Southampton is a vibrant city with a fascinating history to match. Known as Britain’s “Gateway to the World,” the city has connected much of the country to the rest of the globe. From revolutionising aeroplane technology to housing some of the country’s most celebrated authors, this corner of Britain needs to be on your radar!
Throw in big names like the Titanic, Spitfire and more; you’ve got yourself a family holiday made in heaven!
Planning your next UK road trip? Here are our favourite 8 family activities to enjoy in Southampton, whatever the weather:
Discover how RMS Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage shook Southampton and its residents to the core. SeaCity’s Titanic story exhibition gives you a fascinating look into the times and lives of the crew members, passengers, and the people whole were instrumental behind the scenes.
Head over to the Gateway to the World exhibit to explore over 250,000 years’ worth of Southampton’s captivating history. Later, browse the Southampton Stories exhibit to get an in-depth look at the people who have travelled to, through and have lived in this remarkable city over the years.
With a range of family-friendly activities throughout the year, SeaCity is a perfect break from the hustle and bustle of the town.
Tucked in the heart of the city, you will get transported back through the decades at Southampton’s top-rated escape room. With four adrenaline pumping games to choose from, you and the whole family are in for a real treat at this unique, fully immersive experience!
Come on a journey through time and space and uncover the saboteur on a British Naval Spaceship! Head back to WWII and uncover top-secret documents before the enemy strikes. Or head back to the 1970s and unravel a corrupt police officer’s attempts to send secrets to a corrupt source.
Suitable for ages ten and above, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another world at Exciting Escapes. With authentic props, a plethora of puzzles and challenges to solve, a killer soundtrack and costumes to help you get into character, this is a wonderful bonding experience like no other. Do you have what it takes to make your escape?
Solent Sky Museum
Go on a journey through Southampton’s remarkable aviation history and get up close and personal to some of the most revolutionary aeroplanes ever made.
Once the world’s centre for aviation research and development, the museum features some of the most significant feats of engineering from the Solent area all under one roof. Most notably, it is the home to the game-changing WWII fighter plane, Supermarine Spitfire.
Kids (and grownups!) will love hopping into the cockpit of some of the world’s most renowned planes from the golden age of aviation. From the Supermarine Swift F5 to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier G.3, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like in the pilot’s seat!
Check out the Schneider Trophy Exhibition’s record-breaking centrepiece, the S6a and get caught up in all the action as you sit back and watch the drama and romance of one of the fastest races in history.
Manor Farm Country Park
Found at the centre of the stunning River Hamble Park, you can come face to face with all your favourite farmyard friends at Manor Farm!
Watch your children’s eyes light up when they get a chance to hold a baby bunny, chick or duckling in their lap. Later, they can stroke alpacas, visit goat mountain and count all the baby piglets!
Kids will love being a farmer for the day as they play on kid-friendly tractors and combine harvesters before getting behind the wheel at the pedal tractor race circuit.
Beyond the farmyard, you can explore the medieval farmhouse and the Victorian schoolroom and kitchen before sitting down for a scrummy treat at Farm Cafe.
Climb aboard the largest working steamship in Britain!
Steamship Shieldhall is a floating living museum that serves as a seagoing tribute to Britain’s maritime heritage, and you too can experience the golden age of steam by visiting her or booking an excursion from Southampton through the Solent waters.
The whole family can explore the ship’s impressive engine room, step onto the bridge, admire the ship’s steam-assisted steering gear and talk to the Captain and crew!
Historic Southampton Treasure Trail
Start your Southampton adventure off with a bang as you explore the city’s medieval walls and maritime heritage. Your guide? A detective spy mission-inspired, self-guided treasure trail that takes you to prominent historical spots in the city to find the mysterious bounty.
There are no time limits to the trail, so you can take your time to explore and admire the beautiful surroundings before you complete your mission. With handy clues via text along the way, don’t worry about getting stuck!
Bursledon Brickworks Museum
A stone’s throw from the city centre, you will find the fascinating Bursledon Brickworks Museum. It is the last remaining steam driven brickworks in the country and offers a unique glimpse into this often unseen industry.
While bricks might not sound that interesting on the surface, the museum is a very rare survivor from the country’s industrial past. From the family-friendly Museum in Steam days to the accessible interactive displays, this is a must-stop for those who like quirky days out!
Tudor House and Garden
Step over the threshold of Tudor House and explore over 800 years of history, all under one roof. Marvel at the opulent decor, spot unusual antique artefacts and get a glimpse into the lives of the city’s residents throughout the ages.
Walk through the beautiful, atmospheric gardens and see the impressive Norman House to get the most out of your visit.
With the house’s family-friendly activities, interactive technology and fascinating displays, this is a must-stop for anyone interested in the city’s remarkable past.
Southampton is bursting with family activities for all ages to enjoy. From coming face to face with the city’s historical past to petting your favourite farmyard animal, there are plenty of reasons why your next UK road trip should take you here. Where will you go first?