Summer is officially here! It’s time to think beyond the rigidity of working from home, the unexpected curveballs from the government, and finally start to get excited! If this is your first slice of freedom in months of monotony, or you simply want to enjoy a weekend away, it’s high time you checked out Southampton.
Nestled on Hampshire’s coast, this ancient city and port are part of the fabric of British history. From birthing the Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage to being home to the legendary Spitfire, Southampton is a hotspot of innovation and activity.
Throw in a wealth of beautifully restored Tudor buildings, captivating museums, and one of the most atmospheric cities to simply walk around, Southampton is a treasure trove of sights and attractions not to be missed. Here are our 5 favourites to inspire you this summer:
Our very own Exciting Escapes!
It’s time to throw the instruction manual out the window, and get stuck into one of our immersive, live-action games. Jam-packed with puzzles to solve, clues to find, and a case to crack, you get to play detective alongside your family and chums in an hour you’ll never forget. Think Sherlock Holmes vs the Crystal Maze and you’re not far off!
Our Southampton base can be found on Shirley High Street, where you can choose from five authentic escape rooms. Will it be:
- Silence is a Virtue? It’s 1941, and there is no time to spare. A WWII German bomb has crashed through the roof of a local church. The entire city’s fate lies in your hands. Will you retrieve the secret documents and defuse the bomb before it’s too late?
- Breaking the Law? It’s 1977, international tensions are at breaking point and British Intelligence cannot allow government secrets to fall into the wrong hands. Can you break into Det. Monroe’s office and escape without a trace?
- A Hidden Past? The Cold War is looming and dark secrets are cropping up in the strangest places. British Intelligence has captured a spy from his flat in Shirley and has started their interrogation. While their questions are asked, it’s time for you to investigate. Split over two rooms, you can go head to head with another team. Who will crack the case first?
- Spies in Space? Space travels in your blood. It’s 2050 and you have been hired by British Intelligence to thwart a plan to sabotage the HMSS Shirley. Time is not to be trifled with. You may already be too late! With 75 minutes on the clock, this might just be out the most action-packed game yet!
Whether you want to reconnect with your loved ones, plan the most unique birthday party ever, or simply want to play detective, come and see if you’ve got what it takes in one of our escape rooms.
Learn from the best at the SeaCity Museum
Before Leo and Kate brought the devastating sea voyage to life on the big screen, RMS Titanic’s impact on Southampton was already significant. To this day, it is the world’s most infamous maritime disaster, that has shaped the seafaring community.
The city’s answer to this was to open the multi-million-pound SeaCity Museum back in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship’s departure from Southampton. Within its walls you will find the remarkable “Titanic Story” exhibition told from the perspective of the crew, many of whom originated from the city.
Away from the ill-fated vessel, you will also discover a range of interactive displays and artifacts originating from the medieval age and beyond. Make sure you check out the “Gateway to the World” exhibit to find out more about the people and goods that traveled through the ancient port city.
See the Spitfire at Solent Sky Museum
Southampton’s notoriety as an influential port may be world-renowned, but did you know that the iconic Spitfire was designed and manufactured by Supermarine here too?
Solent Sky Museum is home to all things aviation. There you will find Supermarine’s lasting legacy in full-blown technicolour! With a host of interactive displays depicting the company’s racing history at the Schneider Trophy, original designs, and real-life planes, there’s a lot to see from this rare collection.
Whether you have an aspiring jet fighter plane pilot in your ranks or simply have a few curious minds in the family, this is the perfect rest stop for the whole clan to enjoy.
Check out the old town
Southampton has undeniably evolved over the years, but its roots are still clear. Walking around the city, particularly around Bargate, you can still see the most complete Medieval defences in the UK for yourself. From a notorious French raid in 1338, you can still see the battle scars upon some of the barricades!
One of the best sites for all the history buffs is the finest relic that still lies in command of the city’s main shopping precinct, Bargate. Built at the end of the 12th Century, this Grade I listed building is a hubbub of activity. With its Gothic arches and a fascinating statue of King George III dressed in Roman clothes. It is well worth a look.
Take to the water aboard the Hythe Ferry
There’s no better way to view the city than from the water. Fortunately, you can hop aboard the Hythe Ferry that will get you up close and personal to some of the massive cruise liners, warships, and vessels in the harbour.
Running every 30 minutes, and just a 10-minute ride to the other side, you can get your fill of the summer rays along the beautiful Hythe Pier. Running from the centre of Hythe village, the pier is one of the longest piers in the British Isles. Giving you an unfiltered view of the stunning estuary. Make sure you check out the quirky heritage tramway along the way too.
With the New Forest National Park just a stone’s throw away, you can quickly get lost in the beauty of the area.
Southampton is a buzzing, vibrant city bursting with history, art, and culture. If you’re looking for a memorable trip away, come and get a taste of the city for yourself. Which of our favourite spots caught your eye?