8 best day trips from London

8 best day trips from London

Headed to London? Why not take a day trip to one of these beautiful places!

London is a thrilling city with fascinating history, exciting culture and impressive skyscrapers, but the cities and sites outside of this modern metropolis offer visitors a deeper perspective into the English way of life and a chance to uncover millennia-old legends.

From Windsor Castle and Oxford to mysterious Stonehenge, here are eight of the best day trips from London.

1. Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is an excellent day trip for anyone fascinated with the British Royal Family. Founded by William the Conqueror in the eleventh century, today the castle remains one of the Queen’s official residences where she spends most of her private weekends. Fun for children and adults alike, there are plenty of interactive activities, castle tours and gardens to walk through on a lovely day.

2. Oxford

First and foremost, known for its prestigious university, Oxford is nearly 800 years-old and due to its distinct design, it has been used in a variety of films such as the Harry Potter and X-Men franchises. More than that, the stunning city has inspired famous writers such as Lewis Carroll and C.S Lewis. Surrounded by meadows, charming villages and small stone bridges, Oxford makes for a splendid afternoon picnic locale.

3. Stratford-upon-Avon

In the birthplace of William Shakespeare, you can explore the house in which he was born, where he courted his wife and visit his final resting place at Holy Trinity Church. Shakespeare fans will relish the chance to watch  Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet or another perfomance by the captivating Royal Shakespeare company at the Swan Theatre.

Tip: If you’re returning to London the same day, plan to leave early. If you’re going to see a play, we suggest staying overnight as the travel time back to London is approximately two hours.

4. Hampton Court

Another enchanting palace built for the Royal Family, Hampton Court was once the home of the infamous Tudor monarch King Henry VIII. Immerse yourself in its unique medieval history with two contrasting architectural styles: Baroque and Tudor. Take part in one of the many interactive activities and find your way through the seventeenth-century half-mile garden hedge maze…if you dare.

5. Brighton Beach

If weather permits, spend the day at Brighton Beach! The beach can also serve as sweet relief from a hot summer day, especially if you have the kids in tow. Brighton has some fantastic museums, a remarkably opulent Royal Palace with an India-inspired design,  great shopping, charming seaside cafes and of course, many restaurants serving delicious, straight-from-the-water seafood! 

6. Bath

Founded by the Romans in 60 AD as a spa due to its natural hot springs, Bath is a World Heritage Site famous for its ancient Roman baths and romantic seventeenth-century Georgian architecture. About an-hour-and-a-half by train from London, spend the day immersing yourself in an elegant collection of museums, art galleries, cafes, restaurants and vintage and antique shops.

7. Cambridge

Home to the University of Cambridge, the city is another magical academic sanctuary about fifty minutes from London. The university itself is a spectacular site so be sure to tour the campus grounds. Also well known for its green-spaces, feel free to bring a lunch and enjoy a relaxing picnic in the park. Discover the many great pubs and chapels including the beautiful King’s College Chapel and don’t forget to go on a boat tour (aka ‘punting’) on the River Cam.

8. Stonehenge

Built approximately three-thousand years ago, Stonehenge remains a mystery to historians as they have never agreed upon the reason for its creation. Theories include a ‘giant clock’ to track the summer and winter solstices, while others are more outlandish like a launch pad for alien spacecraft. Whatever it may be, it is worth seeing the worldwide phenomenon for yourself. Take a tour or pair your visit with a trip to Bath.

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