When to fly
Weather in Southampton remains relatively mild throughout the year, though the warmest months are generally June, July, August and September. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, the off-seasons of March to May and October to November are the perfect time to book cheap flights and visit.
The Southampton boat show is one of the two key annual boat shows in the UK, alongside the London Boat show. Taking place in September, it is a major 10-day event attracting a large amount of residents and visitors with more than 130,000 individuals attending each year to come and enjoy the show. It is now a festival of boating fun for all the family to experience as it is now offering an additional 500 exhibitions to get involved in such as boatbuilding, tribute concerts and the Southampton Boat Show eye.
The Southampton Mela is a remarkable 1-day festival in July that celebrates multicultural music and dance. The festival has been running since 2005 and is a fun free event for the whole family to get involved in. Previous years have seen entertainment from variety of musical styles such as Indian Classical and Bollywood to Flamenco and Bhangra. From 12 noon through to 9pm Hoglands Park sees crowds gather to enjoy a day of culture and fun.
The Romans may have been the first to lay claim to this seaside town, but Southampton today is a pure reflection of English culture. Filled with theatres, museums and art galleries, this port town enjoys a constant influx of cosmopolitan culture, thanks to international influence and a hearty population of university students. Apart from flying to Southampton, many visitors are arriving or leaving by cruise ship, as Southampton is one of the largest ports of call in Northern Europe, and it is worthy of a day or two addition to any cruise itinerary.
The city’s Roman history can still be seen in the suburb of Bitterne, while historic architecture and 800 years of Southampton’s past are on full display at the Tudor House and Garden. This quaint museum is located in the city’s Old Town, where visitors can also see medieval town walls and the famed Bargate that once protected the city.
History is far from the only draw to book your flights to Southampton. Decades of cruise-based tourism have built Southampton into a destination for shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife. Outdoor markets are held near the Bargate throughout the week, enticing visitors with street food and trinkets. Hundreds of stores delight shoppers at WestQuay Shopping Centre, while Bedford Place is best known for its independent shops, restaurants and pubs. Speaking of restaurants, visitors should also check out Oxford Street and High Street for Southampton’s top dining options.
Performances at The Mayflower and Nuffield Theatre offer a taste of the city’s culture, as do the exhibits at City Art Gallery and SeaCity Museum. One final stop that shouldn’t be missed is Southampton Common, a sprawling outdoor green space where visitors can wander the woodland and wetlands along the nature trails of this 326-acre park. Whether Southampton is the destination or a stop on a cruise itinerary, this seaside town doesn’t disappoint.
Getting around Southampton
Public transportation is plentiful in Southampton, thanks to several bus systems offering comprehensive routes throughout the city. Taxis and car rentals are also options for getting around Southampton. The city is easy to navigate by bicycle or on foot as well.
Getting downtown from the airport
Just 4 miles from the city centre, Southampton International Airport (SOU) is the main airport, serving both domestic and international flights. Options for reaching the centre from the airport are numerous and include car, taxi, train and bus. Car rentals are available at the airport, while taxis are booked and paid for at the airport’s taxi desk. A train station is a one-minute walk from the airport, and trains to Southampton run every 10 minutes. The local bus also operates several routes that run between Southampton International Airport and destinations throughout Southampton.