London to Southampton question

We will be flying into London next September to take a cruise from Southampton. We'd like to do some sightseeing first, perhaps to see Brighton Palace or Dover cliffs, castle and WWII tunnels. When we first fly in, should we stay 1 night in London to sleep and then head south or go directly (from the US in Coach seats-yuck) south? Where should our base town in the south be? (We have been to London many times and don't need to sightsee there this trip.) Thank you.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1960 posts

Whenever taking a cruise, you should fly in a day or two earlier to minimize any problems. You might be better served flying into Gatwick 2 days early and staying at a local airport hotel or closeby. Then, rent a car at the airport terminal and head south for your day trip.
You can get from Gatwick Airport to Southampton in just under 2 hours by train and the fare's around $45. A taxi can take you to the ship. See: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/