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Best known for its busy port, there’s so much else to do in Southampton that escaping on the open seas will be the last thing on your mind. With its sights, sounds and smells of the sea, plus ferry links to the Isle of Wight and France, it’s a popular holiday spot and ideal for those who want to unwind, eat, drink and be merry.

An insider guide to a superb stag weekend in Southampton

A city with unbeatable maritime heritage (this is where the Titanic departed from on its ill-fated voyage), there’s far more to this destination than cruise ships and tankers.

Southampton at a glance:

- Sea views and the chance to sip on high-class cocktails or international beers from the many bars in Ocean Village
- A buzzing student city, nightlife is relaxed and fun with everything from cool basement bars to cheesy pop clubs
-Plenty of places to refuel in the birthplace of fish fingers, whether you want refined pub grub or high end fine dining
- Experience the unusual with an evening in The Hobbit, a Lord of the Rings themed pub

Local knowledge:

Oxford Street and Ocean View - Southampton’s wining and dining capital
Planning a little calm before the stag storm? Sit by the water’s edge and soak up those holiday vibes any day of the week. Oxford Street and Ocean Village are well placed for contemplative evenings overlooking the waters of the Solent with plenty of bars and some excellent high class eateries to choose from. Enjoy the Mediterranean feel of al fresco dining and taste the delights of international cuisine.

Bedford Place – the heart of Southampton’s party scene
A must stop for stag parties is Bedford Place. Awash with clubs and bars, choose from the chilled-out sophistication of the Orange Rooms by day or the energy of the retrotastic Popworld by night. Bedford Place is also home to several food outlets should you wish to stave off hunger at any hour.

City Centre – a mix of everything to keep you entertained
Hit up the city centre for a mix of shops, bars and eateries to keep you occupied before the party starts. The huge West Quay shopping complex boasts a selection of high street brands and a flagship John Lewis store, while there’s more of the same on Above Bar Street. You’ll find more restaurants across the city centre, both chains and independent gems, while the city’s hub has a selection of clubs to satisfy your wild side too – Myth and Voodoo Lounge offer a good clubbing experience, while the Soul Cellar is a sleeker spot where they often manage to pull in cool and exciting acts.

Southampton’s best pubs and bars:

The Hobbit, Portswood -
For a truly unique experience, try out the ‘Lord of the Rings’ themed pub in Portswood. With unique décor, 12 unique drinks that make up ‘The Fellowship’ (you’ll get a t-shirt for drinking all 12) and an unbelievably huge beer garden, this is the niche hangout spot for many in Southampton.

The Rockstone, Onslow Road -
Pick from hundreds of different spirits and a whole host of local and better known ales.

Lennon’s Bar, Onslow Road -
Located just down the road from The Rockstone, the appropriately named Lennon’s is known for its wide variety of music, providing a party atmosphere until 3am every night.

Revolution, Bedford Place -
Looking for a chilled vibe by day and vibrant atmosphere by night? Revolution offers just that. It’s a staple ingredient for most major cities but it’s a place that knows how to deliver a winning formula.

Turtle Bay, City Centre -
Primarily a restaurant, but also a great hang-out when you want a cracking cocktail. Try their unique rum-based recipes and experience the flavours of the Caribbean. Perfect for spicing things up a little.

The White Star Tavern, Oxford Street -
This tavern combines a traditional English pub set-up with fine dining. Plus it serves a corking pint for beer lovers.

The Soul Cellar, West Marlands Road -
A cool basement bar that serves good drinks while you watch the best local musicians and live acts from further afield, while the soul-soaked DJs will tempt you onto the dancefloor. The Street Food menu adds to the tasty, relaxed vibe, while the succulent ‘Roastwiches’ will certainly fill you up.

The Bent Brief, Portswood -
A salt of the earth pub you won’t want to miss. It also hosts music nights including jazz and Irish sessions for a real feel-good atmosphere. Manages to recreate the relaxed feel of a country pub within the heart of the city.

The Grand Café, Oxford Street -
Tucked on the end of buzzing Oxford Street you’ll find the historic South Western House. Delve inside for the Grand Café to experience a touch of class from its exceptional cocktail bar and exclusive downstairs nightspot Club 4.

The Pitcher & Piano, Ocean Village -
Take in wonderful waterside views in this bar in the heart of the vibrant Ocean Village. A classy and fun stop which serves up flashy cocktails and premium beers.

Orange Rooms, Bedford Place -
A unique, independent cocktail bar and lounge, the retro-inspired Orange Rooms boasts a superb location has a brilliant location, slick décor and a reputation as one of the finest watering holes in Southampton.

Lime Bar, Lodge Road
A small but pleasant beer garden near Bedford Place, Lime Bar is a good shout if you enjoy unwinding with live music and open mic nights.

Best clubs in Southampton:

Oceana, City Centre -
An award winning nightclub, you’ll find numerous rooms, a plush VIP suite above the main dance floor and multiple themed ‘staging areas’. Chill out, have drinks and take part in one of the student nights on Wednesdays if you’re feeling cheeky.

Myth, City Centre -
One of the city’s latest additions, this club has an Ancient Greek theme and serves up some swell drinks offers of a weekend.

Café Parfait, Above Bar Street -
A place for the keen clubber, here you’ll find two levels of intense dance floors with brilliant hangout spots such as the shisha garden on the roof.

Voodoo Lounge, Vincents Walk
A central clubbing experience offering good drinks, good music and a good chance it will be packed.

Popworld, Bedford Place -
One of Southampton’s best known and best loved clubs. This venue focuses on smash hits from the 20th century, so if you like your music with a good dollop of cheese then you’ve found your place.

Club 4, Oxford Street -
A swanky bar and club located beneath the Grand Café. A nice way to end the evening following a high-class dinner.

Food: eat like a local:

Oxford Street is the place to head for the best selection of high quality restaurants. Restaurants overlooking the Solent in this area include Chimichangas (, Medbar ( and Casa Brasil (

For a slap-up dinner with a more classic menu, head to the Oxford Brasserie (

Elsewhere in the city, for cheap international thrills, check out the all you can buffet at The Food Factory ( on High Street. Serving dishes from across the globe and satisfying every palate.

The Giddy Bridge ( on London Road is a good place to head for a hangover cure. Serving cheap food all day, it’ll help ease the pain of the night before.

The Rockstone ( on Onslow Road is nothing short of amazing. It has fantastic burgers and a wonderful selection of light bites that can be mixed and matched for to make a delicious meal.

Try the authentic and exotic dishes in the much-loved Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay ( in Guildhall Square.

For a more refined dining experience, try The Vestry ( on Commercial Road, an atmospheric eatery with their often limited, but exquisite, set menu. On The Avenue, The Cowherds overlooks Southampton Common and, if you want exceedingly high standard pub grub, it’s the place to be. Why not try some of the adventurous dishes like Wild Boar or Venison?

Scoozi ( back on Oxford Street is one of the best places for Italian food in Southampton, while Banana Wharf ( at Ocean Village is the perfect place to start your evening as you overlook the yachts on the harbour and enjoy a diverse and effervescent menu from Thai curries to chilli con carne.

The best view of the city:

Head to The Guild Hall in the city centre for a striking architectural sight with gorgeous park surroundings or enjoy the uninterrupted views of the water from Ocean Village.

Getting about:

Southampton is a well-connected city with plenty of bus links across the destination, as well as to neighbouring Winchester and the surrounding areas. Due to its compact nature however, you’ll be able to comfortably stroll around most of the city in one day. There’s a city train station with regular links across the country too. Close

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