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Southampton is located on England`s southern coast, and this port city has been one of the oldest cities in the UK with first settlements dating from the ancient Roman times. Southampton was one of the main places for trade in the past and it had big walls erected in the Middle Ages. Today you can see some of the remains from old walls, right in the city centre. Due to the fact that Southampton was severely damaged during the World War II, most of its heritage and old buildings got destroyed. However, today you will see a very modern architecture and some very nice looking places. The city grew and expanded rapidly in the past few decades, becoming one of the biggest cities in England. There is also a large student population in the city thanks to the two popular universities – University of Southampton and Solent University.
Southampton has an oceanic climate. Due to its southern location, it belongs to the group of UK cities with a warmer and sunnier climate. July and August are the warmest months of the year with average temperatures of 22 C, while January and February are the coldest with average temperatures of 3 C.
One of the major things to see in Southampton is the Bargate. This gatehouse dating from medieval times is in the middle of Southampton`s city center. There is a nice Heritage Visitor Centre located on the top floor which you should visit. You can also take a ‘Walk the Walls’ tour. This one kilometer circuit covers the historic towers, town walls and gatehouses in Southampton.
If you are interested in seeing some fine art, visit the City Art Gallery which is home of nearly four thousand pieces of art that cover past six centuries. Millais Gallery is another nice place where you can see artwork of many up and coming modern artists. Southampton is also a home of many museums. The Museum of Archaeology is full of different collections from England and artifacts from Roman times. God`s House Tower is very attractive to see and it used to serve as an artillery fortification in the past. The Maritime Museum houses lots of boat exhibits and there you will learn lots of fascinating things about Southampton`s docks. Sea City Museum and Tudor House are two other impressive museums. Another interesting place to see is the Medieval Merchants House. It provides a good insight of Southampton`s medieval life and it has a 14th century appearance.
If you want to relax from visiting landmarks and cultural places, visit the 19th century Central Parks. You should also check out the Southampton Common which covers over three hundred acres of woodland and grass, and includes a fishing lake, paddling pool, an Urban Wildlife Centre and a play area. Southampton Common is a very busy place in the summer months and is a popular place where students hang out.
When it comes to events, Southampton is a home to the very popular Southampton Boat Show held each September. It lasts for over one week at Mayflower Park, and there are over six hundred exhibitors celebrating Southampton`s strong connections with the sea.