We will be continuing on the QM2 after its call at Southampton and won't be taking any shore excursions. We would like to know if it would be worthwhile to browse around the city on our own for the hours we are in port? Any fun restaurants, museums or sights to see?
There is a section on maps, including bus routes if you want to travel further afield.
I you are a ship fan, Town Quay is a good place to go as the is the Hythe ferry leaves from there and there are boat trips round the harbour. See : http://www.hytheferry.co.uk/ or http://www.redfunnel.co.uk/. If you are active, Town Quay is just a short walk from the ship, or a fairly cheap taxi ride.
When I was there last year, there was a free bus from Town Quay to the railway station.
QE2 comes in at the pier in the centre of th map in this link (on the other side of where the word "Docks" is :
Southampton is fine to kill a couple of hours, but there is an alternative.
The Hythe Ferry is a good idea, this will get you to the edge of some of the best of the English countryside - The New Forest.
Depending on the time that you have available, you may want to visit The New Forest, it's not that big, check out the websites - search on Google for "New Forest" - http://www.thenewforest.co.uk/ is a starter.
Hythe is a small town and is a good start point if you have time for a Pub Lunch in The New Forest - I can give you a few suggestions.
Not really sure about the best way to get around in TNF for a short time, either a hire car from Southampton or negotiate with a taxi from the Hythe pier.
I'm from Southampton. The historic old town still has a large proportion of the old town fortified walls. Originally, to the south was the shoreline/ port where the midieval ships came to trade. The point of telling you this is on the sidewalk opposite the De Vere Grand Harbour hotel on land which has been reclaimed from the sea, originally was the beach from which the Pilgrim Fathers embarked on to the Mayflower. It is marked by a small monument. I think that this is one of the most momentous places to visit. I would be pleased to help with any other information.
I think you could also take a ferry to the Isle of Wight and see Osborne House- which was one of Queen Victoria's favorite residences and where she died in 1901. --If you like that kind of thing (which I do- thank heaven my husband is a sport!). I don't know how long the trip would take. The ferry probably is only 30 minutes each way.