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Southampton to London: How to Get There and Where to Stay [2024 Edition]

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Looking for the best way to get from Southampton to London?

London’s calling all you Southampton dwellers looking to trade in quaint cobblestone streets for the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Although it’s one of the priciest cities on earth, London doesn’t have to break the bank. Indeed, with insider tips, you can experience all the magic and grandeur of this city on a budget.

Take it from me – a former London resident; avoid the crowded, touristy areas like Oxford Street and Buckingham Palace. Instead, go where the locals go to uncover hidden gems without the crowds.

With extensive firsthand experience traveling between Southampton and London regularly over the past seven years, I’m pleased to provide my trusted advice as an insider.

Planning your trip? Use my favorite resources!

🏨 Accommodation: I recommend Booking.com
✈️ Flights: for the cheapest flights, I use Skyscanner
🚗 Rental Car: I recommend Discover Cars
🛡️ Travel Insurance: for the best deals I rely on SafetyWing

With so many transport options between Southampton and London, including trains, coaches, and more, choosing the right one for your budget and needs can get confusing.

I’ll also share accommodations perfect for any budget, from affordable hostels to cozy Airbnbs, so you can save your pounds for the fun stuff.

Getting From Southampton To London

Ultimate guide covering all your Southampton to London train, bus and car options, including best route, fastest option, the costs, and getting the best deal on prices.

Southampton to London: How to Get There and Where to Stay [2024 Edition] 1
Anchor monument in the heart of Southampton

Southampton To London Distance

Alright my friends, let’s talk numbers. From Southampton to London you’re looking at about 75-90 miles (120-145km) between you and all that big city action.

The options on the table here are trains, buses, coaches, driving yourself, or splurging on a private taxi. Each has their own pros and cons, so read on and I’ll break it all down for you.

Southampton To London By Train

This is the most popular option for getting to London and is the fastest way to get to the heart of the city.

How long is the train journey from Southampton to London?

When it comes to trains, you can expect a journey time of around 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes from Southampton to London. Given the distance is about 80 miles (128km), and trains can hit speeds up to 125 mph, it’s a pretty swift and convenient way to go.

Of course, your exact travel time depends on potential delays, what time you leave, and whether you need to switch trains. But generally speaking, the train is a solid bet for getting from Southampton to London within a reasonable time frame.

Southampton to London train schedule and fares
Fastest train from Southampton to London Waterloo

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Train travel Pros:

  • The quickest way to get to the center of London from Southampton
  • The journey is smooth and relaxing and allows you to focus on catching up with work or taking a nap during the journey.
  • Takes you straight into the heart of London within walking distance of attractions, shops, restaurants etc.
  • A good option for traveling from Southampton to London with luggage

Train travel Cons:

  • The most expensive option – tickets are much more costly than they used to be.
  • You are tied to train departure times and must arrive at the platform in time to avoid missing the train.

Tips for the train ride from Southampton to London

For a smooth train ride between these two cities, heed my advice. First up, get your behind to the station early. You don’t want to be that frazzled person wheeling a massive suitcase behind you as the train pulls away. Not a good look.

Next, come prepared. We’re talking snacks, headphones, reading material – whatever you need to keep yourself occupied.

Now for seating – if you want to splurge, book a first-class ticket and travel in style. But standard class works too if you’re trying to save those pounds. 

👉 A word of advice: train carriages can fill up quickly, so you’re better off booking your tickets in advance here.

Once aboard, kick back and make the most of it! Watch a movie, gaze out the window, or chat with your neighbor. Just try not to fall asleep and miss your stop!

When you pull into the station, watch your step getting off. And if you want to really explore London, do it by foot to soak it all in. Grab a pint and get walking!

👉 With my many trips on this route, I’ve found the smoothest journey is booking a seat well in advance and bringing entertainment for the ride.

Off-peak train times Southampton to London:

Read more: For all the best day trips from London, head over to my guide: Best day trips from the capital.

Southampton To London By Bus

This is the cheapest option, but also the slowest route to London.

How long is the bus ride from Southampton to London?

The bus from Southampton to London can take you anywhere from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the route, traffic, and stops.

The distance is around 80 miles between the two cities. Buses typically stick to the major roads and highways to get you there. Some companies may stop in other towns along the way too, adding a bit of time.

Overall though, the bus is often cheaper than trains or driving yourself. It’s a solid pick for anyone on a budget or wanting a more lowkey, scenic kind of trip.

How much is a bus from London to Southampton?

For bus tickets from London to Southampton, you’re looking at £6 to £25+ each way. It depends on the company and type of ticket. Brands like Bluestar and Stagecoach run direct buses between the cities.

Cheap bus tickets from Southampton to London:


  • The cheapest way to get to the center of London from Southampton
  • The journey is fairly smooth and relaxing and allows you take a nap and/or enjoy the views.
  • Takes you straight into the heart of London within walking distance of attractions, shops, restaurants etc.


  • The slowest option – the journey will take you a little longer.
  • You are tied to bus departure times and must arrive at the station/bus stops in time to avoid missing the bus.

Tips for the bus ride from Southampton to London

✪ First, get to the stop nice and early – no last minute sprint-waving allowed.

✪ Make sure to pack snacks, water, pillows, blankies – anything that’ll make the ride more comfy.

✪ Seats are first come, first served. Maybe you’ll luck out and get a row to yourself!

✪ Once settled in, queue up playlists, podcasts, movies or just gaze out the window. Do what you gotta do to pass the time in comfort.

✪ Don’t forget your stuff when you arrive! And if you hoof it ’round London, bring maps, charged phones and cash for a victory pint later.

👉 PS: Add Hampton Court Palace to your itinerary, and explore its historical hedge maze, one of the top 12 mazes in London!

Southampton To London By Car

Neither the most expensive nor the cheapest option, but definitely the most flexible way to get to London.

How long is the car ride from Southampton to London?

By car, expect the drive from Southampton to London to take 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic, your route, and stops.

The distance between the two cities is about 80 miles (128km). You’ve got major roads like the M3 and A3 connecting them.

But beware – rush hour or peak times can mean heavy traffic which adds significant drive time. Check conditions and plan accordingly if you’re driving it.

➤ You can hire a rental car for your trip here:

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  • The most flexible way to get to London from Southampton as you can leave whenever you want
  • The journey is smooth with some decent views along the way
  • A relatively affordable option that is cheaper than the train and taxi
  • The best option for traveling from Southampton to London with luggage


  • You need to be a qualified driver and have a car
  • Parking in London could be difficult to find, and an extra expense
  • Driving in central London will incur extra costs due to the Congestion charge

What are some great stops along the way?

There are several great stops along the way from Southampton to London, depending on your interests and the route you take. Here are some ideas:

  1. Winchester: This historic city is located just a short distance from Southampton and is known for its beautiful cathedral and medieval architecture. It’s a great place to stretch your legs and take in some history.
  2. New Forest: If you’re looking for some natural beauty, consider stopping at New Forest National Park, which is located between Southampton and London. Here you can enjoy scenic walks, wildlife spotting, and beautiful views of the countryside.
  3. Portsmouth: This coastal city is home to several historic landmarks, including the HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum. It’s a great place to explore if you’re interested in maritime history.
  4. Guildford: This picturesque town is located along the A3 route to London and is known for its historic castle, beautiful gardens, and charming streets lined with shops and cafes.
  5. Kingston-upon-Thames: Located just a short distance from London, this charming market town is situated along the River Thames and is known for its historic buildings, bustling market, and scenic riverfront.

These are just a few ideas for great stops along the way from Southampton to London. Whether you’re interested in history, or nature, or just want to break up your journey with some interesting sights, there are plenty of options to choose from.

👉 Looking for fun activities in London? Why not take a trip to SEA LIFE London Aquarium – one of the best aquariums in England

Tips for the car ride from Southampton to London

Here are some tips to make your car journey a real smooth ride, without any bumps in the road so to speak.

✪ First, get road trip ready – check the oil, gas, tire pressure. Don’t get stranded out there!

✪ Bring entertainment – playlists, podcasts, games – anything to pass the time.

✪ Snacks are a must too. Pack your own or pick some up along the way.

✪ On the highway, keep pace with traffic but don’t be a speed demon. Use turn signals when changing lanes unless you want some road rage directed your way.

👉 Word of advice: In the UK we drive on the left side of the road.

✪ Once you’re in London, make sure your navigation is on point. The city can be a maze. And if you want to take the scenic route, go for it!

📍 From experience driving this route in all conditions, leaving very early or late avoids the worst of the traffic.

🥘 Immerse yourself in a culinary world of London

Southampton To London By Coach

Another popular way to get from Southampton to London is by coach. National Express and Megabus are the main coach companies running between the cities. There are a few advantages of taking the coach over the options above, including:

  • Cost – traveling by coach is much cheaper than by train or car
  • Comfort – the journey is considerably more comfortable and smoother than the bus, and includes WC
  • Direct routes – you can book coach trips that go direct to London without making any stops or having to transfer to another vehicle
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National Express Coach tickets cost as little as £11 with departures from Southampton Harbour Parade, arriving at London Victoria Station.

Direct coach service Southampton to London:

🚗 Day trips & excursions: Southampton to London

Use the widget below to book a day trip that takes you from Southampton to popular attractions like Stonehenge and Salisbury, en-route to London:


Southampton to London alternative travel routes and options:

If trains, buses and coaches don’t float your boat, there are a couple other options to get from Southampton to London.

Taxis and private transfers from Southampton to London:

You can opt for a taxi or even a more luxurious journey by taking a private transfer, however, these options will eat into your budget more.

How much is a taxi from Southampton to London?

taxi rates from Southampton to London can vary quite a bit depending on distance, timing, and the company. But expect to shell out £120-£200 or more for a one-way ride. Ouch!

I’d advise calling around to get quotes if you decide to taxi it. That way there won’t be any surprise charges when you reach your destination.

Southampton to London airport transfers

There are some options available for travel direct to London airports from Southampton:

Southampton to London Heathrow

Family-friendly travel options Southampton to London:

  • By car – the most convenient and flexible option
  • By train – the quickest way to get to London, great for scenic views

Pet-friendly travel options Southampton to London:

  • By train – the quickest route, and yes – pets (including dogs) are allowed on trains
  • By car – the most convenient option

🏛️ Explore London with the tours below!

Download your FREE 20-page Travel Planner Guide

And get access to all my best budget travel tips, checklists, additional freebies, and more.

Printable Travel Planner Guide

👉 Read more: London to Brussels Eurostar Guide

Southampton to London FAQs:

Below are some commonly-asked questions about traveling from Southampton to London.

What is the best way to travel from Southampton to London?

The best way to travel from Southampton to London depends on personal preferences and factors like cost and travel time. Options include taking a train from Southampton to London Paddington via Reading, or using bus services like National Express. It is recommended to compare ticket prices and travel times to choose the option that suits your needs.

Is there a direct train from Southampton to Heathrow?

There are direct train services available from Southampton to Heathrow Airport. The journey duration typically ranges from around 2 hours 36 minutes to 2 hours 58 minutes, depending on the specific train and route. Ticket prices start from £45 when booked in advance.

How much is a taxi from Southampton to London?

The cost of a taxi from Southampton to London can vary depending on the service provider and the type of vehicle. Prices range from £117-157 for services like uberASSIST, £450 for a Mercedes Viano people carrier, and fixed-price fares inclusive of all charges from Blackberry Cars.

Is Southampton a good place to live?

Southampton is considered a good place to live. It has a rich maritime heritage, a vibrant cultural scene, and beautiful green spaces. Residents appreciate the city’s history, amenities, and safety measures implemented by the Hampshire Police.

Which London station goes to Southampton?

London Victoria and London Waterloo are two major stations that offer train services to Southampton. Trains departing from London Victoria and London Waterloo stations will take you to Southampton Central.

Is Southampton as expensive as London?

Southampton is not as expensive as London. The cost of living in London is generally higher compared to Southampton, with London being around 42% more expensive. Specifically, housing in Southampton is about 41% cheaper than in London.

Why is Southampton so famous?

Southampton is famous for its rich maritime tradition and historical significance as a major port town. It gained prominence as the departure point of the Titanic and has been a significant port for ocean liners and cruise ships. The city also boasts a bustling student population, museums, and vibrant nightlife.

Is there a ferry from Southampton to France?

There are ferry options available from Southampton to France. However, as an alternative, the Newhaven-Dieppe route is suggested, which is closer to London and offers the convenience of taking your car without luggage restrictions.

What food is Southampton famous for?

Southampton is famous for its fresh seafood, thanks to its harbor providing a variety of fish and seafood options. Popular dishes include mackerel, cod, haddock, and prawns, often served with chips (fries) or mashed potatoes.

🏨 Where to Stay in London:

📍 Best Budget option: Private Double EnSuite in London (double room, private bathroom) – Exceptional 9.7

📍 Best Luxury option: St. Ermin’s Hotel, Autograph Collection (Guest Room, King Bed) – Superb 9.1

My recommendation:
🎈Click here to book your stay at The Mad Hatter Hotel today! 

👉 For a complete guide, read: Where to stay in London for first timers

Wrap up: Southampton to London

We’ve reached the end of the line on this journey from Southampton to London. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride as much as I have and my tips make getting between these cities a breeze.

London can seem daunting, and that’s whether you’re a seasoned travel pro or a rookie rambler. But take it from me – as someone who has made the trip between Southampton and London many times – I’m happy to offer my top recommendations based on my direct experience to help you travel between the cities with ease.

With some planning and a few cups of tea, you’ll be living it up in London before you know it. Sip cocktails in Soho, munch on fish and chips in Camden, and see all the sights.