Moving to Southampton?

The prospect of moving to a new area can be a daunting thought for some and an exciting opportunity for others.

Researching an area before you make a decision can be reassuring. Whether the availability of types of housing or education and childcare facilities are important to you, we aim to point you in the right direction to get the information you need to make an informed decision.

This section has been designed to give you an insight and provide practical information and contact points to “Living in Southampton” – use the links on the left-hand menu.


Welcome to Southampton

Southampton is recognised as the commercial, cultural and retail capital of the south coast. It’s diverse and thriving economy, along with its mild climate, wealth of countryside and proximity to the sea, makes Southampton one of the best places in the UK to live and work.

The population of Southampton is around 236,700 and it is growing in popularity with its continual growth in modern city centre living.

Southampton is a city with great educational aspirations. It has a higher number of schools ranked as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted than the national average and is a national leader in early year’s education through Sure Start. It also boasts two schools on the government’s 2009 Top 200 Most Improved Schools list. Southampton City Council is working on two Academy building projects (Mayfield and Lord’s Hill) and have set aside £13.1m for work on other city schools.

The area has an excellent choice of further education establishments, and has two universities, The University of Southampton and Southampton Solent University.

Leisure and sporting facilities are in abundance including St Mary’s Stadium, home of Southampton FC “The Saints” and The Rose Bowl home to Hampshire Cricket Club which also hosts international and Twenty20 cricket.

The Southampton Boat Show, the largest show of its kind in Europe was visited by just over 122,000 people in 2010. The 2011 PSP Southampton Boat Show will take place 16- 25 September in Mayflower Park and showcases boating, watersports and lifestyle; whether you are an experienced sailor or just keen to learn the ropes, everone can enjoy boating at the show.

With its proximity to the famous waters of the Solent, home of the highly prestigious Cowes Week, the River Hamble and home port to Cunard’s new generation of superliners Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, and P&O cruise ships such as Oriana, Arcadia and Aurora, Southampton’s links with the sea has long been established. Southampton hosted six of the worlds most impressive cruise liners on 5 January 2011 and welcomed about 20,000 cruise passengers to the city.

As the regional capital of culture, Southampton has a significant number of art galleries, including the internationally recognised City Art Gallery which has the finest collection of 20th Century British Art in the UK, along with theatres, music venues, and cinemas. Southampton’s culture will be further enhanced with the development of the Southampton Arts Complex, which is the next phase in the emerging quarter. The proposed arts complex will be offering ambitious programmes and events and will offer high quality auditoriums, studios and gallery space.

Southampton is the undisputed retail capital of the south coast with three city centre shopping centres including the award winning WestQuay Shopping Centre. The city caters for all tastes and boasts a diverse mix of lifestyle, fashion and food retailers.

For those who love the outdoor life, The New Forest National Park, just a short drive from Southampton, provides excellent walking, cycling, horse riding and camping experiences. The south’s magnificent coast line and beaches are within easy reach providing walking and safe bathing along with exhilarating watersports such as windsurfing, sailing and power boat racing.

Southampton’s excellent road, train and air connections, from Southampton Airport, make travel to other parts of the UK and Europe easy.


Travel Information

Free Shuttle Bus

A free shuttle bus operates around the city centre. The City Link operates between Southampton Central Station, West Quay Shopping Centre and Town Quay Ferry terminals every 10 minutes during shopping hours.


Nightlink is a bus service that operates between midnight and 2.20 am to provide a safe alternative home from the city centre. Pick up points are located around the city centre.

Coach Service

National Express operates an extensive coach service from the city centre’s coach station to central London, Heathrow, Birmingham, Bournemouth and the North operate regularly.

Ferry Service

A high-speed and car ferry service is operated by Red Funnel to the Isle of Wight. There is also a regular half-hourly ferry service operating between Southampton and Hythe.

Train Service

Southampton Central Railway Station is a main line railway station serving the city of Southampton. The station is managed by South West Trains who operate the majority of the services, including frequent trains direct to London Waterloo, which run approximately every half-hour.

Air Travel

Southampton Airport is located at Junction 5 of the M27 and Junction 14 of the M3. Southampton Airport Parkway Railway Station is located just 60 seconds walk from the terminal, making it one of the closest plane-to-train connections in Europe. London Waterloo is just 66 minutes away by rail.

Southampton Airport offers a route network to over 48 different UK, European and Holiday destinations operated by 6 airlines, including Eastern Airways, Air France and Flybe, and 6 tour operators , including First Choice, Thomson and Inghams. Over 200 long haul worldwide destinations can be reached via Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester and Dubin.

Flybe. offer direct routes to 35 destinations including Amsterdam, Manchester, Dublin and Nice.