South Dorset

By Air

There are airports at Southampton and Bournemouth. There are also good connections from London Gatwick and London Heathrow. There are direct scheduled flights between Southampton and Aberdeen, Alderney (Channel Islands), Alicante, Amsterdam, Belfast, Bergerac, Brussels, Chambery, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Geneva, Glasgow, Guernsey, Ibiza, Isles of Scilly (St Marys), Jersey, Leeds / Bradford, Majorca, Malaga, Manchester, Milan, Minorca, Murcia, Newcastle, Newquay, Paris, Saltzburg, Tenerife (Rina Sofia) and Toulouse. There are also charter flights to other destinations.

From Bournemouth there are direct flights to Alderney (Channel Islands), Guernsey, Innsbruck, Jersey, Dubrovnik, Spit, Larnaca (Cyprus), Paphos (Cyprus), Dublin, Chambery, Corfu, Crete, Turin, Funchal, Faro, Majorca, Menorca, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Alicante, Barcelona and Malaga.

Southampton Airport is adjacent to Southampton Airport Parkway station, which has frequent fast services to London, Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham, Dorchester and Weymouth. Many services stop at the smaller stations between Poole and Weymouth. For Bournemouth Airport, there is a bus services from the Square and The Travel Interchange (this is where the station is) to the airport, route number A1, though these are not frequent. From the town centre it is around 6 miles, so a taxi is the best option to get to the airport.

If you're traveling from one of the London Airports, there are good connections to the south Dorset coast. From Heathrow take the Rail - Air coach services to Woking station, this runs every 30 minutes for most of the day. From Woking there are frequent trains to Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham, Wool, Dorchster and Weymouth and to some of the smaller stations near the coast. There are also services to Axminster from where there are bus connections to parts of the West Dorset coast. From Gatwick Airport, there are direct services to Southamtpn, running every hour Monday - Saturday, from where there are frequent trains onto Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham and Weymouth. From Stansted Airport, take the Stansted Express train to Liverpool Street station in London. From there cross to Waterloo station via the London Underground (I'd recommend traveling from Liverpool Street to Bank on the Central Line, then Bank to Waterloo on the Waterloo and City line). From Waterloo there are frequent fast trains to Axminster, Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham and Weymouth.

By Coach

National Express run a long distance coach service which has coaches from various parts of the UK to many parts of the South Dorset coast, including Boscombe, Bournemouth, Branksome, Bridport, Charmouth, Christchurch, Lyme Regis, Poole, Swanage, Wareham and Weymouth.

By Car

There are reasonable road links to most parts of the South Dorset coast. The M27 motorway joins the A31 and A388 roads for good access to Bournemouth and Poole. The A35 is a fairly fast road which has access to many of the coastal towns. The road around Poole Harbour can get very busy at times though, as can the chain ferry between Sandbanks and South Haven Point. The roads near Bournemouth also have a lot of roundabouts which can get slow. The AA have a good route planner and also information on traffic problems.

By Sea

There are ferry terminals at Poole and Weymouth. From Poole Brittany Ferries operate to Cherbourg and Condor Ferries operate fast ferry services to Jersey, Guernsey, St Malo and Cherbourg. All these ferries carry foot passengers and cars. From Weymouth, Condor Ferries run fast ferries to Jersey, Guernsey and St Malo, again carrying cars and foot passengers.

By Train

South Dorset has good rail links to the rest of the UK, however there are few stations by the coast. South West Trains run fast and frequent services from London, Woking, Basingstoke, Winchester and Southampton to Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham, Wool, Moreton, Dorchester and Weymouth. They also operate services to Axminster and Yeovil Junction from where there are bus services to Lyme Regis, Bridport and Weymouth. Virgin Trains run fast daily services from the Midlands the North and Scotland to Bournemouth and Poole, as well as to Weymouth on summer Saturdays. Wessex Trains run a service on the Heart of Wessex line between Bristol, Bath, Westbury and Yeovil to Dorchester and Weymouth.

Tickets for all rail services in the UK can be booked on-line, at The Trainline and QJump.

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