We've lived in Southampton now for nearly eight years so I thought I'd share some of my favourite places in Southampton and the surrounding areas.
Southampton is kind of a hidden gem of a city. It's a good size, but not so massive that you get too lost in it - though driving round the one way systems can be a little troublesome.
But if you're a wanderer like me then you'll love Southampton, as almost everything is within walking distance so you can really get exploring.
So here's my rundown of my top places to visit in and around Southampton.
Ok you'd have to be living in a bubble if you didn't know how much I love Mettricks (read here and here). They bring speciality coffee to the city of Southampton, as well as tea and locally sourced food in a simple and homey environment. It definitely needs to be at the top of your list for breakfast or brunch, afternoon scones.
The Cultural Quarter
This section of the city is going through rapid development at the moment but is fast becoming a great and vibrant section of the city with loads of coffee shops, restaurants and a new theatre, as well as the Guildhall standing proud in the middle.
Victoria Country Park
Slightly outside of the city, Victoria Country Park sits on the Solent and is the perfect location for picnics. They also host a great fireworks show for fireworks night. Connecting to the nearby woodsit's also a firm favourite with dog walkers, and the wide open spaces are popular with families. It's definitely high on our list of family locations to visit.
Towards the outskirts of the city centre, Ocean Village Marina is a little beauty of a place. We've lived in the area for a year, and slightly further away for another two years. It's a lovely place for a short walk. The area is currently undergoing major construction with a four star hotel being built in the heart of the marina, and lots of new restaurants taking up residence in the new buildings. It's going to be the marina equivalent of the cultural quarter in the city.
I actually haven't been to Mayflower park in a while since living in the city,but it still stands as a great place to stop by. It's particularly popular during the summer, and like Victoria Country Park is a fab water-side location for picnic, and has the sweetest little park for the little ones too. Another for a summer trip this year.
Outside of the city in the town of Hamble, the marina is another beautiful location for the summer.We've been down to Banana Wharf a few times down in the Marina for really great food. Really I just love being by water, whether it's the sea, a river or a pool.
St Mary's Stadium
For the footie fans, St Mary's Stadium is a must. I've been a number of times for various things, including football games, tattoo conventions and Christmas do's and I have to admit it is a lovely venue for almost anything. The atmosphere in the stadium on a match day is also amazing by the way. They also do a family fun day every summer with funfair rides, it's pretty cool.
If you love ice cream, then you're going to love Sprinkles. With two in the city centre, and one just outside the city (and one in Portsmouth, two in Bournemouth,one in Brighton and another in London) Sprinkles is the place to go for decadent ice cream. Personally I only broke my Sprinkles virginity late last year, but I'm certainly going to be making the most of the extra venues in Southampton this summer. Their waffles are to die for, and perfect for sharing on date night!
So there we have it, my top places to visit in Southampton and the surrounding areas. It's really a very picturesque and chilled city which kind of makes it perfect, especially with all it's green spaces and the extensive work to the city to make it a real place to come and visit.
If you live in, and have visited the city, where's your favourite place to go?