Trains to London Waterloo

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Just 50 minutes from Basingstoke

London Waterloo is one of London's most-recognised stations. Named after the famous battle between the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon (and further immortalised thanks to ABBA), it's the busiest in the UK - more than 100,000 people pass through its gates every weekday morning alone. Plus, it’s just a brief walk to some of the capital’s most popular treasures, from family-friendly attractions to grown-up diversions.

Planning your trip is easy with our journey planner, and you can save when you book in advance. Great days never leave you - so make more of them with our recommendations below.


If you’re new to London, try an open-top bus tour such as the Original London Sightseeing Tour. Pick up a Red River Rover pass, and you can hop on and off one of the River Cruise sightseeing boats as often as you like for up to 72 hours.

The Imperial War Museum is only 10 minutes walk from Waterloo station towards Elephant & Castle, and the Florence Nightingale Museum is even closer, within the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital. A 2-minute walk from the station will find you on the South Bank, slap-bang in the middle of the location for countless memorable film scenes. Right in front of you is the Coca-Cola London Eye – book ahead to avoid the queues and get discounts on other attractions too.

Keep walking with the Thames on your left and you’ll hit the Southbank Centre, with its instantly recognisable concrete architecture. It squeezes a lot in – the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Festival Hall, the British Film Institute and the National Theatre, plus plenty of places to eat and drink. You can book any film, show or exhibition in advance. Just along the bank, you can soak in more of the view at the Oxo Tower, with its galleria beneath with boutique shops.

Further out of town, you'll find Greenwich Park - just a short ride by river boat from Embankment or Blackfriars Pier. This used to be the site of the Royal Naval College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren - and now home to a Greenwich University, as well as the Cutty Sark. If you're lucky, you'll arrive on a day where the chapel is being used for practice - and find yourself treated to an impromptu classical concert.

John Lennon statue in Liverpool airport
Greenwich Park, London

This vibrant area of London offers you an excellent range of choices, from chain restaurants offering fab deals for families to Michelin-starred luxury - and everything in between. On the South Bank, unwind at the top of the Oxo Tower. There’s the choice of a lower-key brasserie or a more high-end restaurant.

Head to the Southbank Centre Food Market for some of the freshest food in London, where you sample scrumptious street food from across the globe. Wahacas is a blast of Mexican technicolour, with nacho bowls for the kids and some excellent margaritas for the grown-ups.

After dark, head to London’s oldest wine bar, the atmospheric Gordon’s Wine Bar for a nightcap. Choose from an extensive wine list and a mouth-watering selection of cheese.

If you’re pushing the boat out, it’s worth booking (well) in advance for a table at Skylon. This incredible restaurant, named after the tower at the heart of the Festival of Britain in 1951, offers stunning views and exquisite modern British cuisine from superstar chef Kim Woodward.


There are plenty of chain hotels, B-and-Bs and hostels in easy reach. The Point A Hotel is great value for money, and offers chic, contemporary accommodation right in the heart of the city.

For something a little more out of the ordinary, try The Wellington Hotel. This glorious pub and hotel in the heart of Waterloo has stunning London-themed rooms and offers delicious pub grub. Don’t miss the astonishing mural of the Battle of Waterloo on the ceiling.

For a spot of pure indulgence, drop in on the Corinthia Hotel London. Its beautiful exterior is matched only by its jaw-dropping décor. Nestled inside are restaurants, bars, a spa and a Harrod’s boutique. You won’t want to leave.


Shopping in London is like few other paces, if only for the breadth of choice. Head to the The Strand for dozens of high street and designer shops. Make sure you look up as you’re wandering along – some of London’s most beautiful architecture is often just above your head.

If you're on more of a budget, take the short 20-minute walk to Covent Garden to enjoy the open air markets and the street performers. The undercover market has artisan shops and stalls selling everything from baby bootees to booze, not forgetting the famous flower market.

When you're heading home, the station itself has a selection of shops and restaurants - making it easy to pick up a few last-minute bits for the journey home.

Travel Links

London Waterloo is well-served by rail, underground, and bus - not forgetting that you can reach many attractions on foot. The Underground station is just through the main concourse – Waterloo is on the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern, and Waterloo & City lines. Save time by adding a Travelcard when booking your train ticket, or use your contactless card, Apple Wallet or Google Pay for the cheapest and easiest travel around the Tube. You’ll find buses to most major locations right outside the main entrance, as well as taxis. Or hire a bike from the Santander Cycles docking stations dotted around London.

For more ideas on what to do in London, see London and Partners. 

Buy train tickets to any destination in Britain – no booking fee