Living in Southampton
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you’ll ever need to know about living in Southampton; from discussing the best neighbourhoods, best schools and the best places to go shopping, this blog holds all the answers to your questions and more!
Southampton is a port city, located in Hampshire on England’s South Coast, and is the closest city to the New Forest National Park. It is rich in culture and activities, with excellent transport links and connections to the rest of the country. Southampton has around 326 acres of fields, wetlands and wildlife located in Southampton Common alone, making it one of the greenest cities in the UK. With its universities, hospitals, theatres, music and arts venues, revamped marina and port; Southampton has become a developing cultural hub with great connections by land, sea and air. It has become a favourite place for students, young professionals, families, retirees and sailing and cruise lovers.
What is Southampton famous for?
Southampton has a rich and varied cultural history. In April 1912, the Titanic set sail from Southampton’s port for her maiden voyage, before tragically sinking a few days later in her journey. The Titanic Memorial can be found in the city centre, opposite the Cenotaph in Andrews (East) Park. There is also the SeaCity Museum nearby, which provides insight into the history of the city and also has interactive displays and information on the Titanic.
Southampton is also ideal for sports fans, as it is home to Southampton Football Club, a Premiere League Club. Their fans are called the Saints and you can watch their games at St. Mary’s Stadium.
Southampton also has many famous landmarks throughout the city, being home to some of the UK’s best-preserved medieval town halls. The town has more than 90 listed buildings and 30 ancient monuments, making it ideal for tourists. There is the historic entrance to the medieval town named Bargate near the city centre.
What is the Population of Southampton?
The estimated population of Southampton is 256,459, of which 130,500 (50.9%) are male and 125, 959 (49.1%) are female. The chart below displays information from a 2018 survey on gender and age groups:
HSBC included Southampton in their Top 10 Best Places for property investors, making it an ideal place to search for a new property or to sell your current one. There are new properties are emerging in the Cultural Quarter of Southampton, close to arts venues and Southampton Solent University, with flats also becoming available across the River Itchen and Ocean Village. If you want to live nearer to the New Forest, over the M27 Chilworth offers properties, as well as Hythe near Southampton Water, where there are good schools and access to the New Forest. The average price for property in Southampton stood at £303,296 in February 2020. This is a rise of 1.77% in the last three months (since November 2019) and rise of 3.83% from 12 months ago. In terms of property types, flats in Southampton sold for an average of £182,839 and terraced houses for £241,943.
The current average value for detached houses in Southampton is £458,266, but the average price paid currently sits at £418,971. This is a +4.23% (+18,603) increase in value compared to the 12 months previously.
The current average value for semi-detached houses in Southampton is £278,079, but the average price paid currently sits at £288,302. This is a +5.09 (+£13,959) increase in value compared to the 12 months previously.
The current average value for terraced houses in Southampton is £241,943, but the average price paid currently sits at £234,187. This is a +1.92 (+£4,551) increase in value compared to the 12 months previously.
The current average value for flats in Southampton is £182,839, but the average price paid currently sits at £167,510. This is a +2.15 (+£3,943) increase in value compared to the 12 months previously.
Average Price Paid
Current Average Value
What is the average rent in Southampton?
The total properties for rent in Southampton rests at 2,337, with average property rents at £1,377 pcm. The average rent of a room in Southampton is £1,012 pcm, a flat is £827 pcm and a house is £1,329 pcm.
The average property rents in Southampton by number of bedrooms is as follows:
|No. of Properties||Average Rent||Median Rent||Average ToM|
|One Bedroom||313||£645 pcm||£650 pcm||339 days|
|Two Bedrooms||341||£896 pcm||£849 pcm||328 days|
|Three Bedrooms||246||£1,096 pcm||£1,100 pcm||357 days|
|Four Bedrooms||380||£,1,449 pcm||£1,452 pcm||472 days|
|Five Bedrooms||336||£1,889 pcm||£1,874 pcm||501 days|
Southampton is divided into different quarters with many attractions in each area appealing to various crowds. The safest neighbourhoods, judged on security and economic status are Highfield, Bassett, The Polygon, Eastleigh, Hedge End, Portswood and Bitterne. The worst neighbourhoods to live in are Milbrook, Flowers Estate, Shirley, Bargate, Northam and St. Marys. Listed below are some more of the best neighbourhoods in Southampton to live in:
Netley is a traditional, quaint village with old shops, colourful cottages and a shingle beach looking across at Hythe. It is also home to Netley Abbey, the most complete surviving Cistercian monastery in Southern England and in the other side is the Royal Victoria Country Park. It has its own Railway Station, with hourly services to Southampton Central and Portsmouth Harbour, providing links both in and out of the village.
Located in the North-East of Southampton, West End is home to the Hampshire County Cricket Club and their stadium, the Ageas Bowl. Nearby is the Itchen Valley Country Park where there is a play area, play trail, off-road cycling track and a visitors’ centre. The annual West End Carnival takes place every June, celebrating the parish’s active local history.
Originally the site of Southampton’s first docks, Ocean Village is a marina, residential, business and leisure development close to the River Itchen. It is now undergoing another series of major redevelopment projects, with a harbour for boats, a Cineworld, restaurants and bars, including Banana Wharf and Chiquitos.
Located in the Northern part of Southampton, Bassett houses around 2,100 students from the University of Southampton, in its Glen Eyre Halls complex. Bassett also offers up some of the city’s main sporting facilities, including the Southampton Sports Centre, a 150-acre site used to host the Millenium Youth games, offering facilities for football, netball, cross country, cricket and hockey; Southampton Snowsports Centre, three floodlit dry ski slopes and Southampton Golf Course, which opened back in 1935 and is set in a beautiful woodland environment.
Swaythling is home to the University of Southampton and on campus there is the John Hansard Gallery, where you can view contemporary and visual art. The University’s Wessex Lane Halls and City Gateway are located within the district, making it an ideal location for students.
Located to the North-East of the city centre, Portswood is home to sports bars, nightclubs, real ale pubs and student-friendly pubs including the Hobbit pub, or music venues such as the Brook or Talking Heads.
There are some levels of crime in Southampton, with various safer areas in some parts of the city. Southampton City Council has begun a Safe City Strategy running from 2017-2020 to ensure that everyone who lives, works and visits the city can have a safe and independent life. This aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, reducing drugs and alcohol problems, protecting vulnerable people and reducing youth crime. Crime rates are generally lower than the UK average, Bargate is the area that has the highest crime rates in Southampton, with areas such as Bevois, Bitterne and Hayfield also having high crime rates.
Annual crime rate in Southampton is 32.8 (32.8 crimes reported per annum per 1000 workday people). Compared to the national crime rate, Southampton’s crime rate is at 103% violent crime making up 34.9% of all crimes reported in the postcode area. The total number of violent crimes is 21.8k and this number has increased by 8.7% when compared year-over-year in the period of January 2019 – December 2019. The highest types of crime in the Southampton district are violent crime and anti-social behaviour together contributing to just over 50% of the crimes reported. The statistics are as follows:
32.8 annual crime rate per 1k workday people
103% of national crime rate
34.9% of all crimes
21.8k crimes reported
8.7% annual change
In the chart below, we can see the Southampton Crime Type percentages:
The category of “bicycle theft crime” is the highest-ranking crime category when category crime rate is compared to the national average. The total number of “bicycle theft crime” is 1.6k cases, however this has decreased by 5.5% when compared year-over-year during January 2019-December 2019.
Southampton is famous for its great student life and new facilities, making it a vibrant place to live, with arts, music, entertainment, sports and green areas to relax in. It is a coastal town with great park and beautiful areas to visit, alongside excellent social amenities. Southampton city has one of the quickest growing economies in the UK and presents more opportunities for those looking to move into or already living in the city.
Is Southampton a good place to work?
Southampton has a very low unemployment rate of 5.5% and the city does offer many areas for you to develop your career. The average salary is £35,000 which is below the UK average of £36,600, with human health and social work activities being the industry employing most people in the area. Southampton City Council, the University of Southampton and National Health Service are some of the largest employers in the city.
There are a variety of schools and colleges in Southampton, ranging from secondary, special and independent schools. 42 schools and colleges are rated outstanding by OFSTED within a 10-mile radius of Southampton. There are 79 state-run schools, including over 20 primary schools, such as Newlands Primary School, Bassett Green Primary, Thornhill Primary School and Bannister Primary School. There are also independent schools, such as Gregg School and King Edward VI school. You can look at the Southampton City Council website for further details of schools in the area.
There are two main stations in Southampton, Airport parkway and Southampton Central and various smaller stations. Fast trains to London Waterloo take 80 mins.
Southampton is connected to London by the M3, that links Southampton and South West London. The M27 runs between Southampton and Portsmouth, connecting Southampton to the South of England. The A31 links to the South West, the A36 to the North West
A fast passenger service 25 mins sails between Southampton and West Cowes on the Isle of Wight, but you can get a slower ferry that sails between the docks and East Cowes. There are also Southampton ferries that link to both France and Spain. Southampton is the cruise capital of the UK, with ocean liners that regularly sail worldwide, or you can have your own boat in one of the city’s marinas. The famous Mayflower boat sailed from Southampton to take settlers to the New World or America as it was known.
Southampton airport flies to major British and Irish cities including Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Newcastle, Cork, Dublin and Belfast (all in under 90 minutes). It also has holiday and business flights to continents, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland.
Where is the closest Airport in Southampton?
The main airport in Southampton is Southampton Airport near Eastleigh which is located 3.95 miles from the city centre. Other airports include Bournemouth Airport, located 21.01 miles from Southampton, London airports such as Gatwick are located 55.29 miles away and Heathrow is 59.26 miles away, as well as RAF Brize Norton airport being 59.26 miles away.
There are multiple hospitals within Southampton and the surrounding areas, such as Southampton General Hospital, Royal South Hants Hospital and Southampton Treatment Centre, most hospitals and A&E services are located within the city centre and surrounding areas.
How to commute to London
Southampton is connected to London by the M3, that links Southampton and South West London. There are also fast direct trains to London Waterloo that take 80 mins.
How to commute to the nearest city
The closest large city to Southampton is Reading, which is either a 1 hour 5 mins drive (47 miles) via the M3 and A33. The trainline also runs direct trains, that are 50 mins straight to Reading station.
There are two Universities in Southampton, the University of Southampton and Southampton Solent University. The local bus services run to and from University, the Unilink and Bluestar services, travelling from the airport, central train stations, city centre, National Oceanography Centre and Southampton General Hospital to the main campuses. The U1, U1N (Night Bus), U2, U6 and U9 all travel to the University campuses. National Express provides regular coach services to Southampton from central London, Heathrow, Birmingham, Bournemouth and the north. Southampton Coach Station is at Western Esplanade located in the city centre, however there are also some coach services that will stop at Highfield Campus. From Southampton Coach Station you can walk to the nearby Civic Centre and can travel to Highfield Campus using a Unilink bus U1 or taxi. The Unilink bus fare is £2 for a single or £3.50 for an all-day pass, however taxi fares from the city centre are usually £6-10.
Is Southampton a student city?
Southampton is home to around 40,000 students, making it an ideal place to join the community and enjoy the student lifestyle. Southampton is less expensive than other cities in the South of England, with living costs being around 20% lower than in London. There are many student houses available to rent within Southampton, and also student accommodation and halls led by the Universities. Examples include Wessex Lane, Glen Eyre, Highfield Halls, Archers Road, Mayflower and City Gateway.
Are the Universities safe in Southampton?
In a recent student experience survey from the Times Higher Education World University rankings, the University of Southampton was ranked 34th out of 116 UK universities, with a security score of 79.7%.
Southampton has a thriving amount of theatre and arts entertainment, including The Nuffield Theatre and The Mayflower Theatre. Southampton’s vibrant new Cultural Quarter is being developed around Guildhall Square, near Southampton Solent University. This is also near to Southampton Art Gallery that houses a permanent collection and displays of eight centuries of art, painting, drawing, photography and film. For music lovers, the Turner Sims, located at the University of Southampton is a top concert hall. Students also like The Joiners and the Talking Heads, both ideally located in the Polygon for up-and-coming and indie bands. For movie lovers, there are a number of cinemas and film clubs within the Southampton area. The Phoenix Cinema Club is one of the oldest film societies in the country, and holds regular screenings at Union Films Cinema in the University of Southampton Student’s Union.
What events are on in Southampton?
There are regular specialist markets in the city centre, including vintage and retro, antiques and collectables, arts and crafts, as well as farmers’ and artisan food markets. Southampton’s Cultural Quarter is home to event spaces, with the O2 Guildhall Southampton offering live music performances. There is also the Southampton City Art Gallery and John Hansard Gallery that has many art exhibitions, as well as the Nuffield Southampton Theatre City that hosts performing arts, talks, films and comedians.
There are also many events, including the popular Common People, the annual music festival that takes place on Southampton Common, hosting a variety of artists and bands, as well as having street food and many family attractions. There are also many sports events that attract visitors, such as The Ageas Bowl Cricket Ground in the outskirts of the city that regularly hosts cricket games. It also hosts Twenty20, 1 day and test matches at national and international cricket level, as well as concerts and the popular Ageas Bowl Fireworks in November. During the spring, the city closes roads for the annual ABP Marathon; this event is now very popular, attracting thousands of runners from across the country. It now includes a full marathon, half marathon, 10k and a fun run mile for children.
Southampton’s annual Boat Show is held at Mayflower Park and Town Quay every year and is ideal for sailing and boating sport enthusiasts. This internationally renowned event attracts thousands of visitors from across the world. It offers different family activities and taster sessions for water-based activities. On Bonfire Night, Mayflower Park has a display of fireworks over Southampton water. At Christmas, there is the Winter Wonderland where the city has a German inspired Christmas market and festive ice rink, as well as the Christmas pantomime at The Mayflower Theatre.
The best hotels to visit are Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa, with a 5-Star TripAdvisor rating, Jury’s Inn Southampton with its 4-Star rating and Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour that also has a 4-Star rating.
Southampton hosts the WestQuay Shopping Centre where you will find big name shops such as John Lewis, M&S and Next, but it also hosts many food outlets and restaurants of multiple cuisines, open late til 8pm. The other main shopping centre is the Marlands Shopping Centre that is attached to WestQuay, it also hosts a variety of shops and restaurants, open late til 6pm.
There are many great places to eat different cuisine within Southampton. The Mayflower Village next to the Mayflower Theatre serves beer, wine, spirits and food. Another popular one is Tang’s Chinese Restaurant, a traditional restaurant that offers a buffet lunch and dinner. Ennio’s is another popular choice, it is a traditional Italian ristorante facing directly onto the old waterfront and also The Fish Station fish and chip shop on East Street. Other popular choices include:
Dancing Man Brewery
A timber-heavy brewpub and restaurant that is located in a medieval woolhouse, with a Deep South-inspired menu.
The Pig in the Wall
A daytime deli and cosy boutique hotel restaurant, with simple but delicious food from the New Forest’s Pig Hotel, being served from noon until 8pm.
This is a traditional Indian restaurant, a high-street curry house that uses ancient cooking techniques. The karai, parsi and chef’s specials are popular choices and very appealing.
A welcoming Inner Avenue pub that has enormous burgers, such as classic bacon cheeseburgers, vegan jackfruit numbers, plus creative sides and sundries like beer-battered olives and vegan katsu seitan ‘chicken wings.’
Southampton has many bars for students, young professionals and the rest of the community. A few popular ones are listed below:
Bring & Mix
Offering a unique environment based on their name, you bring a bottle or two of spirit and the bar workers mix it into a drink for you and your party.
The Orange Rooms
Located in The Polygon, a vibrant area of the city where there are many bars and clubs, Orange Rooms was established in 2001. It serves cocktails from a Round the World Mojito, Nuts & Berries Martini to a Mule and Modern Epicurean. There are also Cocktail Masterclasses for anyone for wants to learn how to make the perfect cocktail, priced at £26 per person.
Pitcher & Piano
One of 18 bars across the UK, Pitcher & Piano serve fresh food, premium beer and a range of cocktails. These include classics such as the Espresso Martini, Pina Colada and Mai Tai.
This East Street Establishment serves coffee, cocktails and cakes. They also host a variety of vegan, gluten-free and protein enriched desserts too.
The Hobbit Pub
This is a Tolkien-inspired pub with its own live music venue, it serves Hobbit inspired cocktails and has a large terraced garden.
The Southampton Arms
The Southampton Arms is a traditional pub with a basic but delicious traditional menu and sport on TV, it also has a large beer garden and a kids’ play area.
Southampton hosts many great nightclubs, ideal for a great night out and a thriving, vibrant nightlife of classic bars, pubs, LGBTQ+ club nights and dance clubs.
Holds regular student nights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with DJ sets, live performances over 3 floors, plus 5 bars and an underlit ‘disco-style’ dance floor.
Clowns Wine Bar and Jesters Nightclub
This club is famous for its messy and sticky interior, but has very cheap drinks called ‘Jesticles.’ Many students call it the ‘Palace of Dreams,’ and it is well-renowned for being a great cheap night out. It is a funky establishment offering a bar area, outside area, and a nightclub for dancing and music with a boisterous vibe.
Orange Rooms Southampton
With its cocktail drinks, Orange Rooms is a bar with kitsch, 70’s inspired leather sofas, pouffes and booths, for cocktails and weekly DJ nights.
What are the Best Student Nights in Southampton?
The start of the week is when most students head down to Jesters, where you can rave with the cheesy setlists and drinks deals.
On Tuesdays, students head down to Sobar, very well regarded across the city. They specialise in vodka shots and are a student night classic. There is also a huge outdoor area that is perfect for the summer months, but they also open during the winter with heaters and ample seating, making it perfect for any time of year.
Southampton’s Wednesday student night is at Oceana, where DJs play a diverse range of classics throughout the evening.
On Thursdays, Café Parfait is a popular student night, their Thursday nights ‘Chocolate Factory’ is regularly spoken about on campus as one of the very best nights out that you can have in the city. There are great drink offers, great music and an excellent vibe that makes it a perfect night out.
Friday nights at Switch are ideal for locals and students, with their student friendly Friday ‘Juiced.’ Its various floors are perfect for students looking for a wide range of music genres. They also run the famous musical festival in Southampton, Soundclash and the club is highly recommended as a great student night out.
- SeaCity Museum
- Solent Sky Museum
- Tudor House and Garden
- Mayflower Theatre
- Medieval Town Walls
- Southampton City Art Gallery
- Hythe Ferry
- Southampton Common
- Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
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