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Reviewed on 2 Aug 2020
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Reviewed on 26 Mar 2020
Southampton is one of the UK's most important port cities and has a ton of maritime heritage. This was the city that saw the Titanic depart on its ill-fated journey across the Atlantic, in the early-20th century, and had dockyards where some of the world's largest liners were built. Today, it's a hub for cruise and cargo ships departing to every corner of the globe, as well as the jumping-off point for ferries across to the Isle of Wight and France. It's not all about the sea, though. There are history museums and art galleries aplenty near your Southampton bed and breakfast, not to mention summer festivals, National Trust properties and the sprawling New Forest, just a stone's throw from the city.
The Southampton bed and breakfasts have been around for a long time. Perhaps that's why they've perfected the art of homely hospitality. Staying in one of these small properties just has so many benefits over a traditional hotel – a more intimate atmosphere, a wealth of insider knowledge from the locally born owners and a more personalised service. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some sit along the waterfront with views over the River Test and the ocean beyond, others are housed in pretty brick terraces. If you're looking for modern city pads with views across the city or luxury boutique B&Bs, there's a smattering of those, too. Either way, you'll be assured a warm welcome when you check in. The best place to find your perfect match is on Expedia, which lists every bed and breakfast in Southampton and includes photos and descriptions to help you make the right decision.
Once you've checked in, you'll find everything you need in the room for a comfortable stay, like large double beds, facilities for making hot drinks and flat screen TVs on the walls. These days, most have spacious ensuite bathrooms and complimentary WiFi, and if you look around on Expedia, you can find other Southampton bed and breakfasts with things like free parking. When you wake in the morning, you can head downstairs to the small dining room for a slap-up full English with all the works and plenty of freshly brewed tea. Southampton isn't short on places to eat out, but if you fancy a night in, some B&Bs offer home-cooked dinners, too. If you've got more time and want to experience another seaside city, try trendy Brighton, just a short train ride up the coast.
If you want to understand the city's maritime history, a good place to start is SeaCity Museum, housed in the city's 1930s art deco civic centre. With the help of interactive displays, you can take a journey through Britain's seafaring past and listen to tales of ocean adventures. Next, you could grab a map and take the Titanic Trail, an official walk that will take you to the several of the sites dedicated to the ill-fated cruise liner that left on its maiden voyage from Southampton in 1912, including a memorial to the 35 engineers and the onboard musicians, none of whom survived. If you're looking for more, step aboard the SS Shieldhall, an impressive 1950s working steamship that offers excursions and a chance to check out the bridge, the galley and the machinery.
There's more than just maritime attractions near your Southampton bed and breakfast, though. You can admire 19 different flying machines, from an iconic Spitfire to a Supermarine racing seaplane, at the Solent Sky museum, catch a glimpse of the almost 1,000-year-old medieval city walls, the 3rd-largest stretch in the UK, or amble around the magnificent 15th-century Tudor House and Garden, once owned by a local merchant.