The port city of Southampton is the jewel in the south coast’s crown. Almost a quarter of a million people live here and, with its many attractions, popular university, and historical links, it’s easy to see why you’d want to stay.
However, it’s not just residents who love the city. Tourists regularly flock here, with just under 250,000 people opting to stay for at least one night in 2019 – and an overnight stay is ideal as it gives visitors a chance to fully embrace all the area has to offer.
If you’ve always adored the works of Jane Austen, you may be interested to know that the author has strong ties to Southampton. She lived at 2 Castle Square during her time in the city and enjoyed her 18th birthday party at The Dolphin Hotel. Now known as The Mercure Southampton, it’s the oldest hotel in the city.
A historic voyage
On 10 April 1912, the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic set sail on its maiden – and only – voyage from Southampton’s port. Bound for New York and carrying over 3,300 passengers, the ship hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic four days after departing from England.
The city’s connection to the famous ship and the story of the doomed crossing is told at SeaCity Museum. Here, Southampton in 1912 is recreated to show the link to this historic event.
This is the only city in the UK with a geothermal power station. While this source of energy is still in its infancy in this country, this power station dates back to the 1980s, when the council decided to take up the project. In 1987, drilling started on the well in the city centre, and today it provides 13GWh of energy a year, heating several buildings, including Westquay, the Civic Centre, and Royal South Hants Hospital.
Several celebrities are from Southampton, including comedian Benny Hill and singer and DJ Craig David, whose album Born To Do It was inspired by his experiences growing up here. Another musical son from the city is Will Champion, the drummer for internationally-acclaimed band, Coldplay.
Potential UK City of Culture
The city has put forward its bid to become UK City of Culture in 2025. With its port-side location, it has attracted people from around the world – many of whom have stayed and gone on to have families.
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