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While Southampton is not a major tourism destination it does have a stretch of Medieval city walls, several historic buildings, Maritime & aviation museums, art gallery, large shopping centre, cinemas, live theatre and other entertainment venues
Winchester is a pretty, small city close to Southampton (15 minutes) with many interesting tourist sites close to the town centre. These include the Cathedral, Great hall (with Round table), Wichester college, St Cross alms house, and several museums.
Despite the name the forest is actually a thousand years old and while parts are wooded much is open moorland! If exploring by car get off the main roads and explore the minor lanes remembering the 40mph speed limit and the wild ponies wandering along the road. If you don't have a car take the train to Brockenhurst (15 min) and catch the New Forest tour bus or rent a bicycle. Within the forest are several major tourist attractions including the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Exbury gardens, Bucklers Hard, Longdown activity farm, Wildlife centre and more.
London with it's myriad of tourist attractions is less than an hour and half by train from Southampton Central station. Plan journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk , you may get a cheaper fare at Mega train uk.megabus.com but times may not be convenient
A historic market town just half an hour by train from Southampton. Cathedral with Britain's tallest spire in the city centre. The Stonehenge tour bus leaves from the train station and goes to Stonehenge and Old Sarum. Some people find Stonehenge disappointing but it is an iconic site, Old Sarum is less well known but it is well worth seeing
Half an hour from Southampton by Red Jet fast ferry (redfunnel.co.uk) gets you to Cowes IOW, home of the famous sailing regatta. Local buses (some open-top) can take you to the islands attractions including Carisbrooke Castle, Osborne house and the Needles
Southampton's local theme park, it is geared more to younger children than to thrill seeking teenagers. There are only a few big thrill rides with more rides suitable for younger children including the new Peppa Pig World. Bus X7 (X71 sunday) from Southampton
Portsmouth is about half hour by car (hour by train) from Southampton. It is a working port city but has many tourist attractions. The principal attraction is the Historic Dockyard with HMS Victory, Warrior and Mary Rose. Also worth seeing are the Spinnaker tower, Southsea castle, D-day museum and more...
Romsey is a small town 10 minutes from Southampton, it has a Norman abbey, King John's house and the large Broadlands estate home of the Mountbatten family. Shows and concerts are held in the grounds. Open days are Monday to Friday from late June to early September, from 1pm to 5.30pm. Last admission 4pm. Hillier gardens are a couple of miles from Romsey.
About an hour from Southampton Chichester is a small city with Cathedral in the town centre. Fishbourne Roman palace, Gooodwod house (and racecourse) and Weald and Downland Open Air Museum are a few miles out of town.
Coliseum Coaches run a large selection of day trips from Southampton. Pickup is from Titanic Memorial opposite the Cenotaph, Above Bar Street, Southampton For longer duration coach trips see Angela Holidays