Hartley Library is full to bursting, Snapchat is overflowing with sad revision selfies and many of us face a sense of impending doom knowing that exams are upon us.

But believe it or not, Southampton does offer a few rewards in return for our struggles.

1) Jesters Gold Card Challenge.

Seen as enjoyable by some, and as torture by others, the Jesters Gold Card Challenge is an undoubted landmark summer event for the students of Southampton.

jesters southampton

Billed as the Cider Festival, the event will offer live music, over 50 varieties of cider, and for those strong enough to endure a full 12 hours in the Palace of Dreams, a ‘Gold Card’ which will provide free entry for a year.

What better way to celebrate your freedom than by confining yourself to a sticky-floored prison for a day?

2) Picnics on the Common

This is one for those of us who enjoy a more relaxed approach post-exams. Assuming the weather is at least passable, head over to the common with friends for a chilled afternoon or two in the sun.

Southampton common 3

Fun in the sun courtesy of Southampton City Council

You’re even allowed to use disposable barbecues or make small fires, assuming that you leave the place in a respectable state. Southampton can actually be kind of nice when the weather is good (I was shocked too), so make the most of it.

3) Common People music festival

While this one is timed slightly awkwardly as some of us may not have finished our exams by this time, the Common People festival will be bringing some big music acts to Southampton.

Common People

Fatboy Slim leads the lineup, which has been put together by Rob Da Bank and the same team that organises Bestival. Even if you’re not a fan of the music on offer, Common People promises to bring the Bestival atmosphere and diversity of acts, so this may be worth checking out.

4) The New Forest

Located just a short car/bus/ferry trip away, the New Forest national park can provide a great day out.

Take the time to walk or cycle around the many paths on offer, drinking in the countryside and feeling the exam stress leave your body with every step.


If the Stress Less Fest‘s petting zoo doesn’t satisfy your craving for wildlife, the New Forest will.

There are horses all over the place, deer and even a reptile population. This is another one you can do on a budget, and is definitely worth seeing while you’re in Hampshire.

5) Marwell Zoo

Not satisfied by horses and deer? Marwell Zoo is located less than 30 minutes from Southampton, and boasts a collection of exotic wildlife including giraffes, penguins, cheetahs, hippos, rhinos and more.


While the Soton Tab would never advocate getting drunk in public, one can only imagine that being tipsy around penguins would be hilarious. The attractions will still be just as good sober as well, so go check Marwell out.

6) Guilt-free drinking

With exams over, it’s time to let off some steam. One of the (only) perks of living in Southampton is that there is a student club night on pretty much seven days a week.

Jesters Mondays, Sobar Tuesdays, Oceana Wednesdays, Cafe Parfait Thursdays, Switch Fridays, Sobar/Jesters Saturdays, even Parfait on Sundays. Kiss your liver goodbye and get stuck in.

This becomes acceptable after exams

This becomes acceptable after exams

Hangovers will be blissfully free of lectures. Entire days in bed watching Netflix aren’t just accepted, but actively encouraged. Go and enjoy your freedom before you head off back home.

7) Leave Southampton

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If none of the above float your boat, you are free to run away and forget that Southampton exists for a few months. Go, be free.

Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below.


Leave your response!

  • oldie

    am I the only one who remembers when you had to to go Jesters 6 nights in a row to get the Gold Card?


    Danny Dyer

    Jesters six nights in a row? Those people need help.


  • Sam

    Simply cannot wait to enjoy some great banter!


    For Real?

    Mate you and the Banter Boiz gonna banter big
    make a foooooookin banter train. Lads so laddish like ladddington Bear

    Just feck off


  • mynameis…what

    Cannot wait till I finish exams. I’m off to the New Forest to check out the many paths on offer!


  • Thomas Hallam

    I’m going to do a line of K the length of Hartley Library after my last exam.


  • James

    Or please just leave Southampton for the Summer and give local residents a break