Whether you’re navigating through the Hampshire treetops at Go Ape, racing friends at TeamSport Go Karting, relaxing at one of Southampton’s beaches or exploring local cycling or walking routes – there are loads of activities in Southampton to enjoy during your visit.
Activities in Southampton
There’s plenty to do in the great outdoors in Southampton, with a wide range of centres where you can get active. Woodmill Outdoor Activities Centre in Swaythling, an area just outside the city centre, is the first of these in our guide. This centre itself gives you a plethora of choices. Paddle sports enthusiasts will enjoy kayaking or canoeing, whereas those who prefer to stay dry could try their hand at fencing, archery, climbing or even a daring leap of faith.
If the idea of a leap of faith caught your attention, then why not take things one step further at Go Ape? This award-winning adventure course will have you navigating the Itchen Valley’s treetops one zip wire, rope ladder and Tarzan swing at a time. It is located at the Itchen Valley Country Park, just off Allington Lane, and is a great day out for the family. It is however worth noting that children must be aged over 10 years old to take part.
Just a five-minute drive away from our Southampton North hotel is the action-packed Delta Force Paintball. If you fancy yourself as a sharpshooter, then you will enjoy the choice of challenging game zones here, with a medieval castle and full-size double-decker bus to name just two.
If winter sports are more your thing, then hit the slope at Alpine Snowsports on Thornhill Road for some skiing or snowboarding. It is an outdoor dry slope, meaning you are good to go whatever the weather, and they welcome all levels of ability from experts to beginners. If you are completely new to the slopes, you can book a course to get to grips with the basics quickly.
Just around the corner from Alpine Snowsports is Southampton City Golf Course. Set in beautiful Hampshire woodland, the course was designed by former British Open champion J. H. Taylor. The club pride themselves on their accessibility, and welcome players of all abilities. There is also an on-site restaurant if you fancy a bite to eat after you have mastered the course.
Animal lovers will enjoy New Forest Wildlife Park on the appropriately named Deerleap Lane near Totton and Eling. Here you can see indigenous animals in their natural habitats, such as Eurasian lynx, grey wolves and red-necked wallabies. You can read more about this in our guide to the New Forest.
Highball Climbing Centre
Guided Walking Tours
Odeon IMAX Norwich
There is an equally wide range of indoor activities on offer in Southampton, with something for everyone. For those interested in getting active, we start our list with Boulder Shack Climbing Gym on Empress Road near Northam Bridge. This roped climbing centre encourages visitors of all proficiencies, from complete beginners to climbing experts.
Alternatively, you could bounce over to Oxygen Freejumping Trampoline Park in Thornhill. With 150 trampolines, all connected to some great activities such as dodgeball and foam pits, this place is a blast!
Next up is TeamSport Go Karting. Here you can channel your inner Lewis Hamilton and challenge friends to a race around this state-of-the-art karting track. The track spans 375 metres and is multi-level, adding an extra element of fun. It is around seven miles from the city centre, however if you are staying at our Southampton (Eastleigh) hotel, then you can be there in 10 minutes by car.
If you are keen on making a splash when you visit Southampton, then you would enjoy The Quays Swimming & Diving Complex. Just off West Quay Road, this world-class swimming and diving facility welcomes everybody to exercise and have fun.
Those looking for more of a stimulation of the mind will love Other World Escapes. Work together with friends or family in teams of two to 20 to solve clues in a variety of rooms and break out before the time limit expires. This is a great way to spend an hour or two in Southampton and is located in the heart of the city on East Street.
If there are any Hollywood blockbusters that you want to see whilst you’re in the area, make your way to Showcase Cinema de Lux. It is right by the Quays Swimming & Diving Complex in the West Quay area of Southampton. This modern multi-screen cinema features all the latest movies and has a choice of standard, 3D and XPlus screens.
Alternatively, if you fancy a flutter, then Grosvenor Casino on West Quay Road is the place for you. This stylish casino features all the gambling facilities you would expect, plus a restaurant, bar and large TV screens showing live sports.
There are a handful of beaches around Southampton to visit when the sun is shining. Read more about them in our guide to Southampton beaches.
The beautiful Hampshire scenery that surrounds Southampton is the perfect place to go cycling. Itchen Valley Country Park is a 440-acre parkland area, which is less than five miles from Southampton city centre. There are plenty of off-road cycling trails here, and you can ride alongside the River Itchen, which runs through the park.
Southampton Common is a popular spot just north of the city centre where visitors can enjoy a wildlife centre, long walks through the countryside and of course, great bike rides. The Common has 326 acres to explore in total, with multiple cycle paths running through so you can pick your route.
If you would prefer to take a tour through Hampshire, then you could combine parts of the National Cycle Routes by pedalling from Romsey to Southampton. This scenic route passes through the Lakeside Country Park and Itchen Valley Country park as you travel south towards Southampton. After an idyllic stretch along the River Itchen, you finish the route at Town Quay, which is perfect if you are staying at our West Quay hotel just a short distance away.
The final cycle route in our guide is Castleman Trailway. This path along the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line is a pleasant route spanning 16.5 miles of fairly flat ground. The railway line was closed in 1964, but still remains a popular spot for walkers and cyclists looking to take in some south-coast scenery. You won’t get lost either, as the route has signs leading the way throughout.
Whether you’re looking for a guided tour or prefer to guide yourself, you won’t be short of walking tour options in Southampton. The See Southampton Guided Tours offer a fantastic selection of walks, with themes to suit everyone such as Titanic trails, ghost walks and many more. There are specials each month too. Visit their website to see what’s on during your stay. It is also worth checking out Southampton Tourist Guides Association. They are a group of fully qualified tourist guides that host regular walks around the many sights of the city.
If you would rather take in a walking tour at your own pace, then Curious About Southampton Self-Guided Walks will be the best option for you. You can order or download the booklet containing the tours from their website, and then use it to guide you as you explore the city.