The best day trips from London
Maybe you’re just like me and you’ve been to London 843 times. Or maybe you want to vary a bit, and want to see some things outside of the city as well. Whatever your reason, I can only encourage you to plan some day trips when you’re staying in London. There’s more than enough to see and you can get to most places within two hours. Super easy! Here’s my guide for the best day trips from London!
How far is Cambridge from London: 1 hour
Cambridge is a university city, and a beautiful one! I visited Cambridge on a beautiful sunny spring day, and of course I couldn’t resist a boat tour through the canals. This is the only way to see some of the most beautiful universities that aren’t accessible any other way (unless you study at Cambridge, in which case: how smart are you?!). There’s also lots of shopping to be done in the city, and there’s lots of affordable cafes and bars. Overall I found the atmosphere really relaxed, the city is beautiful and I really doubted for a split second if I should move to Cambridge :-)
* All calculated train times are by average. Usually you can get there quicker by choosing a more expensive train, or you can save yourself some money by taking a train that takes a bit longer.
How far is Oxford from London: 75 minutes
Obviously, Oxford is the other famous university city of England. Rivalry is still alive and kicking: in London I went to a charity event with a goat race (in stead of the famous boat race). I mean, come on. Oxford is a lot smaller than Cambridge, and after a few hours I was pretty much done. But as far as visiting universities goes it’s much more accessible than Cambridge, and if you want to experience the real Harry Potter vibe, you have to be in Oxford!
If you want to get the most out of your time you could book yourself a full-day tour through Oxford and Cambridge here.
How far is Brighton from London: 75 minutes
Visit London and also visit the beach? Brighton has your back, including the pier and the number of tourists. Yet it also has a really colorful and artistic city centre. During the sixties a big group of hippies established themselves in Brighton, which makes the city a beautiful hodgepodge of hip & high class people. Because don’t be mistaken: the houses over here cost a fortune. Brighton is a really cool choice to get some fresh air at the beach, eat at great restaurants and shop till you drop.
How far is Bath from London: 1,5 hours
If you want to visit a real classic English city, Bath is the place to go. Bath is stylish with beautiful Victorian houses, and offers a lot in terms of dining and shopping. Make sure to bring your wallet though :-) The biggest attraction in Bath are the Roman baths of course, which are really interesting to visit. Highly recommended!
Hoe far is Stonehenge from London: 1,5 hours
What can I say… you have to have seen them at some point, right? At least that’s what I think. So we decided to also visit Stonehenge during our road trip through South England. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely impressive. Just thinking about these stones that have been put here thousands of years ago, without the technology we have nowadays… very special. After about two hours you’ve seen everything at Stonehenge, so you can still choose to explore nearby Salisbury (where your train will arrive and depart from).
You can find some great deals on day-trips from London! Like a day trip to Stonehenge, Bath and West country. You can book your tickets here.
How far is Cotswolds from London: 1,5 hour
If you’re going to Cotswolds, you’d best go for a whole weekend. But if you really want to, you can still see a lot in just a day if you leave on time. Choose about three city sights you’d like to see, enjoy the nature on your way there, and submerge yourself in the vibe of the cute/dull-ish English countryside villages. You’d have to rent a car if you want to explore the area though, sorry!
(Read about my trip to Cotswolds here!)
You can also visit 3 different places in one day! Here you can book a tour that brings you to Oxford, Stratford and Cotswolds from London and back.
How far is Windsor from London: 45 minutes
Personally I only spent two hours in Windsor, without visiting the castle, but I could already tell Windsor is a really nice place to visit. It has a vibrant city centre full of pubs and eateries and you can also sit and stroll along the river. Of course Windsor is mostly known because of the castle where the royal family is often staying. The castle is publicly accessible and I still want to visit some time!
You can get a half-day tour through Windsor here.
How far is Manchester from London: 2 hours
Just like the Cotswolds, Manchester is best when you spend the night there. But if you leave early in the morning you could still make it into a day trip. Let me start by saying Manchester is not necessarily a beautiful city. But it’s definitely a nice city where the atmosphere is really enjoyable. You’ll mostly find it in restaurants and a countless number of pubs. The city also has a huge shopping mall if that’s the thing you’re looking for.
A last tip for traveling by train: make sure to book your train seats as early as possible when you’re going to Manchester. Otherwise the route will be very expensive. For all the other cities booking way in advance doesn’t matter that much. To check out train schedules and tickets for day trips from London you can visit Trainline.com.
Want more inspiration on day trips? Read this great post on cultural daytrips from London, from my friend Raphael.
Do you have some good advice for fun day trips from London?
Tips for your trip to London: