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Parking at Southampton
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There is a priority pick-up and drop-off zone at SOU just one minute's walk from the main terminal. It is housed within the short-stay car park and charges a small fee. The free drop-off zone at Southampton Airport is located in the long-stay car park and offers 30 minutes of parking with no charge. From here, passengers can catch the airport shuttle bus to the main terminal. This takes 3-5 minutes and runs every 10-12 minutes.
The airport’s short-stay car park is the closest to the main terminal building, just a 60-second walk away. This car park is particularly useful for passengers who are travelling with children or who are carrying heavy luggage. It has 24-hour parking attendants, patrols and CCTV, so you can rest assured that your vehicle will be safe and secure while you take your trip. This car park holds the secured parking Park Mark award.
Southampton Airport’s long-stay car park is a self-parking facility located at the end of the main airport road, past the short-stay car park and terminal building. This car park also has 24-hour attendants, patrols and CCTV, as well as the Park Mark Award. Access from the long-stay car park to the main terminal is by shuttle bus, which takes roughly five minutes and runs regularly, 24 hours a day.
Priority parking at SOU offers passengers maximum ease and simplicity. You cannot park closer to the main terminal building than in the priority parking spaces and they also offer wider bays and undercover parking on the ground floor.
It is advisable to book your parking space in advance, as the best deals tend to get snapped up early at Looking4.com.
Southampton Airport (SOU) is an international airport situated in the Borough of Eastleigh in Hampshire, England. It is four miles (6.5 kilometres) north of Southampton and is the 18th-busiest airport in the UK, with nearly two million passengers passing through its doors each year.
Southampton Airport’s runway is built over the remains of a Roman villa. It was excavated in May 1925, but the villa had been robbed of most of its contents.
Situated just four miles (6.5 kilometres) north of the port city on England’s south coast, Southampton Airport is extremely close to local amenities and is right next door to the New Forest National Park. SOU is well connected to the local area by various modes of transport.
The airport is situated just off junction 5 on the M27, not far from the M3. It boasts one of the fastest plane-to-train connections in Europe; 99 steps connect the main terminal at SOU to Southampton Airport Parkway Station and it takes less than a minute to travel between the two via the footbridge or via a lift.
There are also bus links to and from Southampton Airport, with local and regional bus operators running efficient, regular services.
The site of Southampton Airport has been connected with aviation since 1910, when pioneer pilot, Edwin Rowland Moon, used the meadows belonging to North Stoneham Farm as a take-off and landing spot for his monoplane, 'Moonbeam MK II'.
Work on the building of hangars at SOU began during World War I. At the peak of the American presence, some 4,000 soldiers were billeted in tents along the adjacent London to Southampton railway line. After the war, the site became a transit camp for Russian refugees waiting to sail to America from Southampton.
Southampton Airport offers a variety of facilities, with plenty to keep you busy while you wait for your flight. The airport has a good selection of shops, restaurants and bars and also provides WiFi, a lounge, a currency exchange, meeting rooms and smoking areas.
Southampton has a substantial turnover of passengers each year, but it remains a relatively small airport and does not have an on-site hotel. Fortunately, there is a broad selection of luxury and budget hotels close by, so you won't have to look far for a good night's rest within a short drive of the airport.
The closest budget hotels to Southampton Airport are Premier Inn Southampton Airport, the Concorde Club, Premier Inn Eastleigh, Travelodge Eastleigh and Holiday Inn Southampton. All are less than four miles (6.4 kilometres) from the terminal building and feature lift access, on-site parking, family rooms, free WiFi and air conditioning. The majority of them are universally accessible, too.
Alternatively, the Hilton Southampton is just 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres) from Southampton Airport and offers a high standard of accommodation, along with a few indulgences and extra treats. This hotel’s modern guest rooms come equipped with a 32-inch LCD TV and WiFi access for your entertainment and you can expect to be greeted by a DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie upon arrival. Deluxe rooms offer fluffy bathrobes and slippers, a welcome plate and a one-hour extended checkout for extra convenience.
The Hilton Southampton offers a Park and Fly Airport Package, which provides one night’s airport hotel accommodation and inclusive car parking. You can choose from a range of options that offer parking from three days to two weeks.
The Concorde Club advertises 'Park and Cruise' and 'Stay and Cruise' options. The Concorde Club’s package includes one night of accommodation, a two-course meal the evening prior to departure, breakfast the following morning, parking for the duration of your cruise or holiday and taxi transfers to and from the airport or terminal.
Similarly, the Holiday Inn Southampton boasts a package that includes one night’s accommodation, a full breakfast in the morning, transfers to and from the airport and car parking for the duration of your holiday. The Premier Inn Southampton Airport and Premier Inn Eastleigh don't offer park and fly packages and the Travelodge Eastleigh has no on-site parking at all.
Enjoy a relaxing start to your long-awaited holiday by checking into Southampton Airport’s Priority Lounge. The perfect place to begin your trip in style, the Priority Lounge is open from 5am and offers refreshments, comfortable seating, high chairs and desks for those who fancy mixing work and play. There are laptop and mobile charging points available for use in the lounge, as well as completely unlimited WiFi. It’s advised that you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you’d rather get work out of the way before you jet off, you can use one of Southampton Airport’s meeting rooms. The Spitfire meeting room, located in the heart of the terminal building at SOU, is ideally equipped for training courses, one-to-one meetings or some quiet time on your own, coming complete with a smart board and projector, free WiFi, a TV and DVD player, a spider phone, stationary and an external phone line.
Southampton Airport is full of delicious eateries, cafés, coffee shops and bars; the flagship Globe Bar & Kitchen offers a consistently good standard of delicious meals and snacks. This welcoming pub serves a traditional menu, including a choice of cooked breakfasts, lunchtime light bites and hearty meals, as well as soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
If light snacks and barista coffee are more to your taste, stop at The Olive Tree or Costa Coffee to get your caffeine fix or a spot of breakfast.
The World Duty Free shop at Southampton Airport is well-stocked with the most fashionable fragrances and a vast range of alcohol and tobacco products. The shop also sells a good selection of fashion accessories and designer goods, as well as Southampton-themed trinkets and souvenirs.
Whether you’re sending postcards to your family or letters to your colleagues, Southampton Airport has a post box and a newsagent stocked with stamps and stationary, so you can post before you fly or after you land. The post box is located outside the terminal near the entrance to the short-stay car park.
In the city forever linked to the ill-fated liner that famously sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in April 1912, Southampton’s Titanic Trail is an activity you shouldn’t miss if you’re interested in maritime history. The Titanic rested at Southampton for six days after it left Belfast on its maiden – and only – journey and a number of sites in the city remain connected to the ship, forming the 'Titanic Trail'. Visit the memorial stone, the Platform Tavern, the Engineer’s Memorial, the Old Cemetery and the home of Captain EJ Smith and learn about Southampton’s connections to the most famous ocean liner in history.
One of only four High Performance Centres for diving in the UK, The Quays has become famous because several of Team GB’s Olympic divers train there. The centre offers taster classes for those who have never dived before and also features a fun pool with flumes, fountains, slides and a whirlpool for those who’d rather save the training for another time. With a team of expert coaches on hand to help you learn to dive or try out that new exercise or fitness class, you’ll be well taken care of at The Quays.
Southampton is teeming with historic buildings and architectural wonders that keep the city's character alive. You can visit the Tudor House and Gardens to learn about life in English households throughout nine centuries, take a walk around the ruins of a 13th-century monastery at Netley Abbey or explore the Medieval Merchant’s House that has survived intact for over 800 years.
SeaCity Museum is an immersive maritime experience, with an extensive range of exhibitions including ‘Gateway to the World’ and ‘Southampton’s Titanic Story’. Located in the city’s Cultural Quarter within easy access of the railway station and city centre car parks, SeaCity is a great place to spend a day with the family or take a wander through on your own if you've got some time to spare. With tours, talks and special events for children running regularly throughout the year, SeaCity is a brilliant way to enjoy Southampton and learn about its dramatic history as a port city.
The Mayflower is the biggest theatre on the south coast with over 2,300 seats in its auditorium. The Grade II listed theatre is an independent trust whose aim is to bring a diverse range of shows to Southampton. This cultural hub, built in 1928, offers the very best in performance, dance, ballet and opera and regularly houses the country’s most popular touring productions. With musicals, classic plays and contemporary shows, the events calendar at The Mayflower tends to offer something to suit every taste. What’s more, all of the money generated by ticket sales goes right back into keeping this edifying establishment alive and kicking.
The Solent Sky aviation museum is a must for aeroplane enthusiasts and an enjoyable way to spend a few hours in Southampton. Depicting the history of aviation in Southampton, the Solent area and Hampshire, this museum’s focus rests on the Supermarine aircraft company and its most famous products: the Supermarine S.6 and the Supermarine Spitfire, designed by R. J. Mitchell. The massive collection of aircraft and engines on display at the Solent Sky Museum is unlike any other in the UK and permanent exhibitions such as ‘The Early Days of Flying’ and ‘The 1914 – 1918 War’ allows visitors to soar through the clouds and see Britain’s aviation history in full colour.
Southampton is littered with venues that have been nurturing the city's musical talent for decades, so if you've got time to head into the centre on an evening, you'll usually find live music to suit your taste. For soul and R&B, head down to Soul Cellar or, if guitars and off-the-wall acoustics are more your thing, try the Hobbit - a gig venue and traditional pub rolled into one. The Talking Heads, the Platform Tavern and The Brook also put on touring acts as well as up-and-coming local talent, but if you’re a lover of pop music and big names, the O2 Guildhall Southampton is the place for you. Having hosted some of the biggest names in music, from Pink Floyd and David Bowie to The Killers and Amy Winehouse, the O2 is a beautiful Grade II listed building that dates back to 1937.
Though it sees almost a million passengers pass through its doors each year, Southampton Airport only has one terminal in operation. This airport is a major hub for low-cost airline Flybe and also connects passengers to destinations further afield via its KLM flights to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. SOU's destinations include Majorca, Ibiza, Corsica, Faro, Alicante, Malaga, Jersey, Belfast, Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam, Munich, Paris and Verona, among many others.
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Southampton Airport is easy to access by road, given its convenient location just off junction 5 on the M27, which is very close to the M3. The airport’s postcode is SO18 2NL.
If you are coming from central Southampton, you should take the A335 and follow the many signposts to the airport.
If you are travelling to the airport from the south west, you should stay on the M27 beyond the M3 merging and leave at junction 5. Take the second exit off the roundabout towards Eastleigh and then head straight over the next roundabout, where you will see the airport clearly signposted.
If you're coming to SOU by car from the south east, you can leave the M27 at junction 5. Keep in the right-hand lane on the exit slip-road and move into the far right-hand lane on the roundabout. Take the third exit towards Eastleigh and then head straight over the next roundabout where you will see signs for the airport.
To reach Southampton Airport from the north, you need to follow the M3 until you see signs for the M27 towards Portsmouth. Bear left on the M3 as the two motorways merge and leave the M27 at junction 5. On leaving the motorway, take the second exit off the roundabout towards Eastleigh and then head straight over the next roundabout before following the many signs for the airport.
The train station at Southampton Airport can quickly connect you to key destinations in the south east and south west and is conveniently located just 99 steps from the main terminal. The train from Southampton Airport Parkway Station to the city centre takes just seven minutes, while the journeys to Reading and London take 49 minutes and 69 minutes respectively.
Regular bus services run from Southampton Airport to the city centre and surrounding areas. Local bus operator Xelabus provides the X4 service between Eastleigh and Hedge End, stopping at Southampton Airport Parkway, while Uni-link runs the U1 bus service, which operates between Southampton Airport, the University, the city centre and the waterfront.
The Uni-link service runs every 15 minutes from Monday to Friday during university term time, every 10 minutes during university break time, every 10 minutes on Saturdays and every 15 minutes on Sundays and public holidays.
Uni Link Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 5974
Checker Cars is the official on-site Southampton Airport taxi service. This modern, high-quality fleet of vehicles provides speedy service, as well as cars of all shapes and sizes to cater for large groups and those with a lot of luggage. All fares are pre-quoted, so you won’t be caught out by inflated prices and you can book your taxi in advance to avoid a long wait for one to arrive after a long journey.
Checker Cars Telephone: +44 (0)2380 651 110
Some Southampton Airport passengers have expressed concerns that the shuttle bus, which picks passengers up from the long-stay car park roughly every 10 minutes according to the airport's website, can be rather unreliable and infrequent. If you have booked a space for your vehicle in this car park in advance, be sure to arrive at least two hours before your flight is due to depart – possibly even earlier. This will ensure that, even if the shuttle bus provided is late, you have enough time to get to the airport and through security without unnecessary stress.
If you want to avoid paying for parking when picking up or dropping off at Southampton Airport, you can head to the long-stay car park and use the drop-off zone, where parking is free for up to 30 minutes. Remember that there is no re-entry for two hours after you have departed the drop-off zone.
There is also a drop-off zone closer to the terminal building in the short-stay car park, but a fee is charged for any amount of time parked there.
In the summer months, Southampton Airport can become crowded, with long queues sometimes spanning the length of the building and increased waiting times when buying refreshments. To make sure you're able to remain comfortable while you wait for your flight, consider bringing along a travel pillow, a warm jumper and a set of earplugs so that you can get some peace and quiet if you need it.
There is an extensive range of car hire options at SOU. Established rental companies including Europcar, Alamo and Avis have their own desks located inside the terminal building and you can book online or in the airport.
You can contact your airline at least 48 hours before your flight to arrange for special assistance at Southampton Airport. If you are travelling with a differently-abled passenger or if you require some extra help yourself, the staff of the Special Assistance Desk are there to make your travelling experience as smooth as possible.
There is also Blue Badge parking at SOU, as well as disabled toilet facilities.
Airport eateries and cafés at Southampton Airport are, like those at airports across the country, relatively expensive and don't necessarily cater for special dietary requirements. There are vegetarian options at all of the food outlets at the airport, but the vegan and gluten-free options are quite limited.
You can view a map of Southampton Airport on the airport's website to help you navigate your way through the terminal itself and to plan the quickest route from your car to the main airport building.
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