Your 1st port of call – Southampton.
Known as the cruise capital of Europe, Southampton plays host to over four million visitors a year and boasts an impressive cultural offering, from museums, music venues and art galleries, to award winning parks and the general hustle and bustle of a diverse city with fantastic shopping facilities.
The majority of cruises departing from Southampton cruise to the Baltic, Canary Islands, Mediterranean, North Cape and the Norwegian Fjords. Round trip cruises are also available transatlantic to New York and the USA, the Caribbean islands, around Africa or even on a full World Cruise.
Take a trip up to London and get a bird’s eye view of the city from the London Eye. See sights like Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Piccadilly. Stroll along Lower Regent Street or visit the British Museum.
If you are arriving in Southampton as part of your cruise, a tour to Stonehenge is a must. Arguably one of the most famous prehistoric monuments on Earth, this United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site is less than an hour from Southampton and is easily accessible by car or bus. The attraction recently switched over to a timed ticket entry system, so book tickets ahead of time online. Once there, sign up for the free audio tour; the 45-minute rundown offers insight into how and why the monument might have been built.
Set in 1000 acres of parkland, Highclere Castle is home to the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The present stately home was built in 19th Century by Charles Barry (architect of the Houses of Parliament in London). Highclere has been home to the Carnarvon family since 1679. It was the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, with Howard Carter, that discovered the tomb of the Egyptian boy pharaoh, Tutankhamen in 1922. There is a small Egyptology exhibition within the house. The magnificent stately home is more famous as the Earl of Grantham’s home, Downton Abbey.
Southampton Town Walls
A 1km circuit of medieval walls entirely pedestrianised with interpretation panels, information boards, artworks, vistas over old town and New Forest. Medieval walls can be viewed at Western Esplanade, Town Quay, Back of the Walls and Bargate Street. Accessible all year.
Tudor House and Garden
Tudor House was built in 1495. Over the centuries it has been a family home and an artist’s studio, and housed businesses including a dye-house and a bookbinder. You can explore the history of this fascinating building through the lives of some of the people who lived here, and enjoy a stroll in the authentically reconstructed 16th century Tudor Knot Garden.
Solent Sky Museum
The Solent Sky Museum depicts the history of aviation in Southampton, the Solent area and Hampshire. The Solent Sky Museum is a great little place to see flying boats , Schneider Trophy racers and other aircraft that were built in the Solent area of England. It was previously known as the Southampton Hall of Aviation.
SeaCity museum showcases Southampton’s relationship with the sea over the last 200,000 years, paying particular attention to shipbuilding and, of course, the Titanic. An exhibit about immigration and emigration incorporates an amazing number of historic records from city archives; regular kids’ activities include hands-on crafts such as origami and collage classes, as well as puppet shows and storytelling hours.
St Marys Stadium
St Mary’s Stadium has a single level deck the whole way round and is designed to look like an enclosed bowl, all spectators are under cover with unrestricted sight lines. The roof is supported by a cantilever system, which will enable the ground to be extended upwards on three sides if required in the future. There is a large screen attached to the roof behind each goal. The stadium has four stands, named after the areas of Southampton they back onto. The main (east) stand is the Itchen Stand (after the River Itchen). Opposite is the Kingsland Stand with the Chapel Stand behind the south goal and the Northam Stand at the other end. The Northam is the home to the more vocal supporters, as well as visiting fans.