Southampton is the largest city in Hampshire and the premier port on the south coast of England. Located to the north of Southampton Water, at the junction of the rivers Test and Itchen, the city has a population of 254,000.
The origins of the city is Roman, when in AD70, they built a town called Clausentum, in the area of today’s Bitterne. This town lasted until 407AD, when the Romans left and the town declined. In the late 7th century the Saxons started another town called Hamtun, on the site of the present day St. Mary’s Church. For the times, the town was large with a population nudging 5000 and was already a port exporting wool and importing wine, pottery and millstones. After several raids by the Danes and other factors the town went into decline again.
After the Norman Conquest, many French people settled in the town and a stone castle was built in the 12th century. Medieval times saw the population reach 4,000 again. A shipbuilding industry began and with the various wars with France happening ships were built for the navy. The Bargate was built together with many expensive fortifications. With the arrival of the Middle Ages the port was very busy with foreign and national trade and it was now the third largest in England. Tudor Southampton was reasonably prosperous but by the end of the 17th century was languishing again.
Georgian England saw the good times return again and by 1801 the population was over 8,000. Trade expanded and the Napoleonic wars saw prosperity rise with the soldiers passing through the town. Paddle steamers were introduced to ferry passengers to the Isle of Wight, Channel Islands and France. Modern amenities began to appear in the town and life began to improve for the inhabitants.
The end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century saw the port at the fore front of the Atlantic shipping to North America, with White Star and Cunard moving in. In 1912 the ill-fated Titanic sailed from the port. Further manufacturing was introduced including cigarettes, motors etc., which meant the town escaped the worst of the 1930s depression.
The Second World War saw the building of aircraft and also being an important port the city was extensively damaged by bombing. Post war saw much rebuilding and expansion. In 1964 it became a city and today, with a popular university, excellent shopping and sports venues the city continues to flourish as a retail and tourist destination.
Things to Do:
Solent Sky Museum:
This interesting museum shows the development of the aircraft industry in Southampton and The Solent from 1908 to late 1960s. There are eighteen different aircraft including the Spitfire and Sandringham Flying Boat. Entrance fee is £6.50 for adults, together with concessions and is open until 5pm Tuesday to Sunday. There is a refreshment area.
Located in Albert Road South, SO14 3FR, there is nearby on street parking.
This is the most complete surviving Abbey built by Cistercian monks in Southern England. Entry is free and is open until 4pm during the winter months and parking and toilets are nearby. Sat Nav is SO31 5GA.
City Art Gallery:
Located in the Civic Centre this gallery covers European Art from 15th Century to today and has over 3,500 exhibits. Open Monday to Saturday. Further information at www.southampton.gov.uk.
Tudor House and Garden
This most historic building in the city has 800 years of history. The house gives an insight into the occupants of the house and city over the centuries. Among the artefacts are The Southampton Book of Hours, Penny Farthing, Leather Jug and Nuremberg Casket. Open Tuesday to Sunday the entrance fee is £4.75 for adults, plus concessions. There is a shop and café.
The house can be found at Bugle Street, SO14 2AD.
Sea City Museum:
This fascinating museum shows the connection between the city inhabitants and the sea, a Titanic exhibition, Gateway to the World and much more. It also has regular special exhibitions, plus a store and café. Located in Havelock Road, SO14 7FY. For opening times, entrance fees and travel advice check out www.seacitymuseum.co.uk or phone 023 8083 3007.
The New Forest:
The New Forest is a National Park lying to the west of the city. As well as beautiful scenery, ponies, deer etc. there are other visitor’s attractions. These include pretty villages with nice pubs, small towns with individual shopping and steam railway. Down towards the coast is Beaulieu with its lovely gardens and impressive motor museum. Full information can be found at www.thenewforest.co.uk.
This Grade 1 listed gate house building lies in the heart of the city and was built in circa 1180. Over the centuries it has been used as a guild hall, prison and police station. It is currently used as a contemporary art gallery.
It is probably best incorporated in a walk of the city walls or the city centre.
Southampton Water Boat Trips:
If you are visiting this maritime city then a visit to the marina at Ocean Village is worth considering. From here you can take boat trips viewing the world famous liners moored in the docks, together with pleasant trips up the local rivers, Test, Itchen and Hamble. There are also ferry trips to the Isle of Wight and Hythe. The marina can be found on Ocean Way/Canute Road, in the port, in the centre of the city.
There are a dozen clubs in the city centre lying between the docks and Southampton Common. These national and locally owned venues serve the student and general population. There is also a gay club in Compton Walk.
To check out the club to suit your taste visit www.southampton.co.uk/night-clubs.
There are also an abundance of good pubs, cocktail bars, wine bars etc. throughout the city.
International popular music acts are put on at the O2 Guildhall at the Civic Centre. To check out the gigs visit www.o2guildhallsouthampton.co.uk.
If theatre is preferred then the Mayflower is the biggest theatre on the south coast. Its big stage allows a variety of musicals, many from the West End, drama, ballet, comedy etc. to be presented. Located in Commercial Road, SO15 1GE, info can be found at www.mayflower.org.uk.
Interesting productions can also be found at the Nuffield Theatre in University Road, SO17 1TR. What’s on can be found at email@example.com.
There are three cinema venues in the city. Odeon at West Quay Road, Cineworld at Ocean Way and Harbour Lights Picture House at Maritime Walk.
Being a port, with connections to the world, encourages a range of diverse cuisines to the city. These restaurants range from cheap to expensive.
There are also the usual restaurant chains, local cafes, pubs, stores etc. serving good food.
The construction of West Quay propelled the city into a major retail centre. Located in Portland Terrace it is close to the city centre and Central Station. It contains 90 stores, including a major department store, lots of national chains and a food court.
There is also the Marlands Shopping Centre, in Civic Centre Road. This is a two storey mall, with fashion, beauty and budget stores, together with a café.
There is another major department store in Queensway, further shopping in Above Bar, High Street and Harbour Way.
All major international and national chain hotels, guest houses, pubs and hostels give visitors a range of choices.
Buses:- First Group run thirteen bus routes from the city centre to the suburbs. Citylink run a free shuttle bus from Southampton Central Station to Red Funnel Ferry Terminal via West Quay Shopping Mall.
National Express serve the country from the city centre Bus Station.
The city is accessed via the M3 from London and Guildford and Winchester.
From the east the M27/A27 from Portsmouth and Brighton and from the west the M27/A31 from New Forest and Bournemouth enter the city.
From Salisbury, Bath and Bristol use the A36, M27 and M271 to enter the city.
Drivers from the north should use the M40, and then the A34 from Oxford to Winchester and then onto the M3.
Southampton Central is located right in the centre of the city.
London can be reached by various routes. The fastest line is from London Waterloo, which passes through a combination of Woking, Basingstoke and Winchester Stations. The other route is from London Victoria which goes via Gatwick Airport, Crawley and Chichester,
From the east Portsmouth and Brighton are reachable. Trains from Brighton to Southampton carry on to Bath, Bristol and Cardiff. From the west, lines cover Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth.
Trains to the Midlands and North are taken through Reading.
Southampton Airport lies just north of the city boundary in Eastleigh. Destinations are located throughout the UK and Western Europe. The airport can be accessed by train, bus and taxi. Full details at www.southamptonairport.com.
Gatwick Airport is also easily reached by train.
Up to twenty firms run services throughout the city.
Stadium: St. Mary’s Stadium. Britannia Road. Southampton. S014 5FP
Joined League: 1920
Chairman: Ralph Kreuger
Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl
Current League: Premier
Phone Number: 0845 6889448
Formed by members of St. Mary’s Church in the city, the club played at many locations before moving into The Dell, in Archers Road, in 1898. The club joined the Southern league in 1894 and after winning that League title in 1897 changed their name to Southampton FC. They then won the Southern League championship again in 1898, 1899, 1901, 1903 and 1904.
They also reached the FA CUP final in 1900 and 1902 but lost same on both occasions, to Bury and Sheffield United respectively.
The club then became an original member of Division 3 in 1920 and then were promoted to Division 2 in 1921, where they stayed for the next 31 years.
In 1953 the club fell back into Division 3 South. They returned to the second level again in 1960.
Then in 1966, The Saints, managed by Ted Bates, reached the promised land of the First Division. They remained in the top flight for eight years during which they played in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup in 1969/70 and then the UEFA Cup in 1971/72, where they were knocked out by Atletico Bilbao. They were relegated back to Division 2 in 1973 but did, as a Second Division team, win the FA Cup in 1976, when they beat Manchester United 1-0. This meant they played in the UEFA Cup again, the following season, but they were knocked out by Anderlecht (Belgium) in the third round.
Regaining a top flight berth again in 1978, where they managed to stay, meant they became founder members of the Premiership in 1992. However, in 2005 came relegation back to the second tier. They did reach the play offs in 2007 but that did not result in promotion. In fact a further relegation to the third level came in 2009, the first time they had played at that level since 1960.
In 2011 Saints reached the Championship again, after finishing as runners up to Brighton and Hove Albion, and they got themselves back to the Premiership in 2012, where they currently play.
F A Cup Winners:
Away fans should check with their own club about buying tickets.
Information on purchasing tickets can be found by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 02381 780 780. Alternatively you can visit the ticket office at the stadium.
On match days a shuttle bus runs from Southampton Central Station and Town Quay to nearby St. Mary’s Stadium. Service bus route 8 runs via the stadium from the city centre and Hedge End and similarly route 10 from the city centre and Thornhill. The bus station for the ground is Northam Princes Street.
Southampton Central Station is just a flat 1.5 mile walk to St. Mary’s. Alternatively the shuttle bus (above) or taxi can be used.
There is some car parking at and around the stadium. If arriving from the north of the city leave the M27 onto the A33 to the city centre. At the top of Kingsway turn left onto the A3024 and then turn right down B3038, Marine Parade.
From the east leave the M27 at the A3024 junction. Join Hamble Lane and then the A3025 to the city centre. Cross the River Itchen and turn right into B3038, Marine Parade.
From the west turn off of the M27 to the M271 to Redbridge and then towards the city centre on Millbrook Road West. Then turn left, in the city centre, onto the A33 turning right at the top of Kingsway onto the A3024 and then right down B3038.
From the Isle of Wight, East Cowes, take a ferry to Town Quay and then the shuttle bus described above.
Good train journeys can be found to and from Southampton and Gatwick Airports.
Taxis from throughout the city will take you to the stadium.
After spending the majority of their history at The Dell, the club finally decided to build a new stadium, on the old gas works site, in the centre of the city. The club took over the stadium in August 2001.
The design of St. Mary’s Stadium is of contemporary bowl form, which means each of the stands are the same height. There are four stands the main one being the Itchen, which is on the east side. This houses the executive suites, changing rooms, club offices and press facilities.
The others are the Northam, which houses the home vocal element, together with away fans. Then there are the Kingsland and Chapel stands.
The current capacity is 32,505 with the record attendance standing as 32,363 v Coventry City in April 2012.
The facilities for visiting fans are excellent with a spacious concourse, reasonable food and TV screens. Within the playing area itself there are large screens at each end of the stadium. If the away fans want a drink before making their way to the ground the best bet is to visit the city centre or Ocean Village where there are welcoming watering holes.
The club have a shop in the stadium and a further one in West Quay. Stadium tours can be arranged by contacting the club.
BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER
West Quay South. Southampton
023 8082 0240