Source: City of Southampton
With school holidays looming and staycations booming we’re all on the look out for free or inexpensive things to do to keep the whole family entertained this summer.
Why not, look inside Southampton on the south coast of Hampshire and escape into whole worlds of art, history and heritage at free and inexpensive places like Southampton City Art Gallery, Tudor House and Gardens, SeaCity Museum, parks in the heart of the city and walking tours.
You can also get discount at many of these attractions and more using the SO card.
Here are ten things to do under £10 in Southampton to reconnect with yourself and others, reignite your imagination, and rediscover the world around you even if a holiday abroad isn’t an option this year:
1) Southampton City Art Gallery
World class art in the centre of Southampton’s Cultural Quarter! The gallery houses one of the finest collections of art in the south of England, including over 5,000 works of art from the Renaissance to the present day. Work includes those of some of the greats, such as: J.M.W. Turner, Auguste Rodin and L.S. Lowry, among many others.
The new exhibition, Creatinga National Collection, in partnership with The National Gallery, celebrates Southampton’s historical links with works from household names – including Monet and Gainsborough. Explore these bonds and build your own – whether that’s with the artworks or the people you visit with.
Also, this summer you can experience the unique artistic language of Islamic art in Manifesting the Unseen, an arts and culture project led by and featuring Muslim women. Next door,the fantastic Nahem Shoa: Face of Britain, an exhibition of portraits from Southampton’s collection alongside a selection of Shoa’s own striking oil paintings of black and mixed-race models.
2) SeaCity Museum
Adults: £9.00, Children: £6.50 (Under 16s), Concessions: £7.00 (65+ and students), Under 5s: FREE
Located in the heart of Southampton, SeaCity Museum is the city’s port of call for stories of maritime history and life. Exhibitions share tales of the people of the city, their fascinating lives, and the historic connections with the Titanic and the sea.
Learn from interactive activity areas, highly visual displays and memorable real-life accounts. Exhibitions will transport you back to the Titanic’s fateful voyage, reveal thousands of years of the port’s lively and diverse history, and uncover the city’s past with local archaeology and archives.
SeaCity Museum brings maritime history to the surface. There’s always something new to learn, whatever your age!
3) Tudor House and Garden
Adult: £6, Child 5 and over: £5, Child under 5: free, Concessions (over 65’s and students) £5.50
Home to over 800 years of history, Southampton’s Tudor House is one of the city’s most important buildings. Found in the heart of charming Old Town, Tudor House offers a unique and authentic window onto the lives of its residents and the city itself over hundreds of years.>With family-friendly activities, interactive experiences and engaging displays – not to mention a peaceful garden where you can enjoy a cream tea – visitors of all ages are welcome into this special space.
4) John Hansard Gallery
John Hansard Gallery, part of the University of Southampton, is one of the UK’s leading contemporary art galleries. They support, develop and present great art by outstanding artists from across the world and are proud to play a dynamic role in the cultural life of Southampton and the region.
This August John Hansard Gallery will be presenting Trinity, the largest solo exhibition to date by artist Hetain Patel. Trinity is also the title for an ambitious new film by Patel, the final part of a trilogy that will be premiered in Southampton this summer.
5) Titanic Trail
Southampton will forever be associated with the liner RMS Titanic and there are a number of memorials in the city dedicated to those who perished when the ship sank in 1912. The Titanic trail walking tour visits some of these memorials and includes other points of interest enroute.
6) God’s House Tower
Adult Ticket – £5, Young Persons Ticket (16-25’s) – £3, Concession (over 60, under 16, students in full time education, anyone on universal credit) – £3
God’s House Tower is an arts and heritage venue in the heart of Southampton’s Old Town.
During your visit you can explore – Stories Behind The Stones the GHT Tower exhibition, Those Who Look out and Those Who Look Back by Laura Eldret and Paul Vivian, the community arts and heritage library and the God’s House Tower artist shop.
7) Walk The Walls
Southampton Old Town Walls is a 3.9-kilometre loop trail and is good for all skill levels.
The Old Town Walk is a pleasant way to explore the historical parts of the city of Southampton. The Old Town sees a mix of old and new architecture with over 90 listed buildings and more than 30 ancient monuments, with medieval wine vaults, an array of medieval churches, and fine Georgian houses and hotels.
Allow about 1.5 hours for the walk and maybe give yourself some extra time so you can call in at one of the cafés or restaurants for some refreshments on your way.
8) Visit the Southampton War Memorials
Southampton, as the home of the Spitfire and a key staging point for the invasion of Europe, played a pivotal role in bringing about VE Day on 8 May 1945 and subsequently VJ Day. It was also heavily targeted by the Luftwaffe in bombing raids that took a devastating toll on the city and its residents.
Southampton has an array of war memorials across the city you could walk, run or cycle to. As well as the Remembrance benches, this includes a VJ Day plaque at Town Quay Park, a tree at Mayflower Park to commemorate The Falklands, the Burma Memorial at Grosvenor Square, The Cenotaph in Watts Park and a memorial at Hollybrook Cemetery.
9) Learning activities
Southampton City Council offer a wide range of talks, walks, and activities to feed the whole family’s imagination and engage enquiring minds.
Southampton City Art Gallery, SeaCity Museum and Tudor House and Garden all offer unique and fascinating cultural experiences for all. Join passionate artists, historians and teachers who will bring their specialist subjects to life such as getting messy with clay and crafting materials or unleashing your inner portrait painter – the whole family has a chance to relax and play.
10) While away the hours in the green spaces
Southampton’s award winning, Grade II listed Central Parks are a green oasis in the heart of the city and were established between 1854 and 1866.
The central parks divided into five estates, all with their own individual characteristics, have been awarded the prestigious Grade II* listed status on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest. This listing recognises the parks’ national importance as examples of early municipal parks where layout and design remains substantially intact, enhanced by notable monuments of social and historic interest associated with significant historical events.