Excursions from Southampton: the best day trips around Southampton

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Southampton is a lively town located in the county of Hampshire in the south east of the United Kingdom. Specifically, it is located on the Gulf of Solent, opposite the Isle of Wight. It is mainly characterized by being a city at the center of international trade, due to its very buzzing nightlife and for its artistic and cultural heritage dating back to the Middle Ages.

E' the ideal starting point for discovering England's most beautiful surroundings, between nature, relaxation, culture and art, reachable in a maximum of two hours both by car and by train. You can explore beautiful castles and prestigious colleges from true princes, interesting museums and playgrounds for the whole family for a vacation suitable for the whole family. So here it is the best day trips from Southampton.


  1. London
  2. Oxford and
  3. Salisbury
  4. Stonehenge
  5. Bath
  6. Windsor
  7. Bristol
  8. New Forest and Brockenhurst
  9. Isle of Wight
  10. User questions and comments

1 - London

Capital of England, it embodies the prototype of an extremely modern and sophisticated city but also rich in history and classicism. It is located 80 miles east of Southampton. It lies on the Thames which divides the city in two, counting more than 8 million inhabitants, a metropolis in constant turmoil characterized by unmissable tourist attractions, among the most famous in the world. How not to mention Westminster Abbey, the royal seat of Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral; as for the most beautiful and unique monuments you can't help but take a photo of London Bridge, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London up to the incredible Big Ben.
If you want to immerse yourself in true London culture we recommend the wonderful neighborhoods of Soho, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Camden Town and Trafalgar Square, each with its own soul and peculiarities. Between a fish and chips and a nice cold beer you will fall in love with every corner of this incredible and unique city in the world.

  • Range: 127 km
  • 1 hour 49 min by car via M3, by train on Southwestern Railway from Southampton Central takes 1 hour 19 min (€ 22,58). By bus from Southampton Coach Station Harbor Parade takes 2hrs 20mins (€ 17,67) - Get directions
  • For timetables of London's top attractions, see 10 Things to See in London
  • For the costs of London's top attractions, see 10 things to see in London
  • sightseeing bus tour Thames sightseeing cruise London Pass: Access to over 80 attractions

2 - Oxford

Just over an hour away, this city stands out for its elegance, art and culture. It is in fact the oldest city in England and is also referred to as one of the most beautiful and famous university cities in the world. Precisely for this reason you cannot miss Christ Church College, the most famous college in the city, a majestic and imposing building that was also chosen as a location to shoot some scenes of the Harry Potter saga, and All Souls College, considered a particular college as it does not host any students!
Continue your tour by visiting the Radcliffe Camera (from the outside only), another monumental neoclassical wonder of Oxford which houses inside a splendid library and a sunlit reading room, and the Bodleian Library, one of the most beautiful and oldest libraries in the world. Conclude your visit with the Carfax Tower in the city center, also very old, dating back to the th century and with a relaxing and romantic walk on the banks of the River Thames.

  • Range: 120 km
  • 1 hour 21 min by car via the A34; by bus from Coach Station with the 334, 304 and 539 (from € 14,00 to € 19,00); by train from Southampton Central via CrossCountry (€ 40,00 to € 60,00) - Get directions
  • Christ Church College Monday to Friday from 10am to 00pm, Sunday from 17pm to 00pm. Torre Carfax from 14:00 to 17
  • Christ Church College £ 10,00 (€ 11,23), over 60s, students and children aged 5 to 17 £ 9,00 (€ 10,10), families £ 25,00 (28,06), under 5 years free. The rest for free. Tours start at € 17,00 - book online
  • Oxford: City and University Walking Tour Oxford: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

3 - Salisbury

Located in the county of WiltShire, it is a pretty town nestled on the River Avon, approximately 23 miles from Southampton. A city with many architectural attractions, like its medieval cathedral and its bell tower, the tallest in Britain with its own watch that holds the record of the oldest in the world.

The cultural and artistic tour continues with the Mompesson House dating back to the eighteenth century and the most important museums of the city such as the Salisbury Museum with archaeological finds of great depth, the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection dedicated to aeronautics and The Rifle, the military museum.

If you want to have fun and relax, this city is perfect for enjoying some excellent English specialties in the various pubs and restaurants, stroll through the green city parks and indulge in some healthy shopping in its narrow streets. Also not to be missed is the Market Place market with excellent street food and typical products held every Tuesday and Thursday.

  • Range: 39,6 km
  • 43 min by car via A36; by train from Southampton Central on the GWR South Western Railway (€ 19,00 to € 75,00) - Get directions
  • cathedral from 9:30 to 17:00; Mompesson House from 11:00 to 17:00; Salisbury Museum from 10am to 00pm; Boscombe Down Aviation Collection from 17:00 to 10:00 (closed on Mondays); The Rifle from 17:00 to 10:00 excluding Sundays
  • Cathedral ticket cost: adult £ 17,50 (€ 19,59), children £ 12,50 (€ 14,00), families (2 + 3) £ 48,00 (€ 53,74);
  • Mompesson House ticket cost: adults £ 7,50 (€ 8,40), £ 4,20 (€ 4,70), family £ 21,00 (€ 23,51); Salisbury Museum adult £ 8,00 (€ 8,96), children £ 4,00 (€ 4,48), family (2 + 4) £ 21,00 (€ 23,51);
  • Boscombe Down Aviation Collection ticket cost: £ 8,50 (€ 9,52) children £ 6,00 (€ 6,72), family £ 23,00 (€ 25,75);
  • Cost of the Rifle ticket: adult £ 5,00 (€ 5,60), from 0 to 16 years £ 2,00 (€ 2,24)
  • 2 Hour Off-Road Salisbury Plain Wiltshire Tour

4 - Stonehenge

It is located approximately 50 miles from Southampton and just over 9 miles from Salisbury, it is one of the most famous monuments in the world, probably dating back to 3000 BC
Unesco World Heritage Site, is a circular terrain where inside stand out the monoliths (standing stone) and stone circles (stone circle). The whole monument is surrounded by burial mounds (barrow).
This suggests that it began as a large necropolis, others suggest that it served as an astronomical calendar. A further doubt arose from the enormous difficulty of ancient peoples in transporting these enormous boulders: scholars have in fact confirmed that they come from areas much further away than this, making it almost impossible for primitive men to transport from one area to another. For all these reasons a this monument hovers a mysterious atmosphere made of myths and legends, definitely not to be missed!

  • Range: 55,1 km
  • 53 min by car via A303 or A36; by train from Southampton Central, with the GWR Cardiff Central to Salisbury, once you reach your destination take the Stonehenge Tour bus from the Railway Satation (from € 35,00 to € 50,00) - Get directions
  • every day from 9: 00 to 20: 00
  • adults £ 21,10 (€ 23,09), children £ 12,70 (€ 13,90), family £ 54,90 (€ 60,07)
  • Stonehenge: Entrance Ticket From London: Half-Day Stonehenge Tour

5 - Bath

Located in Somerset County along the River Avon, this is a popular destination for tourists who stop to admire the natural hot springs, the only ones in the whole of Great Britain.
It was founded by the Romans to be a spa and a sort of meeting place for its inhabitants. A delightful city also characterized by Georgian architecture which you can find in Queen Square, Circus, Royal Crescent and Assembly Rooms. Do not miss the Museum of Bath Architecture, the Fashion Museum, the Holburne Museum, the No 1 Royal Crescent and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy right inside the home of astronomer William Herschel.

Fun is not lacking too, this city is the home of street players, the Buskers, which you can find numerous among the narrow streets of the center. If you want some healthy relaxation, themost recommended activity is a bath in the thermal waters of the Bath Spa or a nice walk to Alexandra Park with an exceptional panorama.
Jane Austen lived in Bath for a few yearsThis is precisely why the Jane Austen Center and the Jane Austen Festival, held every year in September, were dedicated to her.

  • Range: 101 km
  • by car in 1 hour and 50 min via the A303 and A36; by train from Southampton Central with the GWR (€ 30,00 to € 55,00) - Get directions
  • Schedule: Museum of Bath Architecture from Monday to Friday from 13pm to 00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 17am to 00pm; Fashion Museum from 10:00 to 17:00; Holburne Museum from 10:00 to 17:00, Sundays from 10:00; No 17 Royal Crescent from 00:11 to 00:1; the Herschel Museum of Astronomy from 10:00 to 17:00, the weekend from 13:00 to 17:00.
  • Museum of Bath Architecture ticket cost: adult £ 6,70 (€ 7,50), students £ 5,50 (€ 6,16), children aged 6 to 16 £ 3,30 (€ 3,69), family (2 + 4) £ 16,00 , 17,91 (€ 65), over 5,70 £ 6,38 (€ )
  • Fashion Museum ticket cost: adult £ 22,50 (€ 25,19), over 65s and students £ 21,15 (€ 23,68), up to age 18 £ 13,50 (€ 15,11), families from £ 43,00 to £ 62,00 (€ 48,00-69,00)
  • Holburne ticket cost: free from 15pm to 00pm every Wednesday and from 17pm to 00pm on the last Friday of the month
  • Royal Crescent ticket cost: adult £ 10,60 (€ 11,87), over 65s and students £ 9,10 (€ 10,19), ages 6 to 16 £ 5,30 (€ 5,93), family (2 + 4) £ 26,20 (€ 29,33)
  • Cost of Herschel Museum of Astronomy ticket: adult £ 6,70 (€ 7,50), students and over 65 £ 5,70 (€ 6,16), children aged 6 to 16 £ 3,30 (€ 3,69), family (2 + 4 ) £ 16,00 (€ 17,91)
  • ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus walking tour of the Roman baths and the city

6 - Windsor

A town located in the county of Berkshire along the Thames. It has a particular link with the British Monarchy as its famous castle is one of the official residences of the Royal family. The main attraction is the castle, the oldest inhabited in the world. Do not miss the Eton college, where they studied no less than princes William and Harry. It's about a very tourist destination thanks to the presence of numerous pubs, restaurants and shops, especially on the riverside.
For young and old, a visit to the Legoland Windsor Resort, a huge amusement park obviously LEGO themed! For those wishing to get away from the city, we recommend a small excursion in the beautiful countryside of Royal Berkshire.

  • Range: 109 km
  • 1 hour 13 min by car via M3; by train from Southampton Central via Cross Country and GWR to Reading Station, Slough, to Windsor and Eton Central (€ 41,00 to € 66,00) - Get directions
  • Schedule: Castle from 10:00 to 17:15; Legoland from 10:00 to 17:00
  • castle adult £ 23,22 (€ 26,00), from 5 to 16 years £ 13,40 (€ 15,00), under 5 years free, students and over 60s £ 21,00 (€ 23,50); For Legoland detailed info on the official website
  • Windsor Castle Admission Ticket - LEGOLAND Windsor Resort: Admission Ticket

7 - Bristol

This city is located on the banks of the River Avon about 100 miles southwest of Southampton, where the Bristol Channel, a large inlet between Wales and England, is also nearby. The city offers numerous attractions to visit such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge, an enchanting suspension bridge designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel; the bridge crosses the River Avon and the Avon George, its gorge.

Also go and discover its museums such as the At -Bristol Science Center where the UK's first 3D planetarium is also located and the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery with numerous historical, artistic and archaeological finds. Also not to be missed are the Bristol Zoo Gardens and the SSS Great Britain, the first steamship to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean.

In Bristol, entertainment is not lacking thanks to the numerous events such as the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta dedicated to hot air balloons, the Bristol Harbor Festival dedicated to the maritime world and the Upfest, the largest dedicated to street artists: in this regard, this is the hometown of the famous graffiti artist Bansky. For some shopping, head to Cabot Circus and the Old Market Quarter instead.

  • Range: 124 km
  • 1 hour 46 min by car via the A34 and M4; by train from Southampton Central with GWR (€ 35,00 to € 65,00) - Get directions
  • Schedule: the At-Bristol Science Center from 10:00 to 17:00; Bristol Museum & Art Gallery from 10:00 to 17:00 except Mondays; Bristol Zoo Gardens from 9am to 00pm; SSS Great Britain from 17:00 to 10:00
  • At-Bristol Science Center adult £ 14,50, ages 3 to 15 £ 9,50; Bristol Museum & Art Gallery free; Bristol Zoo Gardens adult £ 17,00 (€ 19,00), students and over 65 £ 15,00 (€ 16,79), ages 2 to 14 £ 11,00 (€ 12,32); SSS Great Britain adult £ 16,15 (€ 18,08), over 65s and students £ 14,25 (€ 16,00), ages 5 to 16 £ 9,50 (€ 10,64), family (2+ 2) £ 44,60 (€ 50,00)
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise

8 - New Forest and Brockenhurst

A huge forest within the National Park a stone's throw from Southampton, just over 5 miles. A territory that about 900 years ago was reserved for hunting ground at the behest of William the Conqueror; not only that, even earlier it was also used as a soil for cultivation, aarea in which there are also numerous archaeological finds dating back to the Neolithic. Later the New Forest was opened to the public, becoming a National Park with vast green areas, among the most pristine in southern England. Here many animal species live undisturbed such as wild ponies descended from the horses of the Spanish Armada, squirrels, otters, skunks, foxes and several varieties of beautiful deer. The park it covers an area of ​​almost 600 square km with many species of typical flora such as oaks, beeches, pines, and birches. At the center of the park you can also visit Brockenhurst, a village of about 4 thousand inhabitants where you can discover the true essence of life outside the city, with the traditions and customs typical of this area.

  • Range: 20,3 km
  • 28 min drive via the A33, M27 and A35. By bus from Central Station with 8 and 9 Bluestar - Get directions
  • always open
  • free

9 - Isle of Wight

An island of incredible charm located in the English Channel, less than 10km from the Hampshire coast and about 30km from Southampton. Thanks to a ferry you can set sail in this unique territory also recognized as an area of ​​exceptional naturalistic beauty and visit Osborne House, the summer vacation residence built uniquely for Queen Victoria, who fell madly in love with the Island.

Do not miss the countryside and sandy beaches such as Samdown and Yaverland Beach with an unmissable stop for a good tea in the many lounges scattered nearby. Then visit Ride, "the gateway to the island" named for the numerous connections with the rest of England, and Bemdridge, the largest village in England located on the easternmost point of the island. Among the most beautiful naturalistic landscapes we find the Shanklin Chine where you can get to the cliff overlooking the sea and a walk from Freshwater bay with the chalk cliffs and the rocks "Stag" and "Mermaid" up to Tennyson Down, one of the best lookout on the island and on the famous rocks "The Needles".

  • Range: 30 km
  • 1 hour 52 min drive via Southampton - East Cowes then ferry from Fishbourne - Portsmouth (from € 147,00), for more info on the routes visit the website - Get directions
  • Schedule: Osborne House from 10:00 to 18:00
  • Osborne House adult £ 20,40 (€ 22,84), ages 5 to 17 £ 11,10 (€ 12,43), family (2 + 3) £ 48,10 (€ 53,85)
  • Isle of Wight: Osborne Admission Ticket

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