A Sustainability Tour of Southampton

Refill machines

Over the weekend I visited Southampton with one of my friends. Having never visited the city before, whilst we wined and dined to our heart’s content, over the few days, I happened to notice a few sustainability-friendly places in amongst the shops and sea. Including a zero waste shop, vegan cafe as well as lots of green space.

I thought I’d put all this eco-friendliness I discovered into a post to show, in case you were planning a trip to Southampton! Having googled places beforehand, I did notice a few other places we could have visited, but they were a little bit out of the city centre. Making them too tricky to visit. But, for a sustainability tour of Southampton city centre, look no further!

Shop front of Rice up Wholefoods, Southampton

Rice Up Wholefoods

20 Hanover Buildings, SO14 1JH.
Rice Up is a combination of a zero-waste and wholefoods store. Selling aisle upon aisle of organic, gluten-free and vegan foods. They had loose fruits and vegetables too as well as a very large selection of dried foods in refill dispensers. They had a lot of choice and am rather jealous the town I live in doesn’t have a shop similar!

Cafe Thrive – Vegan Cafe

18 Hanover Buildings, SO14 1JX.
The vegan cafe, situated seconds from Rice Up, served a generous menu of burgers, sandwiches and salads (with most being able to be made gluten-free). We had brunch there on the Saturday of our trip and I tried the delicious mushroom and ‘cheese’ bap – it didn’t disappoint! Being a plant-based cafe, they believe ‘good food shouldn’t cost the earth’. Their coffee too is Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified.

The Parks of Southampton

Despite the city being quite built up, what I noticed most was how many parks it had. All very close together. We walked lots through East Park, Watts Park and Palmerston Park with the benches being lovely to sit in the evenings!


It’s clear to see how much the city is trying to do to be as green as possible. The amount of signage I saw, the one above as an example, showed their green mission. Their ‘GreenCity’ aim is to create a “cleaner, greener, healthier, more sustainable and attractive place to live, work and visit”. They have a list of goals to develop the city and be fully sustainable by 2030, which is fabulous to read!

I hope you enjoyed my sustainability tour! I have previously written a similar post for Brighton if you’d like to read further.

9 thoughts on “A Sustainability Tour of Southampton

  1. What a great idea to do these kind of city and town tours. I think if more of us took the time to find similar places in our own areas we can really highlight sustainable lifestyles. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Really glad you enjoyed our city 🙂 – there are indeed lots of green spaces, and you can find more just north of the centre at Southampton Common and Riverside Park (from where you can walk all the way to Winchester via the South Downs), and to the East at the beach which starts at Woolston and extends to the Royal Victoria Country Park at Netley. There are additional parks near the centre at Queens Park (near the lovely Oxford Street), Mayflower Park (a slightly concrete but pleasant shoreline), and Peartree Common (over the water in Woolston).

    There’s 3 art galleries around Guildhall Square worth a look in – Southampton City, John Hansard, and Showcase (the first two have fully reopened, the later is only doing window exhibitions for the moment due to Covid).

    1. Ah amazing, thank you so much for all these great recommendations. Southampton is only a couple of hours away from me so next time I visit I’ll be sure to check these places out!

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