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.
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1. Stonehenge + Salisbury
Technically, Stonehenge can be done in half a day, so you could merge this day trip with another – I recommend Bath or Avebury. You can walk from Stonehenge to Avebury, it is just 6 hours. 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 2 hours by train from London to get to Salisbury, you then can take a bus to the Stonehenge site.
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 absolutely loved Avebury. It is more peaceful than Stonehenge, but no less impressive. You don’t need to pay a ticket to visit, though you will need to pay entrance to the Tudor manor. I recommend staying at Avebury longer than you would at Stonehenge. You can easily spend a day, or afternoon/morning, in Avebury. There is the stone circle, lots of charming shops and cafes. There is plenty to do in this pretty village. It takes about 2 hours to get from Avebury from London, via train and bus. You can also do some walks around Avebury, the National Trust has some more information here: National Trust Walks
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. If you wanted to, you can merge your day trip to Bath with Stonehenge. 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. I did stay in Bath for a week, I stayed in the Bath Backpackers, which I would not recommend if staying overnight as it was run down. Others have better reviews. It takes 1 hr 20 minutes by train to get to Bath 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. Despite it’s history going back hundreds of years, this city has a modern charm mixed with its historic atmosphere. When you’re there, I recommend visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum, one of the University Colleges, and going punting is a must! There is also the University Botanic Garden, which is beautiful. If you do come to Cambridge, I highly recommend a walking tour. There are so many people that know so much, and the best way to see the city is by foot. It takes around 1 hour to get to Cambridge from London.
Much like Cambridge, Oxford is a beautiful university town with plenty of charm. You can go punting or for a walking tour. I highly recommend going to the Ashmolean museum, it is by far one of the best museums I have been to! Another amazing part of Oxford is the amount of beautiful bookstores, I went to one and it was tempting to buy the whole store. You could also do a day tour that includes Oxford and the Cotswolds, then you don’t have to drive or rely on public transport, and you get a lot in your day. There are also plenty of walking tours with guides that know so much about the city. While you’re in the city, I also recommend visiting the libraries and colleges of Oxford University. There is so much to see! It takes about 1 hour 20 mins to get there by bus or train.
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 also recommend visiting one of the National Trust houses and gardens. It takes about 25 minutes by train to get from London to Woking. You could also go to Guildford, which is 30 minutes by train
Windsor is absolutely beautiful, no wonder it was the weekend home of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. 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. From London, it will take you around 55 minutes by train.
8. Hampton Court Palace
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. It takes about 40 minutes by train to get to Hampton court from London.
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.
There is so much to do in and around London. Every time I visit there seems to be a new place to visit. The United Kingdom is great with their tourism and it is so easy to get around. I look forward to going back soon and making more travel stories. 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.