Day Trips from Southampton: Where to Go and What to See

Day Trips from Southampton: Where to Go and What to See
An aerial view of Southampton port, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Explore history, wildlife and the coastal regions of the busiest cruise port of England

Gandharv Kamala
June 24 , 2019
04 Min Read

Located on the southern coast of England, Southampton is the busiest cruise port in the country. With beaches, forests and sights of historical significance, Southampton has plenty to offer its visitors. The city is well connected with public transport, making it easily accessible from any part of the United Kingdom. After much deliberation, we have narrowed down places worth visiting around Southampton you are in the city of the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Gaze at New Forest ponies in a Brockenhurst village


When the hustle and bustle of the ICC Cricket World Cup seizes you, getaway to Brockenhurst for a day. This largely populated Hampshire village is definitely worth the £7.40 train fare. A mere 15-minute ride on a train from Southampton Central will take you right into the quaint village on the edge of New Forest. We advise you to carry woollens to deal with the chills. Pack a picnic basket and begin your journey through the forest. Your venture can either be on foot, on a rented cycle or on horseback. The forest is popular for its endemic ponies, wild horses, deer and a plethora of wildlife. Next visit the New Forest Wildlife Park at Ashurst to get a glimpse of the wild boar, European bison and lynx. From July to September, you can avail the hop on-hop off bus services from Southampton to Brockenhurst.

The bright blue sea off the Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight

Unless you are prone to sea-sickness we recommend you to hop on the car ferry or the high-speed foot passenger ferry from the Southampton Docks and undertake a journey to the Cowes. The car ferry takes around an hour to reach the Cowes while the high-speed foot passenger ferry takes close to 30 minutes. The Cowes has unblemished stretches of sand, ancient buildings and a growing food and festival culture. The southern part of the island is known for its chichi shops (beauty salons), galleries and pubs while on the west is Alum Bay. There you are likely to find a fossil as this is the Isle of Wight, a part of the ‘Jurassic Coast’. In June the Isle of Wight plays host to the biggest musical festival of Britain. Pop into the Garlic Farm Cafe which uses garlic in every dish it serves, including... ice cream!

Marvel at the centuries old structure at Stonehenge


An hour’s drive from Southampton will reach you to a well-liked prehistoric European monument, the Stonehenge. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Stonehenge is a ring of upright stones built between the 3000 BCE and 2000 BCE. The stone circle is an engineering marvel. There are various myths and mysteries surrounding the placement of the stones and the reason behind it. Some of the stones on the site were brought all the way from Wales. Some historians believe that the stones were dragged, rolled and floated on rafts for over 380 kilometres from Wales to Stonehenge. That answers the how part, now for the why part. As the story goes, the site was used for human sacrifice—you can still find cremated bones in situ— and also for lunar and solar worship. Start your tour from the visitor’s centre—avail the free shuttle service —or walk around the site and get closer to the stone circle. At the Stonehenge exhibition you will come face-to-face with a 5,500 years old man. You can also wander along the Neolithic houses and learn how people lived 4,500 years ago. Once you are done with your tour, do drop by the Café and try their rock cakes with a beer.

Walk along the brightly lit pier in Brighton


Board a direct train from Southampton Central and in under two hours you will find yourself in the heart of Brighton. A seaside resort on the English coastline, the quirky city is known for its vintage shops, the iconic Palace Pier and scrumptious food joints. Oozing the character of the city, the lanes are pretty captivating and we advise you to explore them in the afternoon. The narrow streets are blossoming with independent cafés, book stores and vintage emporiums offering plenty of choices to the potential buyer. You can also make a stop at the Royal Pavilion, the structure that was built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV. You can catch a glimpse of the Great Kitchen, the Banquet Room, the Royal Bedrooms among other places. The Palace Pier is a tough old bird. The Grade II-listed pier has survived two world wars, suffered the battering from the 1896 storms and is standing tall with pride for over a century. From cafés to live entertainment, to celebrating superhero days, fireworks display and music festivals, the Palace Pier is one of the best spots to end your day.

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