The seafarers' city 

Southampton, an important port and city in Hampshire in the south of England, has a rich maritime history. Close to some of England's finest scenery, it makes a lively base for exploring the region.

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Great destination 12 months of the year

Southampton benefits from a mild climate. The city is sheltered by hills, protecting it from extreme weather and it even gets a little more sunshine than is normal in the UK.

Cultural calendar highlights include major music festivals such as the Isle of Wight's Bestival in September and Soundclash and Common People in May. Yachting enthusiasts from around the world gather for the 8 days of Cowes Week in August, the oldest and one of the most prestigious regatta's in the world.

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Some Southampton travel tips 

The Sea City Museum provides the perfect introduction to the city's nautical history. Other sightseeing highlights include the Tudor House and the City Art Gallery. Costs are typical for the UK and around 10% cheaper than in London. There is no shortage of inexpensive restaurants, pubs and cafes making it possible to dine out for around £12. A pint of beer costs about £3.

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Getting around the city

Southampton Airport has its own station with regular connections to the city centre, taking 7 minutes and costing around £4. Bus U1C to central Southampton takes a little longer and costs around £2. The city offers rail connections to nearby attractions such as the coast, Winchester and Brockenhurst in the New Forest, with a service to London Waterloo taking 70 minutes. The free CityLink bus running every 15 minutes or so connects the station and city centre. Exploring the city can involve using the local buses with fares of around £1.50 a trip or about £3.50 for a day pass. Night buses cost a little more. Ferry services connect the city with the Isle of Wight, with fares beginning from around £9 for foot passengers.

There is a wide range of accommodation options in Southampton with B&B rooms starting at around £20 and single hotel rooms for around £65.

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