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One of the most vibrant cities in the UK, Southampton has a wealth of history, close links to areas of natural beauty plus an electrifying nightlife scene. It’s a unique and student-friendly place to study, with plenty of quirky independent places to eat and drink, as well as a thriving arts scene. Here’s the ultimate guide to this fantastic coastal city in 2019. 

Nighttime Parties

All the best clubs are within walking distance of Austen House. Waterfront venue Oceana is the biggest nightclub in the city, with three floors of music and an awesome light-up disco-style dancefloor. Fancy something more cutting edge? A ten-minute walk north brings you to Switch - a state-of-the-art nightclub with the best sound system in the city and regular events featuring the world’s best DJs. And for all you live music fans, The 1865 is a great intimate venue a stone’s throw from your new home. 

Rich In Culture

The arts are an important part of Southampton’s identity, with a wealth of options for culture-lovers. The City Art Gallery is an internationally-renowned gallery which showcases works dating from the 1500s up to the present day. It’s part of the city’s Cultural Quarter on Guildhall Square, along with Studio 144, a new £30m performing arts centre and the nearby Mayflower Theatre. 

Excellent Eats

You’ll find a wonderful array of restaurants in Southampton, covering all types of cuisine. Bayleaf Kitchen is an upscale Indian restaurant just a few minutes walk from Austen House, while Dancing Man Brewery taps into the city’s rich past by serving up hearty fare in one of Southampton’s most memorable venues, the stunning medieval Wool House. The area near the port has a great range of independent cafes and restaurants, such as the gloriously authentic Spanish tapas joint La Regata, along with great views out over the waterfront. 

Scenic Routes

It might be an exciting place to live, but Southampton doesn’t disappoint when it comes to places to relax. Palmerston Park is a wonderfully relaxing huge green space, smack bang in the centre of the city, with Southampton Common just a little further north. If you’re a water-lover, the nearby River Itchen is an ideal place for a peaceful stroll, or head south to Southampton Water, where you can spend your time watching the regular yachting events, or cross over the water to visit the stunning New Forest National Park. 

Daytime Dates

There’s plenty to do during the day in Southampton, from visiting the tropical butterfly house where you can relax amongst thousands of beautiful exotic butterflies, to exploring the 12th century stone walls that surround the city. Southampton dates back many hundreds of years, so you’ll see plenty of awe-inspiring features just walking around, or better still, on one of the many guided tours. Enjoy shopping? Head to the Beatnik Emporium at the top end of Palmerston Park but prepared to spend hours rummaging through the piles of quirky gifts and vintage clothing. 

This is just a fraction of what to expect from this fascinating and historic city. You’ll never be stuck for something to do, day or night, and it’s all easily accessed from Austen House.