The Train from London Waterloo – Destinations and Ways to Save Money

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A train from London Waterloo will go to destinations in the South West and South Coast of the UK. Waterloo is the busiest station in the UK with more than 90 million entries and exits a year. 90 Million! That’s a lot.

Popular destinations from London Waterloo vary depending on whether you are a commuter or a day tripper/holidaymaker.

The top three destinations out of London Waterloo are:

  • Bournemouth
  • Poole
  • Southampton

Other destinations from Waterloo include:

Salisbury     Windsor     Portsmouth     Ascot     Epsom      Reading

Guildford     Staines     Woking     Basingstoke     Winchester 

Exeter     Yeovil     Shepperton     Kingston     Weymouth

Hampton Court   Chessington     Sunningdale

Teddington     Brookwood     Wimbledon     Byfleet & New Haw

Waterloo to Southampton

Southampton is also a port, and ferries leave Southampton and go to the Isle of Wight with Red Funnel Ferries and the Hythe Pier on the Hythe Ferry. Trains take roughly 1hr 20mins – 1hr 40mins. There is a free shuttle bus  every 15 minutes from the train station that takes 7 mins to get to the ferry terminal.

Book train tickets from Waterloo to Southampton

Waterloo to Poole

I always think of the waterpark when I think of poole. A pool in Poole, imagine that. Very popular with little ones. 2hrs to 3hrs 20 mins from Waterloo.

Book trains from Waterloo to Poole 

Waterloo to Bournemouth

Bournemouth has a lovely long beach and so is a popular UK seaside destination, but is also home to Bournemouth University, which has a varied list of arts courses including Scriptwriting for Film and Television. Many students can also get a third off rail travel by using a Young Persons Railcard. 2hrs from Waterloo. 2hrs – 2hrs 15 mins from Waterloo.

Book trains from Waterloo to Bournemouth

And the rest…

Waterloo to Salisbury

Salisbury has Salisbury Cathedral, which is very grand indeed and has a modern font which behaves like a water feature. It is set in grassy grounds with lots of quaint little cafes nearby. It is 1 hr 30mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Windsor

Windsor is home to Windsor Castle and Legoland. It is just under 1 hr to Windsor & Eton Riverside from Waterloo. The castle is not far from the station and Legoland is served by a shuttle bus that picks up from both stations. Shuttle buses cost £4.80 for an adult return and £2.40 for a child return, information can be found here.

Waterloo to Portsmouth

Portsmouth is a port, so lots of ferries leave from Portsmouth and go with Direct Ferries to; St Malo, Caen, Cherbourg and Le Havre in France, Bilbao and Santander in Spain, Fishbourne in the UK and Guernsey and Jersey which are islands off the coast of, and belonging to, the UK. The train from Waterloo to Portsmouth takes 1hr 30mins – 2hrs. Portsmouth & Southsea station is closer to the ferry terminal than Portsmouth Harbour but shuttle buses operate from both. Allow 45 minutes to get from the train station to the ferry terminal to be on the safe side.

Waterloo to Ascot

Ascot has Royal Ascot, the famous annual horse races – where a lot of women wear a lot of hats. (One each for the most part). The racecourse is a seven minute walk from the railway station and trains from Waterloo take just under 1hr.

Waterloo to Epsom

Epsom has the Epsom Derby. The racecourse is usually served by a bus that takes 10 mins from the station, but during the festivals shuttle buses are laid on between the station and the racecourse these cost £3 one way or £5 return, regardless of your age. Otherwise its a 1/2 a mile walk from Tattenham Corner Station or 1 mile walk from Epsom Downs Station. Trains to Epsom take 35-40 mins.

Waterloo to Reading

Reading is a commuter city and station at which many journeys are split to save money. It is on the outskirts of the Network Rail area. There are lots of willow trees that hang over the river at Reading and it also has the Reading Festival, which can be seen from the train tracks that run alongside the festival area right by the station. Trains take 1hr 20mins from Waterloo to Reading.

Or you can hop on the Underground at Waterloo and get the train from London Paddington to Reading instead, which is a shorter journey.

Waterloo to Guildford

Guildford is another commuter destination in Surrey and, ‘luxury shopping capital of the UK.’ There is a castle you can visit for £3. Guildford is 40mins from Waterloo. 40mins to 1hr 15mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Staines

Staines, also a commuter destination and now actually called Staines-upon-Thames is also the closest train station to Thorpe Park, the fantastic water-based theme park loved by so many brits for so much more than its log flume. 30 – 50 mins from Waterloo and the 950 shuttle bus runs from the station to Thorpe Park every 15 mins.

Waterloo to Woking

Woking is a commuter town. 25-50 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Basingstoke

Basingstoke is also a commuter town. 45 mins – 1 hr 20 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Winchester

Winchester has Winchester Cathedral which costs to get into but is impressive even from the outside. The once capital of England is quite a charming little city with many old Tudor buildings. Ordinary chain shops and restaurants have found homes in these beautiful wooden-beamed buildings. Approximately 1hr from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Exeter

Exeter, gateway to Devon… Exeter is a university town but also has Exeter Cathedral and a 14th century labyrinth of underground passageways and Exeter’s Historic Quayside. 2 hrs 45 mins to 3hrs 25 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Yeovil

Yeovil is not only the gateway railway station for those wanting to visit Glastonbury with its lovely town centre, Abbey and Tor, it also has a Railway Centre with steam trains. Lucky you. 2 hrs 20 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Weymouth

Weymouth – the sea, the sea! 2 hrs 40 mins – 2 hrs 55 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Hampton Court

To me Hampton Court Palace is significant because the ghost of Hernry VIII’s wife is said to haunt it. Catherine Howard purportedly runs screaming yet headless through the halls. Hampton Court is 30 – 36 mins from Waterloo. The palace is 200m across the bridge from the station.

Waterloo to Chessington

Home to Chessington World of Adventures. 10 mins walk from Chessington South rail station. 34 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Kingston

Kingston is served by Shepperton station too. 28 – 43 mins to Kingston from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Sunningdale

Sunningdale is a commuter destination and wealthy residential area. 47 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Teddington

Teddington is a commuter destination which has a lock you can visit. There’s some info here. 33-37 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Brookwood

Brookwood is of particular interest to me because of the Necropolis railway that once ran from central London to the cemetery. A private railway line was used to transport coffins and mourners. Sometimes twice daily. The station was sadly bombed in the war and never rebuilt and so the railway line was ripped up. But you can still go on guided walks of the route for a suggested donation of £3. An in-depth Fortean Times article can be found here. 35-45 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Wimbledon

Wimbledon, tennis dahling. 16 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Byfleet & New Haw

Byfleet & New Haw – Mercedes-Benz World is here, if cars are your thing. There are exhibitions about the history of Mercedes-Benz and they offer guided tours and driving experiences too. 35 – 40 mins from Waterloo.

Waterloo to Strawberry Hill

A commuter town in Twickenham home to  Strawberry Hill, Horace Walpole’s Gothic Castle, a Gothic Revival building commissioned by the son of Britain’s first Prime Minister. It’s five to ten minutes walk from the station and is sign-posted. 35- 45 mins from Waterloo.

So whether you’re a commuter or day-tripper, Waterloo provides a gateway to some excellent cities, towns and attractions. If you think this guide is missing something, do let me know…


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Steve

    Waterloo to Worcester
    Approximately 3 hrs to 3 hrs 40 mins from Waterloo.

    I’d love to see the train(s) you catch to do this. Most people getting a train to Worcester would take the direct service from Paddington.

    As for Portsmouth.
    Fishbourne is the destination for the car ferry to the Isle of Wight. Most train passengers would go from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde. Which doesn’t require the bus transfer that the services via Southampton do.
    And you do know that you can also reach the IoW from Waterloo via Lymington?

    Windsor & Eton Riverside or Windsor & Eton Central from Waterloo
    No. One is from Waterloo, the other is from Paddington. Unless you want to do Waterloo -> Reading -> Central. and why would you do that.

    Put simply. This article is badly researched and smacks of being link bait.

    1. Sophie

      Okay, these comments are helpful, although negatively put. Call me a moron but I actually spent hours checking all this stuff online, it is true that I haven’t personally made all these journeys, but I was attempting to make something that would be useful. All of the links are supposed to be helpful and many of them should be. I am learning about legitimate affiliation at the moment and was having a go at testing how it might work. There are three links on the ‘top three’ destinations that link to a train operator’s site, but that’s it. All the others were carefully put together to be helpful. If the article is completely useless I just won’t write any more posts like this. But to be honest, there is nothing wrong with affiliation if it’s done with links to sites that are useful to the reader – the most popular train blog out there has loads of affiliates – it’s how people make money, if they do at all. (Which I currently do not from this tiny blog).

  2. Steve

    Might I suggest your “careful research” didn’t include visiting the National Rail website. Which would have spared you making such stupid errors (try asking them how to get from Waterloo to Worcester)
    I think a link to might be much more helpful to your readers than ones to Thorpe Park, Legloand and a water park in Poole.

    1. Sophie

      It didn’t involve national rail on that occasion, it involved South West Trains. And I really did spend hours on the post, even though I made mistakes. What can I say? I was a B student. I will take a look at the post. But the destinations where I’ve included links to Thorpe Park, Legoland and the water park I did because those are top reasons to visit those destinations (aside from maybe the water park). I will check with my train guard friend too.

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