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Day trips from Southampton

My daughter and her fiance, in their young 20's, are living in Southampton for the next six weeks while he completes an internship rotation at a hospital there. Their weekends are free but their early impressions are that there isn't much to do in Southampton. They've planned a 2-night getaway to London but their budget doesn't allow for multiple overnight stays in other cities on their weekends. They're interested in planning some day trips, places they can get to by train in under a couple hours. Does anyone have suggestions I can pass along to them, places to go in that area of England, or things to do right in Southampton?

Posted by
25 posts

Salisbury is an easy day trip, only about half an hour away. Below is the National Railmap link. You or your daughter/her fiance can look at to see places they might want to go and enter them into the National Rail website to see if they are easy to get to (or have to change trains a lot).

BTW - You could also look at google maps to see close towns/cities and see if the train gets them there. There's also buses but I've not looked into those.

National Rail Website
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Map
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/OfficialNationalRailmaplarge.pdf

Posted by
3941 posts

My sister lives in Portsmouth and they've had fun going to the Isle of Wight a few times. We've stayed a few times and once daytripped to see Arundel Castle, which was great fun. We also enjoyed the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

They've visited New Forest a few times, did a trip to Stonehenge, and we met up in Brighton once (we came from London, she from Portsmouth), which was nice for a day trip.

Posted by
8889 posts

Day trips by train from Southampton: Salisbury, Portsmouth, Winchester, Dorchester.
If they can extend to renting a car, the Dorset coast (west of Southampton, past Dorchester) is well worth a visit.

P.S. the map posted by robpelli2 is good ( http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/OfficialNationalRailmaplarge.pdf ), but it does not show all the stations, I guess only about 1 in 5 are shown. It also misses off a lot of commuter lines, especially around London. If you want to go somewhere, check on a good map for the nearest station (NOT Google maps, that does not show rail lines or stations very well).

Posted by
4062 posts

Portsmouth is indeed its own destination -- scenic harbour, and a huge amount of Imperial history crammed into the still-important dockyards of the Royal Navy. Among the museums there, the fully reconstructed HMS Victory, flagship of Admiral Nelson, is well worth the price of admission. The day I visited the newest British carrier came into port but there were certainly no tours of the HMS Queen Elizabeth and lots of security.
Portsmouth is also the well-watered final resting place of King Henry VIII's favourite warship, the Mary Rose. In 1545 she was ignominiously sunk just outside the harbour. Centuries later, and with some prodding from the current heir to the throne, she was delicately raised and enshrined in a special climate-controlled shrine.

http://www.hms-victory.com/

http://www.maryrose.org/

Google Maps tells me it's about a half hour drive or train ride between Southampton and Portsmouth.

Posted by
3941 posts

If they decide to do Portsmouth and the historic dockyards, tell them to keep an eye out on their website for specials. It is expensive. It was our 4th or 5th time to Portsmouth (again, my sister lives there) before we finally went. The price, when converting to our currency, was just too much for us, but I lucked into a weekend deal where it was buy 1 get one half price admission...so they could always keep an eye out on the website for upcoming specials.

We also enjoyed our visit to the Royal Garrison Church there as well...mostly because the docents took the time to engage us, and we took the time to listen...we were there almost an hour learning the history of the church.

Posted by
8293 posts

We did a little tour of the New Forest when we were in Southampton for a couple of days before a cruise. We booked a private car but a rental car for a weekend would be better on this case.

Posted by
2453 posts

Nearby Winchester is well worth a visit. They may also like to consider the seaside town of Bournemouth - but it can be miserable on a winter’s day. At the top of the list should be Bath. All of the above are easily reachable by train - as is Salisbury - wonderful medieval cathedral and shuttle buses to Stonehenge.

Posted by
5364 posts

Their weekends are free but their early impressions are that there isn't much to do in Southampton.

Their early impressions are correct. There is little to do in Southampton, most people only go there to visit Ikea.

The Isle of Wight is a great day trip or weekend and can be reached via regular ferries from Southampton.
The New Forest is wonderful and includes the scenic villages of Beaulieu, Lyndhurst, Lymington and others. There are some fantastic walks and cycle rides throughout the area.
Portsmouth can be reached in 20 minutes by car or a bit longer by train. The train will take them directly outside the Royal Historic Naval Dockyard (look online for deals).
Winchester is within easy reach along with Salisbury, Brighton, Bath, Bristol, the Jurassic Coast.

Posted by
8293 posts

Well, there is a small-ish art museum in Southampton, which we visited once. Lots of paintings of horses, as I remember, John Stubbs maybe?

Posted by
3941 posts

Lol JC...I think that’s the only reason my sister goes to Southampton.

We went one of our visits to the SeaCity museum...