Trains to Southampton


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Just 68 minutes from London Waterloo

Southampton is a fine, compact city offering all the experiences and opportunities you expect from any modern metropolis, all within walking distance of the station. From the mega-shopping experiences of Westquay, through theatres, cinemas and music venues, to great eating and drinking, Southampton caters for all. And don’t forget that Southampton, a major port for centuries, is still the setting off point for many an exotic cruise, not to mention the beautiful Isle of Wight. Southampton is also home to a Premier League football club – St Mary’s is a friendly, welcoming ground – and you can enjoy world-class cricket at the Ageas Bowl.

Attractions

Up the hill from the station is the bustling city centre with streets of shops, restaurants and offices. Turning left takes you to the entertainment heart of the city, with the Mayflower Theatre (big shows), O2 Guildhall (big bands and comedians), and the tranquil hideaway that is the City Art Gallery – great for a cup of tea and a moment of quiet contemplation when the shopping and sightseeing have worn you out. Turning right onto Above Bar street takes you into the shopping heart of the city, which borders Palmerston Park – a very good place for a picnic rustled together from goodies found on your way, especially if you visit on a Friday or Saturday in the spring, summer and autumn, when the city centre market is on.

If you fancy catching the next Radiohead or Ed Sheeran before they become big, you should trot over to The Joiner’s Arms in St Mary’s, a 200 capacity music pub that’s been wowing discerning music fans with new discoveries since 1968 – and yes, both Radiohead and Ed have played there in the past.

Southampton is also the gateway to The New Forest. Book cheap train tickets for the 13 minute ride out to Brockenhurst and you’ll find yourself slap in the middle of this glorious greenery before you know it, with miles of trails to walk as well as the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and the wonderfully-preserved shipbuilding village of Bucklers Hard easy to reach by bus.

Lake District
West Quay, Southampton
Restaurants

Considering that you’re right by the sea you would expect Southampton to be a great place to sample some terrific seafood, and you would be bang on the money. At one end of the epicurean scale is swanky Quay Fifteen, a fine diner offering sumptuous fishy dishes such as lemon sole and scallops. It’s worth seeking them out on an English Wine Pairing Night to sample the best in local vino too. At the other end of the spectrum Mike’s Fish & Chips is a local’s city centre fave, serving Britain’s national dish as well as anywhere in the country.

Hotels

As well as all the major chains, some of which offer fantastic rates – especially midweek – there are plenty of quirkier, boutique hotels dotted around the city. The Blue Keys is a big hit with visitors, a tranquil, family-run hotel just out of the city centre, while The Pig In The Wall is a fabulous former Georgian townhouse and pub stuffed full of charm and character. Those looking for peace and quiet while seriously indulging themselves could consider Careys Manor in Brockenhurst, right in the heart of the New Forest and just 13 minutes away by train.

Shopping

Westquay is just over the road from Southampton Central station. This mall-style shopping experience is as good as anywhere in the country for top household name shopping, and with over 100 stores could be reason enough by itself to visit Southampton for the day. And as well as the market on Fridays and Saturdays, the centre of the city offers great shopping all week round.

For something a little more boutique you can head out to Bedford Place, just a little north of the main drag, where you’ll find independent fashion retailers, shoe makers and a lovely wine merchants.

Travel Links

Outside Southampton Central train station you can catch a bus up the hill into the centre. It’s certainly well worth considering a PlusBus ticket when you get your train ticket, as you can then hop on and off any bus you fancy all day. There are lots of local cab companies, such as Radio Taxis too. The Ocean Cruise Terminal is just under a mile away, and is next to Red Funnel Ferries – trips to the Isle of Wight could cost you as little as £8.60 each way, and Red Funnel even lay on a free shuttle bus between the station and the ferry terminal. The Red Jet high-speed catamaran can get you to the Island in just 25 minutes. The station car park has over 180 spaces and almost 400 bicycle spaces. From Southampton Airport Parkway train station you can switch to the skies and catch planes to many parts of the UK and Europe.

For more ideas on what to do in Southampton, visit Discover Southampton.

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