Travelling by Rail

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Visit South East England by train, its easy to do.  With direct links from all London mainline stations, and train routes servicing some of the top destinations in the South, its quick and a great sustainable way to travel.  Coastal destinations like Brighton, Bournemouth, Margate and Hastings can be reached in under two hours and cultural cities of Oxford, Windsor and Winchester, in under an hour from London.

Travelling sustainably has become a higher priority for many and travelling by train emits between 66 - 75% less carbon than by car or plane. South East England can easily be reached from mainland Europe via the Channel Tunnel, with direct links to London and then onwards to the South East. 

There are many rail operators within South East England, providing convenient train travel, a great means of transport, from which to explore the destination.

For an exciting day out on the railway, you can also find out more information about the best steam railways in South East England.

Train operators in South East England:

The UK has an extensive rail network, with excellent connections in the South East. To find out more and plan your journey, visit their website.

Train operators covering the South East region include:

South Western Railway - The South Western Railway network includes routes through Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Somerset and Wales, with services running to and from London Waterloo. Routes service a mixture of commuters, visitors and longer-distance travellers.  Popular destinations include GuildfordReading, Portsmouth, Bournemouth.  Download the South Western Railway route map here or book your South Western train tickets below, this is linked directly to the South Western Railway booking system.

Southeastern Railway - Southeastern run train services into London to and from Kent and East Sussex.  London stations include St Pancras International, Charing Cross, Victoria and Waterloo East.  Popular destinations include Hastings, Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, Sandwich and Canterbury.  Download the Southeastern Railway route map here.

Southern - Southern Railways provide train services between the South, the South Coast and central London, through East and West Sussex, Surrey and parts of Kent and Hampshire.  Popular destinations include SouthamptonBrighton, Littlehampton, Worthing, and Eastbourne. Download the Southern route map here.

Great Western Railway - Great Western Railway run services from London Paddington, across from to the West Country and Wales. Routes include popular destinations like Royal Borough of Windsor, Reading, Basingstoke, London Gatwick.  Services also include an overnight sleeper from Penzance, Pullman dining carriages, and priority boarding for families. Download the Great Western Railway route map here.

Chiltern Railways - Chiltern Railways operate along scenic routes from London Marylebone into The Chilterns, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Shakespeare country.  Popular destinations include Oxford, Bicester, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield. View the Chiltern Railways route map here.

Cross Country - The Cross Country network stretches across England with links into cities in the South East including Bournemouth, Southampton, Reading and Oxford. Routes cover as far afield as Aberdeen and Penzance Download the Cross Country route map here.

Gatwick Express - The Gatwick Express provides a speedy and reliable service between London Victoria station and Gatwick Airport.  This service is currently suspended. Southern and Thameslink services are still in operation.


If you’re travelling from overseas by rail, you can easily reach London using Eurostar. You can travel directly from Paris to London in just over 2 hours or Brussels in under 2 hours, its just 3 hours and 41 minutes to travel direct from Amsterdam, Holland. View the Eurostar route map here. Once at St Pancras Station London, the South  East is easy to reach by train with both Southeastern and Thameslink operating services directly from this station to Kent and Sussex.

Find out more at the Eurostar website

Distances from St Pancras to other mainline stations linking up South East England

  • St Pancras to Kings Cross Station - 1 min walk
  • St Pancras to Paddington Station - 14 mins by tube 
  • St Pancras to Victoria - 15 mins by tube
  • St Pancras to Marylebone Station - 16 mins by tube
  • St Pancras to London Bridge - 17 mins by tube
  • St Pancras to Charing Cross - 21 mins by tube
  • St Pancras to London Waterloo - 22 mins by tube

Times shown are average journey times and will change depending on time of the day and routes available.