Isn’t it funny how things change? 4 months ago, I thought I would be back based in Barcelona and working on my career and blog in my former home. I didn’t expect myself to be living back in Southampton, writing posts about what to do in this city. In a way I am happy things didn’t work out because I have fallen back in love with Southampton, where I can explore more of this city and I am about to embark on a rather exciting journey. As I lived in Cornwall, I had this negative perception of Southampton because Cornwall is such a beautiful place and the complete opposite to Southampton in terms of location.
However, in 8 years it has rebuilt itself and actually has some amazing activities and opportunities for all sorts of people. As I become more settled in my hometown, I look forward to making plans to have an adventure in this town and eat all the food I possibly can … Wahaca and Nandos watch out.
1 – Shop Till You Drop
Southampton is one of the BEST cities on the South Coast to shop, I would love visiting when I lived in Bournemouth because the shopping centre was way better than the shops in Bournemouth. I mean there is West Quay a MASSIVE shopping centre with shops including New Look, Debenhams and Apple. They really have transformed it into a mega-shopping centre! Not just that but outside the centre there are shops for fashion lovers including Primark and … my personal favourite Urban Outfitters. As much as I LOVE working in the centre of town, it is seriously testing my will-power for not spending all my money shopping. The best thing is, just outside the shopping centre was the most amazing Christmas Market and with the view of the new West Quay 2 with all new restaurants … it is like Southampton 2.0. Easily my favourite thing to do when I visit Southampton.
2 – Watch Some Football
Southampton locals are VERY proud about their football team, Saints. Recently, we got a new manager and had some fab wins – that is all I know about it as I don’t keep up with football. However, I know speaking to other people and researching more about Southampton that taking a tour of the stadium is worth the time. There is always a vibrant atmosphere whenever there is a football match, if your team is playing against Saints and it is in Southampton come along. Because, the following reasons are also valuable for reasons to visit.
3 – Foodie Life
Oh my goodness … visit Southampton just for this. What I have noticed in the past few weeks is that Southampton has upped their game and bought the best restaurants to the city. The new West Quay 2 building has got too many restaurants to choose from including Byron Burger, TGI Fridays and …. My personal favourite Wahaca. My sister introduced me to Wahaca in Cardiff and I have tasted a lot of South American food in England but this is something else. The most incredible food especially Churros … wait … their twist is that they add Salted Caramel Sauce. Oh and they do takeaway … surprised I haven’t indulged yet but there is time. I do recommend Revolution Bars and our De Cuba Sister brand … my new job is as a Sales and Events Coordinator at Revolution so obviously I am biased but the Bacon Cheesy Fries are the one to watch.
4 – Visit The Harbour
Southampton really does have everything, if you are a lover of the ocean, boats and anything on the water visit the Harbour. Southampton Port is very well known and has a lot of value as it was very essential for industry and during the war too. There is a lot more to Southampton than even I remembered when I was younger. Walking across the harbour, admiring the cruises going in and out of the port is great if you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and had enough of shopping.
5 – Walk Around The Museums
One of the reasons the summer school kids in Bournemouth loved to visit Southampton was due to the history, one of them being that the city has profound history of Titanic. The Sea City Museum is one to think about seeing, it has a lot of history about the maritime story of Southampton and how is was majorly important throughout the war and even today. I always find it very interesting living in Southampton, the diversity of the busyness of the shopping centre to the educational value of the city throughout history.
6 – Watch a Play At The Mayflower
I am not massively into going to the theatre now, I believe my schedule just hasn’t got the time for it. However, my childhood was filled with trips of going to the Mayflower to see so many theatre pieces including Cats and Starlight Express. I absolutely loved it, it felt like I was somewhere out of this world and got to enjoy something different to the everyday routine of school and work. 10+ years later, people still go to enjoy the plays that are put on which shows how important it is still today. There are also numerous plays with well known celebrities including Steve McFadden who plays the one and only Phil Mitchell in Eastenders! Woop!
7 – Watch a Gig
My 14/15 year old self loves this point, because I loved going to gigs and still do but this was one of the first activities to bring me out of my shell. My first gig was March 31st2011 … yes I still remember the date and exactly what I was wearing and it was to see You Me At Six. Who I still love despite being obsessed with Latin Music. It was such a good gig, I remember it even until this day. I never experienced so much craziness but fun in one evening. The Southampton Guildhall has so many events on and alongside the other reasons is a good reason to visit the city.
8 – Visit the Isle of Wight
Another childhood memory is visiting the Isle of Wight with family, it is so easy to get to by Ferry and can be visited in a day. It is best to visit during summer hopefully we will get a summer like 2018 where there was literally 3 months of sun. It is like a little paradise and escape in the South Coast of England. A great coastline and a great day out for the family … plus it is so easy to get to from Southampton from the Port. There are also several cities close to Southampton to visit for a day including Bournemouth, Brighton and Winchester!
9 – Go on a Night Out
I am not the biggest fan of clubs however Southampton has some amazing bars, a perfect place to have a catch up with mates. Of course I am very biased and think Revolution Bar and De Cuba is amazing because I can’t help but love it and I went to the Bournemouth Branch numerous times before. However, there are other places including Slug and Lettuce, Buddha Bar and 1932. Make sure as you visit Southampton to also let your hair down and boy do we have fun down South.
10 – Have an Outdoor Adventure
There are so many other things to do, including outdoor activities to get the most our of visiting Southampton. Our three family favourites are Moors Valley, Itchen Valley Country Park and New Forest. All provide so many things to do including hiking, camping and sports including Tree Top Trials. Always good to have an adrenaline side … says the girl who is scared of literally anything.
Southampton is a great place for many things, and I suggest making the most of the city especially after it’s recent refurbishment. Literally can’t explain how amazing it looks, I still walk around in awe about how much of an upgrade it is compared to how it was 10+ years ago.