Great days out

Great days never leave you. Have more of them with South Western Railway

Our new campaign celebrates some of the great days out that are just a train ride away in our wonderful region. So we thought we’d share with you some of the places that went into the ad, plus a few bonus destinations that will hopefully inspire you to enjoy a great day out of your own. And remember if you book in advance you can get great prices, and with a Family & Friends Railcard you can save ⅓ more off adult fares and 60% off children’s.

Make a splash at the aquarium

How about exploring the wonders of the deep at some of the finest aquariums in the country? Try the amazing Sea Life - just a stone’s throw from London Waterloo but is full of astounding aquatic animals, like sharks, crocodiles and piranhas. Then there’s Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park where you can watch the antics of the penguins, otters and octopuses. Bournemouth houses the Oceanarium with over 150 different species of fish, including some of the strangest you’ll ever see, while Bristol boasts its sunken shipwreck experience, and Portsmouth hosts underwater adventure birthday parties at the Blue Reef Aquarium.

Go Ape in the country

There’s nothing quite like getting close to nature. And if you Go Ape you’ll be getting very close, and very high up. Featuring amazing rope bridges and swings strung between tall trees, Go Ape promise to make you feel 50 feet tall. And if swinging through the trees isn’t your thing, they also offer exhilarating Segway and bike rides through the forest (check your chosen location for availability).

There are Go Ape locations all across our region, in Moors Valley, near Bournemouth, Southampton, Alice Holt near Farnham, Bracknell, Chessington and at Battersea Park in London.

A day at the beach

Our area has some stunning beaches to visit, and some great seafronts too! The very idea of a day out was born from workers in the cities taking trains to visit the likes of Weymouth, Bournemouth and all the other great destinations around. Luckily, we’ve already compiled a list of our 13 favourite beaches in the area. So, whether you’re looking for the sandiest (debatable, but we’d go for Studland), or the one with the best pier (Bournemouth, in the advert, has a great arcade plus a zip-wire ride that puts it ahead of the pack) or the most traditional (Weymouth) you’ll find a perfect day out on the beach.

The New Forest

The New Forest is an amazing place. Its trees and heathlands are home to all sorts of wildlife – and the semi-wild New Forest Ponies too, which roam free. There are lots of SWR stations in the New Forest offering you the best of this once royal game reserve. Get off at Brockenhurst (voted the most beautiful place to live in Britain) for great walks and sightseeing, Beaulieu Road for the Motor Museum and the frozen-in-time hamlet of Bucklers Hard, or Lymington for seaside pleasures like the harbour, the pier and the sea water swimming baths.

Go to the zoo

There’s a real choice when it comes to zoos in the SWR region, with some of the best and oldest in the world, and they make for a great day out. Marwell Zoo is phenomenal: 140 acres of beautiful Hampshire parkland that’s home to wild animals such as snow leopards, pygmy hippos, rhinos and giraffes that are all housed in natural-feeling environments. And though it’s a bus ride from Winchester or Eastleigh station, Marwell gives you a 10% discount on your ticket price if you arrive by bus.

Bristol Zoo may be quite small, but it’s action-packed and the new, award-winning, glass-walled gorilla house lets you feel closer to the mighty apes than you’d ever have dreamed was possible. London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world, Chessington Zoo is just ten minutes walk from Chessington South station and also boasts a theme park AND an aquarium, so ticking lots of day-out boxes all at once.

At 5-mile taxi ride from Frome station will take you to Longleat where you can hop on board the safari bus and experience the thrills of the monkey enclosure (and the rest of the park).

The latest museum experiences

The SWR region is home to some of the most amazing, innovative and pulse-raising museums in the world. From the heroic tales of D-Day in Portsmouth, to the Imperial War Museum and its unique WW1 trenches experience. Then there’s standing on the virtual flight deck of HMS Ark Royal as planes land around you at the Fleet Air Arm Museum. And everyone should experience the noise and smell of HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

If conflict isn’t your thing, then you can easily reach any of London’s world-famous treasure troves of knowledge including: the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the star of our advert, the British Museum – all of which guarantee a memorable day out.

Enjoy a bit of culture

We’ll keep you up to date with all the big cultural happenings across the region through our monthly what’s on blog, and some of them make for great days out too. Whether it’s the hip cafes of the South Bank, taking in a show at the Royal Festival Hall, exploring the finest street art that Bristol has to offer, enjoying the delights of Winchester’s famous farmer’s market, heading off to Glastonbury festival with a flower in your hair, promenading at the Jane Austen Festival with a bonnet on your head, watching the Boat Race or visiting Cowes Week, our region has thousands of great days out that are easily reachable by train.

Hopefully our advert and this blog will have inspired you to plan a great day out of your own. And if you haven’t caught the ad yet, or would like to know about the thinking and the technology that went into making it, you can find out more here.

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