The best day trips from London

Best Day Trips from London, UK

Even just THINKING about the best day trips from London reminds me of how many wonderful destinations there are to visit in England and the UK. From historical cities with some of the world’s most beautiful architecture to wonderful rolling countryside and fantastic coastlines, there is a lot to choose from. And – while expensive (remember to search train fares from the ‘cheapest’ dates if you’re flexible!), the public transport system in England is astonishingly wide-reaching and makes the huge variety of day trips more accessible to Londoners.

After leaving London, where I lived for eight years, these amazing destinations were put into perspective. As a non-driver (I’m dyspraxic), I’ve struggled with the lack of independence I have outside of England. Although I didn’t have much money back when I lived in London – I could easily go a few years at a time without leaving the city – putting this list together made me excited for all the things I can do when I go back!

Also, it’s funny how far away some of these places seemed when I lived in London! I mean, growing up in Birmingham, I didn’t even notice how many mountain ranges I had at my fingertips. (For reference, there were way more in day-or-weekend trip distance than I do in Auckland, New Zealand. And with more accessible transport too!) So while there’s a lot of imperfections with the British transport system, there are still a LOT of opportunities for fantastic day trips.

That said… I understand that, for Londoners, a day trip ‘from London’ can begin with a 60-90 minute commute just to get to central London! The journey time guidelines below are from the centre of London, and I understand the frustration of adding on extra hours of travel for sitting on musty buses at 5 am to make a day trip worth it. (Which makes them LESS accessible, especially for any neurodivergent or prone to fatigue people like me! I mean, I’ve done approximately ONE of the day trips on this list, despite being British.)

For that reason, I’ve sorted the day trips into the distance from the centre of London, so you can find a day trip that’s most appropriate for your needs. The day trips with the furthest distance from London could also make for a wonderful weekend getaway, should you have the funds. And as an extra show of understanding to my tired London friends, I have a second blog post of beautiful green spaces IN LONDON ITSELF coming out next week!

Ramble over! Hope you enjoy the list of beautiful destinations recommended below, and they help you get inspired for your next London day trip.

DAY TRIPS WITHIN ONE HOUR OF LONDON:

HAMPTON COURT PALACE

by Keri from Bon Voyage With Kids

One of my favourite day trips from London (and easy to access on public transportation) is a trip to Hampton Court Palace.  It is a fascinating place to spend an entire day, and it is one of the best things to do in London with kids!  

Any fan of history and especially Henry VIII will love this magnificent palace that has played a significant role in history. It is an interactive experience that, along with the costumed characters who role-play historical figures, will bring you right into the 1500s. 

In addition to the period costumed people you will meet, who will give you some insight into what life was like at the palace in the 16th century, you can walk through much of the castle and see its period furniture and tapestries.   Now, Henry VIII wasn’t the only resident of Hampton Court Palace, but he is one of the most fascinating Kings to call it home.

And, it is full of fascinating stories, things to do, and breathtaking grounds.

A well-stocked, interactive Tudor kitchen also teaches you about the food popular during Henry VIII’s reign.  As a huge fan of this history, it is a fascinating experience.

Visitors of all ages will also find a lot to explore at Hampton Court Palace.  With a thematic play area for kids, costumes for dress up, and a hedge maze, there is so much for kids – and parents – to discover.  And, the spectacular 60 acres of unique and speciality gardens and 750 acres of parklands are not to be missed.

My kids also loved that there were kid-version audio guides, which helped tell the history of the castle and its inhabitants in a way they understood.  There is also a great dining hall on-site, complete with kid-friendly options.

You will want to spend a full day at Hampton Court Palace to enjoy all that it has to offer.  It is well worth the trip and the time as it is a significant part of English history.

One thing to note: While most of the grounds and several areas of the palace are wheelchair, motorscooter, and stroller friendly, there are parts of the palace that are not level access and therefore may not be accessible. However, much of it can be accessed and the palace has wheelchairs and motor scooters for hire for guests with mobility concerns.

To get there from Central London, take the National Rail from Waterloo station. It is about a 30-minute train ride.  The nearest station to the palace is Hampton Court (a 5-minute walk). Hampton Court is in travelcard/oyster card Zone 6.

GREAT MISSENDEN

by Kristy from Tassie Devil Abroad

Any fans of author Roald Dahl will want to make the pilgrimage to Great Missenden from London! The town where Dahl spent 36 years of his life is home to The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre as well as his grave and the house where he lived. The Gipsy House, where he lived and worked, is only occasionally open to the public, but fans of his books will love visiting the museum as well as seeing places in the town that served as inspirations for his work.

Even if you’re not a Roald Dahl fan, Great Missenden is a quintessentially British town, with pretty cottages, hedgerows and fields to explore. It takes about 50 minutes to get to Great Missenden from London Marylebone by train. Once you arrive at the charming station you can easily walk to The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre to explore for an hour or so. The on-site cafe, Cafe Twit, is the perfect stop for lunch or just a slice of cake!

Afterward, you can walk to the local church to see Dahl’s grave or down Whitefield Lane to see the exterior of his old home. There are some cute shops in Great Missenden to wander around or do some shopping. If you fancy staying overnight the Nag’s Head is a beautifully refurbished British hotel with pub meals and cosy rooms.

HEVER CASTLE

Back when I lived in London on a low-wage job, Hever Castle was one of two weekend trips I took in a nine-ish year period. It’s funny how ‘normal’ going a few years without holidays was back then! But due to it being a rarity, I had to choose somewhere extra special to celebrate my best girlfriend’s birthday! You can read about over 20 girls’ trip destinations in Europe here.

Thankfully, Hever Castle is really easily enjoyed as a day trip from London. Just take the Southern Line train from London Bridge Station to Hever Station. The journey is only 40 minutes! Once you arrive at the station, take a one-mile countryside stroll to the castle. If a 20-minute walk doesn’t appeal to you, you can also take a taxi.

Once at Hever Castle & Gardens, there’s a lot to see and do onsite! The garden itself is huge and includes a beautiful 38-acre lake to walk around, a classic Italian-style garden, a topiary chess set, and 4000 rose bushes in the English Rose Garden.

The Tudor Garden sets the stage for Hever Castle’s famous history: the castle Anne Boleyn’s birthplace. Walking the halls of the castle, you will follow in the footsteps of where Henry VIII once courted here. Boleyn’s old prayer books are still on-site, bearing her signature and inscriptions. And, if like me, you’re a fan of the underrated survivor-of-Henry, the one and only Anne of Cleves… Hever Castle was actually given to her after her divorce from Henry VIII. Though, in classic underdog fashion, you won’t see much written about her time here while exploring the castle.

Finish your day at Hever Castle with a quintessentionally English pub meal in front of the fireplace at Henry VIII Pub, before heading back to London.

BRIGHTON

by Victoria from Guide Your Travel

Brighton is the ultimate day trip from London and should be at the top of anyone’s list when visiting the area. It takes around 2 hours to drive to Brighton from London and there are great public transport connections as well. The train is actually much faster and takes just an hour so it might be the better option.

Begin the day at the beautiful Royal Pavilion which dates back to the 18th century. The onion domes are not what you would expect from an English seaside town so it’s a great palace to take photos. Afterward, stroll through the lanes of Brighton and find a spot for lunch. There are plenty of little shops and cafes around to explore.

In the afternoon, head to the beach and Brighton’s famous pier. This is one of the most popular areas of town so you definitely need to stop by. If you’re visiting during the summer it might even be warm enough for a swim.

DAY TRIPS WITHIN TWO HOURS OF LONDON:

OXFORD

by Kenny from Knycx Journeying 

Beautiful Oxford is luckily not far from the hustle and bustle of London. The best way to visit Oxford is to take the Oxford Tube from Park Lane in London. The coach bus departs every 10 to 20 minutes and goes directly to Oxford’s downtown in around 90 minutes.

A day trip to Oxford wouldn’t be complete without exploring the beautiful spots at the University of Oxford. The university has 38 independent colleges, including Christ Church, Radcliffe Camera and Sheldonian Theatre. Take a leisurely walk on the campus, or join a walking tour to learn the fascinating history behind these buildings.

In the afternoon, enjoy lunch at an outdoor café in Cornmarket Street or Queen Street. Don’t miss Ashmolean Museum, one of the world’s oldest public museums, and the thousand-year-old Oxford Castle. Finally, enjoy a pleasant walk along Oxford’s Waterways during sunset before hopping a bus to return to London.  

If you have more time, stay overnight and explore nearby Blenheim Palace, Broughton Castle, Cotswold Wildlife Park, or Cogges Manor Farm. Each of these locations provides its own unique stories and character.

While London’s historic landmarks and cultural attractions are of abundance, Oxford is a university town that enchants intellectuals but also has a poetic charm that appeals to many.  

MARGATE

by Rose from Where Goes Rose

While there are many historical and cultural day trips from London, who doesn’t want to be beside the seaside?

A Margate day trip is perfect for those wanting to enjoy the English coast and relax on a sandy beach.

To get from London to Margate, catch a 1.5-hour train from St Pancras International. Buses are a little cheaper and take 2.5 hours. Although you can arrive directly in Margate, one option is to hop off the train to explore Broadstairs, a pretty beach town with white cliffs and colourful beach huts. 

If you depart London at 10am and stop in Broadstairs at 11am, you can reach Margate by 12.30pm. 

Before catching the train home late afternoon or early evening, there are several things to do in Margate including visiting Dreamland, a colourful fairground with rides suitable for all ages.

You can also relax on Margate Main Sands, browse at Old Kent Market, visit Turner Contemporary gallery and marvel at the shell grotto, a 30-metre corridor adorned with 4.6 million shells. Experts are mystified as to who built it or why!

At lunchtime, check out the shops and cafes along Margate Harbour Arm. The highlight is Margate’s very own cheese cafe, Cheesy Tiger!

CAMBER SANDS

by Jessie Moore from Pocket Wanderings

After a beach getaway not far from London? Then Camber Sands is the place to go. Based in East Sussex, it’s also a popular filming location for iconic films and series such as Dunkirk, The Longest Day, The Inbetweeners, Doctor Who, and more!

The beach can be reached by car via Camber Road, which can be accessed via the A259 near Rye. If you’re travelling from the north or the east, the M20 is the best route. From the west, it’s the A27.
Alternatively, take the train from London St Pancras to Ashford, which takes just under an hour. Then change at Ashford towards Rye. There are regular buses which run between Rye train station and Camber Sands. 

Here’s our suggested itinerary for Camber Sands:

Morning: The strong winds at Camber Sands make it a fantastic spot for kitesurfing! It’s also a hotspot for paddleboarding, power kiting, land boarding, sailing, waterskiing, jet-skiing, and more. So choose your activity and spend the morning on the water. If you’d rather just go for a swim, then make sure you familiarise yourself with the flag system so you can stay completely safe.

Lunch: You can’t visit Camber Sands without indulging in traditional fish and chips on the beach. There are one or two beach cafes where you can grab lunch – just be wary of the seagulls!

Afternoon: For more water-based entertainment, take a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) tour around the sites of Camber Sands. It’s a fast and fun way of seeing the area. If you’d rather stay on land, then go beachcombing (great for kids), visit Camber Castle, or explore Rye Harbour Nature Reserve – a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Evening: Wander the pretty cobbled streets of Rye and grab an early evening dinner at The Union before heading home. Or, if you’d like to stay for the night, head to the quaint 15th-century Mermaid Inn.

RYE

by Jackie of Jou Jou Travels

Rye is a wonderful hidden gem in England located near East Sussex. You can easily reach Rye from London for a day trip by taking the train from London St. Pancras. The journey takes under an hour and a half.

Once you arrive, be sure to visit Mermaid Street which is possibly the prettiest street ever. Here you will see many half-timbered homes which give a real medieval feel. On this street, you will find a great pub to stop by for a drink called Mermaid Inn.

Another must is to climb to the top of the bell tower at St. Mary’s Church. Here you will find a panoramic view of the city. Then, just wander the many charming streets and stop for a bite to eat at The Fig.

If you wish to stay the night, then The George In Rye is the perfect option. However, it is definitely doable to visit in a few hours from London as well.

CANTERBURY

By Mark from Wyld Family Travel

Canterbury is located near the southeast coastline of England. The town is easily reached from London by car in a little under 90 minutes while the average train journey is 1 hour and 37 minutes, with around 148 trains per day.  Canterbury is a popular staging point for people on their way to crossing the English Channel to France by ferry. 

Canterbury’s most popular attraction is the historic Canterbury Cathedral, first built in the 5th century when Christianity made its way to the English shores. The surrounding old town area is filled with medieval buildings and cobblestone streets. You can explore the ruins of Canterbury Castle, or learn the history of the town on one of many local tours.

Canterbury-Cathedral-historical-day-trips-in-England

Canterbury is a buzzing university town full of students, residents and tourists. For Sports lovers the Kent cricket club play their matches out of Canterbury. The club has produced many international players for England.

Not too far from the town of Canterbury will find yourself standing on the white cliffs of Dover or you could go and have a sandwich in the town of Sandwich. There is no shortage of places to eat with The Thomas Ingoldsby Wetherspoons provides a great affordable option and if you’re looking for something special Best Western Abbotts Barton does a great high tea.

BRISTOL

by Suzanne from Meandering Wild

Bristol is an easy day trip from London as it is only 2 hours by train from Paddington Station or a 2-hour 30-minute drive. The drive will take you straight along the M4 to the M32, and then into the city centre. 

Bristol is a compact city with most of the attractions around the harbourside area.  It is a short walk from Bristol Temple Meads train station where you will arrive, or you can take the water taxi from the station all the way to the SS Great Britain.

The SS Great Britain is a steamship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who designed the train line from London) and crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 14 days in 1845.  She is now a museum.

After visiting the ship there is a walk along the river back to the heart of the city where you can visit the Cathedral before walking up the steep Park Street.  Look out for the Banksy artwork that is hidden in corners up Park Street and around the hospital and University.

At the top of Park Street is the Art Museum and the Bristol Museum, both of which are worth exploring.  Beyond the museums, there is a steep walk up onto the open space of the Downs and Bristol Zoo.

There are several places to stay in Bristol with any of the hotels around the Harbourside being worth considering.  This city involves a lot of walking and steep hills so do bring comfortable shoes and plan stops if you need them.

From Bristol, it is possible to extend your visit to include the Cotswolds, Bath or even a road trip into the Somerset countryside to the south.

SEVEN SISTERS CLIFFS

by Suzanne from The Travel Bunny

If you love the outdoors and coastal hikes, then the Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex is a must-do day trip from London and easily done by car or train. 

The drive from London takes just over two hours. From the M25 head down the A23 towards Gatwick Airport and Brighton before joining the A27 towards Alfriston and making your way to Exceat where you’ll find two car parks at the Seven Sisters visitor centre. 

By train depart from London Victoria to Seaford and change at Lewes. This will take approximately one hour 40 minutes. Then take the number 12, 12a or 12x bus from Seaford to Exceat.  

Start at the Seven Sisters Country Park visitor centre. There’s a café and toilets here. Follow the South Downs Way sign walking towards the sea with the winding Cuckmere River on your right. This leads to Cuckmere Haven which is a great beach with fantastic cliff views. 

Next, head back towards the cliffs themselves and climb the first sister, Haven Brow, and make your way along the clifftop. Be sure to stay well away from the edge, at least 4 metres, as the cliffs regularly crumble into the sea.  

Follow the cliff walk until you get to Birling Gap, some of the cliffs are quite steep but the views are worth the effort. At Birling Gap you could stop for a picnic on the cliffs or head down the steps to the beach. There’s also a café where you could have lunch. There are public toilets here too.  

After lunch either continue towards Eastbourne to see Belle Tout and Beachy Head lighthouses or return to Exceat where you could go kayaking on the Cuckmere River. Book in advance with Buzz Active.  

If you’d like to see the view of the iconic coastguard cottages with the cliffs behind you’ll find more info in this guide to visiting Seven Sisters Cliffs.

LEEDS CASTLE

by Chris Young from EnglandExplore

If you fancy a trip back to the time of Knights and chivalry, then try a day trip to Leeds Castle in Kent, just a short drive (or train/bus trip) from central London.

Originally the site of a royal manor house from the 9th century, the current stone castle was started in the 12th century and was a royal palace for the next 300 years. In particular, it was a favourite of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Soon after it became a private home and is now owned by a charitable trust dedicated to its upkeep. It does a fantastic job and has made the castle into a great family day out.

Not only can you explore the walls, keeps and dungeons of the castle, but its gardens are worth a visit on themselves. Younger family members will enjoy the Knights Stronghold Playground, maze and ‘crazy’ golf course.

The easiest way to get to the castle is heading South East on the M20 motorway, exiting at junction 8 just 1 hour from London. There are several signposts from the junction to the castle.

You can also catch a train from London Victoria to Bearsted station from which you can catch a coach to the castle.

However you get there, you’ll have a great day out, and feel like a King for the day!

PORTSMOUTH

by Meghan from meghanonearth.com

Trains from London to Portsmouth take just under two hours. Portsmouth trains leave from London Victoria and London Waterloo. Stay on the train until you reach the end of the line at Portsmouth Harbour Station. 

Upon arriving in Portsmouth, head to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Portsmouth is known for its rich maritime history, and the historic dockyard is home to several museums and preserved historic ships. You can see the remains of Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, as well as the HMS Victory, which is where Lord Nelson fell during the Battle of Trafalgar. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard not only offers maritime history but also harbour cruises and a laser tag arena on two floors, which is fun for all ages. The dockyard’s museums are accessible for everyone, but the ships may present some challenges for those with mobility limitations. 

After spending the morning at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, grab some lunch at the many restaurants along Gunwharf Quays. You’ll find some great burgers at Feed and they also offer brunch. If you crave something else, Gunwharf Quays has a restaurant to suit your taste and budget. Then, spend some time shopping at Gunwharf Quays, one of the UK’s most popular outlet malls. Views of the city can also be seen from the top of the Spinnaker Tower. 

You can end the day by going to Old Portsmouth. Filled with cobblestone streets and old buildings, you can stop for a drink at one of the many pubs in the area. Further south is the pier, where you can get fish and chips and enjoy the arcade. Clarence Pier is accessible from Gunwharf Quays via a fully paved walkway. Portsmouth offers something for everyone on a day out!

BOURNEMOUTH

by Angela from Exploring Dorset

If you’re considering visiting Bournemouth, you’ll be pleased to know it’s just a two-hour train journey from London. Once at Bournemouth train station, the main town is just a short taxi ride, or a twenty-minute walk away.

Bournemouth has over 7 miles of stunning beaches and scenery and is the perfect place to explore. From the amazing museums, pubs and restaurants, to plenty of family days out. You can enjoy activities such as themed adventure golf, or a trip on the Bournemouth Wheel. Why not try the thrill-seeking Pier Zip on the end of the pier or a pleasure boat cruise around Poole and Bournemouth Harbour. 

To see the wider area during the day, why not take a trip on the hop on hop off City cruises bus. Plan your journey whilst seeing the sights and resting your legs. There are some great spots along the route such as Sandbanks. Why not finish your afternoon with one of the many amazing locations for afternoon tea in Bournemouth.

SAFFRON WALDEN

by Paula from Truly Expat

Saffron Walden is a beautiful little village full of quaint boutique-style shops and lovely cafes and restaurants once a market town. But did you know that Saffron was grown in this area for many centuries, and the soil from this area, in particular, gave the Saffron a distinctive flavour?

Saffron Walden has always been one of my favourite country towns because there are many things to do when you arrive. You can catch the train from Liverpool St Station to Audley End in approximately 1.5 hours. 

Once you arrive in Saffron Walden and make your way to the village, have a little look around (especially the markets on the weekend); I would then head over to Saffron Walden Museum as it is a great place to explore. (Closed Monday to Wednesday).

The Bridge End Garden would be another great alternative and is one of the many highlights of this quaint little town. You can not go by without checking out the beautiful gardens and getting lost in the maze. 
You cannot forget to stop by The Eight Bells, a 16th-century timber-framed pub, for lunch or dinner. Each dish is well thought out and beautifully arranged. The meal is memorable from start to finish, as each dish is as delicious as the next. This cosy country-style restaurant’s ambience makes you feel right at home from the get-go.

If you want to stay for the night, I would highly recommend Saffron Suite and Kitchen, which is convenient, walking distance from most amenities. 

NORWICH

by Anisa from Two Traveling Texans

Back in medieval times, Norwich was England’s second most powerful city behind London. Take a direct train from London Liverpool Street Station to Norwich, and be there in a little under two hours.  Spend a day in Norwich and get a glimpse at the city’s interesting history. Start your day by visiting Norwich Castle, founded by William the Conqueror sometime in the late 11th century.  Only the castle keep still stands and it has been turned into a family-friendly museum. Inside you can learn more about the area’s history and see a diverse collection of art.

Next, you must head to Norwich Cathedral, the most complete Norman Cathedral in England and one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe.  It’s free to go inside. You can see the largest collection of medieval roof bosses in the world, the Labyrinth in the Cloisters, and more.

If you have more time for more things to do in Norwich, take a stroll down one of the prettiest streets in England, Elm Hill.  You could also treat yourself to afternoon tea at the Assembly House.
Foodies need to check out Norwich Market which is one of the oldest and largest outdoor markets in the country.  The streets around the market, called the Norwich Lanes, are full of independent shops too.

The Riverside Walk along the River Wensum is scenic and peaceful if the weather is nice.  Alternatively, check out Mousehold Heath or Whitlingham Country Park, both are lovely green spaces within easy reach of the city centre.

CARDIFF

by Cath from Wales with Kids

Cardiff, the Welsh capital, is a great destination to visit for a day trip from London. Reachable by direct train from London Paddington in just 2 hours, you can leave London at 7 am and be in Cardiff city centre in time for a cuppa and some brunch.

Most of Cardiff city centre is pedestrianised, including Queen Street, and the area around St David’s 2 Shopping Centre, making it super accessible for those with mobility issues, wheelchair users, or families with strollers.

In the city centre, you’ll find Cardiff Castle, with its ruined Norman Keep, Gothic-style Castle Apartments and battlement walls that were used in World War II. Across the road is the National Museum and behind the castle is Bute Park, a lovely place for a stroll.

Cardiff is awash with cafes and restaurants. St David’s 2 has a comprehensive food court, while you will also find great food in the Brewery Quarter and around Mill Lane. You won’t go wrong if you eat at Bill’s Restaurant.

If you want to stay overnight, there are plenty of places to stay in the city centre including a Premier Inn for those on a budget, or a Hilton if you want to splash out.

Whether you visit Cardiff for a day or overnight trip, you are sure to fall in love with the Welsh capital.

DAY TRIPS WITHIN THREE HOURS FROM LONDON:

STONEHENGE

by Sydney from A World in Reach

Stonehenge is one of the most iconic and mysterious ancient structures in the world. Standing on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, it stands as a testament to humankind’s curiosity about their place in the universe. A day trip from London to Stonehenge will take you through some of England’s most picturesque countryside and rich history before arriving at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When you arrive at the Stonehenge Visitor Center, you can walk the 2.3-mile trail to and from the stones or opt for the shuttle bus. The site is wheelchair accessible and wheelchair loans are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors can explore Stonehenge as they like: take a guided tour of the site or simply wander at leisure among these ancient megaliths. You will be awe-struck by the sense of mystery that the stones evoke. If you’re keen on learning more about Stonehenge’s history and what life was like during the time of its construction, don’t miss the exhibition at the visitor centre. The on-site café is also a great spot to grab a picnic lunch to enjoy with a great view of the Stone Circle.

To get to Stonehenge from London, take a train from London Waterloo to Salisbury. From there, buy a ticket for the Stonehenge tour bus which will take you directly to the Stonehenge Visitor Center as well as other top sights in Salisbury like the beautiful Salisbury Cathedral. Several different companies also offer guided tours from London to Stonehenge that include transportation, a tour guide, and entry fees.

Stonehenge-places-to-visit-in-England

WORCESTER

by Rich from RJ on Tour

Worcester is a beautiful and historic city in the West Midlands of England. Getting to Worcester is a direct train from London Paddington Station, which takes just over two hours.

Worcester is on the River Severn, which has some nice walking paths, as does Fort Royal Hill, which was where the last battle of the English Civil War happened. This hill has some splendid views of the city and has a fascinating backstory, including visits by the early American Presidents.

The centrepiece attraction of the city is Worcester Cathedral, a beautiful building with over 1000 years of history within its walls. The interior is stunning and is very educational. If you enjoy museums, the city is blessed with some interesting ones. The Commandery focuses on the civil war era, The Tudor House focuses on the Tudor era, and the Royal Worcester includes 250 years of porcelain. There are also many other pleasant buildings to see while strolling around the city. Worcester is also the Birthplace of Edward Elgar, the classical composer. 

There are many friendly pubs and eateries in the city covering all food types. The King Charles House is a historic pub, TripelB for beer lovers and Paradiddles for something unique with lots of plant-based options.

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON

by Nina from Nina Out and About

Whether you’re looking for a historical day trip from London, a family getaway, or a romantic town to enjoy, you’ll love a Stratford-Upon-Avon day trip. Located in the Cotswolds, this market town has gained fame many times over.

Most visitors stop by to appreciate the town’s connection to Shakespeare. As the birthplace of the Bard, Stratford-Upon-Avon boasts many Shakespeare-related attractions. You can visit his home, his school, and more in the town.

To get the most out of the Shakespearean touches in the town, take a guided walking tour of the city in the morning. Beginning at 11am, these tours last two hours and cover the length of the town. You’ll wander along the river Avon, stop in to see Shakespeare’s grave, and uncover the non-Shakespeare allures of the town.

The walking tours explore the medieval market town’s history when it gained fame for its weekly markets rather than a writer. You can still visit these markets on weekends to get fresh produce and some handmade goods.

In the summer, spend your afternoon punting along the river or cruising in a canal boat past swans. You can even picnic on the riverside, reading one of the Bard’s classics (or a romance novel, no judgements!).

In the cooler seasons, head to the Shakespeare Theatre to take in a classic Shakespearean comedy or tragedy performed by skilled actors.

End your day with a cuppa from one of the delicious bakeries serving afternoon tea. Stroll along the high street to find multiple options, all with delicious scones and perfectly charming atmospheres.

It’s easy to get to Stratford-Upon-Avon from London. You can drive north on the M40 for 2 hours. Or take the Chiltern Railways train from Marylebone 2.5hours north to Leamington Spa. Transfer to the X18 bus towards Stratford-Upon-Avon. Get off at McDonald’s (or ask the driver when to disembark).  

SHEFFIELD

by Kerry from VeggTravel

Sheffield, South Yorkshire is among the very best day trips from London. Sheffield, once an industrial city but now a thriving metropolis, is a great day out or even a weekend away.   

With easy access from London by train (2 hours) and coach, you can then get around the city centre on foot, or use the super tram or local taxi’s to go further afield. If you want to go shopping, head to Meadowhall, a large shopping centre on the outskirts of the city or take a walk down ‘The Moor’ a long shopping street at the bottom of town. Keep a lookout for the artistic ‘bears in Sheffield’, which are located all over the city!

Looking for green spaces? Well, a short drive will take you to many beautiful parks, fields and woodlands within Sheffield. However, the natural beauty of the Peak District is only a few miles away if you want a stunning break from the bustling city life.

If you’re staying until late, then you can visit Ecclesall Road just outside of the centre for trendy bars and restaurants. Otherwise, West Street and Division Street will provide a varied selection of night-time fun that will keep you entertained until the early hours.

These are just a few of the best things to do in Sheffield, but there are many more that make the trip ‘up north’ worth it.

LEEDS

by Hannah from Get Lost Travel Blog

Leeds in Yorkshire is a surprisingly easy day trip from London. Catch a direct train from Kings Cross and arrive in Leeds in just over two hours.

This vibrant Northern city is a popular London day trip due to its numerous attractions, exciting nightlife and appealing Northern prices. It is easy to see why it is so popular, especially for students and young adults looking for a weekend escape!

The Town Hall is the most iconic building in Leeds and you should definitely start your visit here. It was built in 1858 and opened by Queen Victoria on her one and only visit to Leeds. This is a great spot to grab some photos and you may want to return for a spot of lunch in the stunning Tiled Hall café inside.

No trip to Leeds is complete without a visit to the Royal Armouries. This huge museum spans five floors and is completely free to enter. The highlight of the collection is undoubtedly the elephant armor. This is the only example of an almost complete, all-metal elephant armor in any public collection in the world.

Leeds Corn Exchange is one of only three remaining Corn Exchanges still functioning as a centre for trade in Britain. It is filled with independent boutique shops and is the ideal place to pick up a one-of-a-kind gift or a unique souvenir.

If you want to extend your day trip to a weekend escape, treat yourself to a stay at The Queens Hotel. This award-winning hotel is conveniently located right next to the train station and is the perfect place to stay in Leeds.

YORK

by Cristina from My Little World of Travelling

York is one of the most charming cities in the UK, and it’s a great day trip from London as you can get the train which takes just under two hours. York is known for its medieval history that is now reflected in some of the buildings and streets.

If you are travelling to York by train, the first place you can check is York Minster, a beautiful Gothic cathedral and one of the largest in Northern Europe. Not only does it look impressive from the outside, but the inside too. 

After visiting York Minster, head to The Shambles, York’s most famous street – a half-timbered street with independent boutique shops where you can buy anything from fudge and traditional British sweets to miniature ghost figures. 

Any market lover can’t miss York’s Market, located next to The Shambles. The market sells a wide range of fresh products as well as vintage clothes and antiques. But it’s also a great place to grab some street food as there are many stalls that serve local and international food at a good price.

Other places you don’t want to miss are Clifford’s Tower, the JORVIK Viking Centre, and York city walls. Walking along York city walls is one of the best free attractions in York as you get incredible views of the city.

To finish the day trip, you can either go to the famous Betty’s Tea Room for a delicious afternoon tea or sweet treat or relax at the beautiful Museum Gardens where you can contemplate the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey and feed the squirrels that run freely.

THE COTSWOLDS

by Mal from Raw Mal Roams 

The beautiful villages of the Cotswolds area are the perfect destination for a day trip from London. Whether you’re an outdoor lover, history enthusiast, or foodie, the Cotswolds has something for everyone. 
If you’re a first-timer, the best village to visit is Castle Combe, with the iconic stone cottages and a picturesque spire of the St Andrews Church.

During your visit, don’t forget to take a picture on a delightful stone bridge that is hands down the most photographed bridge in the Cotswolds. Visit traditional British pub The Castle Inn, and if you’re looking to stay in Castle Combe, they also offer quaint boutique-style rooms. If you prefer a little busier place, visit Burton-on-the-water, a vibrant town known for its delightful riverside and Motor Museum. 

To get to the Cotswolds, take a 2-hour train from London Paddington Station to Chippenham, from where you can get a local bus or taxi to Castle Combe or Cirencester. If you prefer Burton-on-the-water, catch a train to Moreton in Marsh. 


10 Comments

  1. I only stayed in London the last time I was there. What a shame. Good to know of these amazing day-trip destinations for my future visit. Love that there are public transports to take you to these places, because I can’t drive either!

  2. I’ve had such a hankering to revisit the UK and this post made me yearn for it even more. In truth, I’ve only ever visited London and Liverpool and have always wanted to dedicate a long time to travel around the UK in a campervan. Cassie, your post made me so excited about the possibility of travelling again! I’ve added so many of these places to my Google Map Favourites. Great post!

  3. Great Post Carrie! All of these are fantastic day trips (although I feel like some of these places deserve way more than a single day!) I love that you included so input from so many fab bloggers too!

  4. Great post! I lived in both Oxford and Bristol and Oxford is definitely super-easy to reach by coast at all times! Some places on the list I never heard of – time to visit again

  5. Some great trips from London on this list. I lived in London for 4 years on a working holiday and was able to visit many of the places. I’m looking forward to visit some more places that are on your list.

  6. This makes me miss the UK so much! I lived there for 5 years too, but barely got to scratch the surface. I hope I can go back one day and see some of these places. The Cotswolds look so dreamy.

  7. Such a helpful post. I didn’t realise how convenient some of these were from London! Very useful accessibility information too.

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