Tried-And-Tested Days Out By Train in Hampshire & Dorset
Whether you’re based in or around Hampshire or Dorset, or you’ve caught the travel bug and want to discover a new part of the UK with a New Forest break, there’s no doubt these history and heritage-rich counties have plenty to offer.
Are you longing to get lost in a book on your journey? Prefer a packed lunch to a service station stop-over? These days out by train, tried-and-tested by our Editor, make a weekend break in the New Forest easy to achieve on your own terms.
Wherever you decide to venture, Careys Manor offers the perfect base for your stay. Our New Forest hotel is only a 10-minute walk from Brockenhurst station, making it easy for you to get around and see the sites during your break in the New Forest.
Settled on the edge of the South Downs National Park, Winchester is a real beauty spot in the summer. From strolls along the River Itchen to exploring the city centre and its world-class architecture, there is plenty see in this ancient capital of England. The main attraction of course, is Winchester Cathedral, situated in the heart of the city. This magnificent monument is over 900 years old and is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and the longest in overall length. Aside from its daily services, the cathedral offers plenty of tours, exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Getting there by train: The South Western Railway runs services to Winchester direct from Brockenhurst station, with the fast route taking a short 33 minutes. From the station, take a leisurely stroll down Winchester high street to the cathedral grounds, where we’d recommend stopping for a picnic before you venture in.
Pining for a panto or the magic of a musical? The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton is the biggest theatre on the south coast and showcases some spectacular shows for all ages – from The Simon and Garfunkel Story to Shrek The Musical. The theatre runs independently and operates as a charitable trust, with many shows coming direct from the West End. So, whilst you could be seeing stars like Jimmy Carr or Jason Donavon, you’ll can also be sure your money is being invested back into the upkeep of this lovely Grade II listed theatre.
Getting there by train: With the theatre being located just a short 6-minute walk from Southampton Central Station, it really couldn’t be easier to hop on a train and catch a show in this Hampshire highlight. Brockenhurst to Southampton Central can be travelled in just 14 minutes by direct train, and with services running until late, a train trip to the theatre is a must!
It wouldn’t be a summer round-up without a beach! Take a trip to Bournemouth and enjoy being beside the seaside as you walk out to sea over Bournemouth Pier. If it’s a leisurely day out you seek, the pier offers stunning scenes of the Dorset coast to enjoy, with panoramic views ready to be enjoyed on one of the pier’s terraces – with donut in hand! For the adventure-seekers, feel the thrill on the world’s first pier-to-shore zip wire – launching you 250 meters over the top of the waves to land on the beach.
Getting there by train: Bournemouth station is only a 25-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride to the beach, making this a great, accessible seaside option for surrounding cities and inland towns. Similarly to other days out mentioned in today’s blog, Bournemouth station can be reached directly from Brockenhurst in only 15 minutes.
Beautifully managed and right now in full bloom, there is no time like the present to go and take in all that Bournemouth Gardens has to offer. The gardens stretch to approx. 3km in length – we recommend starting in the centre of town and making your way inland for a tranquil traipse around this Grade II listed English Heritage Parks and Gardens registered oasis. The Gardens are home to a number of attractions too, including mini golf, children’s playgrounds and a bandstand with regular free concerts.
Getting there by train: See above for Bournemouth Pier. The Lower Gardens are a 24-minute walk from the train station, or if you are heading straight to the Central Gardens, this should take you around 20 minutes walking.
Lymington Pier – Isle of Wight
Whilst we love Lymington and a day trip to this quaint Georgian market town is highly recommended, today we’re putting the spotlight on its fantastic ferry port, which links to the Isle of Wight. For a fun-filled day out, take the train to Lymington Pier and catch the ferry over to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. With breath-taking views of Hurst Castle and Lymington River as you cross the Solent, the journey is just the start of your trip ahead but boy is it beautiful!
Getting there by train: To reach Lymington Pier you can catch a direct train from Brockenhurst which will get you there in 11 speedy minutes, with trains running regularly – every 10 minutes or so.
Wherever you decide to venture, Careys Manor offers the perfect base for your days out in Hampshire or Dorset. Located in the heart of the New Forest in Brockenhurst, our hotel is a short walk from the train station and, when you return from your day trip, you can rest and recuperate in the award-winning SenSpa. An Oriental Foot Massage surely wouldn’t go amiss!
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