Europe

Day Trippin’ | 5 Day Trips To Take From From London

By Andrew Zuccala - 20 Jun 2018

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You can spend forever getting to know London, but plot twist guys—there is so much more going on around this patch of the UK. All aboard the British railway network to small villages by the sea, historic towns in the Midlands, and all it’ll cost you is a couple of hours with a view. 

Grab a few cheeky cans of gin and tonic for the train ride (yup, you can also drink on trains here), a sambo from Pret and be back in time to catch a West End show. Day trips from London are honestly too easy.

Brighton

Distance from London: 1hr 

London may not have a beach, but you can find yourself swimming in the English Channel within an hour of leaving the city (just brace yourselves for the freezing cold water). After having a swim, walk along the pebble beaches, stopping in at all the cool bars, pubs and fish and chip stands. Unleash the kidult in all of us at the old Brighton Palace Pier, and get lost in the city’s quaint laneways lined with all sorts of independent stores. Sample some of Brighton’s best foodie spots including Silo, The Regency Restaurant and Burger Brothers (for the very best burgers in the UK) before relaxing in the parks surrounding the Royal Pavilion

Top tip: Brighton is arguably the LGBTI capital of the UK and hosts an epic Gay Pride every year at the beginning of August. Visit during the Pride weekend when the whole city comes together to party. 

london day trips

Bath

Distance from London: 1hr 30mins

Bath is where you go to treat yourself. Leave the hazy London air behind you and book yourself in for a luxury spa day in one of the city’s natural thermal springs. It’s well worth spending a few extra pounds to be properly pampered. You can also visit the famous ancient Roman Baths (best to do so early in the day) and walk along the river, gawking at all the beautiful old buildings. Also, don’t miss out on exploring Prior Park Landscape Garden, one of the UK’s most famous manicured parks. 

Top tip: if you have the time, try to include the nearby Stonehenge into your day trip, or the city of Bristol which is known for its street art, laid-back vibes and banging nightlife. 

Cambridge

Distance from London: 1hr

Cambridge is quintessential British beauty. You’ve got the iconic university campus (don’t miss the King’s College Chapel), as well as the old Ely Cathedral and the Fitzwilliam Museum full of modern art and antiquities. It’s an architect’s paradise. And a trip to Cambridge is not complete without punting down the River Cam. Grab some prosecco and nibbles before jumping into a small wooden boat manned by one of the local students who will take you down the picturesque river. This is perfect for summer but is still a good laugh in the rain as you all hold up umbrellas while trying to sneak in views of the city. 

Top tip: If you’re a massive Harry Potter fan then you can substitute Cambridge for Oxford. Here, you can walk through Christ Church Hall which was the inspiration for the Great Hall in the films. You can still go punting and Instagram all the cool architecture here too!

Paris

Distance from London: 2hrs

Yeah, that’s right. You can take a day trip to Paris. Of course, the city of love deserves more than this but if you’re strapped for time then a day will just have to do. You’ll step off the train, in the centre of the city, and immediately run around as much of it as you can. Head to Montmartre to see where all the famous artists lived and for those obligatory views over the city. Then, catch the train to the L’Orangerie to witness what are arguably some of Monet’s best waterlily paintings before eating all the cheese, wine and cake you can stomach around the Champs-Élysées. End the night at the Eifel Tower and catch a late-night train back to London as you pass out after an extraordinary day of exploring.

Top Tip: Book tickets for the main sights well before you go to Paris. This way, you can skip all the queues and waste as little time as possible. 

london day trips

Windsor

Distance from London: 1hr

This one is for all the royalists out there—the Kate Middleton-loving, and Prince Harry-obsessed travellers who want a glimpse into the lives of the British elite. Start the day at Windsor Castle and nab a spot in one of the free walking tours that run every half hour. Then take to the Windsor Great Park and get lost amongst the thick forests and expansive lakes while looking out for some of the many free-roaming deer. Yes, they are as frightening as you might think. But all the wildlife is such a relief coming from the concrete jungle that is London.

Top Tip: Continue the day of British opulence by nabbing yourself some traditional afternoon tea with bubbles and all the trimmings at Oakley Court Hotel. Fill up on all manner of cake, crustless sandwiches and tea before heading back to the city.

While in London, check out the best markets in town here.

Design Credit: Sarah Law

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