Southampton

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Southampton
<map lat='50.917753' lng='-1.387711' zoom='11' view='0' float='right'/>
Information
Country:
Flag of United Kingdom
United Kingdom
State: South East England
Population: 239,700
Major roads: M 3 M 27
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Southampton is the largest city on the south coast in England. The name of the city is often abbreviated to "So'ton" or "Soton".

Southampton is the closest city to the New Forest national park, and also a major port. Apart from freight ships and cruise liners the only ferries that depart from the city are Southampton - Hythe and Isle of Wight services (vehicular to East Cowes and a passenger-only hi-speed ferry to West Cowes - both operated by RedFunnel).

The ferries for France depart from Portsmouth and Poole.

Rownhams Services are quite close to the city - if you can get a lift there, you'll be in London in no time and should also be able to get towards the East.

Hitching Out of City Centre

North or East via M 27

  • Option 1

Follow signs for A335 (St Mary's Rd - Onslow Rd - Bevois Valley Rd) - it soon goes into Thomas Lewis Way aka "Portswood and Swaythling Bypass" - if you fail to get a lift from its start, you can walk towards the North - there is a Shell Petrol Station in Swaythling a 1.5 miles to the North. Please note that Thomas Lewis Way is not the safest road to walk - there is no pavement, and no-stopping restrictions are in operation. However, Lnx managed to get a lift in about 20 minutes while walking (and only trying to obtain a lift at the traffic lights when they were red - the road has many traffic light-regulated junctions which are not far from one another).

  • Option 2

Alternatively, you could try walking along The Avenue/Bassett Avenue (A33) - although it has bus lanes in places, it's definitely worth giving it a try (especially in Southampton Common area, where there is one very wide lane each way. There is also a petrol station at the top of The Avenue at the on ramp for the M 3 and is an excellent spot for getting north towards London.

South towards East Cowes, Isle of Wight

As with all Isle of Wight car ferries, people pay for the car and so extra passengers ride free.

Simon got a lift within 10 minutes stood on the edge of the port (just outside the gates, so as not to disturb the staff - there is a pavement there and drivers can see you easily). A bold and happy sign simply for "Isle of Wight" did the trick. Got offered a lift within 2 minutes even, but the family decided they didn't have enough room for me (I had a lot of stuff..). When we went to check in, the lady at the office asked how many passengers we were, but I guess simply for legal reasons to know how many people are on the ship (she didn't need to take information of the extra passenger or anything).

Hitching Out from the Outskirts

North towards Eastleigh, Winchester, (The West Midlands, A34), London

If you are in the north of the city, try hitching from near Chilworth roundabout, where the M 3 starts. Alternatively you can access the M 27 Rownham Service station which is on the North West outskirts of the city. The service station is just before the start of the M3 London Junction and can be reached on foot via a small service road from Rowhams Lane.

West towards Ringwood, Bournemouth, Poole

Use M271 (going into M27 West and then A31), or A35 West via Totton.

Walk west for 3 miles out of city (hitching on the way) along A3024/A35, or take a bus or a train to Redbridge station (no barriers there, but there are ticket inspectors on board, and penalty fares are in operation) and walk to Redbridge Roundabout. The only train that stops at that station is Romsey-Totton train which operates every 30 minutes and calls at: Romsey, Chandler's Ford, Eastleigh, Southampton Airport Parkway, Swaythling, St Denys, Southampton Central, Millbrook, Redbridge, Totton.

East towards Fareham, Portsmouth, Brighton

Use M 27 East from junction 5 (Southampton Airport) - see below for directions

Public transport

Uni-link operates 2 useful services for hitch-hikers: U1 (City Centre-Airport) will take you close (and even past) junction 5 on M 27, and U2 will take you to Chilworth roundabout, where the M 3 motorway starts. The current single fare is £2.00 (to anywhere), or £3.00 for an all-day (uni-link only!) one-day bus pass. If you visit Southampton more than once, it may be helpful to buy a 12-journey ticket for £10 on a smart card (£1 will be required towards the deposit)