Day trip to Bournemouth or Portsmouth
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Feb 18, 2013 5:54 AM Last Post By: charlieramsay
Feb 4, 2013 7:44 PM
Day trip to Bournemouth or PortsmouthHi all,
I'll be based in London for a few days this May, and hope to take a day trip to the South coast (perhaps an overnight trip). I hope to find a nice historic walk-able center with old pubs and the like, interesting history, but more importantly natural beauty that's easily accessible.
In the past, I've been to Brighton, which was a very interesting town, but I'd like to experience somewhere new. I've also been to the cliffs at Dover, which I found absolutely stunning. So if there are any cool natural cliffs and hiking trails in the South coast I'd definitely be interested.
If it matters, I'm 25, a budget traveler, and will be going to mainland Europe after England. Thanks for your advice!
Feb 5, 2013 12:30 AM
Feb 5, 2013 1:12 AM
2If you are looking for an historic walkable centre then Old Portsmouth fits the bill. However the remainder of Portsmouth is incredibly dull, as it was heavily bombed during WWII so much of the history has gone. The ships in the dockyard, especially HMS Victory, are definitely worth a visit though.
Feb 5, 2013 1:13 AM
3Some of the slower trains on the Bournemouth line from Waterloo stop at Brockenhurst in the centre of the New Forest - it isn't on the coast, about 5 or 6 miles inland, but if you want to go hiking there's a whole Forest full of trails through woods and across the more open heath and moorland - you could spend several days there without seeing the same place twice. Lymington - the nearest coastal town to Brockenhurst and with a big yacht harbour - also has ferries once or twice an hour to the western end of the Isle of Wight, so you could do a round trip one way via Portsmouth, cross the Isle of Wight and then return via Lymington / Brockenhurst.
Another alternative if you have time is to go further west - train to Wareham, bus to Swanage, and then walk the Dorset coast around places like Kimmeridge as far as Dorchester / Weymouth
Feb 5, 2013 3:08 AM
4Ditto Mike.... Lyme Regis and the coastline there is much more interesting than other suggestions, although agree about old Portsmouth - but the rest, forget it. Avoid Bournemouth like the plague.
Feb 5, 2013 4:22 AM
Feb 5, 2013 9:45 AM
6Thanks for the advice so far. I completely agree that Bournemouth would be uninteresting for me.I'm now mostly considering 2 options:
2) Old Portsmouth and Isle of Wight
Is it possible to see a bit of the old town/ships in Portsmouth and then do some cliff-top walking in Isle of Wight in a day? I'll be leaving London very early, but will be traveling by train. I'm mostly concerned that since Isle of Wight is a large island, interesting walks won't be close enough to where the ferry unloads. I don't want to have to worry about a taxi or bus on the island.
Feb 5, 2013 11:01 AM
7I would go to Hastings. Easy day trip. No need for buses or taxis. You can get off the train and just walk around. Isle of Wight is bigger than you think and would require transport once on the island.
Feb 5, 2013 11:06 AM
8The Portsmouth-IoW ferry goes to Ryde which is on the wrong side of the island for cliffs. They are both on the south and west of the island with The Needles the most well known. To be on that side of the island the ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth would be best. The island is about 30x20 miles so you will need to take a bus/taxi to cliffs.
Hastings is a bit of a dump as far as I'm aware.
Feb 6, 2013 2:03 PM
Feb 7, 2013 7:42 AM
10If you wanting stunning natural coastal scenery moreso than historic cities then you want to go beyond Hampshire and head to Dorset, (another vote for Lyme Regis, or Lulworth - pretty much anywhere along the 'Jurassic Coast'). It'll be beautiful in May, but more than a day trip from London.
Feb 7, 2013 10:16 AM
11Hasting is easy and nice (location and harbour, castle not much to see...).
Rye old and charming hilltop location.
The Seven Sisters good for fresh air and wide open views.
Old Portsmouth full of history (agree with the modern part of the city, unless post war reconstruction is of special interest)
Feb 8, 2013 6:09 PM
12I agree on Old Portsmouth and the Dockyards, then maybe over to Isle of Wight.
Stay overnight there and take the ferry back from Isle of Wight to Lymington and train through the forest??
Another option would be the isle of Purbeck, yes - train to Wareham and connect from there. Lots of old towns, villages, and hills to walk there.
Might need a whole weekend for either of those ideas, though (and careful research of bus/train routes)
Bournemouth has nothing but a beach, students and retired people now.
Feb 18, 2013 5:54 AM
13I would say that you would be better exploring the Dorset coast than the Isle of Wight - the former is in my view more interesting and much easier to get to! My wife and I have found good B&Bs through this site http://www.dorsetbedbreakfasts.co.uk/ in the past, and have stayed in the Smugglers Inn which is well located near the sea.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$160.69 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$318.18 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$266.20 per night