Southampton Sea viewSouthampton is the largest city in Hampshire. Its name is often shortened to Soton and people from Southampton are sometimes referred to as Sotonians. It is has 3 rivers, the Hamble, the Test and the Itchen and it it has a deep water estuary, Southampton water, that is suitable for large container ships and cruise liners. Southampton has developed into one of the largest and busiest ports in Europe, associated with famous boats including the Titanic, Queen Mary and QE2. It is also the base for the new generation of cruise liners that visit regularly.

Southampton photos Southampton was the home of the Spitfire development (the famous World War II fighter plane) and factories and this combined with its strategic importance as a port resulted in considerable air raids and devastation during World War 2. Most of the buildings are new, but there are a core of older buildings and the remnants of its long history and culture.

There is evidence that Southampton has been a settlement since very early days including the Iron Age and the Romans created a fort called Clausentum. There are a number of theories as to where its name comes from. This includes that the Saxons created a settlement called Hamwic which later evolved into Hampton hence the name Hamptonshire - Hampshire for the county and then Southampton for the city.

Southampton was a walled city and some ruins of the wall still remain. They are now a walkway and visitors and there are good maps and information boards explaining what there is and what there would have originally been. The best known part of the walls is the Bargate, which was the main point of entry to the city from the North. This dates from around 1180  and has many uses over the centuries invcluding being used as the Police Headquarters during the war.

Southampton Photos

There is a statue of John LeFleming, a Mayor from the medieval period on the wall. He stands looking in to the city and this is quite a haunting striking sculpture.

Southampton was also the port where the historic Mayflower voyage of the Pilgrim Fathers began and there is a memorial to it in the city.

The jewel in the crown of Southampton has to be the Tudor House Museum. This striking building in St Michael’s Square was built about between 1492-95  for Sir John Dawtry, the Customs controller. It is throught to have been converted from earlier buildings at that time. Over the centuries it has housed a range of notable citizens including artists. It is about to undergo some more restoration work and might be closed for a while.

There are a number of other interesting museums including the Maritime museum (which includes exhibits on the Titanic), Medieval Merchants House, the Museum of Archaeology and the Solent Sky Hall of Aviation (dedicated to the Spitfire's history) .

Southampton is a modern city with an ancient core. It has a range of great facilities, such as shops, cafes, bars and hotels to make a stay in the city most enjoyable.

Southampton Hotels
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Tudor House Southampton

Hotels / Bed and Breakfasts in the area

City Park Guest House
Guest House
There are traditional and historic pubs and funky bars and music venues: everything from lounges where you can have an intimate drink to clubs where...
Botleigh Grange Hotel
Choose the Botleigh Grange Hotel for a truly relaxing break, hidden away in the Hampshire countryside. Surrounded by lush fields, freely grazing...
Jurys Inn Southampton
Jurys Inn Southampton is located in the heart of the city overlooking East Park and close to Southampton Central Station. The 12-storey Jurys Inn is...
Ennios Boutique Hotel Rooms
Small Hotel
Ennios Boutique Hotel features five exquisitely appointed luxury en suite bedrooms providing not just a taste of luxury but a unique sleep experience...
Premier Rooms Southampton
Southampton is a fantastic compact city where you can explore the heritage quite easily on foot. Southampton is earmarked for some huge regeneration...