Top things to do near Southampton Airport
Take the Titanic Trail
In the city forever linked to the ill-fated liner that famously sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in April 1912, Southampton’s Titanic Trail is an activity you shouldn’t miss if you’re interested in maritime history. The Titanic rested at Southampton for six days after it left Belfast on its maiden – and only – journey and a number of sites in the city remain connected to the ship, forming the 'Titanic Trail'. Visit the memorial stone, the Platform Tavern, the Engineer’s Memorial, the Old Cemetery and the home of Captain EJ Smith and learn about Southampton’s connections to the most famous ocean liner in history.
Make a splash
One of only four High Performance Centres for diving in the UK, The Quays has become famous because several of Team GB’s Olympic divers train there. The centre offers taster classes for those who have never dived before and also features a fun pool with flumes, fountains, slides and a whirlpool for those who’d rather save the training for another time. With a team of expert coaches on hand to help you learn to dive or try out that new exercise or fitness class, you’ll be well taken care of at The Quays.
See Southampton over the centuries
Southampton is teeming with historic buildings and architectural wonders that keep the city's character alive. You can visit the Tudor House and Gardens to learn about life in English households throughout nine centuries, take a walk around the ruins of a 13th-century monastery at Netley Abbey or explore the Medieval Merchant’s House that has survived intact for over 800 years.
Soak up Southampton's seafaring past
SeaCity Museum is an immersive maritime experience, with an extensive range of exhibitions including ‘Gateway to the World’ and ‘Southampton’s Titanic Story’. Located in the city’s Cultural Quarter within easy access of the railway station and city centre car parks, SeaCity is a great place to spend a day with the family or take a wander through on your own if you've got some time to spare. With tours, talks and special events for children running regularly throughout the year, SeaCity is a brilliant way to enjoy Southampton and learn about its dramatic history as a port city.
Entertainment at The Mayflower
The Mayflower is the biggest theatre on the south coast with over 2,300 seats in its auditorium. The Grade II listed theatre is an independent trust whose aim is to bring a diverse range of shows to Southampton. This cultural hub, built in 1928, offers the very best in performance, dance, ballet and opera and regularly houses the country’s most popular touring productions. With musicals, classic plays and contemporary shows, the events calendar at The Mayflower tends to offer something to suit every taste. What’s more, all of the money generated by ticket sales goes right back into keeping this edifying establishment alive and kicking.
See the Solent Sky Museum
The Solent Sky aviation museum is a must for aeroplane enthusiasts and an enjoyable way to spend a few hours in Southampton. Depicting the history of aviation in Southampton, the Solent area and Hampshire, this museum’s focus rests on the Supermarine aircraft company and its most famous products: the Supermarine S.6 and the Supermarine Spitfire, designed by R. J. Mitchell. The massive collection of aircraft and engines on display at the Solent Sky Museum is unlike any other in the UK and permanent exhibitions such as ‘The Early Days of Flying’ and ‘The 1914 – 1918 War’ allows visitors to soar through the clouds and see Britain’s aviation history in full colour.
Hear the sounds of Southampton's music scene
Southampton is littered with venues that have been nurturing the city's musical talent for decades, so if you've got time to head into the centre on an evening, you'll usually find live music to suit your taste. For soul and R and B, head down to Soul Cellar or, if guitars and off-the-wall acoustics are more your thing, try the Hobbit - a gig venue and traditional pub rolled into one. The Talking Heads, the Platform Tavern and The Brook also put on touring acts as well as up-and-coming local talent, but if you’re a lover of pop music and big names, the O2 Guildhall Southampton is the place for you. Having hosted some of the biggest names in music, from Pink Floyd and David Bowie to The Killers and Amy Winehouse, the O2 is a beautiful Grade II listed building that dates back to 1937.