The port city of Southampton is easy to reach by train. Lying close to the New Forest, Southampton is less than 1 hour 30 minutes from London Waterloo and only 20 minutes by rail from Winchester. The city's rail network also provides frequent trains from other nearby destinations, including Portsmouth Harbour and Bournemouth, as well as good direct services from cities further afield.
Southampton Central is Southampton's main railway station. It is close to the main shopping district and less than a mile from both the city centre and the cruise ship terminals in the docks. Passengers arriving at the nearby airport can use Southampton Airport Parkway station to travel directly to Southampton Central. Several smaller stations connect the suburbs of Southampton to the city centre.
South Western Railway provides the majority of trains to Southampton. This is the provider that connects the city to most local destinations and also to London Waterloo. CrossCountry provides rail services from Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle, while Great Western Railway links the city to Bristol and Cardiff. Trains operated by Southern travel between Southampton, London Victoria, Gatwick Airport and Brighton.
Thanks to its relative proximity to London and to its importance as a port, Southampton benefits from excellent rail connections, with direct services from local destinations across Hampshire and Dorset. Regular direct services also arrive from London, Oxford, Manchester and other major cities. Rail services are sufficiently speedy and frequent so as to facilitate regular commuting between Southampton and London. Many rail passengers also arrive in Southampton intending to continue their journey by boat because the city is a popular departure port for many cruise ships as well as for ferries to the Isle of Wight.
With its extensive shopping and entertainment facilities, its museums and theatres, Southampton has plenty to offer its visitors. Most of the city's main attractions are within a short walk, bus or taxi ride of Southampton Central. The port is also close to the railway station although passengers arriving with heavy luggage may choose to take a 5-minute taxi ride to their cruise ship or ferry terminal. For a peak into the history of the city, visit one of the oldest buildings that has been used as a POW camp, a Titanic memorial and now a brewpub, The Wool House is rich in cultural heritage.