About our town
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire located on the south coast of England. It is a major port, home to luxury cruise ships and is the largest freight port on the Channel coast. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Waters where the River Test and the River Itchen meet with the River Humble joining to the south. Southampton Waters is a deep water estuary making it a natural port for some of the largest cruise ships in the world. The river Itchen runs through Southampton with the city centre located between the river Itchen and river Test. Southampton is noted for its association with the RMS Titanic, Spitfire and departure point for D-Day. The Town Quay is the original public quay and dates from the 13th century with the Eastern Docks built in the 1830s by land reclaimed from mud flats between the Itchen and Test estuaries.
Key things to know about living in Southampton
- West Quay is Southamptons largest retail park housing all the major stores.
- The centre of Southampton is located above a large hot water aquifer that provides geothermal power to some of the city's buildings and is the only geothermal power station in the UK.
- Southampton is ranked as being one of the lowest carbon emitting cities in the UK
- Southampton Port handled almost half the passenger traffic of the UK
- Southampton is home to the headquarters of both the Maritime and Coastguard agency and Marine Accident Investigation branch and Carnival UK cruise operator
- The Ocean Village development, included a local marina and small entertainment complex
- The annual Southampton Boat show is held in September each year, with over 600 exhibitors at Mayflower Park on the city's waterfront
- The largest theatre in the city is the Mayflower Theatre (formerly known as the Gaumont), the largest theatre in the South outside of London. There is also the Nuffield Theatre based at the University of Southampton's Highfield campus
- There are many large and small innovative art galleries in the city, housing several permanent and travelling exhibitions
- Southampton has two large live music venues, and the Mayflower Theatre (formerly the Gaumont Theatre) and the Guildhall hosting concerts from a range of popular artists including Pink Floyd, The Kaiser Chiefs and many others . It also hosts classical concerts presented by regional Orchestras including the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
- The city also has several smaller music venues, playing host to such acts as Oasis, Green Day Coldplay, Scouting for girls
- The city has a strong higher education sector, and is home to The University of Southampton and the Southampton Solent University
- Southampton has good transport links with the rest of the country. The M27 motorway links places along the south coast and runs just to the north of the city. The M3 motorway links the city to London
- The rail network, provides passenger services and freight services to and from the docks
- Southampton airport is a regional airport located to the north of the city offering flights to UK and European destinations, and is connected to the city by a frequent rail service
- Southampton has three internal ferry services, operating from the Town Quay. A car ferry service and a catamaran passenger ferry service, provide links to the isle of Wight and a passenger service to Hythe