London is not just a city, it’s a whole world in itself. However, if you are looking for an escape from the hustle-bustle of this vibrant metropolis, then you’re in luck! We have got your back with some of the best day trips from London that will leave you mesmerized and rejuvenated. From picturesque countryside to historical towns and captivating castles; we’ve curated a list that has something for everyone. So pack your bags because we’re about to take you on an unforgettable journey beyond the city limits.
How to make the most of your day trip
Assuming you’re starting in London, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of your day trip. First, check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. If you’re travelling by train, check for disruptions or engineering work that might delay your journey. It’s also worth booking tickets in advance to get the best price and guarantee a seat.
Once you’re out of London, make the most of your time by planning your route and activities in advance. If you’re visiting a heritage site or attraction, research opening times and how to get there so you don’t waste time getting lost or queuing. And finally, enjoy yourself! A day trip is a great opportunity to explore somewhere new and create some wonderful memories.
Brighton, also known as “London-by-the-Sea“, is a popular day trip destination for Londoners. Just an hour’s train ride from the city, Brighton offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of London life. The seaside town is famous for its pebble beaches, quaint shops, and lively nightlife. Brighton is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some time by the sea.
The city is also home to some fantastic attractions, including the famous Brighton Pier and the iconic Royal Pavilion. Visitors can explore the charming lanes of The Lanes, shop in The North Laine, or take a stroll along the picturesque seafront. There are plenty of great restaurants and bars to discover, as well as music venues for concerts and gigs. Brighton is also known for its vibrant LGBT+ scene, with many pubs and clubs welcoming all genders, sexualities and identities.
Oxford is a city in England’s South East and home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities. The city has an abundance of cultural attractions, including museums, parks and theatres. There are also plenty of pubs, clubs and restaurants to enjoy.
Oxford is one of the most popular day trips from London, and for good reason. This historic university town is home to some of the best colleges in the world, as well as beautiful architecture and plenty of green spaces.
There are a number of ways to reach Oxford from London, but the easiest is by train. The journey takes around an hour and a half, and there are regular services throughout the day. Once you arrive in Oxford, there are plenty of things to keep you busy.
If you’re interested in history and architecture, make sure to visit some of the colleges at the University of Oxford. Many of these buildings date back centuries, and are well worth a look. If you’d rather spend your time outdoors, take a stroll through one of Oxford’s many parks or gardens.
No matter what you’re looking for, Oxford makes for a great day trip from London.
The Cotswolds are a picturesque rural area in England, about two hours west of London. The area is known for its honey-colored stone houses and rolling hills. There are many quaint villages to explore, and the region is home to some of England’s best countryside walks.
If you’re looking for a relaxing day out, the Cotswolds are perfect. Many of the villages have small shops and restaurants, and you can enjoy a lazy lunch or dinner in one of the charming pubs. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a guided hike through the hilly landscape or explore one of the many nearby castles.
In terms of activities, there are plenty to choose from. You can visit some of the wineries in the area, go fishing on one of the nearby lakes, take a boat tour along the River Thames, or even go golfing. The Cotswolds also offer many outdoor activities such as horseback riding, cycling and zip lining.
The region also has a rich history and culture which you can explore. Visit some of its well-preserved medieval churches and castles, catch a performance at one of its open-air theatres or sample locally produced produce at one of its many farmers’ markets. There is something for everyone in this beautiful part of England.
Windsor is a beautiful town located just outside of London. It is home to Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world. The castle is also the official residence of the Queen, making it a popular tourist destination.
In addition to the castle, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Windsor. The town is home to many shops, restaurants, and cafes. There is also a lively nightlife scene with plenty of bars and clubs to enjoy.
Whether you’re interested in history, shopping, or just enjoying a good time, Windsor is a great place to visit for a day trip from London.
If you’re looking for a British day out, there’s no need to look any further than Cambridge. This world-famous university city is just a short train ride from London, making it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Whether you want to explore the atmospheric colleges, wander through the picturesque streets or punting down the River Cam, Cambridge has something for everyone. And with plenty of pubs and restaurants to refuel in, you can easily make a day of it.
Here are our top tips for things to do in Cambridge:
- Visit one of the colleges: With centuries of history and some of the most impressive architecture in the country, a visit to one of Cambridge’s colleges is a must. Take a guided tour or simply explore on your own – either way, you’ll be blown away by these beautiful buildings.
- Punting on the River Cam: No trip to Cambridge is complete without a leisurely punt down the river. It’s a great way to see some of the city’s best sights, including King’s College Chapel and The Backs (the gardens behind some of the colleges). You can hire your own punt or take a guided tour – both are great fun!
- Explore the market square: The historic market square is at the heart of Cambridge life and is well worth a visit. Here you’ll find an array of independent shops selling everything from fresh produce to artisan gifts, as well as plenty
Stonehenge is one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world. This prehistoric stone circle monument, cemetery, and archaeological site is located on Salisbury Plain, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury, Wiltshire, about 90 minutes west of London. It is thought to have been built between 3000 and 2000 BC, and it is a fascinating site to visit.
There are several theories about why Stonehenge was built, but no one knows for sure. It could have been used as a burial ground, a place of worship, or a calendar. Whatever its purpose, it is an incredible feat of engineering.
Visitors can take a guided tour of Stonehenge or explore the site on their own. It is also a great place to watch the sunrise or sunset as the sun casts interesting shadows on the stones.
Stonehenge is open to the public all year round, and there are a number of tours available from London. You can also visit on your own, but be prepared for a bit of a walk!
There are a number of reasons to visit Bath, including the city’s rich history, its stunning architecture, and its world-famous spa. Bath is just a short train ride from London, making it the perfect destination for a day trip.
When visiting Bath, be sure to explore the Roman Baths, which date back to the 1st century AD. The baths are fed by natural hot springs, and you can still see the remains of the original Roman temple that once stood on the site. Nearby is the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which was founded in the 7th century. The church is home to a number of important historical artifacts, including a copy of the Magna Carta.
Other highlights of a visit to Bath include the Royal Crescent, a row of elegant Georgian townhouses; Pulteney Bridge, which spans the River Avon; and Bath Spa, where you can enjoy treatments using the city’s famed mineral-rich waters.
Situated on the banks of the River Avon in Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon is one of England’s most picturesque towns. A market town since the 12th century, Stratford is best known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The town has numerous buildings and landmarks associated with Shakespeare including his birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, and Harvard House.
In addition to its rich literary history, Stratford-upon-Avon is home to a number of other historical attractions including Tudor buildings, a medieval guildhall, and a 12th century parish church. The town also offers a variety of shopping and dining options as well as scenic river cruises.
With so much to see and do, Stratford-upon-Avon makes for a perfect day trip from London. Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or simply looking to explore England’s countryside, Stratford has something for everyone.
Harry Potter Studio Tour
The Harry Potter Studio Tour is one of the best day trips you can take from London. The tour takes you behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movies, and you get to see firsthand how the movies were made. You also get to see some of the sets and props up close, and you even get to try out some of the tricks used in the movies.
The tour is highly recommended for any fan of the Harry Potter series. When you book a ticket for the Harry Potter Studio Tour, you get access to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. This includes a guided tour of the studio where you can explore some of the sets, props and costumes used in the movies. You also get to see how various effects were created and learn more about some of the secrets behind the film’s production.
The tour lasts around three hours, although there is plenty to see and do during this time, so it may take longer depending on your interests. Some of the highlights include seeing Dumbledore’s office, Diagon Alley, Hagrid’s hut, Platform 9 ¾ and much more! You can even grab a Butterbeer while you’re there!
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is one of the most famous royal residences in England. The palace was built between 1515 and 1536 by Henry VIII as a private residence. It later became the official residence of the English monarchs, and it is now open to the public.
Visitors can explore the palace and its gardens, take guided tours, and even explore the maze in the garden. This is a great day out for any history enthusiast.
The palace boasts impressive Tudor architecture with an array of ornate rooms and courtyards. It is also home to the famous Chapel Royal and one of the oldest clock towers in the world. Hampton Court Palace is a World Heritage Site and has been featured in many films, including The Young Victoria and The King’s Speech.
Kew Gardens, located near London, is the largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in the United Kingdom and is also a preeminent scientific research facility known for housing the most diverse collection of living plants in the world.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a terrific spot to get away from it all, whether you want to take a stroll around themed gardens, venture up to the treetop path, or investigate the glasshouses.
Kew Gardens may be accessed by the Tube, train, and London Overground in under 30 minutes from downtown London. Kew Gardens (District line), which is 500 metres from the Victoria Gate entrance, is the closest Tube station to Kew Gardens. The London Overground system is accessible from this stop as well.
The closest train station is Kew Bridge, which is only 800 metres away from the Elizabeth Gate entrance.
The entrance gates are serviced by bus routes 65 and 391, while routes 237 and 267 provide access to Kew Bridge station.
Kew Gardens is a great day out for nature and plant lovers alike. Kew Gardens is a world-famous botanical gardens in London. It is home to more than 30,000 different species of plants and trees. Visitors can explore the gardens and take part in guided tours, as well as special events such as outdoor concerts and festivals. Kew Gardens is the perfect place for anyone looking for an enjoyable day out in London.
Dover Castle and White Cliffs of Dover
Dover Castle is one of England’s most famous historical landmarks. The castle was built in the 11th century by the Norman kings, and it has been the seat of the English monarchy ever since. Today, you can visit the castle and explore its ancient walls and towers. Dover Castle is also well-known for its connection to WWII, as it served as an important outpost for the Allied troops.
The White Cliffs of Dover are another famous landmark associated with Dover Castle. The cliffs stretch along the English Channel, where they provide a picturesque view of England’s southern coast. Visitors can take a boat tour to get up close and personal with the cliffs, or climb up to their top for a stunning view of the sea and France in the distance.
Downton Abbey filming location
Downton Abbey was filmed at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, England. It is a Victorian-era English country house. The castle grounds have been used for filming various scenes in the series.
Highclere Castle is open to the public, and visitors can tour the castle and gardens.
Highclere Castle, made renowned around the world by its starring part in Downton Abbey, is now one of England’s most popular tourist attractions. The Jacobean manor house is open to the public from July to September, but visitors must make reservations in advance to see the elaborate interiors. Staying in a lodge on the property, where you can wake up to the sight of one of England’s most famous houses, is the ultimate Downton Abbey experience.
Bampton‘s picturesque streets and Victorian-era homes were ideal for filming scenes set in the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton. Churchgate House and the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin, both of which exist in the community, can be seen in multiple episodes of Downton Abbey.
Best day trips from London offer an array of sights, experiences and activities to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a beach retreat or an historical adventure, there’s something for everyone within easy reach of the capital. From Stonehenge to Oxford, each destination has its own unique charms that make it worth visiting. With so many options available, the only challenge is deciding which one to choose!