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The University of Southampton
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The city of Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant city with a unique waterfront location and a diverse population. Recognised as the cultural, retail and commercial capital of the south of England, it’s a great place to shop, eat, socialise and enjoy sports and the arts. 

Find out more about shopping, music, arts and culture, nightlife and eating out, parks and open spaces, sports and fitness and the city's history and maritime heritage.


A top 20 UK shopping destination
West Quay

Southampton has several large shopping centres so you'll find all the big high-street brands in easy reach. With over 100 stores, West Quay shopping centre has become one of the top shopping destinations on the south coast.



Music, arts and culture

As well as the University’s arts venues, the city has a range of venues for theatre, music, art, and comedy, including:

Nightlife and eating out

There are plenty of places to meet up with friends
Southampton nightlife

Whether you fancy lunch with friends or a night on the dance floor, Southampton has the right venue for you. From intimate lounge bars and roof terraces, to Leisure World, which houses a casino, bowling alley, several restaurants and bars, a 13-screen cinema and a nightclub, there's something to suit every taste.

Historic Oxford Street is home to Southampton's finest restaurants, but wherever you are in the city you'll be spoiled for choice. You’ll find a wide variety of cuisines from around the world and options for every budget.

Parks and open spaces

Southampton is one of the UK’s greenest cities and has several large parks in the city centre. Four of our campuses are close to Southampton Common – over 300 acres of managed woodland in the heart of the city. It’s the perfect place for walking, jogging or a game of football with friends. It is also the venue for community events during the year, such as fairs, gigs and charity races.

Sports and fitness

Our coastal location means there are lots of opportunities for watersports such as windsurfing, sailing, ocean racing, power boating and dragon boating.

The city's Outdoor Sports Centre has all-weather pitches, cross-country routes and tennis courts. The Quays Swimming and Diving Complex offers a wide range of sporting activities. You can perfect your swing on the city's municipal golf course or practise winter sports year-round.

If you prefer to watch rather than play, you can see premiership football or world-class cricket.

History and maritime heritage

One of Southampton's former working docks, now a centre for leisure and sailing
Ocean Village marina

Southampton is a historically important maritime port and has played a significant role on the world stage over the last 500 years.

In 1415, King Henry V’s forces sailed from Southampton for the Battle of Agincourt and in 1620 the Mayflower took the pilgrims to the New World. The Titanic began its tragic maiden voyage from Southampton's docks in 1912. The luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2, designed by University of Southampton graduate Stephen Payne, also set out from Southampton on its maiden voyage in 2004.

There are various places where you can explore Southampton’s rich history, including:

Southampton is still a major centre for maritime activities today; it has four dedicated cruise terminals and hosts the annual Southampton Boat Show, the largest on-water boat show in Europe. Nearby on the Isle of Wight, Cowes Week attracts the world’s best sailors for a week of competitive racing every August.

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Life in Southampton

Discover the wide variety of nightlife, entertainment and culture that Southampton has to offer its students.

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Southampton in numbers

The city has a population of around 236,000

One in every 15 people in Southampton is a University of Southampton student

The city is among the top five for economic growth

It has 64 parks and sports grounds, over 550 restaurants and 40 live music venues

Southampton pocket guide 2015

Read the city's official visitor guide with places to visit, places to stay and things to see and do

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