Located about 121 kilometres south-west of London is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire; Southampton. Situated on the south coast of England, Southampton is a major port. The city is known for having being a settlement since Roman and Saxon times. It is now quite a modern city as it was bombed and subsequently damaged during the Second World War. The city offers numerous sites and attractions which are of historical importance. It is also home to several museums and art galleries, award winning parks, family-friendly attractions and so on. The city is home to diverse ethnic groups, therefore making it possible for Muslim visitors to locate Muslim-friendly facilities in Southampton.
As mentioned above, Southampton has several historic buildings and structures that have been around for centuries. The 14th century medieval walls of Southampton should be on every visitor’s itinerary. The walls are said to be the third longest unbroken stretch of city wall in Britain. To get a fantastic view of the structure, visitors must go to the Western Esplanade, which also happens to be home to the Wind Whistle Tower. While here tourists must also visit Mayflower Park, which is located opposite the Mayflower Memorial and Wool House. Visitors can take guided walking tours of the old walls to learn more about them.
A must-visit when in Southampton is Ocean Village. Home to a variety of attractions and restaurants, this stunning marina has something for everyone. It is also said to be among the largest marina developments in the whole of the country. This is also the perfect place for those looking to dine on some of the freshest and most delicious sea food. Tourists can hire boats and yachts here, as well as view the impressive boats docked at the marina.
A great place to take the kids is the Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre. Packed to the brim with fascinating local flora and fauna, this wildlife centre is incredibly family-friendly. There are numerous nature trails which lead to stunning reserve areas filled with wildlife. Located on the vast Southampton Common, the Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre is an attraction that must not be missed.
Also worthy of a visit is the New Forest, located about 30 minutes outside of Southampton. This enormous area of woodland and wild heath is said to be the only area to remain untouched since Norman times, in England. It is perfect for a fun day outdoors. It is home to deer, donkeys and wild ponies and has areas for picnics, cycling and other activities.
Southampton is also the ideal place for those looking to partake in outdoor sporting activities. Visitors are urged to take windsurfing lessons and to go sailing while here.
The closest airport to Southampton is Southampton Airport which offers domestic flights as well as ones to a couple of international destinations. For more international services, visitors can travel to London Heathrow Airport, which is located about 67 miles away, or London Gatwick Airport which is approximately 90 miles away.
There are numerous Halal restaurants in Southampton at which Muslim tourists can dine. Texas Grill, Chunky Chips, Taj Tandoori, Perfect Pizza & Chicken, Shalimar Food Express, Lets Taste It and Taj Restaurant are just a couple of the many restaurants said to be serving Halal food in Southampton. Although most of these restaurants are either Muslim owned and/or Halal certified it is always best to inquire about the Halal status of the food before ordering. Also, Muslim visitors must be aware that even though some eateries serve Halal food, they also do serve alcohol.
Muslim visitors will be able to find quite a number of mosques in Southampton. Southampton Medina Mosque Trust, Southampton Jamia Masjid, Abu Bakr Masjid, Ala Sunnat Cultural Centre, Shah Jalal Mosque and Islamic Centre, Taqwaa Masjid, Southampton University Islamic Society and Rizwia Masjid are just a few of the many masjids and Islamic Centres that offers prayer facilities in Southampton.