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Southampton - Bargate


Country England
Things To Do Old City Walls, God's House Tower, Medieval Merchants House, Maritime Museum, Aviation Museum, Titanic Trail, New Forest
Southampton - Aviation Museum

Aviation Museum

Southampton - Jane Austen Trail

Jane Austen Trail

Southampton - New Forest Ponies

New Forest Ponies



From medieval times, Southamptonís port has been an thriving center for the transport of goods between England and the continent. To defend the important trading post, Edward III ordered the building of extensive walls to encircle the city and its port.

In Tudor times, the city was an important ship building center. HMS Grace Dieu, Henry Vís fleet- heading warship was built in the cityís shipyards in the 15th century.

In 1640 the Pilgrim fathers departed on their famous migration to North America from the cityís port.

Southampton became famous in the twentieth century as the UK's main departure port for migrants heading to America. Southamptonís Eastern Docks saw perhaps the cityís biggest moment in history. In 1912 RMS Titanic departed from White Star Dock on its maiden voyage. When the ship sunk, 500 of the 1500 lives lost were crew whose home was Southampton, and the city descended into a long period of mourning.

But in 1939 the first Pan Am passenger flight across the Atlantic Ocean heralded the end of the magnificent cruise liners.

Throughout World War II the city suffered an onslaught of German bombing raids aimed to destroy the docks. A period of extensive reconstruction followed the war.

Thereís lots of interesting things to do in Southampton.

Visit the largest part of Old Town remaining, Bargate. The building is a great place to start the tour of the city's walls. Stop at the wall's towers, the remains of the castle, the West Gate, the remains of the old friary and God's House Tower where you'll find is home to the local Archaeological Museum. Other interesting buildings are the fully restored Medieval Merchants House, the Maritime Museum located in the old Wool House and the steeped-in-history Tudor House museum with its pretty garden.

Check out the Aviation Museum, which includes exhibits showcasing the work of RJ Mitchell, the brilliant designer of the Supermarine Spitfire, the plane pivotal to fighting off the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain.

Follow the Titanic trail, which links memorials and places connected to the Titanic. The trail commences at the Musician's Memorial and stops at the Maritime Museum, located in the Wool House at Town Quay.

Literary types will enjoy the the Jane Austen Walking Trail, which visits the places associated with the famous writer, who had a home in the city.

Or make a trip out to the New Forest, a wide area of common pasture and heathland, complete with its loveable ponies.

Why in 100 Best?

In large parts not a particular attractive city (World War 2 saw to that) but some very interesting historical locations.

Anything you'd like to say about Southampton?

Listing contributed by Andy

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Best Cities - Southampton - Description, Photos, Videos - 5 votes