Southampton is a major city and port on the south coast of Hampshire, it's fortune amassed from the sea and its strategic positioning, heavily exploited during the Roman conquest. Throughout Southampton's history, uncounted ships have set sail from her shores, ranging from the ill-fated Titanic on it's maiden voyage, to the pioneering Mayflower's voyage to the New World.
The city is still very much a sea port, especially for luxury cruises like the QE2 and the all-new Queen Mary 2.
But aside from the luxury liners that dock in Southampton, there is also a busy marina development with a variety of retail and entertainment on offer. Like many of the UK's cities, over the last two decades, the services sector in Southampton has experienced rapid growth, while industry sectors have stagnated somewhat.
During the World War II Southampton was bombed heavily. The city had been targeted by German forces because of its strategic importance as the major industrial area on the South Coast and because Spitfire fighter aircraft were being produced in the city. Consequently many of its historical buildings were lost. However, the city walls survived and remain to this day including the Bargate entrance which has become something of a trademark for the city.
Southampton is very green. The city has a number of parks and public gardens, the most notable of which is Southampton Common which even has it's own zoo and is home to the Southampton Festival every summer.
The city's once-Premiership football club, Southampton FC - based at St Mary's stadium - who have had a tough time in recent years, after being relegated from the top division at the end of last season.