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I am staying one night pre-cruise in Southampton and would like to visit Stonehenge and Salisbury.  I am wondering what my transportation options are.

Is public transportation convenient?  Would I need to hire a driver?  Is Stonehenge a site that can easily be toured independently , or is a guide very important to get anything out of it?

Thanks.

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54 minutes ago, behooves said:

I am staying one night pre-cruise in Southampton and would like to visit Stonehenge and Salisbury.  I am wondering what my transportation options are.

Is public transportation convenient?  Would I need to hire a driver?  Is Stonehenge a site that can easily be toured independently , or is a guide very important to get anything out of it?

Thanks.

 

See John Bull's message on this topic https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2725303-southampton-as-a-port-stop-not-embacation-port/?tab=comments#comment-59171221

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, TheOldBear said:

 

Many thanks for posting the link, we’re on our travels with an elderly I Pad and very intermittent WiFi.

 

Choose your train time to suit the hoho times for the season.

 

There are audioguides at Stonehenge, But it’s worth reading up about the place before you visit.

 

Stonehenge hoho also calls at Old Sarum on the way back to Salisbury, worthwhile if the weather’s fine. If you do hop off at Old Sarum there’s no need to wait for the next hoho, your hoho ticket is good for the frequent local Salisbury Reds buses and I think they all go to the city centre.

 

Dont miss Salisbury cathedral, one of the finest examples in Britain. And it houses one of the four original Magna Cartas

 

JB 😀

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If you want to do this on sailing day, you are a bit pushed for time. I suggest an early start, aiming to be at the Cathedral when it opens at 9am. Catching a train at about 8am should do it.

 

Have a snack in the cathedral cafe before walking back to the station to catch the Stonehenge HOHO. You need to be back at the station by 2pm to give yourself time to collect your luggage and check in at the port.

 

You will need that mimosa when you get on the ship.

 

https://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/

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

Edited by Bob++
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My thanks to TheOldBear, John Bull and Bob++, very helpful.

Bob++, I plan on coming in a day ahead of cruise, so I don't think I will have these time restraints.  But I will still be dreaming about that first on board mimosa😊.

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21 hours ago, Bob++ said:

I assumed that. Have you considered staying in Salisbury instead of Southampton?

I hadn't actually thought of that, it would make touring easier on the day that I arrive, but I suppose it would make it more difficult for boarding the next day.

Any lodging recommendations in either would be appreciated!

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There is a direct train from Salisbury to Southampton that takes around half-an-hour. As for hotels, I have no personal experience. The Old Mill looks very picturesque and there is Caboose if you want to be near the station.

 

 

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18 hours ago, behooves said:

I hadn't actually thought of that, it would make touring easier on the day that I arrive, but I suppose it would make it more difficult for boarding the next day.

Any lodging recommendations in either would be appreciated!

 

Where are you travelling from?

Heathrow?

Gatwick?

Central London?

Makes a difference when deciding whether to lodge in Southampton or Salisbury.

 

JB 🙂

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4 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

Where are you travelling from?

Heathrow?

Gatwick?

Central London?

Makes a difference when deciding whether to lodge in Southampton or Salisbury.

 

JB 🙂

I will be arriving to Heathrow in the AM.

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On 2/17/2020 at 12:44 PM, behooves said:

I will be arriving to Heathrow in the AM.

 

There's no easy rail route from LHR to either Salisbury or Southampton, so you'll broadly have a choice between the Nat Express bus, or a private transfer ,or a car rental.

 

 https://book.nationalexpress.com/

offers some direct services from LHR to Southampton and rather fewer to Salisbury. 

Check your scheduled flight arrival and add 2 hours (to be on the safe side) for airplane to bus. That might favour lodging in one city over the other.

(there are plenty of hotels easily walkable from Southampton coach station, for Salisbury you'd probably need a short taxi hop from the Nat Express stop in Mill Stream Approach) 

 

A pre-booked private transfer to Southampton should cost around £90, for Salisbury should be just a little cheaper.

 

If you rent a car it'd be better to lodge in Salisbury, cutting down your driving on your fly-in day to as little as 90 minutes. Next morning's drive also need be no more than 90 minutes. But of course you'd  also have the freedom to explore a little.

Do bear in mind that  if you drive to Stonehenge you should pre-book, which means figuring your arrival time. 

 

Salisbury lodgings are likely to be best use of your time. 

Central Southampton's hotels are mostly modern purpose-built chain hotels, though there are a few more historic lodgings like the Pig in the Wall, Ennio's or the Dolphin.

Central Salisbury's lodgings are mainly in former coaching inns like the Red Lion or the White Hart, pubs like the King's Head,  and other historic and characterful properties. Nearest Stonehenge ho-ho stop is likely to be in New Canal rather than the rail station.

Southampton has a much broader range of restaurants, but Salisbury's got plenty of choice for a one-night visit.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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JB

 

I hesitate to mention it, but I've done it on business. You can take the bus to Woking and the train on to Salisbury. It's an option.

 

"Historic and characterful" also generally means no elevator. I've stayed at the White Hart a number of times and it's a wonderful little hotel. Almost directly across the street from the Cathedral. Unfortunately, the pub next door had been absorbed into one of the chains the last time we were in Salisbury.

 

Regarding tickets and timing, can you still do the HOHO from the train station and not have to book a specific time? That would be a good option as you also get a circuit of Salisbury. 

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2 hours ago, markeb said:

JB

 

I hesitate to mention it, but I've done it on business. You can take the bus to Woking and the train on to Salisbury. It's an option.

 

"Historic and characterful" also generally means no elevator. I've stayed at the White Hart a number of times and it's a wonderful little hotel. Almost directly across the street from the Cathedral. Unfortunately, the pub next door had been absorbed into one of the chains the last time we were in Salisbury.

 

Regarding tickets and timing, can you still do the HOHO from the train station and not have to book a specific time? That would be a good option as you also get a circuit of Salisbury. 

 

Yes, RailAir bus to Woking for direct train also works for LHR to places like Southampton and Portsmouth.

But it's a complication, involves schlepping luggage from bus to train and it's slower than Nat Express' direct bus service & much poorer value.

And for whatever reason it's not offered on the Nat Rail or train operators sites - their timetables quote  LHR east to central London's Paddington station, cross central London by tube to Waterloo station, then train west from there to Salisbury. :classic_rolleyes:

I usually include RailAir + train as a useful Plan B if other arrangements go belly-up - frequent services & no need to pre-book. 

 

Yep, was just pointing out that historic lodgings are more the norm in Salisbury whereas modern chain hotels are more the norm for Southampton. Add varying room layouts & sizes, draughts, rabbit-warren corridors, etc to the norms for historic buildings and corporate blandness to the norms for similarly-priced modern hotels. Different folk, different preferences.

 

And yep, a big advantage for the ho-ho (and for coach tours) is that their Stonehenge tickets are valid anytime. :classic_smile: 

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

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1 minute ago, John Bull said:

Yep, was just pointing out that historic lodgings are more the norm in Salisbury whereas modern chain hotels are more the norm for Southampton. Add varying room layouts & sizes, draughts, rabbit-warren corridors, etc to the norms for historic buildings and corporate blandness to the norms for similarly-priced modern hotels. Different folk, different preferences.

 

Rooms at White Hart are great, and were nicely sized (traveling alone for business). Breakfast was wonderful. Stairway to 1st (UK) floor, steps down in hallway with bags, etc., were always somewhat more "entertaining". But the staff and location were great!

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