Billed as the ‘International Maritime City of Southampton’, this cruise port is a large city on the south coast of England. An increasing number of ships are using it as their start/end port for a widening variety of cruises, and with it’s great links to the rest of the UK, it’s a great opportunity to explore both the city and further afield.
Southampton has a maritime museum focussed on the Titanic, which set off from here for it’s ill fated maiden voyage, there are some of the best preserved medieval walls in the country, and the oldest bowling green. The shopping isn’t bad either!
The train station and bus station are within easy distance of the port, and the airport is about a 20-30 minute drive away.
Other places to visit within easy reach include:
Portsmouth is a little further along the coast to the east. A 50 minute train ride will take you right through the city of Portsmouth to Portsmouth Hard which is next door to the Naval Dockyard – home to Nelson’s Victory, the Victorian ship the Warrior and the Tudor ship, the Mary Rose. A ticket to the dockyard also gets you into the various museums, interactive naval experience and a boat ride around the harbour including a stop off at the outlet shopping mall, Gunwharf Quays and the Spinaker Tower – tallest building on the South coast and great views from the top.
Salisbury is a picturesque cathedral city that is just 30 minutes away by train. The cathedral dates back to the 13th century, there are many ancient buildings in the streets of the town and there is a bus tour that will take you to Stonehenge, leaving every 30 minutes in the summer.
Winchester is another cathedral City, just 15 minutes away by train. The Great Hall that displays a replica of King Arthur’s Round Table (commissioned by Henry VIII), interesting museums and a very pretty high street are all within easy walk of the station.
Bath is about 1 and a half hours away by train, as is: Central London. Best to visit London if you have plenty of time, however, it can be done in a day if you depart later in the evening. Arrival station is London Waterloo and it’s a short hop by tube to see all the famous sights – Jumping off at Charing Cross Tube allows you to see Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square – the National Gallery (and National Portrait Gallery) which are still both free at the moment. A short walk can take you to 10 Downing St and the Houses of Parliament or, in the other direction, to Leicester Square and Theatreland. Have a look at our new eBook to see what is possible in London on a short visit….!
The Isle of Wight is accessible for foot passengers via the Red Jet High Speed service, running every 20 minutes from Town Quay – the crossing takes 25 minutes and you’ll land in West Cowes – which is a short distance form Osbourne House, the favourite residence of Queen Victoria.
From Southampton Airport (20-30 minutes by taxi from the dockside) you can access Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney – amongst other places both in the UK and Europe. Always a good idea to check which flights are ‘in season’.
Always be careful when traveling on Sunday in the UK – travel times often take much longer – and rail services can often turn into a bus replacement service running between stations.