Southampton is a city with exceptional connectivity, regionally, nationally and internationally with an international airport, Europe's largest cruise port, two ferry ports and national rail and coach links. Add to this the fact that Southampton is located at the convergence of two major motorways, and it is easy to see why our city is one of the easiest to reach. If you are arriving or leaving Southampton on a cruise, please refer to our cruise pages for more information.
COVID-19 Notice: As of 23 March the Government has instructed people to stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel. As a result, many transport providers across the country are operating reduced services. In terms of operators serving Southampton, please see go to our dedicated page here.
Southampton Central rail station is served by direct trains to and from many cities across the country including:
South Western Railway services to: London Waterloo (approximately 1 hour 20 minutes), Bournemouth (approximately 30 minutes) and Winchester (approximately 17 minutes).
Southern Railway services to: Brighton (approximately 1 hour 55 minutes), London Victoria (approximately 2 hours 30 minutes) and London Gatwick Airport (approximately 1 hour 55 minutes)
Great Western Railway services to: Bristol (approximately 1 hour 40 minutes), Portsmouth (approximately 50 minutes), Brighton (approximately 1 hour 50 minutes) and Salisbury (approximately 30 minutes).
Cross Country Train services to: Birmingham (approximately 2 hours 30 minutes), Oxford (approximately 1 hour 20 minutes) and Manchester (approximately 4 hours 7 minutes).
The local rail network services many suburbs and towns on the periphery of the city including Eastleigh, Romsey, Woolston and Redbridge as well as to Southampton Airport. It is also possible to connect to destinations in the New Forest National Park too at Ashurst and Brockenhurst.
For timetables, train fares and tickets for any UK train services visit National Rail Enquiries. See the map at the top of this page for approximate journey times.
Southampton International Airport is the leading 'fast track' airport in central-southern England.
The airport is located on the northeast side of the city, near to Eastleigh and has easy access from the M27 and M3 motorways. It takes just 6 minutes by train and around 20 minutes by bus to reach the city centre from the airport.
Southampton International Airport serves many UK and European destinations and has flights to and from destinations including The Channel Islands, France, Scotland, Ireland, Spain and Italy.
The following airlines currently fly in and out of Southampton International Airport:
Although a small airport, Southampton International Airport has all the amenities you will need including places to eat and drink, a duty-free shop, WH Smith, cash machines and a bureau de change as well as WiFi access. Outside the terminal, you will find three airport car parks - Priority Parking, Short Stay Parking and Long Stay Parking. All options can be pre-booked and all give easy access to the terminal.
Southampton International Airport is served by Southampton Airport Parkway railway station, a stopping point for trains to and from London Waterloo (journey time approximately 1 hour 10 minutes) and Southampton Central Station (just a 10 minute journey). There is also a taxi rank at the airport and a bus stop from which you can catch the Unilink buses into the centre. Car hire is available from across the road of the airport terminal.
Further afield, the following airports can also be used to travel to Southampton:
Southampton is the cruise industry capital of Europe, home to luxury liners such as the majestic Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. P&O, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Cunard cruises set off on many of their luxury world voyages from Southampton's port. For more information on cruising to or from Southampton, please see our cruise pages.
There are two Red Funnel ferry services to and from the Isle of Wight departing from Town Quay; a high speed service for foot passengers (23-25 minutes) and a ferry for vehicles, cyclists and foot passengers (55-60 minutes). The foot passenger service heads to West Cowes, and the vehicle ferry to East Cowes. Passengers are advised to book ferries in advance, particularly if travelling by car or over the school holidays and for major events such as the Isle of Wight Festival.
A half hourly ferry service to Hythe (for access into the New Forest National Park) also leaves from Town Quay. This service is for foot passengers and cyclists.
The main National Express coach station for the area is located on Harbour Parade.
National Express coaches also pick up/drop off at the University of Southampton and St Mary’s Stadium.
Coaches travel to and from various destinations all over the country including many major airports such as London Heathrow and the popular destination of London. Coaches to London Victoria Coach Station take approximately 2-3 hours depending on the time of day of travel.
Southampton has excellent road links, with access from both the M3 and M27 motorways.
The Southampton City Council parking map shows council owned and managed car parks as well as on-street car parking places around the city. The interactive map also shows the car parks’ postcodes, charges and opening hours.