than 100 years later, that tragedy is not forgotten in Southampton, and the SeaCity Museum tells the story of the RMS Titanic and how it impacted the city.
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Southampton isn’t all about the Titanic, and today is known as “the cruise ship capital of Europe” and one of England’s most diverse dining destinations. Some of Southampton’s top sights include its 14th-century city walls, one of the largest unbroken stretches of medieval walls in the country; Solent Sky, a museum that tells the story of the city’s aviation heritage via models, photographs and various aircraft, including an original Supermarine Spitfire; and Tudor House & Garden, a Grade 1 listed building, due to its exceptional historical importance, and Southampton’s first museum.
What to see
SeaCity Museum – Learn about the story of RMS Titanic at this educational museum boasting an interactive model of the ship. SeaCity Museum also features recorded messages of Titanic passengers from the night of the tragedy, original objects from on board, a gift shop and more.
Old Town and Bargate – Walking into Old Town through Bargate, a Grade 1 listed medieval gatehouse, is like stepping back in time. Here you will find medieval watch towers, the medieval city walls, timber-framed Tudor houses, Tudor House & Garden, the Medieval Merchant’s House and much more.
Daytrips – Southampton is ideally located near some of southern England’s top destinations, including Highclere Castle, a neo-Gothic castle that doubles as Downton Abbey on the beloved TV show; New Forest National Park, an outdoor wonderland boasting ancient woodlands, wetlands, open heathlands and rare species of plants and animals; the Isle of Wight, England’s largest island which is blessed with natural beauty, sandy beaches and a mild climate; and world-renowned Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When to Go
Like most cities in Europe, the best time to visit Southampton is shoulder season, approximately April through mid-June and September through October, in order to avoid the summer crowds.