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Transfer: Southampton—London (incl. LHR/LGW) train, car, other?


jedco
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the problem with email where they auto fill in the sender, i only use the email address for Microsoft and never ever use it for anything else.  I don't even have the account set up in my emails.  I did learn lots and lots.  Most of the ones being recommended are actually located in the Southampton area.  the one I did find that was based in London and would work is Blackberry Cars.  I finally bit the bullet and booked them two weeks ago.  Just in time for the cruise to be cancelled.  I had 6 separate bookings too.  Their location was important as I wasn't going directly to/from the port but rather staying in London.

 

Oh well.  I have already rebooked for June 2021 and I will use them then,  I also found out the two of the recommended companies are the same ownership so the same price.

 

thank you everyone for the help though.  Like I said, I will use them the following summer.

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Posted (edited)

Just doing a little research for our cruise next year. We'll be flying in to Heathrow most likely a couple days prior to the cruise. We plan of going to Southampton as soon as we land and spending 2 days there. I don't think Princess offers a transfer like that  - just a transfer to the ship on the day of the cruise. What's the best way to get to a hotel in Southampton a couple of days prior to the cruise? 

 

tks in advance

Edited by nbsjcruiser
typo
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  • nbsjcruiser changed the title to Transfer from Heathrow to Southampton

When we were booked for a British Isles cruise last year for May 2020, we had reservations with National Express.  We are trying again in 2022, and if all is up and running, we will be using them again, although I may not prebook this time around.

The company was wonderful to give us our money back due to COVID.

 

Here is a link:  https://www.nationalexpress.com/en 

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7 minutes ago, nbsjcruiser said:

Just doing a little research for our cruise next year. We'll be flying in to Heathrow most likely a couple days prior to the cruise. We plan of going to Southampton as soon as we land and spending 2 days there. I don't think Princess offers a transfer like that  - just a transfer to the ship on the day of the cruise. What's the best way to get to a hotel in Southampton a couple of days prior to the cruise? 

 

tks in advance

 

We booked a van with others from our roll call. You might ask in yours if anybody else is going that early.

 

https://www.smithsairportcars.co.uk/

 

https://www.nationalexpress.com/en

 

https://www.rome2rio.com/map/London-Heathrow-Airport-LHR/Southampton

 

 

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Contact Smiths for Airports. We used them and they provided excellent private service for a reasonable cost. It allowed us a little additional shut eye time after the overnight flight. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm chiming in with a thumbs up for Smiths for Airports. We used them to go from Heathrow to Southampton a few days early some years ago. Got off the airplane dreary-eyed, switched on my cell-phone and there was a text from 'Sean' our driver letting us know he'd be waiting for us right outside arrivals. Sure enough there he was and he helped us schlep the bags to his vehicle which, by the way, was plenty big enough to accommodate our over-packed four large bags plus carry-ons. Had a pleasant conversation all the way to Southampton too. Yes, we'd give Smith's our business again!

Edited by beg3yrs
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We also used the National Express Bus, although we took it to and from Victoria Coach Station in London and Southampton (in July & August 2019 we cruised transatlantic both ways and spent 3 weeks in England and Scotland between cruises). The bus is comfortable and inexpensive. We loved staying in Southampton a few days. We enjoyed wandering around the old town. Another fun thing we did was take the ferry to Hythe and then ride the open-top bus through the National Park. Sure do hope everything is up and running again soon.

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We usually take a tour going down and then returning (if you return to Southampton). Maybe visit Stonehenge, Hampton Court, Bath, Salisbury, or anyplace else in the area that tickles your fancy. Many companies do this, and it doesn’t cost much more than a plain transfer.

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I'll chime in too.  A bit of background, I worked for a UK company for years and traveled into Heathrow dozens of times.  In terms of cruises I've used 3 options:

 

1.  Smiths for Airports is very difficult to beat.  We used them twice, both times we made the booking via web / email.  Shockingly they didn't require anything in advance (no payment, not even a credit card number) amazing.  The drivers were entirely professional, precisely on time and knowledgable of the airport and Southampton terminals.  In terms of cost, they were really very close to the price of a Princess transfer (less than $10 pp more).  If you have more than 2, you'll easily beat the Princess transfer price.

 

2.  We also used the National Express bus on one occasion.  This worked particularly well for us as I was able to purchase tickets during a business trip a couple weeks earlier.  If you purchase on the day of, there is no guarantee you'll get on the next bus.  Busses run every couple of hours so . . .  Also, do know that the bus terminal in Southampton is small for the volume of traffic on busy summer cruise days.  Getting a taxi can be a challenge.  Some hotels are close enough to walk to (we stayed at, I think, a Novotel that was about a 10 minute walk).  The cruise terminals are not set up for walking in and some are quite a distance from the bus stations.  

 

3.  As said, I've been to the UK a lot, so much so that I've become comfortable (more or less) driving a rental car.  On one occasion we did a bit of sightseeing before our cruise and dropped our car off at Southampton airport and grabbing a taxi from there to the pier.  I wouldn't suggest a car for Southampton itself, but if you want to poke around say Stonehenge, a car would be very useful.  Honestly, aside from city centers driving in the UK is manageable.  It makes sense to make certain you book a car with a GPS and study you planned routes in advance.  Compared to prices in the U.S. rental cars in the U.K. are dramatically more expensive.

 

Smiths is the simple / best option but by no means the only available choice.  Hope my rambling response helps somewhat.

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Depends how many are in your party.. 

 

There's a National Express Coach bus station between terminal 2 and 3 in Heathrow (follow the overhead signs) , but IMO if there's 3 or 4 of you a reserved car transfer only runs about 70 pounds total so if there's 4 of you it's less 20 pounds pp, and far nicer after a long flight. But if only 2  and money is a issue  the direct bus is pretty easy to navigate, and far less $$

 

Enjoy !

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Piling on for Smiths for Airports.  Nothing beats meeting a "man with a sign" at the end of a long red-eye flight.  Dependable and well worth the little bit extra to make the trip to Southampton.

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Posted (edited)

Another National Express here as I'm cheap.  There is only one stop on the way to Southampton.  Bus is very comfortable.  Yes, do book ahead.  They sometimes offer £5/pp fares from the Victoria station.  We have been lucky several times but it is a few years since we have sailed from Southampton so they may have discontinued this bargain fare.  It is more from Heathrow.

Edited by TeaBag
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There’s a really great forum for information in the Ports section of these boards with some experts who have current intel.  Pop over there and see about transfers, hotels, tours etc 

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, nbsjcruiser said:

Thanks for all the replies - Has anyone tried the train from Heathrow to Southampton?

I would not consider this. Believe you have to first transfer to a London station, and then once you arrive at Southampton you have to taxi to your hotel. From a search.

Is there a train from Southampton to Heathrow?

  • There are no direct train services between Southampton and Heathrow Airport. The direct transfer here is by scheduled public transport using the Southampton National Express coaches. Gatwick Airport has direct rail services from Southampton, but not on Sundays.
Edited by skynight
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54 minutes ago, nbsjcruiser said:

Thanks for all the replies - Has anyone tried the train from Heathrow to Southampton?

You really do not want to consider using the train, especially if you have luggage. Lots of carrying your luggage around, and more expensive and slower than using National Express. 

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Posted (edited)

If traveling on embarkment and disembarkment days, check out-

 

www.internationalfriends.co.uk

 

They go to and from LHR hotels, certain London hotels to and from Southampton.

They stop along the way at Stonehenge on the way to Southampton.

From Southampton, they stop at Salisbury , Stonehenge and Windsor before dropping off at certain London hotel or LHR hotels or LHR.

 

I have taken National Express Coach from LHR to Southampton.  National Express Coach has their terminal with a 10 minute walk through terminal 2 (follow the easy signs).  LHR - Air Canada uses terminal 2, British Airlines uses terminal 5. Air Transat uses Gatwick Airport.

 

www.nationalexpress.com

 

I have stayed at Premier Inn West Quay 3x.  A short taxi ride from National Express Coach and train station and dock.

 

www.premierinn.com

 

Britain is having a Bank Holiday June 1-4, 2022 for the Queen’s Jubilee.  Book your hotel when it becomes available.

 

I have taken the train from Southampton to Waterloo train station since my hotel was close to the Waterloo train station.  I preferred National Express Coach.  On the train, you leave your luggage at the door out of sight of your seat, you have carry your luggage to/from everywhere.

 

Edited by phabric
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I live in a village on the edge of Southampton. We can see the cruise ships with a 5 minute walk from our house. Southampton is a great place to live but not sure if it is a wonderful holiday destination.

 

However for an overnighter I would stay at the Holiday Inn which is walkable to to one of the terminals although I believe they can arrange shuttles. My wife audits the med centres on Carnival ships and always stays there with her team (even tho we live 15 minutes away!!).

https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/southampton/soahp/hoteldetail

 

There is a great Indian Restaurant adjacent https://www.kutis.co.uk/

 

However if I had a couple of days I would stay in Winchester which is a fabulous medieval city and the original capital of Wessex.

 

Only forty-five minutes from Cruise terminal and the train passes through. As stated there is no train from Heathrow to Southampton. There is a coach link to Woking train station which would be a pain with baggage.

 

This hotel has some reasonable deals https://thewinchesterhotel.co.uk/index.html or the Mercure is effectively in the centre of town in the the grounds of Winchester Cathedral. We often go there for overnight breaks. The pubs are fantastic.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hawkesbaynz said:

I live in a village on the edge of Southampton. We can see the cruise ships with a 5 minute walk from our house. Southampton is a great place to live but not sure if it is a wonderful holiday destination.

 

However for an overnighter I would stay at the Holiday Inn which is walkable to to one of the terminals although I believe they can arrange shuttles. My wife audits the med centres on Carnival ships and always stays there with her team (even tho we live 15 minutes away!!).

https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/southampton/soahp/hoteldetail

Last time we stayed two nights at the Holiday Inn across from Mayflower Park. Very nice. Walkable to High Street, the pubs and shopping for supplies. The ship was at Mayflower pier up the river some. I remember we had to take a cab. It was a little distant to walk with luggage. Another time the ship was at the QE2 pier. A cab would be needed. We enjoyed our time in Southampton.

Edited by skynight
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Thank you Hawkesbaynz.  Are you a New Zealander?  It is really great to have info about a city from a resident.  I love Southampton and have been there 4 or 5 times always going on a cruise.  We usually come a few days ahead and visit other places by train.  Unfortunately it looks like we will not be coming this Aug/Sept although we are still hoping........

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