Southampton Waterfront Walk, Southampton

Southampton Waterfront Walk (Self Guided), Southampton

A major seaport on the south coast of England, the city of Southampton abounds in attractions of various sorts. Southampton Waterfront, in particular, holds significant historical and cultural value, offering ample opportunities for sightseeing, shopping, dining, recreation, and entertainment.

At the heart of this vibrant area is the Pilgrims Fathers Memorial, commemorating the departure of the Mayflower ship in 1620, an event significant in American history. Nearby, the iconic Royal Pier stands as a symbol of Southampton's seafaring legacy, whereas the adjacent Mayflower Park provides a picturesque setting for strolls and family gatherings.

Town Quay, where ferries and cruise ships dock, serves as a bustling hub for marine activities. Flanking it Queens Park Terrace adds a touch of elegance with its Victorian architecture. In turn, the Admiralty House, with its distinctive appearance, reminds us of Southampton's nautical importance – once serving as the headquarters of the Admiralty Charts and Publications department.

South Western House, a historic landmark, reflects the city's architectural heritage, while Solent Sky provides a fascinating insight into Southampton's aviation history with its collection of vintage aircraft.

In contrast to the above, Ocean Village completes the waterfront experience with its modern marina, trendy restaurants, and vibrant atmosphere, drawing locals and tourists alike.

Whether you're interested in delving into the city's maritime past, enjoying a leisurely stroll along the quayside, or indulging in waterfront dining, Southampton invites you to discover its captivating waterfront and create lasting memories by the sea. So plan your visit today and explore the charms of Southampton Waterfront firsthand with the help of this self-guided walk!
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Southampton Waterfront Walk Map

Guide Name: Southampton Waterfront Walk
Guide Location: England » Southampton (See other walking tours in Southampton)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Author: Maia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Pilgrims Fathers Memorial
  • Royal Pier
  • Mayflower Park
  • Town Quay
  • Queens Park Terrace
  • Admiralty House
  • South Western House
  • Solent Sky
  • Ocean Village
Pilgrims Fathers Memorial

1) Pilgrims Fathers Memorial

Pilgrims Fathers Memorial, also known as the Mayflower Memorial, built in 1913, honors the Pilgrim Fathers, who sailed from Southampton to America in August 1620. Shaped like a tower, it also contains a small reproduction of the ship that took the Pilgrims to the New World.
Royal Pier

2) Royal Pier

The Royal Pier officially opened in 1833. Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria) opened the pier. In 1864, a pontoon was added. In 1871, railway lines reached the pier. The pier underwent a significant renovation in 1892. A pavilion was added in 1894 and hosted events such as concerts, plays, dances, and roller-skating.

The pier and railway deteriorated during WWI when the trains did not run. Train service ended in 1921, but ferries continued to operate.

Throughout the years, the pier has fallen into disrepair and is now derelict. Many plans have been proposed to develop the pier have been considered, some including a casino and hotel. However, the plans have never moved forward.

Today, visitors can enjoy the Royal Pier Gate House, which hosts a restaurant. Visitors can enjoy an outdoor dining area and watch boats go by.
Mayflower Park

3) Mayflower Park

Mayflower Park is a wonderful place to sit and watch the ships and boats sail by. Located near the ferry terminal, you can watch the International Boat Show, an exciting Southampton event that runs for about 10 days in late September. It is the perfect place for a picnic with friends and family.
Town Quay

4) Town Quay

The first Southampton quay was mentioned as early as 1411 and known as Watergate Quay. In the early 1800s, a newer Town Quay took shape. In 1871, a horse-drawn tramway connected the quay to the railway. By 1876, the tramway was upgraded, and horses were replaced with light locomotives.

Military barges used the quay extensively during WWI. During the 1930s, commercial traffic shifted to other locations, and the quay began handling more passenger traffic.

Today, Town Quay is home to a marina. In addition, the Hythe Ferry operates from the quay, as does the Red Funnel high-speed craft.

Historic quay-side buildings include the Geddes Warehouse. This building has been converted to a boutique hotel and restaurant. The Harbor Board Office was constructed in the 1920s and still stands.
Queens Park Terrace

5) Queens Park Terrace

Queens Park Terrace, located in the center of town, is a very popular attraction. Surrounded by London Plane trees, you will also find the General Gordon Memorial and Reece Ingram’s extraordinary sculpture Organism No.1, which was made from the trunk of a large London Plane tree in 1996.
Admiralty House

6) Admiralty House

Now converted into apartments, this building was originally the main Post Office for Southampton Docks. Described as "Wrennaissance" style, this is a three-storey red brick building with stone dressings under a hipped slate roof. It comprises a projecting central section with a curved open pediment and projecting sections at each end with triangular open pediments. The central section has pilasters at each side with two pairs of engaged columns through the first and second floors supporting the pediment.

At the centre of the second floor, there is a tall arched window flanked by Tuscan columns and pilasters surmounted by an open triangular pediment. The end sections have pairs of pilasters at each side running through the first and second floors, with second floor windows similar to those in the central section. On the second floor, there are five sash windows in each of the linking sections and two pairs in the central section.

On the first floor, there are twelve sash windows in total, in Gibbs surrounds. On the end sections of the ground floor, there are doorcases set in round-headed arches with coupled engaged Tuscan columns. The central section has a large semi-circular window. The other eight ground floor windows are round-headed with keystones.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
South Western House

7) South Western House

The South Western House, founded in 1865, is an historic landmark in Southampton. It was designed by John Norton in a French Renaissance style and was opened in 1865 as the Imperial Hotel.

Known as "The Ritz of Southampton", from late 1800s to 1930s, the hotel hosted many rich and famous clients before they boarded the luxury cruise ships at the Southampton port. In 1912, many first class passengers on Titanic stayed here the night before the ship sailed.

Today this beautiful building, with the marble walls, ceiling murals, beautiful ornaments and unique design once again serves as a prestigious hotel with excellent service and beautiful historic rooms.
Solent Sky

8) Solent Sky (must see)

Solent Sky, an aviation museum previously known as the Southampton Hall of Aviation, depicts the aviation history of the city, the Solent area and Hampshire. There is a special focus on the Supermarine aircraft company, based in Southampton, and its famous Supermarine S.6 seaplane and Supermarine Spitfire, designed by R.J. Mitchell. It also provides coverage of the Schneider Trophy seaplane races at Calshot Spit, and the flying boat services in Solent.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Ocean Village

9) Ocean Village (must see)

Ocean Village is a mixed-use marina, residential, business and leisure development on the mouth of the River Itchen in Southampton, on the south coast of England. Originally the site of Southampton's first working docks, the "Outer Dock" which opened in 1842, the area was redeveloped in 1986 and became the leisure marina it is today. After experiencing a period of stalled development with the late-2000s recession, Ocean Village underwent another series of major, multimillion-pound redevelopment projects. Current recreational facilities include a cinema, cafes, wine bars and restaurants.

The marina is managed and owned by Marina Developments Limited (MDL), a division of British-based Yattendon Investment Trust. The area, formerly used for commercial ships, offers 375 berths and the basin is deep enough to provide mooring facilities for tall ships and large yachts. The Global Challenge yacht races started from here in 1992, 1996 and 2000, and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race set sail from here in 2011. Ocean Village was also the base for the Royal Southampton Yacht Club until 2018.

A number of companies have offices in the complex, including PricewaterhouseCoopers. The marina is home to the historical building, Enterprise House, which was originally a dock warehouse and has now been converted into serviced offices.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Southampton, England

Create Your Own Walk in Southampton

Create Your Own Walk in Southampton

Creating your own self-guided walk in Southampton is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Southampton Introduction Walking Tour

Southampton Introduction Walking Tour

Southampton is an important port city with a long history. Archaeological records indicate that the area has been settled since the Stone Age. The Romans had a settlement here, and the Anglo-Saxons later settled in the area.

Southampton became a major port after the 1066 Norman Conquest. Southampton's impressive walls were built following a French incursion in the 1300s.

The Mayflower...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Southampton Old Town Walking Tour

Southampton Old Town Walking Tour

Southampton is a bustling coastal city with the history going back all the way to the Stone Age. There are over 90 listed buildings and 30 ancient monuments in the Old Town, including medieval watch towers and dungeons, an array of churches, fine timber-framed Tudor houses, inns and hole-in-the-wall pubs. Despite heavy bombardment during WWII, much of Southampton's historic heritage survived...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
Titanic Tour in Southampton

Titanic Tour in Southampton

Over a hundred years since the sinking of Titanic, the echo of that tragedy still reverberates throughout Southampton. Indeed, nowhere else was the pain of the Titanic disaster, one of the deadliest in maritime history, felt more intensely than here. The majority of Titanic's 900-strong crew were from Southampton, of whom only a handful returned home. More than 500 local households overnight...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles