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    Historic Port of Walls

    Departure point for Isle of Wight ferries and grand cruise liners including the Queen Mary 2, Southampton is understandably centred around its port. But even if you’re passing through, the city has more than enough to make you want to stay awhile. The Hythe Ferry from the port passes Netley, site of a ruined abbey, and ends at Hythe Pier, home to the world’s oldest pier train.

    There is much older history in the city centre where the 15th-century city walls are amongst the most complete in England. Also remaining is the medieval Bargate gatehouse.

    Just behind is the Bargate Shopping Centre, while high street stores in the city centre and West Quay are other Southampton shopping choices. As for entertainment, the city is well served by theatres, and Oxford Street has the best bars and restaurants. All are easily reached from the apartments, B&Bs and hotels in Southampton available on Booking.com.

    There is also a surprising amount of green space in the city and its central parks are Grade II-listed. Slightly further out is Southampton Common, whose Urban Wildlife Centre is worth a visit.

    If you’re flying out of Southampton Airport, don’t leave without having visited the Maritime Museum or Archaeology Museum, both detailing the history of this long-established city.