Couples visit Southampton for a city break that’s a little out of the ordinary. Located on England’s south coast, within easy reach of the New Forest and the Isle of Wight, it’s a magnet for boating enthusiasts and anyone else who loves to be on or beside the water. Throw in a summer picnic in a riverside park and sunset cocktails in a swanky bar overlooking the Solent and you have all the ingredients for a romantic stay.

    When you’re both ready for a diversion, Hampshire’s largest settlement boasts a plethora of museums, galleries, restaurants, clubs and pubs to suit many tastes. Here are romantic ideas for a honeymoon in Southampton.


    SeaCity Museum

    Discover the tales behind the RMS Titanic

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo

    SeaCity Museum tells the story of the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic, which departed berth 44 in Southampton Harbour on the 10th April 1912. Over 500 households in Southampton lost a member of their family and the museum contains many poignant oral histories from the survivors.

    In the 1997 James Cameron movie, the love story featuring Jack and Rose captured the hearts of cinema-goers the world over. They weren’t real people, of course. But there’s still something achingly romantic about the voyage that destroyed so many dreams.

    Location: Havelock Rd, Southampton SO14 7FY, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)2380 834536


    photo by hahnchen (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    The Steamship Shieldhall

    See Southampton from the water aboard a heritage steamship

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo

    Book an excursion on the Steamship Shieldhall, built in 1954 to a 1920s design. Once, steamships embodied people’s desire to see the world. While the great ocean-going liners suited the deep pockets of the wealthy, day excursions on steamships were open to all.

    Today, nostalgia makes this a popular excursion. Join a public cruise and bag your own spot against the deck railings to watch the city pass at a distance. The ship is also available for private hire, making this the perfect venue to host friends and family for a wedding or anniversary celebration.

    Location: Berth 110, Southampton Docks, Southampton SO15 0HH, UK


    photo by Geni (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Mayflower Park

    Enjoy a picnic for two beside the water

    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Mayflower Park is Southampton’s waterfront garden. Located in the old part of the city, visitors enjoy views out over the River Test from the park. This tidal section of the river is busy with maritime traffic, so there’s always plenty to look at.

    Bring a picnic and pick a suitable spot to spread out your blanket. Feast on strawberries and champagne under a warm summer sun. Whether you watch the world go by or are content to remain oblivious in your own little bubble is up to you.

    Location: Town Quay, Southampton SO14 2AQ, UK

    Open: 24/7


    photo by EG Focus (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Alpine Snowsports

    The couple that plays together, stays together

    • Couples
    • Adventure

    At Alpine Snowsports, the emphasis is on having fun. If you’re looking for a date that’s a little different, head to this popular dry ski slope. Whether you are old hands or first-timers, this venue offers skiing or snowboarding year-round.

    One of you may take a tumble, but as you build a relationship, life is never smooth sailing. Who knows, this date might kindle a passion for winter sports that could take you to some of the world’s dreamiest mountain resorts.

    Location: Thornhill Rd, Southampton SO16 7AY, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm


    Tudor House and Garden Museum

    Uncover the secrets of the past together

    • Couples
    • History
    • Photo

    Discover a little about Southampton’s long history as you visit Tudor House and Garden together. The timber-framed building that faces St Michael’s Square dates from the 15th century and the Norman house that forms part of the same complex is 300 years older.

    Today, its interactive exhibits and insightful displays paint a vivid picture of what life would have been like here centuries ago. Reserve a couple of places on the mediaeval walking tour, which stops off at the museum’s wine vaults, or stroll arm in arm through its pretty garden.

    Location: Bugle St, Southampton SO14 2AD, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)2380 834242


    Hollywood Bowl at Westquay

    Make date night extra special with a VIP package

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Nightlife

    Hollywood Bown at Westquay offers 10-pin bowling in Southampton. Bowling might have a reputation for being a family activity, but there’s no reason why you can’t ramp up the passion with Hollywood Bowl’s VIP package. Dedicated lanes have been given the Hollywood treatment with film star décor and glammed up with coloured pins.

    Behind the velvet curtains, pull off a strike – or failing that, a spare – and you might just impress your date enough to come back for a second time. Toast to worthy winners and gracious losers with a glass or 2 of champagne on this date night with a difference in Southampton.

    Location: Westquay, Harbour Parade, Southampton SO15 1DE, UK


    Max’s Brasserie

    Book a table for an intimate dinner

    • Couples
    • Food

    Max’s Brasserie is one of several excellent restaurants on Oxford Street. The lively street is Southampton’s nightlife hub and the restaurant is a great choice if you’re planning for dinner à deux, serving authentic Sicilian food using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

    Rustic fare in an unpretentious setting sets the tone for an evening that’s all about being yourselves. Friendly front-of-house service and talented kitchen staff make this a sure-fire bet for a meal that’s memorable for all the right reasons.

    Location: 40 Oxford St, Southampton SO14 3DP, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 11.30 am to 11 pm, Monday from 3 pm to 11 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)2380 225227


    HarBAR at Harbour Hotel, Ocean Village

    Drinks for 2 at this rooftop bar with a view

    • Couples
    • Nightlife

    HarBAR at the Harbour Hotel in the heart of Southampton’s Ocean Village is great for rounding off the day with drinks. Let the bar’s expert mixologists create your favourite cocktails as you wind down in elegant surroundings.

    Toast to a long and happy future as you take in the view from this 6th-floor rooftop bar. The sightseeing doesn’t have to end as you look out across the marina and savour the breathtaking views. Don’t rush off: after the sun goes down, the music starts. Live performers and DJs create the soundtrack to what will be a memorable evening.

    Location: 5 Maritime Walk, Southampton SO14 3QT, UK


    The Joiners

    Listen to live music at this long-standing venue

    • Couples
    • Nightlife

    The Joiners stands out from the crowd in Southampton, which isn’t short of live music venues. After all, not every place can claim that they booked Coldplay and Ed Sheeran before they were famous. Kasabian, The Zutons, Radiohead, Oasis, The Verve, Arctic Monkeys, and Manic Street Preachers have also played here.

    Established in 1968 and awarded Best Small Venue by the NME a few years ago, The Joiners is ideally suited for a couple’s night out. It has a capacity of only 200 but if you’re 2 of them, you might just get to watch the next big thing before they become a household name.

    Location: 141 St Mary St, Southampton SO14 1NS, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 7 pm to 11 pm, Friday and Saturday from 7 pm to 2 am, Sunday from 7 pm to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)2381 782021


    photo by Geni (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Solent Boat Charters

    Sail on the Solent with your significant other

    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Solent Boat Charters let you sail on the Solent together and share their love of the water. For the ultimate in relaxation, their skippered yacht hire is just the ticket. Hire the vessel for a day and set off for Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where you can lunch on board before returning to the mainland.

    Alternatively, a reservation for a Learn to Sail course could provide the introduction to a shared hobby. In just a single day you can pick up the basics and get a taste of this popular activity; longer courses are available if the pair of you are keen to develop your skills.

    Location: 11 Saxon Wharf Marina, Lower York St, Southampton SO14 5QF, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8.30 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 8.30 am to midday (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)2380 658790

    Julia Hammond | Contributing Writer

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