Modern Southampton was made by its docks, whose famous double tides provide a prolonged high water. The city’s attractions include great shopping, the City Art Gallery, a string of leafy green parks, and the SeaCity Museum which tells of the great liners built here, and the tragic story of the RMS Titanic. The Solent Sky Museum was founded in honour of R J Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire fighter plane which was constructed at Southampton’s Supermarine Works.
An interesting area lies south of the West Quay shopping centre. The mall leads out on to Above Bar Street, a pedestrianized shopping street and one of several surviving fragments of the medieval walled city. Walk past the Dolphin Hotel where Jane Austen celebrated her 18th birthday in 1793, and you’ll see the bombed-out Church of the Holy Rood, which has a memorial to the crew of the RMS Titanic. Beyond nearby 11th-century St Michael’s, lie Bugle Street and French Street, with the Medieval Merchant’s House of 1290 and the Tudor House Museum and Garden. On the shore, Ocean Village is a modern marina from where you can take a pleasant cruise of the harbour.