SOUTHAMPTON ****** WHERE IS SOUTHAMPTON? ****** Southampton is the largest city found in the county of Hampshire. It is a major port found on the South coast of England. It is roughly 62 miles South-west of London. ****** SOME FACTS ******* - The city's name is sometimes abbreviated to Soton. - A resident of Southampton is known as a Sotonian. - The estimated population of Southampton is 231,200 people. - Southampton is known as being the home of the Titanic. - It is one of the largest commercial ports in Europe. - Southampton's local authority is Southampton city council. ****** SURROUNDING CITIES/AREAS ****** Portsmouth, Winchester, The new forest, Fareham, Eastleigh and across the water the Isle of Wight. ******* MY HISTORY IN SOUTHAMPTON ******* I was born in the Princess Anne hospital, Southampton in 1982. I have lived in Southampton for all of my life apart from one year that i spent in Scotland. Even though i do sometimes slate Southampton for being a bit rubbish with facilities and night life, i do still love the area and adore being close to the sea. In this review i will talk about the most popular places and facilities Southampton has to offer and try to give my honest opinion and facts on each. ****** SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY ****** University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ www.soton.ac.uk -What they say- The University of Southampton combines academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning. - Facts and my opinion - Southampton university was founded in 1862 and has over 24,000 students every year. I have never personally been to the university as a student but i have been shown around many of the campus's in the past and i can say it is a very smart university. Many of my friends have left the uni with a fantastic degree and gone on to do wonderful jobs. The university is spread out a fair bit over 5 campus sections all across Southampton rather than being in one set place. It depends on what courses you are doing as to which campus you will work from the most. The campus's are: The Highfield campus opened on 20th June 1914. The Avenue campus opened in December 1993. The Boldrewood campus opened in April 2006. The National Oceanography Centre opened in 1996 by Prince Philip. Southampton general hospital which started teaching around 1971. In 1998 the Uni-Link bus service was created which is open to students and the general public too. In 1995 a fire destroyed the School of Electronics and Computer Science and the Optoelectronic Research Centre. Luckily no one was hurt and it did take them a fair while to re build this building. There are a number of halls of residence buildings dotted all over Southampton and surrounding areas. These are open to first year and international students who require accommodation. The main areas are: Glen Eyre Halls Complex, Wessex Lane Halls Complex and Archers Road. Apart from these halls of residence the main areas where local students tend to live is Portswood and Shirley as these are two of the cheapest places to live in Southampton. Portswood is home to a lot of local student pubs such as the Hobitt. Southampton university always has excellent results and i can imagine it will always go on to do so for many years. ****** SOUTHAMPTON GENERAL HOSPITAL ****** Tremona Rd Southampton, SO16 www.suht.nhs.uk - What they say - Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust (SUHT) provides local hospital services to some 500,000 people living in Southampton and south Hampshire and specialist services such as neurosciences, cardiac services and children's intensive care to more than 3 million people in central southern England and the Channel Islands. The Trust is also a major centre for teaching and research in association with the University of Southampton and partners including the Medical Research Council and Welcome Trust. - Facts and my opinion - This hospital is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, it is run by Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust. The hospital was also the set for the documentary program The general which was hosted by Nick Knowles and others. The hospital was founded in the 1900 when it started out as a small infirmary and has gone on to grow and expand into other sites also. Being an accident prone child i was there a fair bit when i was younger, and also have a few on going health problems now too so i am a regular visitor to the hospital. I have always found this hospital to be very well organised and have some fantastic staff. The hospital is so big and has so many departments i have never found myself waiting more than a few months for any surgery i have needed. The only thing i will slate the main hospital for is the parking facilities! It is ridiculous! It is in the form of a multi story on a one way access road and when 3pm comes around for visiting hours you have no chance. I have often queue for over an hour to get into the car park. I really think they should try to do something about it. Currently the main hospital is undergoing a lot of refurbishment at the moment and it is looking fantastic. The grounds are always smart and tidy and the hospital is always very clean. ******* SOUTHAMPTON AIRPORT ******* Southampton Airport SO18 2NL www.southamptonairport.com - What they say - We aim to be the local airport you can breeze through, linking the South Coast with more than 40 destinations in Britain and Europe. Whether you're travelling for business or pleasure, rediscover the joy of flying at Southampton Airport. - Facts and my opinion - Southampton airport is the 20th largest airport in the UK. It is not the biggest airport ever but it is a great place for shorter flights. The airport handled 1,945,993 passengers during 2008 so i guess it is well used. It is actually located in the Borough of Eastleigh, but literally right on the edge of Southampton so it is classed as Southampton airport. I think in my whole life i have only actually used this airport 3 times, mostly because you cant fly anywhere particularly interesting from here. I have flown to Scotland twice and once to Dublin. The airport itself is quite small inside and only had a limited number of facilities. But the staff are all very friendly and during a delay everyone is very helpful. ****** WEST QUAY SHOPPING CENTRE ****** 8-10 Portland Terrace Southampton Hampshire SO14 7EG www.west-quay.co.uk - What they say - West Quay, located in the heart of Southampton city centre, boasts over 90 stores spread over three shopping levels. - Facts and my opinions - West quay shopping centre opened on the 28th September 2000 and is 800,000 square feet of pure shopping and restaurants. Some of its biggest names are Marks and Spencers, John Lewis, Apple, Zara and Gap. It is also home to the Southampton F.C Shop. There are 2 floors of fashion stores offering over 90 shops. On the top two floors there are a number of fast food chains such as mcdonalds, Kentucky etc. Also some top name restaurants such as Pizza Hut, Nandos and Harry Ramsdens. West quay has its good and bad points. When it was first built i didn't think much of it to be honest, it cost a lot of money and took a long time to build and compared to somewhere like Bluewater i wasn't too impressed. Don't get me wrong its great to have most of the main shops in one buiding, but the actual design of West quay is a bit annoying. You seem to have to walk round the entire shopping centre to use an esculator. But over the years the place has defintely grown on me, and after visiting other cities and seeing how rubbish their choice of shopping is i have changed my mind slowly. I think we all just get a bit bored of going to the same place all of the time so its always nice for a change. The choice of stores is fantastic and the centre is always very clean, plenty of facilities and very modern. ******* AROUND THE WEST QUAY AREA****** Outside of the shopping centre there are also a lot of larger stores such as Argos, Halfords, Staples, Ikea and also a TGI Fridays. The area around west quay is getting bigger and we are currently waiting for a new leisure complex with ice skating rink to be approved (i will believe it when i see it) ****** LEISURE WORLD ****** Leisure World, West Quay Road, Southampton. SO15 1RE Leisure world is Southampton's biggest leisure complex. It offers: Odeon Cinema, Frankie and Bennies, Oceana night club and the casino. When this complex was first built it really was the place to be, but nowadays it is a little run down and could do with some work. Oceana night club came to leisure world last year and has brought a lot more custom but generally the place is a little boring! ****** THE QUAYS SWIMMING AND DIVING COMPLEX ****** 27 Harbour Parade Southampton SO15 1BA www.southampton.gov.uk/leisure/leisure-centres/thequays/default.asp - What they say - The Quays 'Eddie Read' Swimming and Diving Complex is located in the heart of the city centre. The venue offers top-class swimming, diving and fitness facilities. Whether you want to improve your lifestyle, health or general wellbeing, learn to swim or dive or be active with your family, The Quays has something for everyone! - Facts and my opinion - There are 3 pools in the complex. Pool 1: Is a 25 metre national short course championship pool is divided into 4 lanes and a recreational swimming area. Pool 2: Is a large world class diving pool often used for competitions and olympic divers. Pool 3: Is a leisure pool for children and adults, which also has a flume and whirl pool. The complex is also home to The Quays fitness suite and also offers children's activities and lessons throughout the year. The complex is very smart, clean and reasonably priced. I visit the quays twice a week for my regular swim and have never had any problems. The changing facilities are excellent. There is ladies, mens and a family changing area. There is always plenty of free lockers, cubicles for changing and i have to highly praise the showers. They are powerful and very clean. I have also been to watch several diving competitions which have always been well organised by all. ****** OCEAN VILLAGE ****** Ocean Village Marina, 2 Channel Way, SOUTHAMPTON, Hampshire, SO14 3TG www.mdlmarinas.co.uk - What they say - Situated in the shelter of Southampton Water, and right in the heart of Southampton, Ocean Village is more than a marina. Surrounded by a wealth of shops, restaurants, cinemas and bars, it offers outstanding recreational facilities. Overlooking the marina is The Royal Southampton Yacht Club which, although a members club, offers berth holders and visitors a warm and friendly welcome. - Facts and my opinion - Ocean village is a 450 berth marina which has changed so many times in the last 20 years i lose track of what is actually going on down there now! When i was younger it used to be a small shopping centre with restaurants and bars etc. Now it is mostly full of flats and houses! There are still a number of bars down there, also a chiquitos and recently built a Wetherspoons. It is also home to Southampton's smaller cinema Cineworld. ****** SOUTHAMPTON FOOTBALL CLUB AND ST MARYS STADIUM ****** St. Marys Stadium Britannia Rd, Southampton, SO14 5FP www.saintsfc.co.uk Oh dear oh dear what can i say about my home team who i have loved and supported over the years!! What on earth has happened to them... I used to blame it on a bad run of luck but well i don't think its that any more i am starting to think they are just a waste of space!! The team itself may not be upto much but St marys stadium is pretty good. Found in the Northam area of Southampton, opened in 2001 and has a capacity of 32,689. I go there every few months to attempt at supporting the team.. The staff are great, facilities not bad and the pitch is always looking good! (Probably due to lack of playing) ****** THE BOAT SHOW ****** www.southamptonboatshow.com/ Tickets from: £13.00 - What they say - From 11-20 September at Mayflower Park, the PSP Southampton Boat Show in association with ITV Meridian is a fantastic experience for everyone with an interest in water - whether you've come to check out all the latest boating fashions, discover a new leisure pursuit or see the very best in state of the art marine design and technology. This record breaking year will see over 120,000 people enjoy a fantastic day out, whether they are already into boating or just dipping a toe in to see what it's like. - Facts and my opinion - Southampton boat show is one of the biggest water based shows in the world and has been arranged every year since 1969. It always takes place in Mayflower park in the month of September. With with thousands of visitors every year the show is always extremely successful. The show consists of boat owners and builders and usually consists of over 600 exhibitors. What can i say about the boat show? I went once, it was a nightmare, it was too busy, you couldn't move and it causes havoc in Southampton! Yes okay it is great for the city, bringing in the tourists and the money etc. But for the locals we can't get reservations in restaurants and everywhere is packed. ****** MAYFLOWER THEATRE ****** The Mayflower Commercial Road Southampton SO15 1GE www.mayflower.org.uk Tickets vary depending on the show but they start generally from £10. - What they say - The largest theatre in the South offers you magical evenings with the most spectacular touring musicals - many direct from the West End - plus opera, ballet, and some of the biggest names in popular music and comedy. - Facts and my opinion - The Mayflower theatre is a grade 2 listed building with the capacity of 2300. The theatre originally opened in 1928. The theatre isn't the biggest in the country but it does get most of the latest west end shows. I love this theatre, it is really authentic and has some fantastic characteristics. I first went there when i was 5 to say Jason Donovon (sad eh) and since then have been a number of times a year to see various shows, comedians and ballets. The facilities are fantastic, prices are reasonable and the bar is always a good plus! ****** THE SOUTHAMPTON GUILDHALL ****** West Marlands Road Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LP www.livenation.co.uk - What they say - * 2D Seating Chart Southampton Guildhall is the South's largest multipurpose entertainment venue. Hosting some of the biggest names in music from Pink Floyd & David Bowie in the 70's to present day bands such as Hard Fi, Manic Street Preachers, The Killers, The Kaiser Chiefs & Amy Winehouse. With a capacity of 1,749 and in the heart of the city centre 10 minutes from the railway station, amidst cafes, restaurants and shops it's the place to be! Whether you are organizing a major exhibition, conference, banquet, dinner dance, concert or wedding reception the Guildhall through its experience and expertise can effectively host your event. - Facts and my opinion - It is described on its website as the South's largest multi-purpose entertainment venue. Well i don't know if that is true or not but it certainly isn't the most classiest. The guildhall is based right in the centre of Southampton next to the civic offices. It is roughly a 5-10 minute walk from the central train station. It has a capacity of 1749 and hosts a number of relatively famous artists every year. But no one ever big really plays there because it is not really up to the standards of something like the bic in Bournemouth. The last refit of the guildhall was done in roughly 1989 and it is in desperate need of another one. The stage is small, the seating is very uncomfortable and the carpet is held together with carpet has most definitely seen better days as its held together mostly by carpet tape! We went to see a night with queen last year, which is a tribute band ran by the chap who won stars in their eyes a few years back as Freddie mercury. The band were fantastic, but we could barely hear a thing and there just felt like there was no atmosphere. I really wish they would change it, i think if they made the venue better it would bring some biggest artists down our way and everyone would benefit from the people coming into the city to see them. More money for everyone all round! ****** SOUTHAMPTON DAILY ECHO ****** The Southern Daily Echo Newspaper House Test Lane Redbridge Southampton SO16 9JX www.dailyecho.co.uk Price: 40p - Facts and my opinion - The first Southern daily echo was published in August 1888. The main office's of the newspaper are in Redbridge area of Southampton. But years ago the main echo office was actually based where the above bar entrance to the shopping centre west quay is. The echo is published mon - sat and usually appears in the shops between 10am and lunchtime. The current editor is Ian Murray. I have been reading this newspaper since i was a lot younger. I always find this newspaper very useful for a number of things.. reading the local announcements i.e deaths, birthdays etc. My family always use this for coming of age announcements. I have had many a photo in there. Its also great for buying local items, cars, renting properties etc and finding a job on job days which are Thursday and Saturday. The news articles are always very interesting to read, although a little depressing sometimes, but that comes with any newspaper. When do we ever get good news? ****** SOUTHAMPTON COMMON ****** Southampton Common Hill Lane Southampton www.southampton.gov.uk/leisure/parksgreenspaces/thecommon/default.asp - What they say - The Common is a much loved and well used green space and in 2007 the Common received a Green Flag Award for the first time, recognising its excellent standards of green space maintenance and management. As a Site of Special Scientific Interest it is unique and requires specialist management to ensure that its status and biodiversity is maintained. The Green Flag also covers the Old Cemetery and the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery (FoSOC) hold many walks, talks and tasks where you can find out more about this historical site. - Facts and my opinions - The Southampton common is the biggest park in Southampton. It has 326 acres altogether and includes woodland, parkland, rough grassland, ponds, wetlands, nature trails, a paddling pool, a children's play area, a model yachting pond, and a fishing lake. The Southampton common has always been home to large events such as Power in the park, The Southampton baloon festival and Race for life. Most half terms and bank holidays there is also a huge fair and market. The common is extremely well kept and is also home to one of Southamptons most popular pubs, the Cowherds. I have always loved the common, i remember when my mum used to take me there on a hot day to go in the very old paddling pool. This has now been updated and is fenced in too. Also the old wooden playground is now a lot more modern. ****** OTHER TOURIST ATTRACTIONS ****** - Southampton city are gallery - Free entry Southampton City Art Gallery, Civic Centre, Commercial Road - Hall of Aviation - Solent Sky - Adults £6 children £4 Albert road, Southampton - Medieval Merchant's House - Adult £3.80 Children £1.90 58 French Street, Southampton - The Maritime Museum - Adults £2.50 Children £1.50 Tower House, Town Quay Road, Southampton - Tudor House Museum and Garden - Adults £2.50 Children £1.50 Tudor House Museum, St. Michaels Sq, Southampton ******* MY TOP RESTAURANT ****** Pilgrim House: Canute Rd, Southampton, SO14 3FJ 023 80338008 The prices seem to change all of the time but roughly: £14 for an adult buffet (higher on back hols) They also offer a lunch time buffet but it is limited. A fantastic Chinese restaurant in the heart of Southampton. The place is extremely tasteful, very modern with cream leather seats etc. The staff are all very friendly, helpful and efficient. The restaurant is an "eat as much as your like" buffet style restaurant. You are given a menu when you come in to choose as many starters and main courses as you can eat and they are all brought to you freshly cooked instead of sitting on a buffet all evening stewing. The food is excellent and we always visit on special occasions. Reservations are almost impossible over the weekends without booking well in advance. ****** MY TOP HOTEL ****** Jurys Inn Southampton Charlotte Pl Southampton, SO14 023 8037 1111 http://southamptonhotels.jurysinns.com If i was coming to Southampton for night life or business i would definitely stay at the Jurys Inn Southampton. It is in an excellent location and for the price it is an excellent building. The rooms are perfectly equipped and decorated and it has a lovely bar and restaurant. ****** SOME DISTRICTS OF SOUTHAMPTON ****** - Bassett - Home of a lot of university students and some of the university campus. - Bitterne - Not far from the centre of Southampton city. Offers a small shopping area, leisure centre with swimming pool, bowling alley and pubs. Lots of housing in the area. - Chilworth - One of the posher areas of Southampton.. home to the University of Southampton Science Park, the popular Chilworth manor hotel (where i got married) and a wonderful pub called The Chilworth Arms. Notable Chilworth residents have included circus impressario Jimmy Chipperfield, Southampton football star Matthew Le Tissier and Craig Davids mum (apparently). - Freemantle - Right next to Southampton city centre, lots of housing not much else going on apart from a school and a church. - Highfield - Lots of housing and known for housing the University and halls of residence. - Lordshill and Lordswood - Lots of housing, a secondary school and a large Sainsburys supermarket. - Millbrook - Large council housing area. Home to the Western hospital, a large tesco and a big bowling alley. - Northam - On the west bank of the river Itchen, large council area and home to St Marys stadium. - Portswood - North east of the city, population of 14,384 and largely a student area. It offers a reasonable sized shopping area with a large Blockbuster and Waitrose. - Shirley - Shirley has the biggest shopping area next to West quay in Southampton. Many cheap shops like Poundland and charity shops. Also a large Sainsburys. Lots of residential especially council areas. - Sholing - Large residential area, has a massive playing green with skate park. - St Denys - Lots of residential and council housing. Some students and a large train station. - St Marys - A very large council area, admittedly this is Southamptons roughest areas! Home to the "red light" area!! I wouldn't walk around here on my own at night lets put it that way!! Home to South hants hospital, a large storage company, fire station and a few gay bars. Its a shame it has a bad reputation. - Swaythling - Home to a lot of students and Mcdonalds wooo lol. - Thornhill - Very large residential area, a lot of council housing. Some shops. - Woolston - Home to the Itchen bridge which is a toll bridge going over the river itchen built in the 1970s. It is right on the water and home to what used to be Vosper Thorneycroft. Large residential, some council. Has a shopping area but lately seems to be coming a bit of a ghost town! - Weston - A residential area which has a lot of council and new builds. Weston is right on Southamptons borders and has a shingle beach. When i was little i spent a lot of time at Weston beach but nowadays it is not particularly pleasant. You get a lot of youths hanging around down there and the water is not for bathing in. (i wouldn't anyway). It is also home to the boat yard and very close by is Netley Abbey and Victoria country park. ****** MY FINAL THOUGHTS ****** Southampton is typical of most cities, it has some great areas and it has some very dodgy ones. As i said before it is fantastic being on the water, the docks and marinas bring a lot of jobs to Southampton and it also makes it great for going on a cruise! I would recommend anyone to come to Southampton for historical factors but for night life i definitely wouldn't bother. There are better cities who have a lot more clubs and pubs to offer. I hope you enjoyed my review/guide to Southampton. I may add to this later on! But right now my fingers are dropping off. Some facts and information taken from websites and wiki
Southampton, hmm let me see. What has it got going for it? What does it have for the residents of its city? What does it have for tourists and the like? I used to enjoy a day out in Southampton, but that was a long time ago when, I was younger and Firstly, St Mary Street had an excellent selection of 'alternative' shops, music shops, charity shops and basically was a little livelier than it is now. Secondly, I enjoyed visiting pubs and clubs. Now that i am "all growed up now", and definitely a lot less 'alternative' I am not too bothered about alternative shops and buying records and stuff like that. But I ocassionally walk down St Mary Street and it just seems dull and lifeless. Maybe its just me! Going back even further Southampton used to have a zoo. Now my memories are very vague about this. I just have a vague recollection of going there as a child - some will say it is probably a good thing there is no zoo there, but back in the day it was somewhere to go. I understand there is now a small, and less exciting nature reserve on the site of the old zoo? Anothe place in Southampton I loved to go as a kid was Mayflower Park. This is an area of grass down by the waterfront and it had the most fantastic play area. There was a grassy bank with a slide and some very 'modern' looking concrete play areas such as mini-mazes and the like. That is all gone now. The kids of Southampton now have a tiny play area up in the corner, by the entrance and conveniently next to the little refreshment hut - not so good for the parents wallets. And why has the old play are been removed? Well I don't know, but I am putting a pretty safe bet that it was in the way of the Southampton Annual Boat Show, which happens on the Mayflower park site for about the month of September. Now let us see. What does the Southampton Boat Show do for the residents of Southampton? Oh yeah that is right it gives the good folk of Southampton a chance to go and purchase that boat they always wanted. NOT!! Southampton Boat Show benefits no-one in Southampton except the very richest who might have second homes in ocean village, where they keep their yachts berthed, so they aren't really Southampton people. All it does for the folk of Southampton, is perhaps add a few coffers to the town council, and push Southampton folk off of their beloved Mayflower park, unless of course they want to pay to get into the boat show. I have never been to this boat show, so can't comment if it is an enjoyable experience, so fell free to enlighten me. Southampton used to have a wonderful Balloon Festival in the summer. Southampton has a beautiful common, up on the Avenue. It is quite expansive and easily accomodated a large number of these massive hot air balloons. Watching these balloons on the ground and in the air really was a spectacular site. Sadly this festival is no more. Why I don't know. Southampton does have some nice parkland, perhaps a little more than your average city and I would say the parkland is Southampton's solitary jewel for the resident and tourist. There is also a modern art gallery (the building, not the works) which houses a diverse selection of work, and from time to time has changing installations, It is not a 'grand' art gallery though, but definitely better than nothing. There are some museums- an archaeological museum - this was free to get in, but you may have to pay now. There is a maritime museum, which was free and you definitely need to pay to get in - this is not good! The museum is housed in a lovely old listed building, but is being moved into the Civic Centre to the police station when the police have found a new home. So currently the maritime museum is down near the old quay and they will be moving it to the Civic Centre, which is at the top of the hill, AWAY from the sea. the lovely old listed building will remain empty because, being listed, no-one can do anything commercial with it. What a great move! There is also the Tudor House. this is a wonderful old building, inside and out,except it hasn't been open for years because it is being refurbished. The outside is finished, but inside is apparently empty at the moment and 'they' are waiting for more funding from one of the heritage funds. It is going to be years before this is open again! This could become a really long review stating what Southampton used to have and what it now lacks for its own people and people like myself who like(d) to visit for the day. It lacks more than it offers. Southampton is great-ish if you like shopping in the same old hackneyed shops, that all other towns and their 'Arndale' centres have- yes this is now a mall city and had three last time I looked (four if you count East Street Centre- what a dump). It also now has an IKEA. This has long been looked forward to by people in the South. Not knowing much about IKEA, I used to think, listening to the hype, that their stuff was bound to be quality and looked forward to visiting this when it opened. IKEA's stock looks great, but is cheap, badly put together tat which will fall apart if you use it, rather than look at it. They do a great line in meatballs and hot-dogs though! Southampton is a student city with two Universities; UoS and Solent Uni. It used to have three higher education establishments, but La Saint Union was 'absorbed' by UoS. What this means is that Southampton is brimming with students, pubs, clubs and rented accomodation filled with students dotted about the place. There are cinemas and theatres. Sadly no 'in-town' traditional 'High Street' cinemas, where you fall out of a cinema and into a restaurant, or go straight to the bus stop. The cinemas are on the outskirts of the main shopping areas, or further afield, and take the form of an industrial warehouse - then again, this is prevalent everywhere now. Southampton does have a half decent cinema called Harbour Lights. I always though this was completely independent, but I understand it is part of a chain called Picture House. It doesn't pander to Hollywood as much, has a comfortable bar, which I use to relax in, rather than go to see a film. Southampton could improve by offering more to its people and tourists. It has plenty of old buildings, and I mean medieval, where events could be held, but these seem to be redundant for most of the year except when they are open for 'art' installations. Trades descriptions could have a field day here. I no longer enjoy visiting Southampton, sorry if that offends anyone, but it is not your fault so you needn't be offended, unless of course you are one of the cities decision makers, in which case I say breathe some life back into the city. Southampton is great if you like shopping during the day and getting drunk at night. I will be adding more to this review, when you can convince me what a great place Southampton is.
Southampton is my home city and I absolutely adore the place! I'm writing this to let people know an insiders knowledge of the city because I get pretty annoyed with the publicity it gets from other cities, calling it unfashionable for example, when it is far from that! SO...i'm here to tell you what the city is really like...and give Southampton the credit it deserves. Southampton is by far one of the prettiest urban cities in the UK (and i've visited alot of Uk Cities) It has loads of parks and recreational areas, not just sprawls of concrete! It has fantastic shopping facilities, especially now that "West Quay" has been built, and some great edge of city superstores. The place is good for leisure activities. Down at West Quay there is a large swimming pool, with fantastic diving facilities, a large gym and many other sporting venues where you can dry ski for example. Soon to be under development is an olympic sized Ice-rink / concert venue. The "Leisure World" complex is a great place for a night out. It has three main clubs; "Ikon" (Uk Garage, House, Trance, R'n'B etc) and "Diva" (Cheesy Stuff) which are open Wednesday to Sunday and are definately a good night out. They hold host to many top Dj's such as Judge Jules, Paul Oakenfield, Dave Pearce to name a few and are generally very good value for money. "Jumpin Jaks" is the other venue. It's such a fun night out and has a very friendly atmosphere. This is my favourite place in the whole of Southampton. There's something wrong with you if you don't enjoy this place! They play a complete mixture of music here! (Cheese Nation on a Wednesday is fun!) but I would say Saturday is the best night, or Sunday if R'n'B music is more your style. There is also a pre-club bar called "Hotshots", where all drinks are £1 between 8pm and 11pm. It has pool tables, bowling alley and various arcade ma chines here, but before 8pm the place is riddled with younger teenagers. (Although there is an area where under-18's are not allowed to go, so they can be avoided) These are the most popular places in town, however up the top end of town (Above Bar) are many more bars and club type venues. Some of the most popular pubs are Yates, The Square, The Old Fat Cat, and The Tavern to name a few, but there are also places like Branigans and The Walkabout which are livelier bars/dancy places which stay open til 1am. Places which if you are new to the city, I would tell you to probably avoid are "The Rhino Club" or any clubs down the quiet end of town i.e East Street (you'll realise when there) because they're pretty dodgey and unless you know the area well and what the people are like, you're not going to fit in and are likely to become a target for trouble. Don't let this put you off though, you can have a really great night out in Southampton. Now for all of you who aren't interested in clubbing, shopping, sports or sitting in nice green parks, the area does offer alot more! Southampton is a very historical city! There is alot of culture and many places to visit. There is the Bargate, Southampton Wall, medieval toll house, as well as all things to do with the Titanic, which set sail from here in 1912 on her doomed voyage to New York! But i'm no historian...so come check out the city's history for yourself! Southampton is also a major port city, so all of you interested in "all things maritime" should also check So'ton out! Go down to Ocean Village, which is a beautiful place and check out all the yaghts and have a drink/meal or walk along the boardwalk! There is also the "Harbour Lights" cinema here, which shows less contemporary arthouse style films rather than all the top blockbusters. And for all you footy fans out there, the new St Mary 's Stadium (home to the Saint's)is a fantastic site! I'm not a fan of football, but I just love the stadium and the atmosphere inside is great! Check it out too! Overall...you really must visit Southampton. I truly believe it's one of the best cities in England and there is enough to keep everyone occupied, young or old. If you want anymore information about So'ton, don't hesitate to ask me and I will try and help you out!
Southampton has been a very important pier. As you know, it is also where Titanic started its tragic journey. I had the opportunity to see Southampton, When I joined the outdoor-based training weekend of my university which took place in Southampton. Firstly, that weekend I had the opportunity to see the nice river and the pier. You should absolutely see the Old City Gate, Bargate, located in High Street of Southampton. It is the most elaborate medieval gate you can fond in England. As far we were told, it has served as a prison, tollgate and finally museum so far. Also you can walk around the city walls. Moreover, Tudor House Museum containing exhibits on Victorian and Edwardian life. I can also recommend you to see Winchester Castle. It is well worth seeing the nice Norman architecture. I really enjoyed this cathedral. There are over 4000 books in the cathedral’s library. I am gonna add more info into this opinion I hope I could give you an idea.
The all new West quay The new west quay centre has now been open for all you shop-o-holics to use. However all the hype about how brilliant it is because it’s so big and brilliant is now dying off. If you are going to spend a day in Southampton then west quay is a good place to set up camp. This is because it has on the third floor a whole array of places to eat such as mc Donald’s, K.F.C and pizza hut for teenagers and more sophisticated restaurants for the adults to use, such as Italian restaurants. However on this floor there is not enough seating. Lots of people end up sitting on the floor while trying to eat!!! This could have been resolved because all the way through west quay there is a huge whole!!! The problem with west quay is it’s so big and all the stores are spaced out. There are several good stores in west quay you just have to spend a while searching for the shops. But on the first floor there are some good shops such electronics boutique and tower records. And on the second floor there are shops such as M&S and Gap However this shop has been very well situated so that if you do get fed up of searching for shops them you can just walk out from the doors and there are some other well known shops just around it such as Woolworth’s, H.M.V and pink planet game exchange. The Swan centre In the centre of Eastleigh is the Swan shopping centre, which was opened in 1989. It is light, airy and attractively decorated. Inside are a whole host of major high street names under one roof. For example you will find Tescos, Boots, Littlewoods and our price also local independent shops. There are several small specialist outlets, which include gift shops, opticians, jewellers and so on. There are also a variety of first class restaurants. And cafes where you can have anything from a drink to a snack or a three-course meal! One of these restaurants is a stylish French café set which is set in the octagon of the swan centre and is a great place to relax or wait for someone and is set in a convenient part of the centre. Again if you get board with the centre just step out side and you find yourself in the main shopping precinct of Eastleigh with plenty of affordable parking around as well. Bargate In Southampton a good shopping centre is Bargate. This is a pretty good place for students and teenagers to go to as there are Live Bands, competitions, video walls and DJ’s combined with Surf shops, and the internet café, club gear and urban gear stores. And it’s all in the centre of town. There are some great shops in Bargate to go to have fun like the Sega park, Miss Selfride, Gateway, Just add water, Moist, Mirage, Essential, Gosh, Saints shop, Fat Face, Nail Bar, Foot work shoe company and smells bells and doodahs. Go and find them all in Bargate, and more. Ocean Village Ocean village attracts over two million visitors a year and is one of the countries biggest waterfront developments that combines homes, businesses and leisure facilities. The enclosed Canute’s Pavilion provides an area for numerous shops, bars, restaurants and attractions. Choose from factory outlets such as Tog 24 to independent retailers selling gifts, antiques, gems, handmade chocolates, books, fashion and mobile phones. As well as that, there is also a beauty salon, unisex hairdresser and a shop called Dillon’s convenience store. The restaurants and bars are among the most popular in the area, providing food ranging from a quick snack to a romantic a la carte, menus. Choose from Spanish Italian and French cuisine and traditional English food including the world famous Harry Ramsdons Fish and Chips. There is also a 17,000sq ft Way out West American-themed family Entertainment centre, which combines the flavour of the Wild West with high tech entertainment. That r eally is a first of its kind centre. You can also, while you’re there take a walk because the view over the water form ocean village is really spectacular. The Marlands The Marlands centre has every shop possible really. Cloths, accessories, furniture, home furnishings and toy stores including the Disney store and the entertainer. There is very little there that you cannot buy. When you get fed up of shopping you can all ways relax at Brophy’s coffee shop on the ground floor or the food court on the first floor. If you go there shopping for cloths you will not be disappointed. On the ground floor there is Bay Trading, Benetton, Pilot, West One Mk1, Negozio rocco, Mcqueens withit, Dunnesstore and Adams. On the first floor you will find Legends and Bodyguard. The Bargate is also a great place for accessories too with shops like Raw shoes, Claires accessories, and F hinds the jewellers. Also in the Marlands there is plenty of parking with its 800 space car park The Marlands is open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5:30 pm and from 11:am to 4pm on a Sunday. With so much choice the is defiantly worth a visit. Mega Bowl Mega bowl is a very popular place with younger people. Besides its huge amount of bowling alleys there, there is a large amusement arcade with all sorts of coin machines. There is even a little casino section for adults. At the far end there is a fast food café where you can also reserve tables for birthday meals and kids can meat the Mega Bowl mascot on there birthday. Two other popular things to do there are laser quest and the crystal maze. The crystal maze is based on the channel 4 television series and is an interactive experience where you and you friends are put into teams and the aim is to get as many crystals as possible. The amount you get is then stored on a card, which you put into a computer at every challenge poin t. The laser quest zone is where you are all given guns, which shoot out a laser beam. The object is to shoot your opponents packs as many times as possible and avoid having yours being hit. The results of who won and came second, third, fourth and so on are displayed on the screen. Mega bowl is well worth a visit and is good fun for kids and teenagers. Leisure world This is quite anew centre but is very good. Its main facilities are its multiplex cinemas, which are of very good quality. There you can watch pretty much all the films currently showing and even the ones that have stopped showing in smaller cinemas. However as well as that there is also a large coin arcade, which has several good machines and several bowling alleys. Where you can have fun playing on the machines or bowl in the dark with luminous balls or just have a good time bowling normally. Also there is a whole host of bars and pubs for example, scrumpy jacks and even a very large casino for those aged over 18 years old. The Rapids This is a large complex in Romsey. Its main feature is the swimming pool, which includes a large flume, three different sections of the pool, the learning zone, the water zone and the rapids zone. The learning zone is a shallow small pool where you can take children to get used to the water. The water zone is a shallow area, which consists of a whole host of sprinklers and water pumps as well as a waterfall from the Jacuzzi and access to the flume. The rapids area is a large pool where you can do lengths, until the rapids are turned on and then you get sucked round in a circle. A sprayed buy several water pumps in the side of the wall. Also inside is a large gym and a sauna room and a steam room. As well as another bigger, more private Jacuzzi where you can work out as much or as little as you want until and then relax in the Jacuzzi or steam/sauna room. As wel l as that there are four tennis courts and two squash courts where you can get lessons or you can hire them out, and there are rackets available for hire. Plus for the younger kids there is a playground with swing and other various things for children to play on as well as a crazy golf course where you pay for one go round and balls and clubs are available for hire. And on top of that there is a cricket pitch for the local club to play on and at the far end a skate park with a whole array of jumps and ramps for them to use. The Romsey Rapids is very well equipt and is well worth a visit. A to of people go there as shown in my survey.
I am 18 years old and im voicing this opinion about Southampton concerning the younger people living in the city. For years now i feel southampton was becoming and still is becoming a city for people over 30. There is nothing for todays youth to do except Shopping and that gets rather boring every week or our lives. Fair enough that West Quay shopping centre has been built and i must admit the building is impressive but all that has been done is move all the shops from the main high street such as Marks and Spencers, McDonalds, All Sports and loads of clothes shops. In the shopping centre there is nothing for kids apart from the takeaway shops such as McD's and a few clothes shops but nothing which will keep children happy and excited. I feel the shopping centre needs an arcade or a night club which could host weekly dance nights and under18 nights in the holidays. Here is a list of things to do in southampton for teens: Lesiure World: Cinema, Clubs for Over 18 Bargate: Sega Park WestQuay Shopping Centre: Shops, Food Outlets Guildhall: Occasionally a concert is played there Football Ground: Tucked away in rough area of St Marys The Common: Once a year there is a concert here called Power in the Park. As you can see from above there is nothing to do for kids on a regular basis, there are probably a few youth clubs scattered around but realistically ur not going to see teens from 15+ in a youth club cause you see them instead scattered around near shops or in just hanging about in the streets. The only thing i can think of which brings kids of streets and enjoying themselves is Under18 IKON which probably happens 6 times a year where approximetly 2000 teens ranging from 14-18 can go for a dance and meet ppl for 4 hrs only. Southampton provide more things to do!
I first moved to Southampton about 18 years ago, and I must admit when I first moved down here I hated it!! The main centre wasn't up to much and was pretty grubby, the outer lying areas were pretty run down. There seemed to be no sound infrastructure to the city - and it seemed to be a town which had relied on its port status for many years and was now in decline. However, having moved away and back to Southampton several times over the last 18 years, I can now see that things are very much on the up. Waterfront developments have cropped up everywhere, replacing abandoned dockyards and industrial waterfront areas. These new developments often include new restaurants, boutiques and marinas. The town centre itself has undergone a lot of change. The recent West Quay development has brought with it huge investment and new bigger stores. It has moved a lot of the shopping away from the Above Bar area, which was getting dated. The Leisureworld development has brought with it a new range of pubs, bars and restaurants as well as the usual cinema and casino. All has been laid out nicely and replaces a lot of the wasted area of the "old" Southampton. There is even a new football stadium for next season, which at it's current stage looks magnificent, although the location could probably have been better, as indeed could the team who play there! There is obviously a lot of future investment also planned for Southampton. Hopefully this will spread to the suburban areas such as Millbrook, Northam, Thornhill, etc which are still admittedly run down with a lot of crime and dirty looking streets and houses. But then what city doesn't have this? Southampton is still a long way off being perfect, but has improved vastly over the last decade and I am more than happy to stay here with everything I need so close by.
I live in Southampton and I can honestly say it’s not the worst place to live. First of all you can the fairly large city and then about 30min away you have the New Forest. Southampton is a place for everyone. There are things to do for all ages. You have grate shops and the brand new West Quay shopping centre with tons of cool shops for people of all ages. There are lost of places to eat out in Southampton. As like any big city you have the expensive places and the not so expensive places. There are 4 McDonalds in Southampton. Also lots of "posh" places to eat as well. Next to the West Quay shopping centre you have the Quays swimming pool where "apparently" the British swimming Olympic team practise. There is quite a lot of nightlife in Southampton ranging from the normal clubs and bars to the alternative nightclubs. There are also nightclubs for older people as well. Southampton is the place where Titanic set sail "not that you don’t no" and you can see the docks on where the Titanic set sail. You can visit the memorial site for the people on the Titanic or have a look at the museum with things from the Titanic in there. There is the park in the city centre and also there is a park next to the water, which has a skate park in it. "Each year a skate fest is held there". If you want to get away from all the city life you can go over to the New Forest and enjoy a relaxing day out. It takes roughly 30min to get to the New Forest but you can catch the ferry, which takes you to Hythe to get there. Ocean Village in Southampton has nice places to eat and it ha cool places to hang out like Way out west. If you decide you want to watch a movie there is leisure world with odium, which has 13 cinema screens. Also in leisure world you have icon, diva, hotshots, jumping jacks all nightclubs. You can catch artful dodger in icon someti mes. 1ce or twice a week it has a nightclub in icon for people 14+ so all ages can enjoy them selves. Southampton is a good city to visit :)
Situated on the South coast (as you probably imagined from the name) Southampton is the perfect place for pretty much everything and everyone. ***Attention all Shoppers!*** Okay, well first of all there are the shopping facilities - with the brand new West Quay shopping mall claiming it's fame from being the second largest indoor shopping facility in Europe. With it's sleek design and hundreds of shops it's a definate must for all avid shoppers (Just make sure you bring your own bin as the few they have in there barely cater for the thousands that flock there daily). West Quay shopping centre also has a creche if you'd rather go shopping without the worry of losing your children or your money (but Muuuuuuuum! I really NEED that!) West Quay contains all the shops you need, catering for everything from designer clothes to furniture, wacky gadgets to jewellery, not to forget the many high street shops like Waterstones, Gap, and John Lewis to name but a few. If you're more of an outside shopper who likes a bit more space and peace, then Above Bar shopping is for you. There are a number of smaller shopping malls (Marlands, Bargate and East street centre) which hold various shops including a few speciality and "odd" bits and bobs (a few favorites include - Jacaranda which sells "ethnic crafts and clothes" andn Withit) ***Drinkers and Dancers!*** If you're looking for clubs and pubs instead of shopping, you won't be disappointed either. Southampton is a culturally diverse city and there are many places to socially interact with other weird and wonderful people. Again, there's something for everyone - from rock and alternative clubs (Nexus and Dungeon) to dance (Ikon, Diva), garage and soul clubs and a few gay bars found at the top of the high street. Most clubbers get on reasonably well although the occaisional alcohol-driven brawl is ine vitable. If you're not driving back 'home' and need a taxi - it's a good idea to book at least a few hours in advance, otherwise you might find yourself freezing in the cold for an hour or two... There are also plenty of those stylish kinda pre-club bars popping up everywhere - for a reasonably priced drink, a nice atmosphere and good food (Bar Risa, anyway!) these are THE places to go. Bar Med, Bar Risa, Cafe Sol and Jongleurs are just a few of the many along the high street. ***Budding connoisseurs!!!*** Sorry to disappoint you guys, but food in Southampton is basically the same as in any big city - you get the good and the bad. At the end of the day it's really a matter of your personal taste. There is a wide selection to choose from though. Restaurants range from Pizza Hut to La Lupa (Italian), Bella Pasta to Bar Risa and the Grande Harbour Hotel's cuisine to the local chippy van up the high street! ***Historian's treasure*** Before I forget - If you're into English heritage - you'll love the old Southampton walls (although many of these were destroyed when the new city was built). Tours are available from many travel agents in Hythe and Southampton. There are museums dedicated to 'old' Southampton and many of the old walls and buildings can be seen in a day's shopping (Get two things done in one go!) ***THE END - Well, almost*** Finally, if you're looking for a quiet day out away from Southampton, you have the choice of using the city's extensive public transport system to transport you to a quiet and peaceful place - The New Forest (about 30 mins - 1hr away from central Southampton on the bus or ferry) Hotels are great too - from 1st class to B&B's. Prices range from £15 a night to the slightly more expensive 3-figure numbers!!! (grande harbour hotel - v.posh) ***If you'r e not sure on something about Southampton feel free to ask any questions I haven't already answered & I'll try my best to find out for you!*** Stay smily, Pookypop :)
Picture the scene. A cold dark Sunday evening. Holes in my shoes and mist in the air. As I and a chum of the Northern variety waddle home, we spy a distressed pigeon on the pavement, clearly unable to fly to freedom. What should we do? On closer inspection the animal appeared frightened. Stooping down for closer look in the hope that we might be able to nurse it back to full health and then adopt through a lengthy process of high court appeals and numerous pigeon counselling sessions, we only cause the biwildered beast to flap into the middle of the road, and promplty get run over. My tale of woe doesn't end here though. The ferrel air dweller, still less than deceased, but pinned to the tarmac, begins to, with much futility, flap and pump its (working) leg. Distressed by the turn of events, and the increasing battering our pigeon friend was recieveing from the continued traffic, my Yorkshire chum and I decide the best channel of events to proceed with, is to run to his car and kill the bird ourselves. No less than two minutes have lapsed, when we arrive to the scene once more, but this time with the intention to kill. Breaking the speed limit, we accelerate over the semi-squashed animal, but in the mirror as we speed away from the scene of the crime alas still the speed limit was the only thing broken - the beast lived; turning sharply in the road, we went back for another hit. This time a successful squash, and a reverse and crunch of the pigeons spine and pelvis ended the creatures misery. We lamented the animals loss, and then after a final expection of the body revealed the lower and upper intestines about 4 inches away from the pigeons body, we were satisfied with the nights inpromptude euthanasia. We named the pigeon Stanley; and with the final rites read, retired to our home. I hope you find this story topical and enjoyable in finding a greater understanding of the South, and the rigmoral of everday life. It's nice down here - honest!
I lived in Southampton until about a month ago and it is only now I have moved away that I can see the city in perspective. I am sorry to say that although Southampton has its many good points that it is a city in decline and in trouble. Although the city centre isn't bad - -the parks are fantastic - the outliying areas have problems. If you want a city to visit for a day while staying nearby - the New Forest is great - then it is worth a visit. There are many facilities including swimming pool, great theatre, plenty of cinemas and leisure complexes and several little known small museums which are worth a visit. The shopping isn't bad in the city but nothing special. However the new shopping centre is due open soon and this may provide that little bit extra to make it a good shoppping centre. However, if you look under the surface, Southampton is a city with problems. Ok, so these may be standard city problems but it is sad to watch it go down hill. Many of the housing areas are becoming run down as little is done to keep them smart. Derelict and deserted cars are the norm in some areas. Litter is not cleaned up - I don't remember the last time that I saw the the streets swept. The local paper was full of people pleading for the grass verges to be cut as they were overgrown and the council was cutting back on its cutting. I must also confess that southampton has serious crime problems. There are bus routes that drivers won't drive late at night due to violence. There are frequent violent attacks, often racist and drugs are a serious problem. The city is a no go area at night as are many housing estates. The council doesn't seem to be putting the effort into caring for the city and many residents aren't bothering either. Don't get me wrong there are nicer areas but watch yourself. Worth a visit but think twice before moving there.
As a port city, Southampton was bombed heavily during WW2. The result, naturally, was the need for a mass porgramme of rebuilding during the 1950s and 60s and an awful lot of concrete. So lets be honest, it's not a pretty city and has virtually no character. Currently the city centre has no more facilities than the average large town, though the new shopping centre should change this soon. There are multiplex cinemas and other entertainments at Ocean Village and Leisure World, both ten minutes walk from the centre. County Cricket and Premiership football are both hosted in the city, the two grounds being twenty minutes walk North from the main station. Visitors to the north of the city, including the university, can alight at 'Parkway' station which is next to the airport, from where regular buses will take you into the city.
The problem with Southampton can be put down to one word: concrete. That grey menace which swept all towns during the 60's and 70's unfortunately caught Southampton in its grasp too; and just like a lot of towns, it has not made the town a pretty sight. Tower blocks make regular eyesores and the high street (although soon to be supplemented by a large new modern complex at West Quay) is more of the same: dull and lifeless to look at. However bad the packaging though, the content of the city is quite another matter. The shopping is some of the best in the region, and the high street is really rather long, containing all the famous names you'd expect. The John Lewis store, soon to be moving to West Quay, is worth particular mention as a great catch-all store; it literally sells everything. The nightlife is as you would expect from a large city: abundant, vibrant, exciting. It has been noted that the city has more traffic lights per square mile than does New York; this is a key to driving, which can be alternately easy or nightmarish. Finding a parking space is usually difficult unless you know where to go though; Grosvenor Square multi-storey is a good bet, fairly near to the top of the high street. It must be said though that however good the shopping and nightlife etc. is, the uniform nature of the city makes for some very flat visits on occasion. If you prefer to shop in a nice environment then try Winchester instead; a spruce-up would make Southampton a very much nicer place to be.
I was not born here, but I have grown up here and I do sort of like the place. It's like most large cities in that it has a good range of things to do and places to go but it has the added beauty of large areas of green within its city limits. It has lots of trees and small parks all over giving it a pleasant feel in the hot, dry summers that it experiences but suffers as most southern Britain does with too much traffic. Try to go anywhere and you need transport of one sort or another. Public transport is a bit of a joke in Southampton, most of the buses seem to stop about half an hour before the first pubs shut in the evening meaning you have to use taxis. Go anywhere at seemingly any time and you will find yourself in a queue of traffic at least once during your journey. Try using your bike and you might as well paint a target on your back and carry a sign saying I hate car drivers. But it's not all bad, there is a huge student population and therefore a good choice of nightlife from pubs to clubs. The cinemas and restaurants are on the whole good, and varied. The people can be friendly, if at first reserved but it is certainly one of the most tollerant populations I have come across in a multicultural society. Property can make you laugh or cry depending on how you believe the prices people are willing to pay to live here but that's the beautiful south for you. Honestly it is a nice place to come to but expensive to live here and impossible without a car.
I used to live in Southampton but have just moved to Leicester. Now, Southampton has a lot going for it, it's just that it wasn't HOME if you know what I mean. The best things about Southampton are: Hedge End Retail Park, Ocean Village, Weston Shore and the motorway that brings you away! The city centre is quite good for shopping, with a wide variety of shops and shopping centres. The Bargate centre recently showed the new Robbie Williams video and had children running out in tears as a result. The main problem if you want to shop in the city centre is the parking - all the on-street car-parking spaces were designed to be used by minis or smaller, which explains all the dents in my car! Ocean Village is quite nice, with a couple of nice bars and curiosity shops. You can sit by the marina and watch all the rich people playing about on yachts. You can catch a ferry to the Isle of Wight from Red Funnel ferries, It takes about 1 1/2 hours to get there and I think it's around £7.00 for a day return. There are some nice parks in Southampton, like Hamble Country Park, and the beach at Weston Shore is a good place to sit and watch the ferries going in and out. It's also a good view point for when the big ships (like QE2 and the Disney ship) come in to port. It's not a bad place by any means, but it just wasn;t my cup of tea. (House prices are astronomical!)