A glance at the map gives some idea of the strategic maritime importance of SOUTHAMPTON, which stands on a triangular peninsula formed at the place where the rivers Itchen and Test flow into Southampton Water, an eight-mile inlet from the Solent. Sure enough, Southampton has figured in numerous stirring events: it witnessed the exodus of Henry V’s Agincourt-bound army, the Pilgrim Fathers’ departure in the Mayflower in 1620 and the maiden voyages of such ships as the Queen Mary and the Titanic. Despite its pummelling by the Luftwaffe and some disastrous postwar urban sprawl, the thousand-year-old city has retained some of its medieval charm in parts and reinvented itself as a twenty-first century shopping centre in others, with the giant glass-and-steel West Quay as its focus.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

England features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

8 things you didn't know you could do in the UK

8 things you didn't know you could do in the UK

So you've gawked at the guards of Buckingham Palace, hiked up Snowdon and hit the beach – what next? From lethal motorcycle races to mountain towns that …

31 Jul 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
This summer you can hire a sandcastle butler

This summer you can hire a sandcastle butler

You’ve dug a moat, successfully sculpted a mound higher than your knees and managed to drizzle a viscous mixture of sand and salt water over the château spir…

16 Jul 2015 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
The best hostels in Europe

The best hostels in Europe

Taken from the Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget, here's our pick of the best hostels in Europe. Europe presents an irresistible challenge to the budget trav…

04 Mar 2015 • Site Editor insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month