Southampton is one of three major ports in the London area. There are four terminals that serve cruise passengers, quite spread out and accessible via different gates. One ship can dock at each terminal at the same time, and there is an additional temporary cruise terminal when all four main ones are busy. All the cruise terminals have a bar and a cafe and refreshment facilities.
Mayflower Cruise Terminal is located on the Western docks, via Dock Gate 10. The closest train station and bus stations are half a mile away. It is not possible to walk to them, you must take a taxi. There is a taxi rank just outside with licensed white cars. There is an adjacent short stay car parking available. London Heathrow airport is 63 miles away, about 1 hour and 10 minutes by car. The local airport of Southampton is only 5 miles away, about 20 minutes by car.
QE2 Cruise Terminal is at the Eastern docks, via Dock Gate 4. The closest train station and bus stations are a mile away, and as well as at Mayflower Cruise Terminal, it is not possible to walk and there is a convenient taxi rank. Short stay car park is also available, and the Airports of London and Southampton are the same distance as Mayflower Terminal.
Ocean Cruise Terminal is at the Western Docks, via Dock Gate 4. The closest train station and bus stations are a mile away as well and you have to take a taxi to get to them. Short stay car park is available here as well, and the Airports of London and Southampton are the same distance as Mayflower Terminal.
City Cruise Terminal is at the Western Docks, via Dock Gate 10. All Distances and facilities are the same as the other terminals, with the only difference that you can easily go to Mayflower Park to watch the cruise ships sail.
Things To Do
Normally London is the preferred choice for day trips from Southampton than this port city instead. For those who still wouldn’t want to travel the hour and ten minutes by train to London, below is a short list of what Southampton has to offer.
Southampton is the city, from which Titanic set sail never to return. The SeaCity Museum hosts an impressive collection, dedicated to the tragedy. Around the corner from the museum is the Southampton Art Gallery, displaying more than 3000 works of English and other masters, some dating back as far as 1750. The Tudor House & Garden, in the heart of the Old Town is a fascinating example of how people of Southampton lived 800 years ago.
If you have decided to dive into the hustle and bustle of London instead, these are the places of interest we would recommend. Choose carefully, because all major attractions of the city are quite spread out and it is possible that you won’t be able to see more than two of them within a day.
Big Ben is what Brits lovingly call the Elizabeth clock Tower at the North end of the Palace of Westminster in London. It was built in 1859 and called ‘the prince of time keepers’. It stands at 315 feet tall and the bell weighs 13.7 tonnes. An interesting fact is that there is a light above the faces of the clock that illuminates when the parliament is in session at the Westminster Palace – the home of the Parliament of United Kingdom. Currently the clock tower is being refurbished, with works expected to last three years.
The Tower of London is a famous historic castle that has served different purposes throughout the years. The main one is a prison, but it has also been a royal residency, armoury, treasury, a zoo, home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, and currently the home of the Crown Jewels of England. The White Tower – the first building, built by William conqueror in 1078, was widely resented by the public as a symbol of oppression. Throughout the centuries more buildings were added to the first one, forming the complex and occupying an area of 12 acres in land.
Buckingham Palace has been the Royal family Residency in London since 1837 and is now the administrative centre of the Monarch. Today it’s used for official events and receptions held by The Queen and its 19 State rooms are open for visitors every summer. Interesting facts are that free audio guide you receive when booking a tour is introduced by High Royal Highness Prince Charles, and that the Palace hosts one of the largest private collections of clocks and watches in the world.
There are many more attractions we can recommend, time permitting, such as the British Museum, the National Gallery London, the National History Museum, the Tate Modern Gallery and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Take a walk through Tower Bridge, around Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar square, Leicester Square, Hyde Park or the Kew Gardens. Enjoy the best views of London from the top of The Shard or from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, go shopping at Portobello market or Covent Garden.
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