London is a truly exciting city with lots to do and see. However, there are also many wonderful attractions just a day away from the bustling capital. So, whether you want a break from the London crowds, or you just want to explore more of England, here are 12 of the best day trips from London:
1. Stonehenge, Wiltshire
This iconic prehistoric monument is still the topic of mystery and debate today. Stonehenge in Wiltshire dates back to 3000 BC, but no one really knows what the ring of 30-foot-tall standing stones was used for. You can take the 90-minute train from London to the nearest town, Salisbury, and hop on the Stonehenge Tour Bus there.
The gorgeous Georgian city of Bath is perhaps most famous for its wonderfully preserved ancient Roman baths. Set at the southern edge of the Cotswolds, this town also has many picturesque buildings, lush green parks, and fascinating museums. You can also visit the imposing Bath Abbey. There are lots of trains and buses from London.
One of the most popular day trips from London is a visit to the famous university town of Oxford. This grand old city has lots of places to see, from the university colleges (many were even featured in the Harry Potter films) like Christ Church and Magdalen, to the imposing Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
The city of Canterbury is one of England’s most picturesque towns. It is home to Canterbury Cathedral, which is considered to be one of the finest in Europe. The town itself is filled quaint, narrow alleyways and medieval buildings. Also visit the ruins of the 6th century St Augustine’s Abbey, and the serene River Stour. Canterbury is about an hour away from London by train.
5. Brighton, Sussex
The wonderful seaside town of Brighton is located just 80 kilometres from London. From charming Regency-era houses to lush gardens and unique shops, there are lots of things to see and do in Brighton. Don’t miss the eclectic Royal Pavilion, and a walk along the pier that is lined with Victorian-era seafront hotels.
Much like Oxford, the historic university town of Cambridge is a short drive away from London. Cambridge University’s breathtaking grounds are full of 12th-century buildings, lots of green spaces, many museums, and the wonderful River Cam. Be sure to visit some of the university colleges, such as Clare College, Kings College and Christ’s College.
Also Read: 6 Places You Have To See In Cambridge
Windsor is probably most famous for being home to Windsor Castle, which is the world’s largest and oldest occupied castle. The castle is known for its grand State Apartments, St George’s Chapel, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, and many towers. However, the town itself also worth a visit. You can also visit the nearby town of Eton that lies a
Stratford lies just a few hours away from London, but its quiet pace makes it seem like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Stratford-upon-Avon is most famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and you can still visit many buildings associated with his life, like his birthplace, his daughter’s home, and the cottage of his wife, Anne Hathaway.
9. The Cotswolds
This bucolic area in Gloucestershire is dotted with enchanting villages and pristine English countryside. Just two hours northwest of London, and less than an hour from Bath, the Cotswolds is the perfect summer getaway.
10. Leeds Castle, Kent
Situated in the middle of a lake and surrounded by forests and parkland, Leeds Castle is truly an idyllic destination. Admire the wonderful castle grounds and the grand rooms, as well as the beautiful Lady Baillie Gardens. You can also visit the nearby White Cliffs of Dover, an iconic British site.
11. Isle of Wight
Slightly further away, the Isle of Wight is a top destination in the UK. An island off the south coast of England, it is just 3 hours away from London and is famous for its golden sand beaches dotted with dinosaur remains and fossils. You can also visit the Pepperpot, a historic lighthouse, and explore the picturesque old cottages and country lanes.
12. Harry Potter Warner Brother’s Studio Tour, London
Housed at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden just outside London, The Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour is a must-see for most Harry Potter fans. The experience takes you into the heart of the Harry Potter films. It has a vast collection of props, models, and sets that show the amazing effort that went on behind the scenes to bring J.K. Rowling’s books to life.
BONUS: Paris, France
It is actually possible to leave England (and the UK) entirely for a day, and to visit a whole different country. Paris is just 2 hours away via the Eurostar. While just a day in Paris probably isn’t enough to see it all, it’s definitely a start!
Also Read: How To Spend a Weekend in Paris
So, have we missed any of your favourite day trips from London? If so, be sure to share them in the comments below.