You’re in London, you feel like you have explored this city back to front and you want to get out of the city. Are you considering a Day Trip? Excellent! I have the list for you. London is the gateway to England, and a lot of the UK, and is close to many English treasures. Most of these places are around 2 hours by train, but are easy enough to get to.
1. Stonehenge + Salisbury
1 hr 20 mins from London to Salisbury. 20 mins from Salisbury to Stonehenge.
Technically, Stonehenge can be done in half a day, so you could merge this day trip with another – I recommend Bath. Stonehenge, originally constructed in the Neolithic period, attracts hundreds of visitors a year (without COVID, obviously). It is incredibly interesting and I highly recommend visiting. While in Stonehenge, I recommend visiting Salisbury. You’ll have to stop here anyway to get to Stonehenge, so you have a perfect opportunity to explore this wonderful city.
It takes 1 hr 50 mins to get from London to Avebury by train.
Much like Stonehenge, the Avebury stone circle is an ancient site built in the Neolithic period. However, there is a Tudor manor nearby and a pub down the road. I recommend staying at Avebury longer than you would at Stonehenge. There is plenty to do in this pretty village. The village is abundant with boutique stores. With the Celtic roots of Avebury, there are a lot of celtic, and withcy, type stores. You can easily spend a day, or afternoon/morning, in Avebury.
It takes 1 hr 20 minutes by train to get to Bath from London.
Bath is one of the most stunning towns near London. With lots to do, from shopping and historic sites, you won’t get bored in Bath. When you’re here, I highly recommend going to one of the boutique stores, a local café (my favourite is the Green Rocket), the Roman Baths, and the Bath Abbey. One of the amazing things about Bath is that it has many beautiful locally owned stores and cafes (plus some typical stores in the main square). The locals really cherish the local history of Bath and it shows through the local boutiques. The architecture is also amazing, as can be imagined, a lot of it is historic. If you wanted to, you could merge this trip with Castle Combe in the Cotswolds, if you have a car.
It takes around 1 hr to get to Cambridge from London.
Now, when asked about places to go in the UK most people will say Oxford and/or Cambridge. I have only been to Cambridge and I LOVED it. It is one of the oldest university towns in the UK and despite its history going back hundreds of years, this city has a modern charm mixed with its historic atmosphere. It’s most famous sites are the university buildings, which I recommend visiting, however, there is so much more to see. The Fitzwilliam Museum is incredibly interesting with its beautiful architecture and interiors, and an amazing collection of historical artefacts. I also recommend going punting! For those not familiar with this term, it’s similar to going on a gondola ride. You go in a low lying boat, a punt, and you can row yourself down the river Cam or get a Punter to row for you.
There are many trains going to Cambridge from London and is very easy to get to.
It takes about 50 mins by train to get from London to Woking.
Surrey will always be close to my heart as I have visited this beautiful county several times when visiting family friends. This county is filled with beautiful hiking treks, stunning villages, and national trust treasures. Surrey is also the home to Wisley, the headquarters of the Royal Horticultural Society, which is amazing to visit. I recommend visiting one of the National Trust houses and gardens, which are hold collections of art, and sometimes might have a farm shop. My favourite little village is Shere, here you can get a nice ice-cream or have a wonderful pub meal.
From London, it will take you around 55 mins by train.
Windsor, the weekend home of Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband Prince Phillip. With just a train ride away from London, Windsor is the perfect day out. Windsor Castle alone can take up 2-3 hours, the rest of the day can be spent exploring this beautiful city. You could try one of the great local pubs, the LegoLand Resort, or St Georges Chapel. This city is absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend taking the time to soak up the history of this town.
7. Hampton Court Palace
It takes about 40 minutes by train to get to Hampton Court from London.
The United Kingdom boasts an array of incredible palaces and castles, but one iconic palace is Hampton Court. Henry VIII lived here with Anne Boleyn, after the Tudor times, it was occupied by the Hanoverians who built extensions onto the original Tudor buildings. This palace is a sight to behold. From the many beautiful royal rooms to the servant kitchens to the beautiful gardens, a visit to Hampton Court would be a day well spent.
1 hr from London to Chippenham. 20 mins from Chippenham to Castle Combe.
Named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for a reason, the Cotswolds is one of the most stunning regions of England with iconic little villages and beautiful countryside. On my visit I went to Castle Combe, which is incredibly stunning and I recommend putting it on your list, I recommend spending 2 hours here. However, little did I know, there was a lot more of the Cotswolds I could see in a day. Other must-see villages include Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Lower Slaughter. It takes about 2 hours to get to the Cotswolds from London. It might be more difficult to see the entirety of the Cotswolds if you don’t have a car, however, Castle Combe is easy to get to via bus and train from London.
I hope you liked this travel guide to Day Trips from London. I would love to hear your travel stories! Please share your thoughts below.