Historically, Southampton is rich in tourist attractions that have been preserved over the years. The city has established itself as an important tourist destination in its own right. Netley Abbey is one of those magnificent ruins which was founded in 1239 and is one of the places which is worth visiting along with the Netley Village which is connected to famous people such as Queen Victoria herself. The village has a wonderful array of small, independent shops which are well worth a visit. The quaint village has rows of colourful, terraced cottages and is also home to the Royal Victoria Military Hospital which was built after the Crimean War. Netley Railway Station is conveniently located and has regular train links to both the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. It is also close to the Royal Victoria Country Park which covers 200 acres of parkland and wood along with a beach. There are some wonderful tea rooms that are located in the park if you feel like some refreshments during your visit. Also, take the children or those who are young at heart for a ride on the narrow gauge railway that runs through the city. There really is something for everyone in this wonderful city that is rich in history.
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is another one of the attractions located in Southampton. This arboretum consists of 72 hectares of plants as well as trees and it consists of one of the largest Winter Gardens in Europe with an amazing display of Witch Hazel and other shrubs. In particular, the gardens are rich with oaks, magnolia, camellia and rhododendron. However, the Hillier Gardens are also home to plants that are not usually found in the UK. A huge amount of work has gone into sourcing the hugely impressive collection from around the world. The collection includes 42000 plants from temperate places around the world and grows over 180 acres of the Hillier Gardens. It is quite a sight and whether you live in Southampton permanently and visit reasonably often, or if you are a tourist you cannot fail to be wowed at the impressiveness of these gardens. It certainly is an awesome destination for the whole family when in Southampton.
The Itchen Valley Country Park is more of an unspoiled and immaculate countryside located beside the River Itchen. It has been preserved and maintained for you to enjoy the wildlife and the beauty as you take a stroll through the trails with a view of the water meadows and pastures and hay fields. It is one of the beautiful places where you can come with your family for a picnic while your children can enjoy the play areas. As well as the tranquillity and wonderful surroundings, there are also some activities for the more adventurous. In particular, the Itchen Valley Country Park contains some impressive off-road mountain bike trails that you can enjoy with the whole family. The Country Park is a particular area of Southampton that the locals particularly enjoy escaping to when time allows. There is nothing quite like escaping from the daily stresses of life than time spent in a Country Park. The park is located on the opposite banks of the river Itchen to Southampton International Airport. It can, therefore, be said to also be convenient for aviation spotting lovers! The park can be said to trace its history back to Roman Times. In fact, there are the remains of an ancient Roman Villa within the grounds of Southampton Airport. Itchen Valley Country Park is certainly a great day out for the whole family and is an opportunity not be missed while in the area.
Mottisfont Abbey is a country estate and a previous priory in Southampton. It is another one of the old houses which have been preserved for the enjoyment of tourists and locals and as an education centre. It was a country estate in medieval England which is set in glorious grounds and has been transformed into a country house for you to come and relax and enjoy your time away from the busy life of the city by breathing in the fresh air. The abbey can be found in the valley of the River Test and is now operated and maintained by The National Trust. It is regularly visited by tourists and around 200,000 people walk through its doors every month. There is a comprehensive, interesting museum about the history of the property. It also has an art gallery that has regular exhibitions that change often. This keeps people coming back again and again. There are also excellent café facilities at the property. Once you have had enough of enjoying what the abbey has to offer you can start exploring its grounds. The grounds are very beautiful and extremely well preserved. There are numerous walks that can be enjoyed around the grounds of the estate.
It is also worth noting that the Abbey hosts many special events that take place throughout the year. For example, there will be events going on at Easter and Christmas for the whole family to enjoy. These can be particularly special times to enjoy the Abbey. However, sometimes a simple picnic enjoyed on the estate's many lawns can be equally as enjoyable.