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Southampton as a port stop, not embacation port

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Taking a cruise out of Hamburg that stops in Southampton 0700 - 2000.

Is there enough of interest to see here or should I leave Southampton to go to London or elsewhere?

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1 hour ago, electro said:

Taking a cruise out of Hamburg that stops in Southampton 0700 - 2000.

Is it on Cunard? If so it is most likely also an embarkation port with many passengers boarding there. 

 

1 hour ago, electro said:

Is there enough of interest to see here or should I leave Southampton to go to London or elsewhere?

London you would be a bit tight-- about 2 hours each way into London. Doable, but you wouldn't have a ton of time to do much. Last time I was in Southampton for the day I went over to Portsmouth-- historic dockyard and HMS Victory were highlights. Very quick and easy to get to. I think there were also tours up to Highclere Castle where the film Downton Abbey as it is close by. 

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13 minutes ago, princeton123211 said:

Is it on Cunard? If so it is most likely also an embarkation port with many passengers boarding there. 

 

London you would be a bit tight-- about 2 hours each way into London. Doable, but you wouldn't have a ton of time to do much. Last time I was in Southampton for the day I went over to Portsmouth-- historic dockyard and HMS Victory were highlights. Very quick and easy to get to. I think there were also tours up to Highclere Castle where the film Downton Abbey as it is close by. 

It is on MSC in May.

 

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Salisbury (by train) and possibly Stonehenge (by hoho bus) if Portsmouth Royal Docks doesn't appeal

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Southampton is a port city, not a tourist city. It's a turnaround port, with comparatively few port-of-call visits.

 

But the city has enough to interest you for a day.

 

The old walled part of the city is close to the docks - easily walkable from City cruise terminal and Ocean cruise terminal, needs a short taxi hop from Mayflower or QE11 terminals. City walls & gates, historic buildings like Tudor Merchant's House (well worth an hour or more), Medieval Merchant's House (only open weekends), Westgate Hall, & Gods Tower (houses archaeological museum). At the northern end of the walled city is the Bargate, the old city's main entrance from the London road.

Good pubs to try for a drink or meal in that part of Southampton include the Dancing Man pub & micro-brewery housed in the 13th century stone-built Wool House on Town Quay, or just around the corner in Bugle Street the attractive & historic Duke of Wellington pub, very popular with cruisers.

But it's not like most folks' idea of a walled city - it was heavily bombed in the Blitz of 1940, and modern properties sit cheek-by-jowl with the historic ones.

On the other side of the Bargate, outside the walled city, is Above Bar, the post-war main shopping street. And several malls, notably the large West Quay Mall.

 

Elsewhere in Southampton are places like....

 

"Solent Skies", a super little volunteer-run aviation museum. A short walk from Ocean Terminal, and well worth an hour. It focuses on aircraft built or operated from Southampton. Exhibits include a Spitfire (designed, developed and first built in Southampton before the factory was blitzed) and a Princess flying-boat that you can get into (Southampton was the UK's premier flying-boat centre during the short period pre & post-war before regular long-haul aircraft were developed).

If you sail from City cruise terminal, that's the place where the flying boats operated from. And on your sail-out, on the starboard side, you'll see their giant maintenance hangers (now an adventure/ leisure centre) on Calshot Spit, which sticks out where Southampton Water runs into the Solent. Also on that Spit a coastguard/harbourmaster tower and behind the tower a diminutive little Henry V111 castle).

 

Sea City Museum, council-operated museum dedicated to Titanic. Relies heavily on dioramas and personal stories, comparatively few artefacts but very well-presented. It's at the northern end of the main shopping street, Above Bar, in the Civic Offices complex (identify the complex by its tall white clock-tower). Art museum in that complex too.

 

More Southampton detail at http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk/visit including guided or self-guided walks.

 

So, enough for a lazy day in Southampton and all walkable (other than mebbe a short taxi hop from/to your ship).

 

But if you want to travel further.....

 

Portsmouth. 

Home of the Royal Navy, the main attraction is the Historic Dockyard & Ships. And close by, the Spinnaker Tower (only bother to go up if visibility is good when you're there). Portsmouth has much more to offer like Old Portsmouth's harbourfront fortifications and harbour entrance. Its conjoined city of Southsea is a resort city. On its seafront are Southsea Castle and adjacent D-Day museum and views across the Solent to the Napoleonic Solent forts and the Isle of Wight and plenty more besides, and the ring of Napoleonic forts (google "Palmerston's Follies") which surround the city.

But in all honesty you'll only have time for the dockyard & ships.

From Southampton by train or bus is about an hour. By train your destination is Portsmouth Harbour station (it's at the end of the line, after the main city station), by bus it's The Hard / Travel Interchange. Three different names for the same place :classic_rolleyes:

https://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/

https://www.visitportsmouth.co.uk/

 

Queen Victoria's Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight.

From Town Quay take Red Funnel's traditional car ferry to East Cowes , not the hi-speed ferry to (West) Cowes.

Ferry ride about an hour.

Then a short bus ride (any bus from East Cowes) and ask the driver to put you off at Osborne House - it's less than ten minutes on the bus. Check return bus & ferry times. I'm always wary of ferries on a port-of-call day, but the Red Funnel car ferry is super-reliable.

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/

https://www.redfunnel.co.uk/en/isle-of-wight-ferry/

 

Beaulieu

Take the little Hythe ferry from Town Quay across Southampton Water to Hythe (very long pier, but a little historic train to take you from boat to shore), then a taxi from the rank for the 6 miles across a corner of the New Forest to Lord Montague's complex at Beaulieu. Arrange with the driver to return for you at a pre-determined time, there's no taxi rank at Beaulieu.

(the local bus service is extremely infrequent, and ignore any references on the web to the "beach bus", it no longer operates)

It majors on Britain's National Motor Museum, but for those in your party not interested in cars there's also the Bishop's Palace (home), the ruins of Beaulieu Abbey (sacked by Henry V11 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries), and various smaller attractions like the Secret Army - during WW2 it was a training school for spies.

https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/

http://hytheferry.co.uk/

 

Salisbury & Stonehenge

Direct half-hourly  train to Salisbury costs about £11 return-ticket, journey time about 40 minutes.

If you also want to go to Stonehenge, take the Stonehenge ho-ho bus from Salisbury station. Bus ride takes about 30 minutes, expect to spend about 90 minutes at Stonehenge then ho-ho back to Salisbury to check out the magnificent Salisbury cathedral and historic city centre. Ho-ho (if conveniently timed) or walk or taxi or local bus to Salisbury station for the train back to Southampton.

Post back if this is a sunday, there are a couple of complications.

Buy your Stonehenge tickets as well as ho-ho tickets from the ho-ho driver (same price as at the gate). This avoids the need for pre-purchasing a timed ticket to Stonehenge, and avoids wasting advance payment if your plans change. 

Stonehenge is no fun in bad weather 

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

http://www.thestonehengetour.info

 

Winchester

Cathedral city only 15 mins by frequent trains from Southampton.

Older than Salisbury, it's the former capital of Wessex (King Alfred & all that). But narrow streets and rather more tourists make it feel more crowded, less laid-back.

Centred on Winchester Cathedral. Huge. IMHO not as inspiring as Salisbury's but centuries older. Houses the grave of Jane Austen. Interesting history of subsidence, and a tribute in the cathedral to the brass-helmeted deep-sea diver who a century ago spent years strengthening the foundations.

https://www.visitwinchester.co.uk/

 

London

Because of your late sailing time (double-check your latest back-on-board time - 7.30pm?) it's possible to visit London by train & make a decent fist of seeing  many of the main sights.

Walk-up train tickets are expensive (about £46 one-way) but you can dramatically cut the cost to as little as £9 one-way by buying "advance" tickets, which are available from about 8 to 10 weeks out. Check the fares for a date in March to get an idea. Those pre-purchased tickets are only available on a limited number of train times (but there's enough choice) and are only good for the train time that you purchase - miss that train & your tickets are trash so you'd have to pay the walk-up fare for the next one.

If you're confident about your disembarkation and re-embarkation times, on the current timetable I'd suggest pre-purchasing for the 08.30 or 09.00 (or both, to give you flexibility) and the return train at 5.05pm. That'd give you up to 7 hours in the big bad city. http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

(Advance tickets for train to London are well worth the grief for the savings. But if you choose Salisbury or Winchester or Portsmouth the return train fares are cheap anyway, no need for advance tickets)

This info for monday-to-saturday , more-restricted timetable on sundays.

Your stations are Southampton Central to London Waterloo.

On arrival at Waterloo station I'd suggest that you start with a complete ho-ho tour with London Original (yellow route has a live guide) https://www.theoriginaltour.com/en/tours/hop-on-hop-off

or Big Bus https://www.bigbustours.com/en/london/london-routes-and-tour-maps/ from the ho-ho stop near Waterloo station (on the London Eye side of York Road ).

The buses doesn't go past Buckingham Palace - if you want to see it you have to get off at Buckingham Gate, walk round to the front of the Palace, then walk back to the ho-ho stop for the next ho-ho. If you've got a good seat on the ho-ho I suggest you forgo the Palace.

You should have time for an inside visit or two. Or my suggestion is that you jump off the ho-ho at Trafalgar Square & walk down Whitehall past Horse Guards Parade, Downing Street (Prime Minister's residence), the Cenotaph and (just off Whitehall, Churchill's War Rooms) to Parliament Square (Houses of Parliament & Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, etc), with such stops & meanderings as your time allows, before crossing Westminster Bridge & past the London Eye back to Waterloo station.

You might have time for a short river cruise between either side of Westminster Bridge and the Tower of London (included in ho-ho ticket) but you'll see little more than you saw from the bus - and you'd be wise to stay on the boat for the return/

All that said, the trip to London might spoil you for a "proper" visit of two to four days.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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10 hours ago, John Bull said:

Southampton is a port city, not a tourist city. It's a turnaround port, with comparatively few port-of-call visits.

 

But the city has enough to interest you for a day.

 

The old walled part of the city is close to the docks - easily walkable from City cruise terminal and Ocean cruise terminal, needs a short taxi hop from Mayflower or QE11 terminals. City walls & gates, historic buildings like Tudor Merchant's House (well worth an hour or more), Medieval Merchant's House (only open weekends), Westgate Hall, & Gods Tower (houses archaeological museum). At the northern end of the walled city is the Bargate, the old city's main entrance from the London road.

Good pubs to try for a drink or meal in that part of Southampton include the Dancing Man pub & micro-brewery housed in the 13th century stone-built Wool House on Town Quay, or just around the corner in Bugle Street the attractive & historic Duke of Wellington pub, very popular with cruisers.

But it's not like most folks' idea of a walled city - it was heavily bombed in the Blitz of 1940, and modern properties sit cheek-by-jowl with the historic ones.

On the other side of the Bargate, outside the walled city, is Above Bar, the post-war main shopping street. And several malls, notably the large West Quay Mall.

 

Elsewhere in Southampton are places like....

 

"Solent Skies", a super little volunteer-run aviation museum. A short walk from Ocean Terminal, and well worth an hour. It focuses on aircraft built or operated from Southampton. Exhibits include a Spitfire (designed, developed and first built in Southampton before the factory was blitzed) and a Princess flying-boat that you can get into (Southampton was the UK's premier flying-boat centre during the short period pre & post-war before regular long-haul aircraft were developed).

If you sail from City cruise terminal, that's the place where the flying boats operated from. And on your sail-out, on the starboard side, you'll see their giant maintenance hangers (now an adventure/ leisure centre) on Calshot Spit, which sticks out where Southampton Water runs into the Solent. Also on that Spit a coastguard/harbourmaster tower and behind the tower a diminutive little Henry V111 castle).

 

Sea City Museum, council-operated museum dedicated to Titanic. Relies heavily on dioramas and personal stories, comparatively few artefacts but very well-presented. It's at the northern end of the main shopping street, Above Bar, in the Civic Offices complex (identify the complex by its tall white clock-tower). Art museum in that complex too.

 

More Southampton detail at http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk/visit including guided or self-guided walks.

 

So, enough for a lazy day in Southampton and all walkable (other than mebbe a short taxi hop from/to your ship).

 

But if you want to travel further.....

 

Portsmouth. 

Home of the Royal Navy, the main attraction is the Historic Dockyard & Ships. And close by, the Spinnaker Tower (only bother to go up if visibility is good when you're there). Portsmouth has much more to offer like Old Portsmouth's harbourfront fortifications and harbour entrance. Its conjoined city of Southsea is a resort city. On its seafront are Southsea Castle and adjacent D-Day museum and views across the Solent to the Napoleonic Solent forts and the Isle of Wight and plenty more besides, and the ring of Napoleonic forts (google "Palmerston's Follies") which surround the city.

But in all honesty you'll only have time for the dockyard & ships.

From Southampton by train or bus is about an hour. By train your destination is Portsmouth Harbour station (it's at the end of the line, after the main city station), by bus it's The Hard / Travel Interchange. Three different names for the same place :classic_rolleyes:

https://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/

https://www.visitportsmouth.co.uk/

 

Queen Victoria's Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight.

From Town Quay take Red Funnel's traditional car ferry to East Cowes , not the hi-speed ferry to (West) Cowes.

Ferry ride about an hour.

Then a short bus ride (any bus from East Cowes) and ask the driver to put you off at Osborne House - it's less than ten minutes on the bus. Check return bus & ferry times. I'm always wary of ferries on a port-of-call day, but the Red Funnel car ferry is super-reliable.

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/

https://www.redfunnel.co.uk/en/isle-of-wight-ferry/

 

Beaulieu

Take the little Hythe ferry from Town Quay across Southampton Water to Hythe (very long pier, but a little historic train to take you from boat to shore), then a taxi from the rank for the 6 miles across a corner of the New Forest to Lord Montague's complex at Beaulieu. Arrange with the driver to return for you at a pre-determined time, there's no taxi rank at Beaulieu.

(the local bus service is extremely infrequent, and ignore any references on the web to the "beach bus", it no longer operates)

It majors on Britain's National Motor Museum, but for those in your party not interested in cars there's also the Bishop's Palace (home), the ruins of Beaulieu Abbey (sacked by Henry V11 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries), and various smaller attractions like the Secret Army - during WW2 it was a training school for spies.

https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/

http://hytheferry.co.uk/

 

Salisbury & Stonehenge

Direct half-hourly  train to Salisbury costs about £11 return-ticket, journey time about 40 minutes.

If you also want to go to Stonehenge, take the Stonehenge ho-ho bus from Salisbury station. Bus ride takes about 30 minutes, expect to spend about 90 minutes at Stonehenge then ho-ho back to Salisbury to check out the magnificent Salisbury cathedral and historic city centre. Ho-ho (if conveniently timed) or walk or taxi or local bus to Salisbury station for the train back to Southampton.

Post back if this is a sunday, there are a couple of complications.

Buy your Stonehenge tickets as well as ho-ho tickets from the ho-ho driver (same price as at the gate). This avoids the need for pre-purchasing a timed ticket to Stonehenge, and avoids wasting advance payment if your plans change. 

Stonehenge is no fun in bad weather 

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

http://www.thestonehengetour.info

 

Winchester

Cathedral city only 15 mins by frequent trains from Southampton.

Older than Salisbury, it's the former capital of Wessex (King Alfred & all that). But narrow streets and rather more tourists make it feel more crowded, less laid-back.

Centred on Winchester Cathedral. Huge. IMHO not as inspiring as Salisbury's but centuries older. Houses the grave of Jane Austen. Interesting history of subsidence, and a tribute in the cathedral to the brass-helmeted deep-sea diver who a century ago spent years strengthening the foundations.

https://www.visitwinchester.co.uk/

 

London

Because of your late sailing time (double-check your latest back-on-board time - 7.30pm?) it's possible to visit London by train & make a decent fist of seeing  many of the main sights.

Walk-up train tickets are expensive (about £46 one-way) but you can dramatically cut the cost to as little as £9 one-way by buying "advance" tickets, which are available from about 8 to 10 weeks out. Check the fares for a date in March to get an idea. Those pre-purchased tickets are only available on a limited number of train times (but there's enough choice) and are only good for the train time that you purchase - miss that train & your tickets are trash so you'd have to pay the walk-up fare for the next one.

If you're confident about your disembarkation and re-embarkation times, on the current timetable I'd suggest pre-purchasing for the 08.30 or 09.00 (or both, to give you flexibility) and the return train at 5.05pm. That'd give you up to 7 hours in the big bad city. http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

(Advance tickets for train to London are well worth the grief for the savings. But if you choose Salisbury or Winchester or Portsmouth the return train fares are cheap anyway, no need for advance tickets)

This info for monday-to-saturday , more-restricted timetable on sundays.

Your stations are Southampton Central to London Waterloo.

On arrival at Waterloo station I'd suggest that you start with a complete ho-ho tour with London Original (yellow route has a live guide) https://www.theoriginaltour.com/en/tours/hop-on-hop-off

or Big Bus https://www.bigbustours.com/en/london/london-routes-and-tour-maps/ from the ho-ho stop near Waterloo station (on the London Eye side of York Road ).

The buses doesn't go past Buckingham Palace - if you want to see it you have to get off at Buckingham Gate, walk round to the front of the Palace, then walk back to the ho-ho stop for the next ho-ho. If you've got a good seat on the ho-ho I suggest you forgo the Palace.

You should have time for an inside visit or two. Or my suggestion is that you jump off the ho-ho at Trafalgar Square & walk down Whitehall past Horse Guards Parade, Downing Street (Prime Minister's residence), the Cenotaph and (just off Whitehall, Churchill's War Rooms) to Parliament Square (Houses of Parliament & Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, etc), with such stops & meanderings as your time allows, before crossing Westminster Bridge & past the London Eye back to Waterloo station.

You might have time for a short river cruise between either side of Westminster Bridge and the Tower of London (included in ho-ho ticket) but you'll see little more than you saw from the bus - and you'd be wise to stay on the boat for the return/

All that said, the trip to London might spoil you for a "proper" visit of two to four days.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Wow just great information John. We are over night in Southhampton. We have hired a car to take us to Marlborough (as we are from the US and a sister town Marborough,  Massachsettes and the Costwalds. we have him about 8 hours. He asked me if there is anything special we wanted to see. Well we have never been to England but not interested in London. We like seeing the country side. So my question to you John are there any places of interest we must see during this drive you would recommend. Thank you in Advance.

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1 hour ago, ptrician said:

Wow just great information John. We are over night in Southhampton. We have hired a car to take us to Marlborough (as we are from the US and a sister town Marborough,  Massachsettes and the Costwalds. we have him about 8 hours. He asked me if there is anything special we wanted to see. Well we have never been to England but not interested in London. We like seeing the country side. So my question to you John are there any places of interest we must see during this drive you would recommend. Thank you in Advance.

 

There are various routes to Marlborough, all about 50 miles / hour and a quarter.

 

I'd avoid M3 / A34  via Newbury, which is fast but far from picturesque. That's unless you're keen to visit Highclere Castle (country house rather than crenelated "castle"), best-known as "Downton Abbey" in the TV series. (also the home of Lord Cardigan, who funded the discovery of Tutenkhamun's tomb).

 

To get the best out of the trip I'd suggest a route across a corner of the New Forest and Salisbury Plain..........

A few miles from the ship to Cadnam for a little taste of the New Forest from there to Fordingbridge, and on to Salisbury.

Half an hour or more to visit Salisbury cathedral & mebbe a drive-thru of the historic city centre. 

Leave Salisbury past Old Sarum (a stop at Old Sarum will cost mebbe 20 - 30 minutes - exposed site, no fun in foul weather) & turn left there off the main Amesbury road to go via the hamlets of the Woodford Valley.

A fairly distant drive-by photo of Stonehenge along the A33 (stopping on the road not permitted) or about 90 minutes plus entrance fees for a close-up visit.

Then the Wiltshire villages of Upavon & Pewsey to Marborough.

This route adds only a few miles to the journey, but a further 45 minutes drive-time (unless you avoid the byeways), plus any time for stops.

https://goo.gl/maps/mTic6LHj4HX41irR8

 

Just beyond Marlborough, west on the A4, you pass close to West Kennett Long Barrow (a 10-15 minute hike across fields) and past mysterious Silbury Hill on the way to Avebury Ring, which is 6 miles / 10 minutes from Marlborough. 

 

Silbury Hill is man-made but its origins are shrouded in mystery. Learned academics have many theories, but I'm inclined to believe the locals' explanation - the Devil was wheeling a huge wheelbarrow of soil from Bristol which he intended to dump on Marlborough because the townsfolk had disrespected him. He was struggling with the weight and when he met a cobbler, who had a string of shoes over his shoulder, he asked how far it was to Marlborough. The quick-witted cobbler, realising the Devil's intention, told him it was many many miles - "look, I've worn out all these shoes walking from Marlborough". So the Devil tipped out his wheelbarrow and turned back to Bristol.

 

You should have time for all of this in your 8-hour window :classic_smile: or check out Avebury Ring while you're there.

 

BTW you won't see any thatched roofs in Marlborough. :classic_sad:

They were banned by Act of Parliament centuries ago due to a couple of major fires in the town. Which is pretty ironic, because one of the fires was started by Cromwell's parliamentarians during the English Civil War.:classic_rolleyes:

 

Google those places, see what you think.

And if you pop into Polly's tearooms in Marlborough, say hi from Chris of Coliseum Coaches.

 

JB :classic_smile: 

Edited by John Bull

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JB, Thank you very much for all of your great information!

I will go through it with my DH, you certainly helped us to make an informed decision on what to do.

Will post back when we decide.

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Thanks for all the suggestions.  We have Southampton as a turn around day off the ship then back on the same ship.

 

I have saved this thread for reference.

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53 minutes ago, phabric said:

Thanks for all the suggestions.  We have Southampton as a turn around day off the ship then back on the same ship.

 

I have saved this thread for reference.

 

 

Do check the terms of your back-to-back, as they could affect your available time in port.

Many of the suggestions aren't practical on a foreshortened day.

 

Will you be keeping the same cabin?

Will you have to return to the ship earlier than the usual 30 mins before sailing for a port-of-call ? That's a strong probability if you have to repeat the muster drill.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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On 1/17/2020 at 2:17 PM, John Bull said:

 

There are various routes to Marlborough, all about 50 miles / hour and a quarter.

 

I'd avoid M3 / A34  via Newbury, which is fast but far from picturesque. That's unless you're keen to visit Highclere Castle (country house rather than crenelated "castle"), best-known as "Downton Abbey" in the TV series. (also the home of Lord Cardigan, who funded the discovery of Tutenkhamun's tomb).

 

To get the best out of the trip I'd suggest a route across a corner of the New Forest and Salisbury Plain..........

A few miles from the ship to Cadnam for a little taste of the New Forest from there to Fordingbridge, and on to Salisbury.

Half an hour or more to visit Salisbury cathedral & mebbe a drive-thru of the historic city centre. 

Leave Salisbury past Old Sarum (a stop at Old Sarum will cost mebbe 20 - 30 minutes - exposed site, no fun in foul weather) & turn left there off the main Amesbury road to go via the hamlets of the Woodford Valley.

A fairly distant drive-by photo of Stonehenge along the A33 (stopping on the road not permitted) or about 90 minutes plus entrance fees for a close-up visit.

Then the Wiltshire villages of Upavon & Pewsey to Marborough.

This route adds only a few miles to the journey, but a further 45 minutes drive-time (unless you avoid the byeways), plus any time for stops.

https://goo.gl/maps/mTic6LHj4HX41irR8

 

Just beyond Marlborough, west on the A4, you pass close to West Kennett Long Barrow (a 10-15 minute hike across fields) and past mysterious Silbury Hill on the way to Avebury Ring, which is 6 miles / 10 minutes from Marlborough. 

 

Silbury Hill is man-made but its origins are shrouded in mystery. Learned academics have many theories, but I'm inclined to believe the locals' explanation - the Devil was wheeling a huge wheelbarrow of soil from Bristol which he intended to dump on Marlborough because the townsfolk had disrespected him. He was struggling with the weight and when he met a cobbler, who had a string of shoes over his shoulder, he asked how far it was to Marlborough. The quick-witted cobbler, realising the Devil's intention, told him it was many many miles - "look, I've worn out all these shoes walking from Marlborough". So the Devil tipped out his wheelbarrow and turned back to Bristol.

 

You should have time for all of this in your 8-hour window :classic_smile: or check out Avebury Ring while you're there.

 

BTW you won't see any thatched roofs in Marlborough. :classic_sad:

They were banned by Act of Parliament centuries ago due to a couple of major fires in the town. Which is pretty ironic, because one of the fires was started by Cromwell's parliamentarians during the English Civil War.:classic_rolleyes:

 

Google those places, see what you think.

And if you pop into Polly's tearooms in Marlborough, say hi from Chris of Coliseum Coaches.

 

JB :classic_smile: 

Thank You Thank you sir. This helps me so much. Indeed I will check all this out.

 

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JB - you haven't included the Magic Roundabout at Swindon ! Surely one of the Wonders of the Modern World!

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16 hours ago, wowzz said:

JB - you haven't included the Magic Roundabout at Swindon ! Surely one of the Wonders of the Modern World!

I have  seen that talked about before. Good thing we aren't driving. Roundabouts we have in the states but not like this.

 

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17 hours ago, wowzz said:

JB - you haven't included the Magic Roundabout at Swindon ! Surely one of the Wonders of the Modern World!

 

In 4,000 years archaeologists will excavate the Magic Roundabout, and argue about its purpose.

And at least one unscientific story handed down will include references to the Devil and the destruction of Swindon. :classic_wacko:

(See my comment about Silbury Hill)

 

Image result for swindon magic roundabout

 

JB :classic_biggrin:

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52 minutes ago, John Bull said:

 

In 4,000 years archaeologists will excavate the Magic Roundabout, and argue about its purpose.

And at least one unscientific story handed down will include references to the Devil and the destruction of Swindon. :classic_wacko:

(See my comment about Silbury Hill)

 

Image result for swindon magic roundabout

 

JB :classic_biggrin:

Do I see cars in the outer circle going clockwise, while those in the inner circle are going counter-clockwise? And is that 5 more little clockwise roundabouts? If I ever got here I don't think that I would ever get out!

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4 hours ago, gnome12 said:

Do I see cars in the outer circle going clockwise, while those in the inner circle are going counter-clockwise? And is that 5 more little clockwise roundabouts? If I ever got here I don't think that I would ever get out!

Yes, it can be a little daunting when you first approach it, but strangely enough, it works quite well.

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On 1/17/2020 at 1:51 AM, John Bull said:

Salisbury & Stonehenge

Direct half-hourly  train to Salisbury costs about £11 return-ticket, journey time about 40 minutes.

If you also want to go to Stonehenge, take the Stonehenge ho-ho bus from Salisbury station. Bus ride takes about 30 minutes, expect to spend about 90 minutes at Stonehenge then ho-ho back to Salisbury to check out the magnificent Salisbury cathedral and historic city centre. Ho-ho (if conveniently timed) or walk or taxi or local bus to Salisbury station for the train back to Southampton.

Post back if this is a sunday, there are a couple of complications.

Buy your Stonehenge tickets as well as ho-ho tickets from the ho-ho driver (same price as at the gate). This avoids the need for pre-purchasing a timed ticket to Stonehenge, and avoids wasting advance payment if your plans change. 

Stonehenge is no fun in bad weather 

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

http://www.thestonehengetour.info

 

JB :classic_smile:


I am a planner for August 2021 for 6 adults.  Cruise out of Southampton on Sat August 7, not sure yet when we with fly.
 

We will be flying from Canada to LHR terminal 2 arrival 9pm and with getting luggage/immigration, it will close to 10:30-11pm,  we plan on staying at Hilton Garden Terminal 2 for the night.

 

The next day, go back through the airport to take the National Express Coach to Southampton. Spend the night at a hotel.

 

I have stayed 4x at Premier Inn West Quay, have enjoyed my stays there and also 1x at the Holiday Inn.  There are hotels closer to National Express Coach and train station than Premier Inn West Quay, could save £ on a taxi getting to Coach/train.  I have forgotten the names of these hotels - I think Novotel, Ibis, any preference?  Or, is it better to stay with Premier Inn West Quay, that I know?

 

The next day, take the train to Salisbury and then the HOHO bus to Stonehenge and see the Cathedral after.  I noticed from the site you provided that you can purchase a combined ticket for bus, Stonehenge, and Salisbury Cathedral.  Is it better to order online, or wait until on the bus to purchase?

 

On the site you provide The Stonehenge Tour,  under How to Get There they mention - Direct train - First Great Western.  They seem cheaper than the National Rail.  What is the difference?

 

For the train, you need to purchase timed tickets, if we want to return early can we use our timed ticket?  Is it better to purchase Off Perk Day ticket or Anytime day ticket?

 

Is the HOHO bus close to Salisbury train station?  Do we need a taxi/walk to HOHO stop?  Are there signs for the HOHO to follow?

 

Because there are 6 adults, should we rent a car for the day?

 

 

Edited by phabric

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6 hours ago, phabric said:


I am a planner for August 2021 for 6 adults.  Cruise out of Southampton on Sat August 7, not sure yet when we with fly.
 

We will be flying from Canada to LHR terminal 2 arrival 9pm and with getting luggage/immigration, it will close to 10:30-11pm,  we plan on staying at Hilton Garden Terminal 2 for the night.

 

The next day, go back through the airport to take the National Express Coach to Southampton. Spend the night at a hotel.

 

I have stayed 4x at Premier Inn West Quay, have enjoyed my stays there and also 1x at the Holiday Inn.  There are hotels closer to National Express Coach and train station than Premier Inn West Quay, could save £ on a taxi getting to Coach/train.  I have forgotten the names of these hotels - I think Novotel, Ibis, any preference?  Or, is it better to stay with Premier Inn West Quay, that I know?

 

The next day, take the train to Salisbury and then the HOHO bus to Stonehenge and see the Cathedral after.  I noticed from the site you provided that you can purchase a combined ticket for bus, Stonehenge, and Salisbury Cathedral.  Is it better to order online, or wait until on the bus to purchase?

 

On the site you provide The Stonehenge Tour,  under How to Get There they mention - Direct train - First Great Western.  They seem cheaper than the National Rail.  What is the difference?

 

For the train, you need to purchase timed tickets, if we want to return early can we use our timed ticket?  Is it better to purchase Off Perk Day ticket or Anytime day ticket?

 

Is the HOHO bus close to Salisbury train station?  Do we need a taxi/walk to HOHO stop?  Are there signs for the HOHO to follow?

 

Because there are 6 adults, should we rent a car for the day?

 

 

 

Yes, with a 9am flight arrival, a hotel near the airport that night is perhaps the only sensible option.

 

Novotel, Ibis and Ibis Budget are the three adjacent hotels opposite Southampton Central station and a five-minute walk from the Nat Express coach station.

Premier Inn West Quay is a ten-minute walk from the train station and a  7-minute walk from the coach station.

You'll doubtless know your cruise terminal, and that City cruise terminal (RCI, Celebrity, NCL & many others) is a 15 minute walk from Ibis / Novotel or 10 mins from P I West Quay. If your cruise is out of Ocean cruise terminal (Princess, P&O, & other Carnival brands) P I West Quay  is something under 20 minutes, or Ibis / Novotel five minutes further.

All the walking is easy -  all sidewalks & level ground.

Or if you prefer to take a taxi (which you probably will if its raining) those short hops will each cost £6 to £7.

 

We have stayed at other Ibis Budgets, all much the same layout - no-frills, rather bare, small shower room, but cheap.

Novotel is in a different league,.

I don't know the regular Ibis.

You know P I West Quay.

All are modern & clean, all perfectly acceptable for the money. I

don't see a huge difference in the convenience of each.

But your stay, your money - so your choice.

 

Price for Stonehenge combined ho-ho / sights ticket is the same whether pre-booked or from the driver, but

- pre-booked commits you to the purchase, altho there's a discretionary refund.

- you can't pre-book a specific time or date, so presumably (?) no preference in the unlikely event that  the bus is full

- I don't know whether the driver accepts plastic (very probably, but I don't know)

But definitely buy Stonehenge admission with your ho-ho tickets  rather than from Stonehenge itself because ho-ho - issued tickets give you admission at any time.  

All this as per the FAQ on the ho-ho website.

 

I always link the National Rail website for trains because it's the one site for anywhere on the UK network rather than figuring which franchise (in this case it's Great Western).

I checked the times and fares on both GWR & National Rail websites using a random date in April because the Nat Rail website doesn't go out to August.

Times & fares are the same on both websites, just as they should be -  £12.70 return fare for trains before 9am, ("anytime") or £11.40 return fare for trains after 9am ("off-peak").

Other than needing "anytime" for a train before 9am your train tickets aren't timed. And you can also return at any time.

There's no discount for pre-purchasing tickets on this route. Pre-purchasing  will save you a few minutes at the station,  but  there are no refunds if your plans change. 

 

There's a ho-ho bus stop on Salisbury station forecourt, you can't miss it.

At Stonehenge the pick-up is where the bus drops you.

For the cathedral get off the ho-ho at its city centre stop the driver will announce it. The cathedral is a pleasant walk of under 10 minutes.

The train station is something over half a mile from the city centre. Use the ho-ho if one is due, or a taxi, or a 10 - 15 minute walk. Or a local bus - ask the ho-ho driver which bus & whether your ho-ho ticket covers that fare (it'll only be pennies anyway). 

 

Most large cars are 5-seaters, you might need an MPV or minibus ("van" in American).

Hertz, National, Enterprise, Alamo, Europcar & Budget all have depots near those hotels.

Specify automatic if that's what you need, most vehicles are shift-stick.

 

To figure whether renting  a vehicle is worthwhile you'll have to tally-up ....

train+hoho package x 6 = £???

against ....

vehicle rental+zero-excess fee+(?)GPS+about £15 gas+Stonehenge admission x 6 + a few pounds for Stonehenge and  Salisbury parking = £???

 

Bear in mind that if you drive  you need to pre-purchase timed admission to Stonehenge.

When buying you select a 30-minute arrival slot. You are guaranteed immediate admission during that slot.

But should you arrive after your time-slot, if the site is at its maximum numbers your admission will be delayed.

Not a problem out-of-season, but quite possible in August.

I suggest you calculate your arrival time and book for a slot up to an hour later - that way the worst that can happen is you have to wait for up to an hour.

Timed tickets relate only to admission - you leave whenever you like

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/prices-and-opening-times/

 

Unless renting a car saves you a wad of cash I don't think it worth the grief.

But your trip, your decision.

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

   

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On 1/17/2020 at 1:51 AM, John Bull said:

Thanks for all the great information.  A lot of information to think about.

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1 hour ago, John Bull said:

 

Yes, with a 9am flight arrival, a hotel near the airport that night is perhaps the only sensible option.

JB :classic_smile:

 

   

 

That of course should have read 9pm :classic_rolleyes:

 

JB :classic_blush:

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It has been a few years since I have cruised out of Southampton.  We will be on the Grand Princess.

 

On a Princess Cruises in the past, we took a taxi from Premier Inn West Quay and turning right, passing West Quay shopping mall to the dock.  Is that City Terminal?

 

The last time on a Princess cruise, we took a taxi from Premier Inn West Quay, going in the opposite direction, more in the direction of the town.  Is that Ocean terminal?

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2 hours ago, phabric said:

It has been a few years since I have cruised out of Southampton.  We will be on the Grand Princess.

 

On a Princess Cruises in the past, we took a taxi from Premier Inn West Quay and turning right, passing West Quay shopping mall to the dock.  Is that City Terminal?

 

The last time on a Princess cruise, we took a taxi from Premier Inn West Quay, going in the opposite direction, more in the direction of the town.  Is that Ocean terminal?

 

http://www.southamptonvts.co.uk/Live_Information/Shipping_Movements_and_Cruise_Ship_Schedule/Cruise_Ship_Schedule/

2021 port schedule won't be on that page until the end of the year.

 

Princess usually berth at

Berth 105/6 (Mayflower Terminal), a boring walk of 20 / 25 minutes, much of it within the docks. Or a £7 taxi ride.

Or

Berth 46 (Ocean Terminal), which is at the bottom of old-town. A more pleasant 15 - 20 minute walk past Town Quay

 

JB :classic_smile:

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We're staying in Southampton for 2 days prior to cruise just to relax before sailing and are booked at the Blue Keys hotel. Anyone ever stay there before, and if so ,did you like it?

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2 hours ago, dog555 said:

We're staying in Southampton for 2 days prior to cruise just to relax before sailing and are booked at the Blue Keys hotel. Anyone ever stay there before, and if so ,did you like it?

Well, the reviews are ok.

Personally,  I'd have asked about the hotel before booking it.

We always stay in one of the Premier Inns. Great value for money, very clean and centrally located. 

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