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South East England Travel Information

Hotels and Accommodation in South East England

Attractions and Tours in South East England

Attractions and Tours in England

South East England Travel Information

South East England is home to the counties of Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire. The area of Dorset which includes Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, links the South East to the South West,

Air Travel

The South of England is well serviced by air by virtue of sharing London’s international and domestic airports and also Southampton International Airport.

By Boat

The South’s major ferry ports are Ramsgate (ferries from Ostend in Belgium), Dover (ferries from Calais and Dunkirk in France), Newhaven (ferries from Dieppe and Le Havre in France) and Portsmouth (ferries from the Channel Islands, Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havreand St. Malo in France and Bilbao and Santander in Spain).
On Foot
There are countless walking routes all over the region, from long-distance national trails such as the Thames Path and the South Downs Way, to local parish footpaths. Whether you’re just out for an afternoon stroll, or a serious hike across the country, walking is an excellent way to get out and explore; from river ambles, to cliff-top rambles, woodland walks to urban adventures, the finest way to enjoy the

South East’s best known sights is often on your own two feet. Wherever you are in the region, you will find dedicated walking guides for sale in tourist information centres and book shops, and you can usually pick up high quality large-scale maps from petrol stations and newsagents. The best maps for walking are produced by the Ordnance Survey.

By Bus

Every town has a bus service, although these are privatised and you need to contact the right company for information. Away from the bigger towns, bus services may be limited or non-existent.

The breathtaking ‘Long Walk’ from the Great Deer Park to Windsor Castle, which is easily accessible by car, bus, train and on foot.

  • Brighton and Hove (Brighton & Hove Buses)
  • Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes (Arriva)
  • East Kent (Stagecoach)
  • East and West Sussex (Stagecoach)
  • Eastbourne and Hailsham (Eastbourne Buses)
  • Hampshire (Stagecoach)
  • Hastings and Bexhill (Stagecoach)
  • High Wycombe and Chilterns (Carousel)
  • Isle of Wight (Southern Vectis)
  • Surrey, Kent and Sussex (Arriva)
  • Surrey and East Sussex (Metrobus)
  • Southampton area (Bluestar)
  • Southampton area (First Solent)

Road Travel

With excellent public transport links, it is not necessary to have access to a car in the South East. However, for ease of accessibility, especially when exploring the countryside, a car can be a very useful thing to have. Many rural attractions are not served by public transport so driving is essential if you plan on visiting a lot of these. Every city, town and village has at least one good car park and many towns that are popular with visitors have a park and ride service, though you may be put off by how much you have to pay for the privilege.

The region has a very dense and easy-to-navigate road network. The M2, M3, M4, M20, M23 and M40 motorways all connect the region, radiating around London from the M25 peripheral road.

However, with high population density comes a high volume of traffic, and there are often delays on the busiest parts of the network. As a rule of thumb, traffic will always be significantly busier during the ‘rush hours’ (commuter periods between 7AM-9AM and 4PM-7PM) than other times of the day. Friday evenings are known to be particularly bad for driving, as weekend holidaymakers combine with commuters to make congestion even worse than normal. You should plan your journey accordingly, or avoid travelling at these times altogether.

The main regular ‘blackspots’ areː

  • The M25 is nearly always busy, and there is congestion, sometimes severe, during rush hour virtually every day.
  • The M20 (the main motorway between Dover and London) is occasionally clogged up by lorries, often due to French fishery workers going on strike in Calais. “Operation Stack” is the name to listen out for on the radio if travelling.
  • The M3 connecting Southampton to London tends to be busy heading towards London in the morning. The reverse is true in the evenings
  • The M27 around Southampton and connecting the city with Portsmouth.

Major trunk roads in the region include the A3, A23, A27, A31, A34, A272 and A303. They may act as viable alternatives to the motorways, and are often necessary to reach certain destinations (such as the A23 for Brighton from London).

By Ferry

In order to get to the Isle of Wight, it is necessary to make a short ferry crossing from either Southampton (Red Funnel) or Portsmouth (Wight Link).

By Taxi

There are taxi firms operating everywhere, although many must be booked in advance: find the phone number of the local company in telephone directories, at railway stations or online and phone ahead.

By Train

The Eurostar runs passenger trains from major cities in mainland Europe to Ashford, Ebbsfleet and London St. Pancras. If you’re bringing your car, Eurotunnel offers a vehicle and passenger shuttle service between Calais in France and Folkestone in Kent.

Rail services to and from the rest of the UK are good. Reading has a major interchange station at the crossroads of the north-south and east-west networks. Almost every station in the South East has a regular direct service from one of the London terminals.

Rail travel in England may have advanced since the days of steam, but you can still travel on trains like this on heritage railways across the region

South East England has one of the highest densities of railway lines per square mile in the world, so rail travel is a very viable option, but much of it dates back to the early 20th century and there are frequent train delays and cancellations due to engineering works. These costs are passed on to the customer – be prepared for the most expensive tickets in Europe per mile.

The railway lines in the South and South East are some of the busiest and most overcrowded in Britain, especially during the week day rush hours (7AM-9PM and then 4:30PM-6:30PM).

As with buses, rail services are provided by private companies, with Great Western Railway, South West Trains, Southeastern and Southern Railway operating most services. It is advisable to book and plan journeys through National Rail Enquiries, which offers an unbiased and free tool for finding the best journey.

If you fancy the slower pace of life, you can relive the golden age of the train by travelling on one of the many heritage railways that criss-cross the region’s countryside. While they no longer form part of the official British rail network, these rural lines are still a great way to explore while travelling in style on board a steam train.

These lines have been restored and are operated by armies of dedicated volunteers and typically connect with National Rail trains at one or more of their stations, allowing for easy access. Two of the most popular railways are the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex and the Watercress Line in Hampshire. There are others at Brighton, Didcot and on the Isle of Wight, along with many other locations.

South East England Facts

Founded: 1994
Area: 19,400 km²
Population: 9.175 million (2019) Eurostat
Sovereign state: United Kingdom
Districts: 13 unitary; 51 non-metropolitan in 6 non-metropolitan counties
GDP (nominal): 2021 estimate

South East England Counties

  • Kent
  • East Sussex
  • West Sussex
  • Hampshire
  • Isle of Wight
  • Surrey
  • Berkshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire

South East England Cities

  • Brighton and Hove
  • Milton Keynes
  • Southampton
  • Portsmouth
  • Slough
  • Reading
  • Oxford

South East England Towns


  • Ampthill
  • Bedford
  • Biggleswade
  • Dunstable
  • Elstow
  • Ickwell
  • Luton
  • Leighton Buzzard
  • Old Warden
  • Sandy, Woburn


  • Bracknell
  • Eton
  • Newbury
  • Maidenhead
  • Reading
  • Slough
  • Windsor
  • Wokingham


  • Aylesbury
  • Amersham
  • Beaconsfield
  • Buckingham
  • High Wycombe
  • Marlow
  • Milton Keynes
  • Olney
  • Stony Stratford


  • Alton
  • Andover
  • Basingstoke
  • Fareham
  • Farnborough
  • Lymington
  • Lyndhurst
  • Portsmouth
  • Silchester
  • Southampton
  • Winchester
  • Watership Down


  • Berkhamsted
  • Harpenden
  • Hatfield
  • Hertford
  • Hemel Hempstead
  • Hitchin
  • Letchworth
  • Stevenage
  • St. Albans
  • Tring
  • Watford
  • Welwyn
  • Garden City


  • Ashford
  • Canterbury
  • Dover
  • Faversham
  • Folkestone
  • Maidstone
  • Margate
  • Ramsgate
  • Royal Tunbridge Wells
  • Rochester
  • Sevenoaks

London Boroughs

  • Camden
  • City of London
  • Chelsea
  • Fullum
  • Greenwich
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith
  • Islington
  • Kensington
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Newham
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster & West End


  • Abingdon
  • Bampton
  • Banbury
  • Bicester
  • Burford
  • Buscot
  • Carterton
  • Henley-on-Thames
  • Charlbury
  • Chipping Norton
  • Didcot
  • Dorchester
  • Thame
  • Oxford
  • Wallingford
  • Wantage
  • Witney
  • Woodstock


  • Camberley
  • Croydon
  • Dorking
  • Epsom
  • Farnham
  • Godalming
  • Guildford
  • Leatherhead
  • Redhill
  • Staines-upon-Thames
  • Walton-on-Thames
  • Weybridge
  • Woking


  • Arundel
  • Battle
  • Brighton
  • Bosham
  • Bognor Regis
  • Chichester
  • Crawley
  • Eastbourne
  • Hastings
  • Haywards Heath
  • Horsham
  • Lewes
  • Rye
  • Shoreham-by-Sea
  • Worthing

Isle of Wight

  • Cowes
  • Freshwater
  • Ryde
  • Sandown
  • Shanklin
  • Newport
  • Ventnor