With so many excellent transport connections, the best day trips outside of London are only a hop, skip and a jump away. If you’re itching to get away from the big city for a little break, the UK has lots of places to choose from. Thanks to the fast and regular railway network, you can find some real gems just an hour away from London.
From the British coastline to its historical ruins, university towns and mountain regions. The country has a lot to offer any traveller. South of London you’ll find many little coastal towns – the quaint and the quirky. Sample some fresh oysters caught that morning, or shop at one of the many local boutique stores. The coastal towns also offer lovely walks along the water, a perfect way to spend a sunny day outside of London.
West of London you’ll discover a lot of rich history amongst the villages and sites. From the ancient Stonehedge site to magnificent towns like Bath, there’s a lot to see and do in this region. Famous university cities like Oxford and Cambridge are also very well known for their beauty, range of activities and proximity to London.
So if you have a day to spare, be sure to try one of these best day trips outside of London.
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Best tips for a day trip outside of London
Chances are that if the sun’s out and the birds are chirping, you won’t be the only one in London who wants to go exploring for the day. Plus, if you only have a day to explore a new town or city, you want to make the most of it. Catch one of the early trains to beat the crowds and get the most out of your day. Don’t worry too much about peak hour during the week – most of the traffic is for those coming into London, rather than leaving it.
Go by train
Regional trains in the UK are (mostly) hassle-free, fast and reliable. Getting a train is much easier and more relaxing than driving anywhere for the day. Catch a train and avoid any traffic and parking issues. Plus, you can enjoy a drink at the local pub without worrying about who’ll be driving you home!
Be prepared for all weather conditions
London is well known for its temperamental weather, but the UK as a whole is even worse for it. Just because the sun is shining when you leave the house, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way for long. Wear layers and always bring an umbrella. Coastal towns can get especially windy, so take something warm just in case. If you’re heading into the countryside, consider a pair of wellies to keep your feet dry!
What is there to see in Brighton
If you head about an hour south of London you’ll find the popular coastal town of Brighton. This is one of the best day trips outside of London, and one of the most popular too. Locals and tourists alike flock to Brighton’s shores in the warmer months. Here you’ll find the famous pier on the water, quirky markets selling homemade gifts and antiques, and some really amazing restaurants. If the sun is out, pack a towel so you can spend some time by the pebble beach. Those brave enough can even go for a swim – but be warned, the water is always chilly!
What to eat in Brighton
Recommended activity in Brighton
Brighton Palace Pier
At the end of Brighton’s famous pier you’ll find an amusement park. It’s free to enter and a perfect way to spend a fun day out with the family.
Brighton Palace Pier, Brighton, UK
What is there to see in Bath
Bath is found to the east of London, in the rolling countryside of southwest England. Despite being over 115 miles away, it’s just over 2 hours by train from London. Bath is the perfect town to visit if you’re interested in seeing a little more history and culture. This beautiful, historic town is a wonderful place to spend the day simply strolling the streets and taking in the Bath stone and Georgian architecture. Relax in the natural thermal hot springs spa (the only one in Britain), visit the stunning Bath Abbey and explore some of the finest independent shops in Britain.
Bath, Somerset, England
What to eat in Bath
Recommended activity in Bath
What is there to see in Cambridge
To the north of London you’ll find Cambridge, a famous university town. Cambridge is an excellent choice for a day trip from London as it’s only 45 minutes by train. While the town is best known for its world-renowned University of Cambridge, there are plenty of other attractions to see. Cambridge has a wide selection of galleries, excellent cycling paths, lots of cosy pubs and restaurants and a river to go punting on!
What to eat in Cambridge
Recommended activity in Cambridge