Southampton

Spitfire O’er SouthamptonConcluding my three city swing (Austin, Portland, and Southampton) with another list.

What’s surprisingly missing from this one is anything White Star Line / Titanic related. I was in Southampton for a football match…not to find the Heart of the Ocean.

(1) Sir James Matthews Building is part of Solvent University and features paintings that commemorate the legendary Spitfire.

(2) Boo Hoo Records & Vinilo Record Store. The former is on Old Northam Road.

(3) Old Northam Road had its heyday in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s as the antique quarter. The storefronts are a little worn and tattered but many are full of antique furniture. It’s hard to tell whether or not the space is just being used as storage now or if these are functioning antique dealers.  It’s a great location for pictures though and the procession to St. Mary’s includes a stint on Old Northam Road.  

If you like ocean liner memorabilia and ephemera make sure to visit Cobwebs

(4) St. Mary’s Stadium is home to the Southampton Football Club. The Saints are currently in the Premier League. According to Wikipedia, the stadium has a capacity of 32,505 and is currently the largest football stadium in South East England. 

The stadium is next to a concrete plant that abuts the River Itchen. In this sense Southampton is like Portland in terms of its industry. 

There’s wasn’t anything ostentatious about this ground (certainly NO Jerry’s World). There’s a statue of Ted Bates (Mr. Southampton) near the main entrance and on match day the Saints Brass perform for fans.     

(5) Holyrood Church and Bargate. I took dozens of photos of the former during my 2014 visit for the Brompton World Championship. The church was destroyed by the blitz in 1940. The latter is a town gateway from the 1100s that includes a statue of George III (in Roman dress). Other notable buildings in Southampton include St. Michael’s and the Civic Centre. 

(6) The Giant Ferris Wheel near Bargate isn’t the London Eye but it affords some spectacular views of Southampton. It’s seasonal and its last day of operation was October 28th. It will be in Bradford for Christmas so IF anyone fancies a little holiday magic get cracking!

(7) In need of some ale and food from a classic pub? The Duke of Wellington near the Isle of Wight Ferry Terminal is a safe bet. 

(8) The lobby at room2 is really cool. I may have still been euphoric from my first trip to St. Mary’s (or just really cold) but the Peroni was extra satisfying. The space is modern, comfortable and very cozy.  

(9) My train arrived and departed from Southampton Central via South Western Railway. This is a very simple station but there’s a Costa and Naked Coffee next door. The trip from Waterloo is about 2 hours and includes some brilliant vistas of the countryside.

(10) Take the Red Funnel to the Isle of Wight.

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