Southampton airport: the better alternative to Heathrow/Gatwick

Southampton airport is actually in Hampshire but good road and rail connections get you into Dorset quickly.

The airport is situated north of the city centre but this is good if you want to get into Dorset or points north or east.

You see the airport is right next to the M27 which gets you to Bournemouth in about 30 minutes. But it is the train service which is the best feature.There is a train station called Southampton Airport Parkway which is right next to the terminal building.

I mean to walk from the arrivals hall to the train platform takes about 30 seconds! Beat that.The car park is just across the road from the same hall should you be driving.Once inside the the front door the check in desks are right in front of you,so the whole set up is on a very human scale.Very un T5.

As with Bournemouth Airport ,this airport serves mainly European destinations from Kitilla in Finland to Varna in Bulgaria and many destinations in between.

The airport is quite small compared to Heathrow and Gatwick so do not expect much in the way of facilities.After checking in there is a newsagent and coffee shop to visit as well as car rental stands.The airport also has wi-fi internet access.

Once through security there is a duty free shop past and seating area.Go up a small flight of stairs and you reach another coffee shop.The aircraft park just outside the terminal building,so no long walks to gate 56 a la Heathrow. I have travelled from Southampton several times and do not feel the stress I feel at Heathrow.

The train service goes all the way down to Weymouth via Bournemouth and Poole but also up to London Waterloo, which is reached in about one hour with no changing required.The time to Bournemouth is about 40 minutes through the picturesque New Forest. Trains from here are operated by South West Trains and Virgin Trains,the latter can get you right up to Scotland.

There are a number of hotels in the area should you arrive late or leave early.The first flight out is around 6am.

Go to the Southampton airport website for more information.

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