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Post cruise ideas - Southampton/London

We have booked a transatlantic cruise that will arrive in Southampton mid-February. I have never been overseas and my husband was stationed in the UK many years ago, but didn't get out to see the area much.
At this point, we have not booked our flight back to the States and hope to spend some time in the area before heading back. (budget permitting) I also would love to take an overnight trip to Paris if at all possible.
I don't know how to start planning this exploration time! Does anyone have suggestions on how to get started?

Posted by
8660 posts

Southampton: The Premier Inn West Quay is well located and a good value. I stayed there a few weeks ago for the equivalent of $100 night. February may be less expensive. Easy to take the bus or train to Portsmouth for the day where I find the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard incredibly interesting, I'd plan two nights there.

Take the train or a National Express Bus up to London. Decide how many days you want to stay there and what are the sites that interest you. We can give lots of ideas, but it is your interests that matter the most. If you are planning to to take the Eurostar to Paris, it leaves from St Pancras station and finding a hotel hear there may be the most convenient for you. Once again, Premier Inn provides value accommodations and has two hotels near by. If you prefer to stay closer to main sights, consider Premier Inn County Hall or Premier Inn Waterloo.
If you save your trip to Paris to the last, then you can fly home from there.

If you can give some details about how many days you want to spend, approx budget, and what your interests are, you will receive more helpful answers.

Posted by
46 posts

We did a transatlantic cruise to Southampton a couple years ago. We actually stayed on the cruise and did the next cruise which went around England, Ireland and Scotland. Afterwards we spent a week in London before flying home.

You could easily after your cruise spend some time in London and other towns. After that take the Eurostar train to Paris and spend a few days. Not worth it just for an overnight. Then fly home from Paris.

Very easy to arrange by yourself- all depends on how much time you have to travel. We spent a month on our trip

Posted by
496 posts

The question is how long after you arrive in Southampton do you want to fly back. Given the time of year, the big cities have even greater appeal. Winter can be a tough time to travel in northern Europe. The obvious choices are London and Paris, either of which you can fly back from. You can take the train from Southampton to London and then the train from London to Paris. Both cities offer a ton of cultural events and other attractions that you can enjoy even in challenging weather. I would save the smaller cities and other regions for another time of year.

Posted by
69 posts

Mid February is usually fairly cold (daytime max around 9 deg C) but not usually below freezing. London itself rarely gets snow. You’ll stand a good chance of some rain, so take a waterproof and a small fold up umbrella. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor things to do there in Feb.

Trains from Southampton are frequent, fares vary depending on timings etc - try looking at the

You can get to Paris by Eurostar quickly but you need longer than an overnight stay there.

Posted by
138 posts

If you are interested in museums and galleries, Southampton has a few hidden gems.

Southampton city gallery has a rich collection but under visited.

John Hansard Gallery has very interesting programme featuring contemporary artists.

Look inside Southampton and escape into whole worlds of art, history and heritage at Southampton City Art Gallery, Tudor House and Garden and SeaCity Museum. Reconnect with yourself and others, reignite your imagination, and rediscover the world around you. Southampton City Council's cultural venues are safe havens away from the chaos of everyday life, and they are ready to invite you in. Discover more here #OurSouthampton

Posted by
138 posts

Along the Southern coast, Portsmouth obviously has a lot of naval heritage sites.

Chichester and nearby Fishbourne has great cultural sites. Fishbourne has a major Roman archaeological site but it might close in winter.

Chichester has a cathedral and Pallant House, which has great collection of modern British arts and special exhibitions.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all of your suggestions! We are still looking at possibilities, but are leaning towards taking a 7 day cruise out of South Hampton and then flying home from London or Paris.