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Southampton as a port of call

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Our ship arrives in Southampton, QEII pier (from Le Havre, our embarking port). I'm planning to visit Southampton old town. It seems there is no shuttle bus : is it allowed to walk in the port? Is it possible to walk from QEII pier to city center, or is it necessary to take a taxi? A bus?

 

 

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We were able to easily walk in the port and then we walked into town.

 

This was in 2014.

 

Keith

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Thanks a lot, I asked because in some ports, it is forbidden to walk.

 

 

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Yes it is a great question as some ports it is indeed forbidden or not practical to walk.

 

Keith

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Our ship arrives in Southampton, QEII pier (from Le Havre, our embarking port). I'm planning to visit Southampton old town. It seems there is no shuttle bus : is it allowed to walk in the port? Is it possible to walk from QEII pier to city center, or is it necessary to take a taxi? A bus?

 

 

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There's no restriction on walking thro the port, tho gate staff may quiz you if you're a shady-looking character. ;)

But QE11 terminal is far deeper into the port than the other cruise terminals, among Ro-Ro car & machinery freighters. It's a 15 minute walk from that terminal to the gate, and for much of it you're separated from heavy truck traffic by only a painted yellow line.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/50.8858756,-1.3958414/50.895564,-1.3983079/@50.8932587,-1.3978488,669m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e2

Between gate & "old town" is less than 10 minutes on foot.

 

Gate staff recommend a taxi for that terminal, and I agree.

Can I suggest you take a taxi (about £6) from the terminal, and see for yourselves whether you want to walk back thro the docks. Get the driver to drop you on Town Quay, and start your walk by going up Bugle Street.

(or mebbe beg a lift to the gate from one of the coaches that bring new passengers)

 

Southampton was heavily bombed during the Blitz, and the few surviving historic sights are inter-mixed with more-modern buildings - so don't think of Southampton old town as some quaint old picture-postcard town.

But it has its sights - about half the city wall is intact (you can walk parts of it), Tudor Merchants House is well worth touring, and other sights include the Wool House (now a pub), Westgate Hall, the Medieval Merchant's House (very limited opening hours), and the Bargate - the old town's northern gate, where old meets the modern shopping centre.

But don't bother looking for Southampton Castle, it was destroyed centuries ago.

Pubs worth visiting - for lunch or just a pint - are The Dancing Man (in the Wool House), the Duke of Wellington (a couple of hundred yards from the Wool House up Bugle Street) and the Red Lion (in High Street, also known as Below Bar).

There's enough to see in Southampton in a lazy laid-back day.

Or, using the train, you could visit nearby Winchester or Salisbury, perhaps even Portsmouth though that depends on your back-on-board time.

 

JB :)

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Thanks a lot : I think you're right as QEII pier seems to be far from city center. I visited Southampton 25 years ago, but as an embarking port and now remember I took a taxi to the QEII (pier AND ship in those happy days!). Even if not totally "old" there are some interesting things to do in Southampton. Thanks again, it was very useful.

 

 

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Another thought is to take the train over to Portsmouth to see the historical naval yards. When we stayed in Southampton this past summer, we were planning to see the maritime museum. However, our driver suggested we might have more to see and enjoy Portsmouth more. He drove us there, then we took the train back.

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I've walked from the pier to the West Quay mall, however, I was on the Emerald Princess and there were quite a few people heading out to walk so I followed the crowd. On another cruise I did have trouble finding my way back, but fortunately saw a group that look like crew, they helped me out. The best advice is probably take a taxi, I'm adventurous and I love to walk. I'm older but very comfortable in a city environment.

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Another thought is to take the train over to Portsmouth to see the historical naval yards. When we stayed in Southampton this past summer, we were planning to see the maritime museum. However, our driver suggested we might have more to see and enjoy Portsmouth more. He drove us there, then we took the train back.

 

Hi Cindy,

 

Yes, I agree with your driver. :)

 

But as you'll have found out the historic dockyard & ships alone are worth more than a full day, and there's lots more to the city such as Southsea seafront & the ring of forts.

You were staying in Southampton so could leave Portsmouth late in the day, but the OP is in Southampton as a port-of-call so is likely to have to leave Portsmouth by 3.30 to 4pm depending on their back-on-board time.. And Southampton is usually a turnaround port rather than a port-of-call, so if it's actually the middle of a b2b turnaround the boarding time could mean having to leave Portsmouth before 2pm.

 

So I suggested Portsmouth in my post, but subject to that time limit

 

JB :)

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Hi Cindy,

 

Yes, I agree with your driver. :)

 

But as you'll have found out the historic dockyard & ships alone are worth more than a full day, and there's lots more to the city such as Southsea seafront & the ring of forts.

You were staying in Southampton so could leave Portsmouth late in the day, but the OP is in Southampton as a port-of-call so is likely to have to leave Portsmouth by 3.30 to 4pm depending on their back-on-board time.. And Southampton is usually a turnaround port rather than a port-of-call, so if it's actually the middle of a b2b turnaround the boarding time could mean having to leave Portsmouth before 2pm.

 

So I suggested Portsmouth in my post, but subject to that time limit

 

JB :)

 

Actually he took us to our hotel first to drop off our luggage, then we got to Portsmouth around 9 a.m. We grabbed a little breakfast while waiting for the docks to open. BUT - for us, we had just flown in so we were starting to run on fumes! LOL! We did the docks and that was it. We grabbed the train around 2 p.m. and headed back to Southampton. So while yes, I'm sure there's a lot more to see, we enjoyed what we did see on our limited time there. ;) We got back to our room and just crashed!!

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Come back with differents questions : at first, I just planned to spend a leisurely day in Southampton (Tudor house, Jane Austen walking tour) but, after reading some posts, I need new advices :

- The ship will be docked on QE2 terminal on a sunday morning : is there any chance I could find a taxi just to go to the city center, knowing that a lot of people will disembark/embark the same day and probably book taxis for longer trips?

- Somebody told me that it's not pleasant, (and even a bit dangerous because of trucks and trains!) to walk from QE2 terminal : is it less busy on Sunday?

- The cruiseline is finally organizing an excursion to Stonehenge-Salisbury for those not disembarking : do you think it would be a good idea to change my plans and take this excursion?

I know my questions are silly, but I'm worrying a little about the pier being uneven to walk and far from the city center.

Thanks!

 

 

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Most people will only be getting a taxi to the railway station, coach station or local airport. There should be no problem at all getting one to the city centre.

 

 

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Come back with differents questions : at first, I just planned to spend a leisurely day in Southampton (Tudor house, Jane Austen walking tour) but, after reading some posts, I need new advices :

- The ship will be docked on QE2 terminal on a sunday morning : is there any chance I could find a taxi just to go to the city center, knowing that a lot of people will disembark/embark the same day and probably book taxis for longer trips?

- Somebody told me that it's not pleasant, (and even a bit dangerous because of trucks and trains!) to walk from QE2 terminal : is it less busy on Sunday?

- The cruiseline is finally organizing an excursion to Stonehenge-Salisbury for those not disembarking : do you think it would be a good idea to change my plans and take this excursion?

I know my questions are silly, but I'm worrying a little about the pier being uneven to walk and far from the city center.

Thanks!

 

 

Envoyé de mon iPad en utilisant Forums

 

Although walking from QE11 terminal isn't recommended it's only a five minute £6 to £8 taxi ride from the cruise terminal to the city centre.

Ships load & sail 7 day a week, but I don't know if there are less on a sunday.

As I said in my post, take a taxi from the ship & see the lie of the land - then you can decide whether you are happy to walk back to the ship or hail a taxi to take you back.

Don't let a £6 taxi fare dictate what you do that day.

 

Yes, there will be taxis at the cruise terminal, and they're strictly regulated - they won't refuse you because they want longer trips.

Taxis that can be hailed in the street or at taxi stands (including cruise terminals) are called hackneys (the word is taken from the French "hacquenée"- an ambling horse) are obliged to accept any journey within the city. They have to use their taximeters & they're more expensive than private-hire taxis, but private-hire taxis have to be pre-booked.

The cost difference is small for a short drive to the city centre, but it's a big difference for a long trip - to London airports for instance - so those wanting to go a long distance pre-book a fixed-price private-hire taxi. When folk on Cruise Critic talk about booking a private transfer they're actually talking about booking a private-hire taxi.

All of the taxis available to hire at the cruise terminal are hackney cabs, and they're white. They are almost always used for going to a Southampton hotel, Southampton rail station, Southampton bus station etc. .

 

If you want a taxi to go further such as Portsmouth or Salisbury or Stonehenge, then you should pre-book a private-hire taxi. Or take a bus or a train.

 

Do bear in mind that Tudor House doesn't open til 10am. And on sundays major stores don't open til 10am or later, & pubs don't open til noon.

 

You must make up your own mind about ship's excursion to Salisbury & Stonehenge.

I rate ships' excursions as poor value but it would be very simple. Bus picks you up at the ship & returns you to the ship. And tickets for Stonehenge are block-booked, no need for you to pre-book admission or to figure out what arrival time to pre-book. Being a sunday, hopefully the organisers will be careful to get you to Salisbury cathedral at a time when it's open to the public - of course there are no tours when there's a church service.

 

JB :)

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Thanks a lot : being french I'm unfortunately used to taxis drivers refusing to make shorts trips (specially in Paris!), so, I was worrying. The problem was not the taxi cost, but availability. Thanks again.

 

 

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