Discover the top business locations with South Western Railway

Top places in the south west for business travel

21 October 2021

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next business trip, the south west has plenty of wonderful destinations to choose from, all accessible on the South Western Railway network. And with our onboard facilities, from Quiet Zones to free Wi-Fi, we’re always looking for ways to make your journey just that little bit easier.

From the capital city to seaside towns, discover the top places in the south west for business travel based on accessibility and amenities, and explore our dedicated business direct service which will help ensure you get the best deals for your business trip.

London

As the number one destination for business travel in not just the south west but the whole of the UK, London is a business hub like no other. With an abundance of hotels and transport links, venturing into the capital for your work meeting couldn’t be easier.

Meeting venues

From meeting rooms and coworking locations to conference spaces and more, there’s no shortage of places to book in the capital. That said, meeting spaces are in high demand, so it’s a good idea to book a venue as far in advance as possible to ensure you get your first choice.

Transport links

As the capital city and a prime business city, London is incredibly well-connected and easy to get to from all over the country, so it’s a particularly good option if you have colleagues and clients travelling from different locations around the UK. With South Western Railway you can take the train right into London Waterloo to be at the heart of the action, or get off at Clapham Junction for connections to London Victoria.

Any free time?

If you find yourself with some spare time or perhaps having that important business meeting over lunch, then you’re in the perfect spot to enjoy some of the best food I the country, from curry houses and no-frills chains to Michelin star cuisine. For recommendations on a number of activities including restaurants, hotels, attractions and more check out our London guide.

London South Bank at night
South Bank, London

Or why not explore the South Bank before catching your train home? It's only minutes on foot from London Waterloo and a great place for sightseeing and soaking in culture.

Portsmouth

Whilst Portsmouth is well-renowned for being a maritime heritage hotspot, it’s also a rapidly emerging business hub. With its beautiful scenery, practical working spaces and gentle sea-breeze it’s the perfect spot for your next business venture – not to mention the great transport links!

Meeting venues

Portsmouth has a variety of meeting spaces for you to consider, whether you’re looking for a sophisticated office or an elegant hotel, the options for where to host your important business meeting are endless. Explore the great meeting and conference spots that you could hire.

Transport links

With two mainline railway stations, Portsmouth couldn't be easier to discover. Portsmouth Harbour station and Portsmouth and Southsea station will put you in the perfect spot, with the latter being the gateway to the city centre. From both stations there are excellent transport options including taxis and buses to make sure you get to your work meeting in plenty of time.

Any free time?

The food scene in Portsmouth is something you won’t want to miss. With a range of hotspots, including food made by Michelin star chef Kevin Bingham at Restaurant 27, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Head to Sant Yago for a cocktail selection that is guaranteed to please everyone.

Portsmouth Harbour
Portsmouth Harbour

If you find yourself with enough free time, go to see an after-dinner show at King’s Theatre, or head down to Gunwharf Quays for a spot of shopping. There’s plenty to do in Portsmouth, so make the most of it and check out our Portsmouth guide for more inspiration.

Bournemouth

This thriving seaside town in Dorset is often regarded as a perfect base for a holiday, but it's also a fast-developing business hub and a great choice for your next business trip.

Meeting venues

Business in Bournemouth is booming, and there’s an array of meeting venues to choose from – from swanky hotels to exhibition spaces. Take a look at the different meeting space options that are available.

Transport links

Bournemouth is easy to get to from around the country with South Western Railway, and getting around the city is a breeze, with regular bus services and accessible links to the airport.

Any free time?

You’ll never be short of something to do in Bournemouth, whether that’s feeling the sensation of the sand between your toes in between business meetings, relishing in the breeze with a cocktail to cheers a job well done, or tucking into locally sourced rock oysters as the sun sets over the sea.

Bournemouth city centre at night
Bournemouth city centre at night

Pay a visit to Urban Reef for a seasonal meal right on the beach on the Boscombe Promenade. It’s a dining experience not to be missed! Or for something fancier, try No.34, where Michelin-starred head chef Jean Gysemans works wonders with his Basque take on contemporary European cuisine. Peruse our Bournemouth guide to find the perfect way to spend your spare time in the city.

Reading

Another of the top locations for business travel in the UK, Reading is a wonderful option for your next business trip. Particularly if you’re looking for a slightly quieter location. With quaint cafes and a relatively corporate atmosphere without the hustle and bustle of a major city, business in Reading will feel relaxed and pleasant.

Meeting venues

No matter the size of your meeting, Reading has numerous options for you to choose from. The business centre has spaces to suit any meeting, as well as equipment to suit every requirement.

Transport links

Travel to Reading is simple, with direct links to London and elsewhere in the south west, as well as their Express Bus and Rail Air which provides links to Heathrow. Within the centre, all amenities can be reached easily by foot, taxi or bus, so it couldn’t be easier to explore.

Any free time?

Reading has a wide selection of restaurants for all tastes and budgets. For a quick lunch, The Shed Cafe is Reading’s best kept secret and claims to serve The Queen of Sandwiches and Mother of Toasties – so definitely not one to miss!

Reading, along the River Thames
The River Thames runs through Reading

If you fancy a stroll in between work meetings, why not check out Reading’s markets? Running from Wednesday to Saturday, something is bound to catch your eye. For further inspiration check out our Reading guide.

Ready to book your next business trip? Check out our Business Direct service and set up an account to benefit from the lowest fares, no booking fees and the option to analyse CO2 emissions and expenditure.