An outsider's view of Southampton

  1. For someone who has been here only six months your observations are pretty accurate. The parks and the common are absolute jewels in the crown, we are lucky to have them and the council, fair play to them look after them well.

  2. I was in one of the planning meetings where one of the towers in Woolston, originally designed with access around it, was modified to no longer have it. It was the police’s fault as they were designing out crime, and were concerned it would be a place for people to loiter and decreased the defensible space from the residential units there to public space.

  3. I know someone who came from Spain to live here and specifically chose Southampton as it was by the sea. They couldn't believe it when they found out Southampton didn't have a beach.

  4. I actually love that building, it's a landmark like no other, and I didn't realise it was designed like a cruise ship! Thanks! Now I just need to find the medieval well on Hill Lane???

  5. There's a reason there aren't many old buildings in Southampton. The place got bombed really heavily during the second world war.

  6. Parliament were prepared to call it a dead city and leave it to rot after the absolute pounding it took. I've lived here since i was around 15 and the pace of change hasn't been helped by continuously changing councils. Every few years the proposals are set, paid for and ready to go, change the staff, all of that is shelved and new priorities started.

  7. Southampton Central was originally just a little station called Southampton West and the main terminus was far more grand! All that's left is a car park behind South Western House now, alas.

  8. I’m glad you’ve noticed the arrival into Southampton by train, I’ve said for ages it’s crap with the empty lot and the brutalist buildings.

  9. I can vouch for the poor appearance of the station as the only real eye-catcher is the Art Deco entrance and ticket hall. We had put a bid in for a complete rebuild of the station.

  10. I've lived here for all my life and your comments are pretty fair and accurate. Personally I posted on here a while back that I've been finding the city a bit boring. I still really like the place, but it lacks a certain fizz for me which you get in other cities, or places which you have yet to explore fully.

  11. I think that’s an excellent summary. Just to put you in the picture in case you didn’t know there is a huge rivalry between Portsmouth and Southampton which is where the feel of a divide comes from. I didn’t find this out until my first day of work in Portsmouth when I got called Scummer because I was living in Southampton… it was very odd especially as they all have that weird fake London accent and I am actually from London… I still haven’t worked out what the accent is all about.

  12. I have lived here all my life and I agree with you, especially on your last paragraph. IMO Southampton is extremely mediocre compared to other cities that actually have a bit of life to them.

  13. Fair assessment. The concrete monstrosity by the train station AKA Wyndham Court, was originally meant to Des Res executive apartments but the developer ran out of money and the council took over and built them.

  14. Hey, I have a question, if you don't mind. I'm very disappointed with living east of Itchen Bridge. Where would you say are good areas on the west side, that are also not totally trashy/noisy?

  15. Hamble le Rice is a nice little place. And there is a ferry that goes across to Locks Heath/Worsash. There are nice walks down that river in my opinion.

  16. not saying they're horrible, just not worth visiting as tourist (though same could be said for most suburbs) They look like nice quiet places to raise a family

  17. Oh yeh, one I forgot - complete overkill on Titanic here. Every guy who served drinks in the Titanic bar doesn't need their own plaque.

  18. Very good summary. After about half a year myself, as a foreigner, I have to say the public transport has been the biggest disappointment.

  19. Great post. I was hoping moving to near Southampton (Bursledon, 5 mins from The Jolly Sailor) would have a similar vibe to Plymouth where I went to university, it doesn’t. Plymouth was heavily bombed also but has access to Dartmoor & Cornwalls beaches, whereas Southampton just has the New Forest, although the Hamble is worth a visit. Despite two uni’s in Southampton it doesn’t seem to have a young student vibe either, mostly mid-20/30s but this could be due to student housing being right in the centre of Plymouth in some of the higher priced housing, however rent prices there are much cheaper, or that I’m just older & don’t go out mid week. I miss not going somewhere to watch the sea & boats pottering about in a city, Plymouth Hoe is great, but Netley Isn’t fat. Other than that Plymouth is a dump otherwise compared to Southampton & the weather here is much nicer & the Common/Parks are excellent, I haven’t taken much advantage of them in the year I’ve been here yet. Also a Premiership football team where tickets are priced as low as £15 & £30 for top flight matches. I love it being a compact city & as I don’t live right in it (I work in Bassett) I still have a fair bit to discover & try out. Bassett would be lovely if there were some nice pubs, the The Brewhouse is ok nearby but only for the beer garden when warm & it’s expensive, but I guess the large Muslim population there means there’s no need.

  20. I’ve been here for 6 months and agree with most of what you said other than the parks. Every time I’ve been to the park I see a bunch of rats kicking about. It’s disgusting :(

  21. Moving to Southampton next month for a PhD. I had the chance to visit earlier in the year and was disappointed to see how lousy the city was. Tons of trash and nothing really going on. Especially disappointed that there are no real beaches considering it’s literally on the coast.

  22. If you're doing a PhD you'll be spending most of your time near Highfield, I presume, which is rather nice and very close to the common too.

  23. I moved here decades ago, and back then the high street wasn’t paved. You could drive in really quickly via Mountbatten way, and always find parking on the high street. It was free for the first hour so you could generally get your stuff done and get back out easily.

  24. Totally agree with your summary of the layout of the city centre. Compared to other UK cities I've lived in and visited (particularly up north) it feels very disconnected and lacking in the communal feel that a city centre should have. I've lived in multiple parts of the city and surrounding areas and east of the Itchen is definitely my favourite. A slightly more rural feel with access to riverside walks and good train/bus links into the centre makes it a nicer place to live than other parts.

  25. Personally I really dislike living in Southampton. I agree with most points the OP raised. I find it quite a cold and unfriendly place with very little going on.

  26. Fair points - on the pubs in Shirley, you'll notice that all of them are on the right hand side of Shirley Road heading towards town. I've always been told that's because the owner of the development of all the housing between Shirley Road, Howard Road, Raymond/St.James Road and Shirley Avenue was big in the Temperance Movement and there's still a covenant on all those properties banning pubs and even off-licences. Does anyone else know if that's true?

  27. Hmm that's true come to think off... though the King's Arms lies to the east of Shirley High Street on Church Street, and also some of the newer bars (Clockwork, Rio's etc.) are on the eastern side of the street (looking north).

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