Everyone loves exploring London. But why not escape the city for a day and take a day trip from London to one of these beautiful places, all within reaching distance!
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 the mysterious Stonehenge, here are eight of the best day trips from London:
1. Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world. One of the most beautiful castles in Europe has many interesting things to discover. A visit to Windsor Castle makes for an excellent day trip for anyone fascinated with history and 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 a month over Easter, known as Easter Court. Fun for children and adults alike, there are plenty of interactive activities, castle tours, and gardens to walk through on a lovely day.
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 movies, X-Men and Alice in Wonderland, to name but a few. 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.
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 performance by the captivating Royal Shakespeare company at the Swan Theatre.
Tip: 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!
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.
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.
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 day trip from London with a trip to Bath.