Up the hill from the station is the bustling city centre with streets of shops, restaurants and offices. Turning left takes you to the entertainment heart of the city, with the Mayflower Theatre, O2 Guildhall, and the City Art Gallery Turning right onto Above Bar street takes you into the shopping quarter, which borders Palmerston Park. It's great for a picnic spot, especially if you visit on a Friday or Saturday in the spring, summer and autumn, when the city centre market is on.
If up-and-coming music artists is more your style, head to The Joiner’s Arms in St Mary’s, a 200 capacity music pub that’s been wowing discerning music fans with new discoveries since 1968 – both Radiohead and Ed have played there in the past.
Southampton is also the gateway to The New Forest. Book cheap train tickets for the 13 minute ride out to Brockenhurst and you’ll find yourself slap in the middle of this glorious greenery before you know it, with miles of trails to walk as well as the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and the wonderfully-preserved shipbuilding village of Bucklers Hard easy to reach by bus.