Eastleigh is a town in Hampshire that sits between Winchester and Southampton. The town has a long history associated with the railway, being the site of a large railway works that at one time was the major employer in the area.
The Borough of Eastleigh contains many small villages and hamlets, including Chandler's Ford to the north and Bishopstoke to the east.
Perhaps the best-known piece of history associated with Eastleigh is that it is the home of the Spitfire (a famous World War II fighter plane). The aircraft was built, designed and first flown from what is now Southampton Airport. During its military service, Southampton Airport was known as HMS Raven, before being renamed to Eastleigh Airport in 1947. The name was changed again to its current name in 1994 to mark the opening of the new terminal constructed there the year before.
The town also boasts a link to one of the UK's best known comics, Benny Hill. Indeed it was his work as a milkman in the town that spawned his well known "Ernie - the fastest milkman in the west" tune. The cartoon character 'Jane' and musician Heinz Burt are also connected with the borough.
Since the Pirelli Cable Works closed down in 1990, Eastleigh became a dormitory town, meaning that it has become home to many people who live there, but work somewhere else.
In 2006, Eastleigh was named as the ninth best place to live in the UK by the Channel 4 television programme The Best and Worst Places to Live 2006. The abundance of jobs and excellent transport links (motorways, trains, buses and planes) were named as some of the primary reasons for this award. Nearby Winchester was named the best place to live in the UK by the same programme.
Bishopstoke is just one of the many small villages and hamlets inside the borough. It has a history which stretches back to Saxon times. It is featured in Domesday Book and has long links with Winchester Cathedral and its bishops. King John signed charters here during his visits in 1205 and 1207. William Gilbert, the novelist father of W.S. Gilbert, is stated to have been born here in 1804. During the reign of Queen Victoria, Dean Garnier's garden is said to have rivalled that at Chiswick. In the early 1940s, part of the village had its milk delivered by Benny Hill, who became a popular comedian after the war.
Chandler's Ford has a long history associated with the railways, being the site of a large railway works that at one time was the major employer in the area. The population of Chandler's Ford is now over 20,000 and still growing. It contains the headquarters of B&Q and Draper Tools — both companies selling DIY equipment. The town has the same ways to travel as Eastleigh, see the "Get around" section below for more details.
The town's name
Eastleigh can be seen in the Domesday Book of 1066 as 'Estleie' — which translates as "East of the Leigh (meadow)" from Old Saxon, however this isn't the earliest record of the town as there was a Saxon town known as 'East Leah' in 932. This name was chosen because up until the Victorian era, the town was two large farms - known as the Great Eastley Farm and Little Eastley Farm. In 1868, a local author called was asked to name the town either Eastley or Barton - the two hamlets in the area that is now Central Eastleigh. She chose Eastley, however decided it should be spelt Eastleigh to make it sound more modern. A statue of her is located at the train station, and a local college was named Barton Peveril in 1904, possibly in reference to the other name she could have chosen.
The town's link to the railway
As mentioned above, the town was made up of two farms up until Victorian times, when the railway was built. The station was built to create a direct line from London to Plymouth. After the station was constructed, most of the people in the area worked for the railway, so they needed somewhere to live. As more and more people worked at the station, more houses were built until the town turned into what it is today — a large town with villages and hamlets of its own.
Areas of Eastleigh
These are borders which show
- - Eastleigh Town Centre - where the main shops in the town of Eastleigh are located
- - Eastleigh - the main town of the borough of Eastleigh
- - The Borough of Eastleigh - this area contains the town of Eastleigh and the surrounding towns managed by the same council. This is what this article covers.
- Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in Great Britain
Eastleigh has good national rail links; the three stations serving the area are all on the South Western Main Line from London to Weymouth.
- 1 Eastleigh Station, Southampton Rd, SO50 9FL. The South Western Railway service from London Waterloo runs every 30 min to 1 hr, and the journey takes 1 hr 20 min. There are also frequent rail services to Eastleigh station from Southampton Central (13 min), Winchester (10 min), Portsmouth & Southsea (40 min), and Basingstoke (30 min).
- 2 Chandler's Ford Station, Station Ln, SO53 4DD. Very similar service pattern to Eastleigh station.
- 3 Southampton Airport Parkway Station, Wide Ln, SO18 2HW. Crosscountry and South Western services from Bournemouth (45 min), Reading (45 min), Birmingham New Street (2 hr 30 min) and Manchester Piccadilly (4 hr) are available.
Year-round services from many airports across the British Isles to 4 Southampton Airport (SOU IATA), and a handful of continental cities and resorts. Travelling to Eastleigh town centre from Southampton Airport is simple, travel up the A335 until you get to Leigh Road, then turn left.
Eastleigh is 5 mi (8.0 km) north of Southampton City Centre. To travel from Southampton to Eastleigh, simply follow the A335 for Eastleigh or A33 for Chandler's Ford. Another option is to take the M271 from Westquay Shopping Centre until Junction 1, then take the M27 to Junction 5.
Eastleigh is near the end point of the M3 connecting the South Coast and M27 with Winchester (10 mi (16 km) away) and the rest of the country's motorway network. London is 75 mi (121 km) away via the M3, while Birmingham is 140 mi (230 km) via the M40, A34 and M3. Use junction 13 for Eastleigh and Chandler's Ford towns, but junction 11 for Marwell Zoo. If travelling from Portsmouth 20 mi (32 km) away, use the M27 and come off at junction 5.
Twenty-eight electric vehicle charging points have been installed across the town — these are part of a three-year trial ending in April 2024 set up by the government. A map of these charge points can be found here.
There are many car parks in Eastleigh, their locations and prices can be found here.
Eastleigh town centre is very small and can easily be travelled on foot; a complete loop is just less than 1 mi (1.6 km). Eastleigh does have a large residential sprawl adjoined in the north and west known as Boyatt Wood. There are regular buses and the quickest route from the town centre to the opposite end of Boyatt Wood is just one mile long.
Bishopstoke is a one mile walk along Bishopstoke Road or a short taxi ride. Alternatively you can catch a bus from the bus station in the town centre to "The Mill" stop located at the centre of the village close to Riverside and the River Itchen.
- 1 Galaxy Cars, ☏ +44 23 8218-2786. Local taxis in Eastleigh and private hire service.
Bike hire is available at 2 Cycles4all, at the Pavilion on the Park. A cycle route map can be found here.
Regular bus services to Southampton, Romsey, Winchester and areas in the surrounding borough. National Express coaches run services through the town centre. Most of Eastleigh's buses are run by Bluestar, however Xelabus also offer regular bus services. Coliseum run coach trips from 5 Eastleigh Bus Station.
- 1 Eastleigh Museum, High St, ☏ +44 23 8064-3026. M–F 10AM–4PM, Sa 10AM–2PM. The museum contains information about how Eastleigh became a railway town and the history of the railway in Eastleigh.
- 2 St Mary's Church, at the lower end of Church Rd, Bishopstoke. John "Bilious" Bale, a medieval rector, writer and playwright once preached his infamous sermons here. Samuel Sewall, a judge in the Salem Witch Trials, was baptised here. The church was named after an 3 older church demolished in the 19th century, this site now has some old ruins and a graveyard. Inside the church is a large pipe organ.
- 4 Marwell Zoological Park, Colden Common (On the B2177. Accessible by road or by Stagecoach bus 69 (4 buses on Su only)), ☏ +44 1962 777-407. Apr-Oct: daily 10AM–6PM; Nov-Mar: daily 10AM–4PM; last admission 90 minutes before close; closed Dec 25th. The park has over 200 rare and endangered species of animals. The Marwell Preservation Trust is dedicated to conservation and increased knowledge of all living creatures. Marwell Hall is located here. £11.50 adult; £9.50 senior or student; £8 child.
- 5 The Railwayman Statue, Leigh Rd, SO50 9FF. A statue celebrating Eastleigh's railway history.
- 6 Charlotte Mary Yonge Statue (also known as the Charlotte Yonge Statue), SO50 9FL (Sat on a bench outside Eastleigh train station). A statue of the novelist who named Eastleigh.
- 7 Shears Mill (The Mill), Bishopstoke Rd, SO50 6LP. Old water mill turned museum.
- 1 Vue Cinemas, Swan Centre. 9-screen cinema.
- 2 Hollywood Bowl Eastleigh (formerly AMF Bowling), Swan Centre. A 20-lane bowling alley and arcade.
- 3 The Point (Arts centre), Leigh Rd (not far from Eastleigh town centre), ☏ +44 23 8065-2333. A variety of stage and film productions throughout the year.
- 4 Partyman World of Play (formerly Gambado's), ☏ +44 23 8001-8336. Large indoor soft play area for children.
- 5 Leigh Road Park, Leigh Rd. Park with bandstand, war memorial and children's playground.
- 6 Lakeside Country Park, Wide Ln, ☏ +44 23 8061-7882. An area of land left behind by the gravel extraction for the M27 Motorway. The three large holes are now flooded and provide a very pleasant green belt between Southampton and Eastleigh. Fishing, walking and birdwatching are all possible at the site, and there is a miniature railway that runs March-September.
- 7 Places Leisure (formerly Fleming Park), Passfield Ave, SO50 9NL, ☏ +44 23 8068-4800. Leisure centre with indoor pools, a gym, tennis and squash courts and a large park. The park contains a large playground and a paddling pool (open May-September). The Pavilion on the Park on the corner of Kingfisher Rd is a community venue with halls, suites and the Blackbird Café.
- 8 The Pavilion on the Park, 1 Kingfisher Rd, SO50 9LH, ☏ +44 23 8061-2710. Community venue with halls, suites and the Blackbird Café.
- 9 Itchen Way. Ramblers can use to reach other locations along the valley of the river Itchen including Allbrook (home of Mary Beale, the artist, during the late 1660s) Brambridge (home of Maria Fitzherbert in the mid 1700s), Shawford, St Cross & Winchester.
- 10 Itchen Valley Country Park, Allington Ln, West End, Southampton (approx. 2 miles south of Bishopstoke, can be accessed by car via Allington Lane, Fair Oak to the east of the village or walkers may use the Itchen Way which adjoins the western edge of the village). Woodlands and meadows with a play trail, a café and a Go Ape assault course.
- 11 Bishopstoke Players, Memorial Hall. If your visit coincides with the staging of a performance by the talented Bishopstoke Players and you book early enough, you are in for a treat.
- 12 Hiltingbury Lakes. About 17 acres of water, woodland and wildlife. Here you can enjoy walking, fishing or just watching the wildlife.
- 13 Stoke Park Wood, Stoke Park Wood, Bishopstoke. Woodland with a car park. Great for walking and cycling.
- 14 The Hub, The Hub, Bishopstoke Rd, SO50 6LA, ☏ +44 23 8064-7090. Sports and recreation facility with large green area. The River Itchen runs alongside it.
- 15 Marwell Activity Centre (Marwell Resort), Hurst Ln, Owslebury, SO21 1EZ, ☏ +44 1962 777-547, email@example.com. 9:30AM–5:30PM. A range of fun guided woodland activities: an aerial obstacle course with tight-ropes and a zip-wire; archery; clay-pigeon shooting; quad biking. All sessions last 90 min with qualified instructors, and all are for adults and children aged 8 and over, unless otherwise stated. You can also purchase day passes for fishing on the resort's lake. Aerial adventure £25, archery £18, shooting £48 (people aged 16+ only); quad biking £27 (children aged 8-15); fishing £15 per day.
- Watch football at Eastleigh FC, who play soccer in the National League, the game's fifth tier in England. Their home ground at 16 Ten Acres (Silverlake Stadium). (capacity 5200, half seated) is a mile south of town centre, use Southampton Airport Parkway railway station.
- 1 The Swan Centre, SO50 5SF. The Swan Centre, and the two streets behind it, contain most of the shops in Eastleigh, and is sometimes considered as a smaller version of Westquay. There are a wide range of stores and cafés here. There is a market on Thursdays and Saturdays. A map of the shopping centre can be found here.
- 2 Asda, Bournemouth Rd, Chandler's Ford, SO53 3YJ, ☏ +44 23 8026-8341. Large hypermarket with a petrol station.
- 3 Lidl Roundabout. A roundabout with a large Lidl and M&S Foodhall.
- 4 Falkland Court. A group of shops including a Co-op and a fish-and-chip shop.
- 5 Boyatt Shopping Centre, Arrow Cl, Boyatt Wood, SO50 4QP. A line of shops with a pharmacy.
- 6 Bournemouth Road. A group of lots of different types of shops including a butchers.
- 7 Riverside, Riverside/Spring Ln, Bishopstoke, SO50 6LQ/6LR/6LS. A small collection of stores on the corner of Riverside and Spring Ln. Stores include a post office and a Central convenience store.
The majority of places to eat are in the places mentioned in the 'Buy' section above, but here are nine that aren't:
Eat-in and takeaway
- 1 Badi Mirchi, 190 Leigh Rd, SO50 9DX, ☏ +44 23 8061-2174. 5PM–10:30PM. Traditional Indian restaurant serving lots of dishes containing chilli; their name does mean "big chilli" in Hindi after all! Mains about £10 each.
- 2 Hursley Café, 4 Hursley Rd, Chandler's Ford, SO53 2FU, ☏ +44 23 8025-2550. M–Sa 7AM–4PM, Su 8AM–3PM. Café open for breakfast and lunch. Vegetarian options available. Breakfasts from £10, prices for mains range between £5 and £20.
- 3 The Cleveland Bay, 1 Pilgrims Cl, Chandler's Ford SO53 4ST, ☏ +44 23 8026-9814. Tu–Th noon–10PM, F Sa noon–11PM, Su noon–8PM, M closed. Wadworth pub with a children's play area and a pool table. They serve a range of mainly meat-based dishes, however vegetarian options are available. Starter, main and dessert about £20 per person.
- 4 Sandra's Fish & Chips (formerly Golden Fry Chip Shop), 112 Chamberlayne Rd, SO50 5JF, ☏ +44 23 8061-4161. Tu–Sa 11:30AM–2PM, 4:30PM–9PM; Su M closed. Fish and chip shop also serving burgers and sandwiches. Eat-in and takeaway. Prices vary from £5 to £10 depending on the size of the meal.
- 5 The Hiltonbury Farmhouse, North Millers Dale, Chandler's Ford, SO53 1SZ, ☏ +44 23 8026-9974, firstname.lastname@example.org. M–Th 11AM–11PM, F Sa 11AM–midnight, Su noon–10:30PM. Stylish pub with large beer garden serving classics such as steaks, salads and sea bass. They also have a decent pizza menu, baked in their gas-fired pizza oven. Drinks-wise, they're particularly known for their impressive gin selection: no fewer than 11 locally-distilled, and many more from all over. Mains £10-£26, pizzas £14, Sunday roast £16/£20 for two/three courses.
- 6 Good Earth, 88 Desborough Rd, SO50 5NS, ☏ +44 23 8061-4236. W Th 5PM–10PM, F Sa 5PM–11PM, Su M 5PM–10PM, Tu closed. Chinese takeaway serving both oriental and Cantonese cuisine. Takeaway or delivery only. About £20 for a starter, main, dessert and drink; free delivery for orders over £18.
- 7 Taroka, 161 Fair Oak Rd, SO50 8LQ, ☏ +44 23 8065-3650. 5PM–11PM. Takeaway serving traditional Bangladeshi dishes as well as "house specials" - dishes made with the restaurant's own recipe. About £10 for a starter and a main.
- 8 Mikes Chippy, 12B Derby Rd, SO50 5LY, ☏ +44 23 8061-3399. Tu–W 11:30AM–1:30PM, 4PM–8PM, Th 4PM–8PM, F Sa 11:30AM–1:30PM, 4PM–8PM, Su M closed. Fish and chip shop with large menu. Takeaway only. Prices vary from £5 to £10 depending on the size of the meal.
- 9 Adore, 6 Hursley Rd, Chandler's Ford, SO53 2FU, ☏ +44 23 8026-6414. Su–Th 4PM–midnight, F Sa noon–midnight. Fast-food takeaway, mainly offering pizza and burgers. Pizzas and kebabs about £10 each, burgers about £5 each.
- 1 The Good Companions, 119 Leigh Rd, SO50 9DS, ☏ +44 23 8062-9001. noon–10PM. Family-friendly pub with outdoor patio. About £20 for a meal and a dessert.
- 2 The Grantham Arms, Chamberlayne Rd, SO50 5HZ, ☏ +44 23 8061-2141. 2:30PM–11PM. Family-friendly pub.
- 3 Steam Town Brew Co., 1 Bishopstoke Rd, SO50 6AD, ☏ +44 23 8235 9139. M–Th 4PM–11PM, F–Su noon–11PM. Craft brewery and tap room with outside seating on the on-street terrace. They serve and sell a range of their own beers and guests by bottle, can and mini-keg, as well as offering a range of "dirty" burgers and fries for the peckish.
- 4 The Concorde Club, Stoneham Ln, SO50 9HQ, ☏ +44 23 8061-3989. M–F 5PM–late, Sa Su 11AM–late. Oldest jazz club under the same management in the United Kingdom and possibly the world. Also on-site are the Moldy Fig restaurant and the Ellington Lodge hotel.
- 5 The Chamberlayne Arms, 105 High St, SO50 5LS, ☏ +44 23 8061-2067. M–Sa 11AM–11PM, Su noon–10PM. Privately-owned pub with beer garden. Built in 1887. Meal and dessert about £10.
- 6 The Wagon Works (formerly Home Tavern), 28 Southampton Rd, SO50 9FJ, ☏ +44 23 8062 2670. Su–Th 9AM–10PM, F Sa 9AM–11PM. JD Wetherspoon pub with posters containing information about the history of the town and local author Charlotte Yonge.
- 7 The Cricketers Arms, 232 Chestnut Ave, North Stoneham, Chandler's Ford, SO53 3HN, ☏ +44 23 8062-9878. 11AM–11PM. Greene King pub with a large selection of alcohol and a traditional British theme. Starter, main and dessert around £20.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
- 1 Chestnut Lodge Guest House, 316 Southampton Rd, SO50 5QG, ☏ +44 23 8034-8020, email@example.com. End-of-terrace B&B on the road between the airport and town centre. 18 single, twin, double and family rooms, which you can access at all times. Prices from £22.50/person/night. Full English and continental breakfast £5.
- 2 Premier Inn Southampton (Eastleigh), 117-119 Leigh Rd, SO50 9YX (Adjacent to M3 junction 13), ☏ +44 3333 219-004 (non-geographic standard rate). Despite being surrounded by the motorway and access roads, the rooms are soundproof. Free Wi-Fi. On-site restaurant. From £29/night. Breakfast £9.
- 3 Premier Inn Southampton Airport, Mitchell Way, Southampton, SO18 2XU (400 m (1,300 ft) from airport and train station), ☏ +44 3333 219-005 (non-geographic standard rate). Hotel on the airport grounds with accessible rooms. On-site bar-restaurant. Free Wi-Fi. From £29/night. Breakfast £9.
- 4 Travelodge Eastleigh Central, Southampton Rd, SO50 9FJ (opposite Eastleigh Station), ☏ +44 871 984-6201 (premium). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Very basic hotel with free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is some cereal and juice in a box, but luckily there's a Wetherspoons next door. Hotel advises some outside noise may be present. From £25/night. Parking £2.60 overnight (6PM–8AM), however free parking after 6PM is available at the Swan Centre.
- 5 Travelodge Southampton Eastleigh, Ham Farm, Twyford Rd, SO50 4LF, ☏ +44 871 984-6213 (premium). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Basic suburban hotel with free Wi-Fi next door to a Harvester restaurant. From £28/night. Free parking.
- 6 Crestwell House, 30 The Crescent, SO50 9BR, ☏ +44 7729 266-222 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org. Homely B&B in suburban semi with seven rooms, of which four are en-suite. Parking, full English breakfast and Wi-Fi all free. From £40/night.
- 7 Holiday Inn Southampton-Eastleigh, Leigh Rd, SO50 9PG (300 m (980 ft) from M3 junction 13. Irregular bus service (X7)), ☏ +44 23 8017-9400. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. 129-room hotel with spa, gym, swimming pool and kids' play area. On-site bar and restaurant. Conference facilities. Free Wi-Fi. From £50/night.
- 8 Village Hotel Southampton Eastleigh, Bournemouth Rd, Chandler's Ford, SO53 3QB, ☏ +44 23 8202-7760. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Brand new (2021) 153-bedroom hotel with a gym and pool. On-site pub and grill. Conference room and co-working space. Free Wi-Fi. Google Assistant in room. From £62/night. Parking £5/day.
- 9 Marwell Hotel, Thompson's Ln, Colden Common, Winchester, SO21 1JY, ☏ +44 1962 777-681, email@example.com. Hotel next door to Marwell Zoo with 68 en-suite rooms. Has a large hall so is good for weddings and other functions. On-site restaurant and bar, pools, gym, sauna, free Wi-Fi, 24-hr room service. From £64/night.
- 10 Ellington Lodge Hotel, The Concorde, Stoneham Ln, SO50 9HQ, ☏ +44 23 8065-1478, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel attached to a jazz club with 34 tastefully-decorated en-suite rooms, some of which have an outdoor terrace. On-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi, dogs welcome (£20/night - booking essential), communal gardens. From £81/night.
- 11 Marwell Resort, Hurst Ln, Owslebury, SO21 1EZ, ☏ +44 1962 777-547, email@example.com. Check-in: noon, check-out: 10AM. A range of camping and glamping options. Choose from safari tents with beds, running water, electricity, and kitchen; wooden lodges with similar facilities plus a hot tub; lakeside bivvies (a tent with a bed); all have fire pits and include enough fuel for the night. There are also pitches for tents, campers and caravans (with hook-ups), and group dormitories for 10-14 people. Campfires and dogs allowed. Washing facilities and bistro located on-site. Pitches from £35/night; bivvy from £80/night; safari tent from £339/three nights; lodges from £560/week; contact site for dormitory prices (min. two nights).
- 12 Morelands Copse, Hensting Ln, Colden Common, SO50 7HH, ☏ +44 7925 529-058 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org. Campsite in an ancient woodland run as a source of funding for a local child diabetes charity. Hire a hand-built shepherd's hut or pig pen, or simply pitch a tent. Outdoor seating and dining area, running water, toilets, but no electricity. Plenty of wildlife to spot, and small-group woodcraft workshops available to purchase. Huts from £75/night, pig pen from £70/night, bedding £15, gas/coal £5, tent pitch £15/night.
As of May 2021, Eastleigh has 4G with all UK carriers. 5G has reached Bishopstoke and Chandler's Ford, but not Eastleigh Town Centre. A 5G mast has been constructed in the middle of the residential area of the town, however you cannot get 5G signal anywhere in Eastleigh.
Eastleigh's area code for landline numbers is 023 when dialled from within the UK or +44 23 from outside the UK. Calls made from landlines within the 023 area (which covers most of South Hampshire, including Southampton and Portsmouth) do not require the area code to connect. However, most Southampton phone numbers start "023 80..." leading many to incorrectly assume that "02380" is the local area code.
- Southampton a few miles south has several cinemas and theatres.
- Spend a day in Winchester, exploring the cathedral and visiting the Science Centre.
- Romsey is a great place for children - with such attractions as Romsey Rapids and Paultons Park.
- Bursledon has a marina and a large windmill, as well as Manor Farm.
- Netley Abbey and Royal Victoria Country Park are in Netley.
- Hamble-le-Rice was an aircraft training centre in the Second World War.
- The New Forest contains many attractions such as the Beaulieu Motor Museum and Exbury Gardens.
- London can always easily be reached by train or via the M3.
|Routes through Eastleigh|
|merges with ←||S N||→ Winchester → London|
|New Forest ← Southampton ←||W E||→ Fareham → Portsmouth|
|Southampton ←||S N||→ merges with (N)|