How to get to NOC Southampton

There are a number of ways to reach the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.

Local public transport and cycle maps are available in the NOC Southampton reception area and are downloadable from here:

Please note that NOC is located within the Southampton Docks area, operated by the Associated British Ports (ABP). When entering the docks, you may be stopped by ABP Security and asked to present ID.

On foot

NOC is easily accessible via lit pedestrian walkways from Dock Gate 4 and Dock Gate 5. It is approximately a 5-minute walk from both dock gates. Please take care when crossing roads in the dock area due to large moving vehicles.

By cycle

NOC is well connected to the Southampton City Cycle Network. A dual use cycle way is available from Dock Gate 4. Covered cycle parking is available next to the main reception. Shower and changing room facilities are also available onsite. Please note that ABP request all cyclists use bike lights and wear high visibility jackets when cycling through the dock area after dusk.

By rail

Southampton is less than one and a half hours from London by rail. South West Trains run approximately four trains every hour from Waterloo station, London to Southampton Central station. Southampton Central railway station is well connected to NOC via the UniLink Bus Service (see below), taxis and local pedestrian routes (approximately a 30 minute walk). A taxi rank is located outside both station entrances.

Timetables can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website.

By bus

UniLink: There is a Uni-Link Bus service (U1C City Centre & NOC), which starts at Southampton Airport, travels to Southampton Central railway station then travels directly to NOC. Current fares: £2 single £3.50 return (return tickets allow unlimited travel all day on all Uni-Link services).

Timetables can be found on the Uni-link Bus website.

Quayconnect: A bus service that runs from Southampton Central railway station via Asda and West Quay to Town Quay (alight at the first stop on Town Quay), it is approximately a 15-minute walk to NOC from Town Quay. Please view the following walking directions for more information.

More information on this service can be found on the Bluestar website.

National Express coaches

National Express coaches call at Southampton Central bus station, which is a 5-minute walk to the Southampton Central railway station from where local buses can be taken to NOC.

Timetables can be found on the National Express website.

Southampton ferries

There are frequent ferries from Cowes, Isle of Wight and Hythe, directly to Southampton Docks (Town Quay). It is approximately a 15-minute walk to NOC from Town Quay. Please view the following walking directions for more information.

Timetables can be found on the website.

By road

By car the NOC has direct links from the M3, M27 (W) or M27 (E). From Central London, join the M3 and leave at Junction 14 (the M3 splits east and west at this point but you can take either direction for the slip road to the A33 into Southampton). Follow signs to Dock Gate 4 and the Waterfront for approximately 6 miles. The journey time is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Parking: There is visitor parking at the NOC directly outside the front entrance. However, spaces can be very limited. Please inform your host when arranging your visit so a space can be booked for you, if available. NOC cannot guarantee a parking space for visitors that do not book in advance. NOC has two electric vehicle charging points. Contact us for prices booking guidelines.

By air

If you arrive by air from overseas at Southampton Airport there are three ways to reach NOC. Take a taxi (see ‘By road’), take the U1C City Centre & NOC Unilink bus (see ‘By bus’ journey time about 1 hour) or take a train to Southampton Central (see ‘By train’; about 8 minutes) from Southampton Airport Parkway station, which is immediately adjacent to the airport.