Things to Do in Southampton
A neo-Gothic masterpiece, Highclere Castle is best known for doubling as Downton Abbey in the much-loved TV series of the same name. The turreted, sandstone mansion was created by Sir Charles Barry, the architect behind England’s Houses of Parliament. The site upon which it stands has been in the hands of the Carnarvon family since the 17th century, and the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon now welcome the public to explore the lavishly decorated interior, the Egyptian Exhibition, and the 1,000-acre (405-hectare) Capability Brown–designed grounds.
The Port of Southampton is the number-one cruise port in the UK, welcoming some of the largest cruise ships in the world, including those owned by Cunard, P&O, and Royal Caribbean. The port also runs passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight and across the channel to France.
Including an original Spitfire, Sandringham flying boat, and 1920s seaplane, the Solent Sky Museum’s vintage collection encapsulates Southampton’s unique aviation history. A fun choice for aircraft experts and plane-crazy kids alike, the volunteer-run museum offers a personalized learning experience off the city’s beaten track.
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