It is the place where King Canute tried to turn back the waves and where he defeated Ethelred the Unready. It is the port from which Richard the Lionheart set sail for the Crusades, King Henry V and his troops embarked for the Battle of Agincourt, the Pilgrim Fathers set off for America aboard the Mayflower and from which the Titanic departed. It is also the city where the Spitfire was designed, built and flown and from which the Battle of Britain was won. As a consequence it faced relentless attacks form German bombers, during which much of the old city was burnt to the ground.
It is still the main port in England for ocean-going cruise ships and an annual international boat show is held in the marina. It has several shopping malls, including West Quay, which opened as the biggest city-centre shopping mall in Europe.
Famous residents have included the First World War commander of the British fleet, Admiral Jellicoe, the writer, Jane Austen, the painter, Millais, the film director, Ken Russell and the pop singer, Craig David. Sotonians, as Southampton people are known, are renowned for their sense of humour and two of the country's greatest comedians, Tommy Cooper and Benny Hill were also residents of the city.
Southampton has the world's oldest bowling green and many other fine sports facilities, including St Mary's football stadium and the Rose Bowl cricket stadium, both of which have hosted England international matches. In 1618 King James called Southampton "one of the healthiest towns in the kingdom". It seems that little has changed, as in 2006 it was named "the fittest city in the UK" by Mens Fitness magazine, based on various criteria, including the incidence of heart disease and the level of gym membership.
For the ancestors of millions of Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans, this was their last sight of England. At one time more than half of all people travelling in and out of Britain, passed through the city, earning it the nickname "Gateway to the World".
The Titanic left from Southampton and Benny Hill - the famous comedian - was born here and buried in Holly Brook cementry.
It has one of the countrys leading hospitals in it and a birthing centre which is the BEST in the UK. It was the hospital which featured in the TV Documentry - One Born Every Minute.
It has one of the most supported football teams in the south of England and has such a feirce rivalry with the neighbouring city - Portsmouth - that half the entrys here are very biased.
All in all Southampton is a great place to live and flourish.
ii. Conglomeration of Run-down Council Estates.
i. 'I took a wrong turn, Druggies, chavs and pakis, it was like a good day in Southampton!'
iii. 'When you die, its Heaven, Hell, or being stuck in Southampton!' Anon
Are you guys doing a Southampton?
Used when describing groups who are sexually involved with one another.