Southampton is home a wealth of mouth-watering restaurants, exciting events and fantastic attractions. When it comes to free things to do in the city, you are spoilt for choice, so kick back, relax – because we’ve done the hard work of picking out the best for you:
- Take in the green serenity of the 50 parks and open spaces that Southampton has a huge variety of. From the award winning Grade II listed central parks located in the city centre to the wilder open spaces of Southampton Common and the Greenways. East Park (Andrews Park) retains its Victorian heritage of planting with trees, shrubs, rose beds, and summer bulbs, bedding, and bamboos. A circular mosaic created in 2000 marks the historic site of an old fountain – it is now a peaceful place to sit and contemplate. Houndwell Park lies to the south of Palmerston Park and is separated by Pound Tree Road. The fully inclusive play facilities provide children of all ages and abilities with a play environment which is fun, exciting, safe and family friendly. Southampton Central Parks have recently been awarded the prestigious Grade II* listed status on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest.
- Be stunned by the beautiful collection of Art that is on show at The Southampton City Art Gallery. The gallery, based in Southampton’s burgeoning Cultural Quarter, opened in 1939. The art gallery offers the opportunity to enjoy high quality exhibitions ranging from painting, sculpture and drawing, to photography and film, as well as permanent collection and displays that change regularly to ensure new experiences with each visit.
- Visit Westquay Shopping Centre, Bedford Place, The Marlands or Eaststreet for a spot of window shopping. Southampton is the shopping hub on the south coast and one of the UK’s top 10 retail destinations.
- Uncover Southampton’s hidden charms and discover the history and culture of this magnificent city by heading off on a self-guided walking tour. You can head off and explore: Southampton Old Town, The QE2 Mile and The Titanic Trail.
- Head out to the waters edge and enjoy the spectacular scenes along Southampton’s busy waterfront. Cruise ships come and go in and out of Southampton’s busy port all the time – around 430 per year in fact. There are four different cruise ship terminals in the city, located either in the Western Docks or the Eastern Docks. They are:
Ocean Cruise Terminal: Berth 46 in the Eastern Docks
Queen Elizabeth 2 Terminal: Berth 38-9 in the Eastern Docks
Mayflower Cruise Terminal – Berth 106 in the Western Docks
City Cruise Terminal – Berth 101 in the Western Docks
To view the Eastern Docks: The best places are Ocean Village, Queens Park or Town Quay.
To view the Western Docks: The best places are either Town Quay or Mayflower Park
- There is a vast variety of historic buildings and monuments in Southampton – there are over 60 Scheduled Monuments. There are over 450 listed buildings in Southampton and they range in date from the 12th-century Medieval Merchants’ House on French Street to Wyndham Court, the 1960s block of flats opposite the Central Railway Station. The Southampton Cenotaph is a stone memorial at Watts Park, originally dedicated to the casualties of the First World War.
- Have you got a bicycle? Have you been out to explore the Southampton Bike Park? It is is a free to ride centre and is open 7 days a week. All the trails are constantly tuned, with new features popping up regularly.