London is a beautiful city with great views and many things to do at weekends, but if you have been living there for a long time, you realise there is not much left to do. To spend amazing weekends with your loved ones, you can try some of the most adventurous day trips from London that will refresh your stay in London.
Day trips are a boon for those who have lived in London all their lives. This way, they can escape London to experience something new and try their hands on travelling. You can always drive to your respective destinations, but we recommend taking a train which is not only economical but also time-saving.
Taking a day tour from London depends on the kind of place you want to visit and explore. So, whether you want to go for a nature trip or hike or take a leisure stroll by the beach breathing in some sea air, this article on some of the best day trips from London offers you a variety of destinations with views and experiences.
Some Of The Most Delightful Day Trips From London
London is a big city, and living there, one can never fall short of things to do and places to see, but sometimes all someone wants is a getaway from the hustle and bustle of a big city and an escape from big crowds.
People take a day or two to spend a bit of quality time with their families or friends in quiet away from the screeching noises of people in a huge city like London. The best way is to drive to nearby places, start early and return by night so that you can save your leaves at work.
Going on day trips can be fun, especially when you travel by train. You can make new friends, know more people, and have interesting conversations, and if you aren’t interested in doing these things, you can just sit back in silence and enjoy the great view outside the window.
You will find many amazing day trips from London to explore the beauty and adventure around the capital city.
Travelling with the Eurostar from St Pancras International in London to Brussels takes a little over two hours and makes an amazing historical day trip. The Grand Place is the medieval city centre of Brussels and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While Grand Place is a historical centre which showcases Christmas markets, the city’s east side features sleek skyscrapers and modern architecture.
Brussels is famous for the comic books that originated here. From TinTin to Smurfs, Marsupilami to Blake and Mortimer, one can witness walls giving a shootout to the characters and French-Belgian comics authors in the city centre and Laeken. One can follow comic book routes for more details.
Amidst admiring the intriguing architecture, markets, skyscrapers, and comic book history, do not forget to sip a glass of famous Belgian beer and taste a few brands of Belgian chocolates.
A proven best-day trip from London is a trip to the historic city of Bath. You can ride a train to Bath from London Victoria, which takes almost 1.5 hours. But if you decide to drive to the city, you would also have an opportunity to stop by and explore the beautiful city of Stonehedge.
When you visit Bath, major attractions include ancient honey-hued roman baths built around a hot natural spring, the Bath Abbey with its glorious “ladder of angels”, and the magnificent and extremely romantic Pulteney bridge. Although the destination is now closed for public bathing, one can wander around the roman baths for hours without getting a hint of time.
Taking a walking tour is recommended to visit all the important places, but you can also explore the city according to the time you have at your own pace. A guided tour would enable you to cover all the major attractions without killing time.
3. Brighton And Seven Sisters
To get a break from hustling-bustling London, you can plan a day trip close to nature, leaving you awestruck by its glory. One can take a train from London Victoria to Brighton’s retro, seaside city with all the peace and calm you deserve.
Beautiful maze-like streets guide you to quaint little vintage and antique shops. Some shops serve amazingly big and delicious breakfasts and calming afternoon tea.
Let the city show you its 8 km long pebble beach. A windswept, short walk on the beach will let you taste the most amazing sugary, hot doughnuts in a bag.
If you yearn for a more calming trip, visit the serene, picturesque rolling hills of the South Downs and white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters.
A train from London king’s cross to Cambridge takes 45 minutes. Punting around the city along the river Cam to explore the city and its university grounds is a popular yet unique way of commute.
Join a walking tour of the university to explore popular colleges of King’s College, Trinity College and St. Johns. You can also go to King’s college chapel, with beautiful stained glass decor.
Major attractions include eight museums and botanical gardens at the University.
A train from London St Pancras International and London Victoria to Canterbury take around 1.5 hours. The city is deep-soaked in medieval times with enormous cathedrals, English pubs and little streets.
Canterbury Cathedral, some amazing museums and crazy, scenic walks are the highlights of this medieval city of Canterbury.
Manchester is a city with visible strong culture and history, including the city’s contribution to the Industrial revolution. A direct train from Euston to the small but history-filled city of Manchester takes almost 2.5 hours.
A day trip to Manchester will enlighten your traveller’s soul with the Manchester art gallery, Museum of Science and History, Manchester Cathedral, and Imperial war museum.
You can also wander around to explore gaming bars, English pubs, vintage shops, cat cafes and revolutionary street art.
7. The New Forest, Hampshire
Taking a train from London Waterloo to New Forest takes about two hours and offers a new experience of long pub lunches and woodland walks.
Enjoy a pint of ale, explore some independent shops and cafes, walk down the beach and have long lunches in pubs.
Bourton-on-the-water is known as “Venice of the Cotswolds” and is among the most beautiful villages in England. The village is a perfect example of a day trip from London as it is accessible by rail.
The village is known for its golden-hued buildings and arched bridges connecting the two edges of the land between the river Windrush.
A market town built on the river Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of renowned writer William Shakespeare who lived for the first five years into his marriage after his father’s death and a perfect day trip from London. The town deserves a visit only because it gave birth to people like Bard and Shakespeare.
Major attractions include Theatre that belongs to The Royal Shakespeare’s Company, Holy Trinity Church and Swan theatre. For a romantic experience, you can try Anne Hathaway’s cottage, a 500-year-old property, originally a farmhouse where William Shakespeare courted his future wife, Anne.
Another attraction worth a visit in the beautiful city of Stratford-upon-Avon is a house called Hall’s Croft, which belongs to William Shakespeare’s daughter. The house is surrounded by picturesque gardens and possesses beautiful paintings from the 16-17th century.
A popular one-day trip to Oxford-the city of dreaming spires can rejuvenate your traveller’s soul. The train takes almost one hour to reach London Marylebone if you choose to board it from London Paddington.
Apart from loads of things to see and visit in Oxford, the fact that everything is within walking distance is one the best parts about visiting the historic university town.
When you visit Oxford, the major attractions include the university, which is among the oldest universities in the world, the university’s largest college- Christ Church College, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Pitt Rivers Museum and Hertford Bridge.
Some more must-see places have Oxford covered Market and the University church of St Mary the virgin.
11. Rye, East Sussex
Rye in East Sussex is a quaint little medieval town that makes a perfect day trip from London. If you take a train from St Pancras International, it takes 1 hour and 10 minutes.
The town is choke-loaded with rustic vintage boutique shops and cafes and features some of the prettiest streets in the world.
A must-see is Camber sands with all its blustery dunes and revitalizing waters. The beach is among the best beaches in the UK and takes only 15 minutes if you decide to ride a local bus.
Margate in Kent is one of the most quaint little towns with victorian touch. One can reach this county town by boarding a train from London St Pancras, which takes approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Major attractions include the Turner Contemporary gallery, Crate, Tudor House and Shell Grotto. For leisure walks, you can try window shopping on the retro streets of the town. Visit some vintage shops, and look at some retro clothes, homeware and furniture.
A must-see is the amusement park, Dreamland, where you can just have some fun by trying out some fun rides or seeing some amazing gigs lined up for the evenings. You can also try swimming in an artificial sea lagoon, Walpole bay tidal pool.
13. Clifton, Bristol
Getting a train from London Paddington to Bristol takes about 1 hour 35 minutes. The village of Clifton is a quiet residential arrangement with sweet Georgian architecture in Bristol that you can admire on your leisure stroll through the city’s quaint cobbled streets.
You can start from Clifton Archade, where you can witness cute boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. Major attractions include Clifton Bridge suspended over river Avon, Clifton observatory, and royal york crescent. You can get all the historical information about Clifton bridge at the visitor centre near the bridge.
A day trip to Whitstable from London is a must as it is a little town on the Kent coast discovered by DFLs (local term used for Londoners) and branded as a weekend getaway. You choose from St Pancras International, London Victoria or London Bridge to get on the train to Whitstable.
While the city is popular for its seafood, the oysters and Kentish ale are a must-have. If you get time in July, witness their Oyster festival that features plenty of stalls, invigorating live music and a beautiful parade.
Take a stroll around the high street to witness local galleries, lovely boutique shops and cafes.
15. Lake District
Lake District is among Britain’s most beautiful regions, and a train takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to Oxenholme, which is just too easy for a day trip from London. You can visit Kendal, a cute Lakeland town with pretty little shops and tea rooms.
The district is famous for its killing views of the lake and can also be converted into a staycation easily as plenty of stay options offer a hot tub alongside a cosy bed.
Here, you can walk down the most famous of all the lakes in the region-Windermere for a superb experience.
More Places To Visit On One-Day Trip From London
After talking about some of the worthiest cities, villages and towns to visit near London, let us get into the places that deserve a visit and are worth mentioning when someone talks about day trips from London.
Windsor Castle: The historic town of Windsor, with a charming riverside experience, is home to the royal residence. Windsor Castle is the oldest inhabited castle. It is one of many official residences of the queen and has been in the royal family for 900 years.
Windsor Castle is also used to host some interesting events like weddings, including the weddings of Prince Harry-Megan Markle and Princess Eugine-Jack Brooksbank.
Leeds Castle: According to Lord Conway, the castle in Leeds is the loveliest of the castles in the UK. As it was built in the centre of a natural lake, it appears extremely romantic and directly from a fairytale.
It is spread over 500 acres of beautiful parkland and gardens and dates back to the 12th century. Leeds Castle was used as a palace, originally, by the infamous Henry VIII. The rooms in the castle are restored well, giving you a flash of their long-lived history.
Highclere Castle: Visit Highclere castle to taste history and architecture simultaneously. The castle was established in 749 and rebuilt in the 17th century. It is the current home to the present Earl of Carnarvon.
The castle is highly popular as featured in the famous series called Downton Abbey. It was presented as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the world war.
Harry Potter Studios: A studio tour of this amazing place is a boon to all muggles who want to witness a day in the life of their superhero, Harry Potter.
While booking tickets choosing the first available slot is recommended, so you get more time to stay in the studios and explore and take pictures. Several sets and clothes from the movie have been showcased here. Some of them are the famous dining hall set, Gringott bank and Gryffindor common room.
Here you can have all the knowledge about the process of movie-making. There are some restaurants onsite where you can grab something to eat.
Blenheim Palace: Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill; Blenheim Palace is a magnificent house in Woodstock and the only non-royal house in England that holds the title of Palace.
The country house is a residence of the 12th duke of Marlborough and has been listed as a grade I world heritage site. This 18th-century baroque architecture is a work of art that showcases a gorgeous collection of antiques from all around Europe.
Hampton Court: Among the last gothic building in England, Hampton Court is popular among tourists as it belonged to the most notorious Monarch of English history, Henry VIII.
You can also visit the haunted gallery that is said to be haunted by the ghost of Catherine Howard screaming for mercy before her execution.
The palace is a great example of Tudor architecture and has gorgeous gardens that were an addition by King William III.
Epping Forest Walking Trails: Among all the historic tours, Epping forest trails are for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. You can visit Epping forest, located on the outskirts of London, making it among some of the easiest day tours from central London.
To reach these beautiful and ancient woodlands, you can ride a train line from Liverpool Street to Chingford or get on London’s underground central train to Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill, Roding Valley, Debden, Loughton or Epping.
Epping Forest is spread over 8,000 acres of pure beauty and circular trails, most of which start close to either parking or train station.
Mayfield Lavender Farm: Located in the southern outskirts of the capital city is London’s lavender paradise, where you can go down for a leisure stroll amidst perfumed purple beauties and have a lavender-themed treat overlooking wide purple fields.
To reach this purple sea of lavender, you need to ride a train from London Victoria to West Croydon and then take a bus to the farm. You may catch a train from London Victoria to Cheam or Sutton for the fastest access and take a cab to the farm.
You can shop for homemade products made out of lavender, including soaps and jams. The season to see these lavenders bloom is between June till late August.
London is the perfect place to plan many day trips within two hours or less than two hours from the city’s centre. Some day trip destinations can be reached within less than an hour.
These day trip destinations can be selected based on the traveller’s interest, whether they want to explore nature, travel to a historical city or get a taste of local produce and eateries.
Apart from the options presented in this article, you can explore some adventures like ziplining, trekking or hiking nearby. London is close to several such options, which can be utilized for your gain. You can always travel to new places, meet new people, make new friends, explore unvisited destinations, and make beautiful memories.
These day trips from London offer one a change of scenery in a lesser time. We hope you find our guide to some of the best London day trips helpful and get to explore these amazing locations on your weekend or day tours. Happy Exploring!