Southampton, lying at the confluence of the River Test and River Itchen, is the largest
city in Hampshire, a major port and regarded as the cruise capital of the country; some
of the largest cruise ships in the world regularly dock here.
The city is particularly associated with the development of the Spitfire and RMS
Titanic. Solent Sky museum tells the story of aviation in the area, while earlier this
year the SeaCity Museum opened to coincide with the 100th anniversary of RMS
Titanic's maiden voyage from Southampton.
Other tourist attractions include the City Art Gallery which holds nationally important
collections, the Medieval Merchant's House and the recently restored Tudor House,
but much of the city's rich architectural heritage was destroyed during bombing raids
in the Second World War.
Southampton does not make the most of its waterside location although there is a
burgeoning Ocean Village and the Southampton Boat Show is held at Mayflower Park
every September. The town centre is dominated by WestQuay shopping centre which
includes major high street stores such as John Lewis; adjacent to this is an Ikea outlet.
Entertainment venues include The Mayflower Theatre, the largest theatre in southern
England, and The Guildhall, while The Nuffield Theatre and Turner Sims Concert
Hall are both located on the University of Southampton's campus.
At the heart of the city is an unexpected delight: Southampton Common, 326 acres of
parkland, woodland and grassland that is frequently used for community events.
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