Based in the centre of Southampton, one of the largest cities in the south of England, Westquay Shopping Centre is 70,000 square metres of shopping joy. Super modern, beautifully designed and full of fun architecture, this shopping centre holds 130 different shops and is constantly being updated and brought up to the highest of standards. It's close to the giant climbing centre in Southampton I have talked about in a previous article, and close to the historical centre of the city as well.
One of the best climbing centres in the UK can be found close by as well.
Obviously, with so much shopping space, there is everything you could ever need here. I particularly like Westquay becasue of the food terrace, which has an outdoor area to enjoy the surprising amount of sunshine you will find in Southampton. As well as all the normal fast food places and chain restaurants, you can also find an Ed's Diner here, and although it's not the healthiest option, if you haven't tried one of their milkshakes that come in a traditional huge metal cup, you haven't lived. There is one in the Birmingham Train Station and outside Euston Train Station in London as well, and it's a place that makes you almost want to be American.
One of my favourite things about the centre, and centres like this one, is the way it doesn't dominate the landscape too much. It blends into the cityscape well, and with large open terraces to soften the hard steel structure, it feels like it belongs very much. This is fast becoming the centre of the city, and a place where local people come to shop, hang out and be.
Right next to the shopping centre is Bargate, the medieval entrance to the old city. This is a Norman relic, that has stood the test of time for almost 1000 years, and is a celebrated part of Southampton's history. You can often find art exhibits or exhibitions here, and the people of Southampton do not hide or coddle this stone beauty, but instead use it, show it off and get the most out of it.
Next to the shopping centre and the historical Bargate, is the beautiful Hoglands Park. This is the best place to find open tennis courts, barbeques in the Summer and groups of happy Southampton residents splaying sports and enjoying the weather when it's good. It has also hosted music festivals, huge sporting events and much more.
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