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Experience The Best Of England With These Day Trips From London

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Britain’s rich history, the beauty of its rolling countryside, quaint brookside villages and it's wonderful architecture make it one of the most popular places to visit in the world. Despite its relatively small size (no city in Britain is more than 150 kilometers from the sea), Britain is packed to the brim with historical and cultural landmarks that are a must visit when making a trip to the British Isles. In this guide, we will take a look at some of the most beautiful day trips from London. The focus will be on places that you can easily visit within a day if you are in London. Be it the medieval university town of Oxford, the prehistoric Stonehenge, the storybook houses in Cotswolds or the stunning white cliffs of Dover; this guide will help you find the most endearing excursions that one can take from London.

Depending on the direction you'd like to head, we have divided the day trips from London to different sections to make travel easy for you.

Day Trips West Of London

Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge are amongst the major day trip destinations to the west of London. Known for its combination of historic landmarks and picturesque countrysides, these destinations allow you to witness the history of Britain in its entirety - from the neolithic remains of Stonehenge, to the ruins of Roman Britain in Bath and the royal palaces of Windsor.

1Windsor

Day Trips From London

40 km

Distance
Castles History Aficionados

Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge are amongst the major day trip destinations to the west of London. Known for its combination of historic landmarks and picturesque countrysides, these destinations allow you to witness the history of Britain in its entirety - from the neolithic remains of Stonehenge, to the ruins of Roman Britain in Bath and the royal palaces of Windsor.

Best Time to Visit
Late March to Early June and September to November
Travel Time
45 minutes

Windsor Castle

Europe’s longest-occupied palace, Windsor Castle has been a residence for the British Royal Family since the 12th century. Spread across 13 acres of lush land, Windsor Castle is also the largest inhabited castle in the world, with 500 people living and working here. A guided tour of Windsor Castle is highly recommended to learn all about the history seeped in the walls of this magnificent castle.

St George’s Chapel

St George’s Chapel was ordered by King Edward III in the 14th century and was constructed in the century that followed. It is one of the greatest masterworks of English Gothic architecture, infused with centuries of royal history. A long line of Royal Weddings have taken place at St George’s Chapel, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. Tickets to St. George’s Chapel in included in one’s Windsor Castle Tickets.

Legoland Windsor

Ranked among the top 10 most-visited theme parks in Europe, Legoland Windsor is a fun day out for kids between the ages of 3 and 12, a park themed on the world-famous Lego toys.With rides, shows, amusements and shops across 12 themed “lands”, Legoland Windsor is a must go for those who are looking to keep their kids entertained in Windsor, after the castle crawl.

Windsor Great Park

South of Windsor Castle lies a dead straight 2.65 mile path, popularly known as the Long Walk, flanked by rows of trees and leading into a rolling, 5,000-acre Great park. This land used to be the private hunting ground for Windsor Castle back in the 13th century, and even today you’ll notice a large herd of semi-wild deer towards the northern end of the park.

Bus

Green Line Express Coaches (routes 701 and 702) ply between London Victoria Station and Windsor several times per hour. The journey takes 1 hour and 10 minutes with round trip fares starting at £15.

Train

You get direct trains from Paddington or Waterloo in London to Windsor & Eton Central every 30 minutes. The journey takes about 45 minutes and a 10-minute stride up the hill will take you to the entrance of Windsor Castle. Round Trip fares start at under £12.

Car

Take the M4 to exit 6, and follow signs to Windsor Town Center. Know that parking lots at Windsor Castle fill up quickly during popular times of year so, if you must drive, arrive early. Choose the long-stay parking areas, which cost less than half the rate of short-stay parking. You may have to walk about 20 minutes from the long-stay parking area, but it is a scenic stroll, so shouldn't be a problem.

2Bath

Day Trips From London

185 km

Distance
Hot Springs Ruins History

Situated about 110 miles from London is the ancient town of Bath, another popular day trip destination from London. Home to natural hot springs, historic Roman ruins, 18th-century Georgian architecture and honey coloured stone houses; Bath is one of the most beautiful towns in England. Even strolling through the city is enough to have a fulfilling experience, but packed with natural beauty, ancient history and amazing architecture, Bath is certainly a town that has much to show.

Best Time to Visit
Late March to Early June and September to November
Travel Time
2.5 Hours

Bus

Coaches ply from London to Bath on a daily basis, with a coach available almost every 90 minutes from the Victoria Coach Station, London to the Bath Spa Bus and Coach Station. The duration of travel can be anything from 3-4 hours and though the tickets for traveling from London to Bath by bus is cheaper than traveling by train, the time taken will set you back by a few hours that could have been used to explore the city.

Train

From Paddington Station , London you get frequent trains to Bath Spa station in Bath, every 30 minutes or so. This is the quickest route (90 minutes), but not the cheapest ( buses are cheaper). However, the Bath Spa Train Station is quite centrally located allowing you to dive right into action once in Bath. Tickets are cheaper on weekdays than on weekends and you will get the best rates online , especially if you book in advance.

Car

The distance between London and Bath via road is approximately 185 km and if you hit the M4 motorway and keep up a good speed, you should be in bath within 2.5 hours. Going from London to Bath by car can run up costs as parking in Bath is not exactly cheap. It costs about £1.60 for an hour and £5.40 for up to 4 hours. Moreover, Bath is a very small city with compact lanes, hence finding on street parking is a huge hassle.

London to Bath Guided Day Tours

This is without doubt the most comfortable option as you have everything taken care of - travel, food and an expert local guide’s company ! Most day tours from London to Bath are coach tours and combine the nearby towns of Stonehenge, Cotswolds, Oxford etc.(Duration of day tour : 12-14 hours)

The Roman Baths

Considered one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, a visit to the Roman Baths is bound to take you down 2,000 years of history. Wander the Roman pavements surrounding the Great Bath and taste the famous spa water that contains 43 minerals! Engage in an audio guided tour for the best experience.

The Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent is Bath's single most impressive piece of architecture, a set of 30 crescent-shaped Georgian houses designed by architect John Wood. Built in the 18th century, these near-perfect symmetry and Ionic columns overlooking historic architecture look all the more mesmerising when bathed in sunshine.

Thermae Bath Spa

Since you can't take a dip at the Roman Baths, the natural hot springs at Thermae Bath Spa is your best bet to experiencing the 'bath culture' in Bath. This 21st century rooftop pool cum spa screams luxury along with splendid views of Bath.

Bath Abbey

Also known as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Gothic Cathedral founded in 7th century is yet another stellar piece of architecture in Bath’s kitty. Its large stained glass windows and columns of gold stone are the perfect backdrop for the wonderful choral music or for a short moment of contemplation.

Fashion Museum

Listed amongst CNN's list of the World's Top 10 Fashion Museums, the Fashion Museum in Bath is an ode to the evolution of western fashion. Set your eyes on one of the world’s greatest collections of historic and fashionable dresses and watch out for the Royal Women exhibition which is said to be particularly impressive.

3Stonehenge

Day Trips From London

142 km

Distance
Ruins History

One of the most historically significant remnants of Britain’s yesteryears is the Stonehenge, an unassuming but awe-inspiring structure of stones arranged on a field 5,000 years ago. Situated about 115 miles from London in Salisbury, Stonehenge can easily be visited in a day, making it one of the most popular, if not the most, day excursion destinations from London. Constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, Stonehenge consists of a ring of standing stones, each weighing around 25 tons and almost 15 feet high. You can also visit the Stonehenge Visitor Center, an exhibition and museum where you can learn more about the history of the Stonehenge.

Best Time to Visit
Late March to Early June and September to November
Travel Time
1.5 Hours

Bus

Similar to a train journey, you’ll need to take a bus from London to Salisbury and from here, another tour bus to Stonehenge. Hop on the National Express from Victoria coach station to Ringwood and change at Ringwood onto X3 towards Salisbury, operated by the Salisbury Reds. From Salisbury, get on the Stonehenge Tour bus to reach your destination. The entire journey takes about 3 hours.

Train

If you want to travel from London to Stonehenge by train, you will need to travel to Salisbury first as this is the closest train station to Stonehenge, then take the tour bus to Stonehenge. Take the train from London Waterloo to Salisbury on the South Western Railway line. Trains run every 30-40 minutes from around 6.30am and the last train from London to Stonehenge leaves at 11.40pm. The journey generally takes 1.5 hours.

Car

Driving to Stonehenge from London is probably the fastest and most direct route. To get to Salisbury, use the M4 then go onto the M3 and take exit 8 onto the A303. Follow the A303 and follow signs from Amesbury which will take you on the A360 to Stonehenge.

Guided Tours From London

As you may have figured that taking a public transport to Stonehenge inevitably involves a transfer onto the Stonehenge Tour Bus, why not take the bus right from London? With comfortable coach transfers, a guide and the possibility of clubbing a few nearby destinations in a day, a guided tour from London to Stonehenge is highly recommended.

The Stonehenge Tour Bus

The only way to reach Stonehenge from London by public transport is by travelling to Salisbury first and then taking the designated tour bus. The Stonehenge Tour bus is operated by the Salisbury Reds, with commentary in 10 different languages, and is the only bus service that runs from Salisbury to Stonehenge. Salisbury is the closest train station to Stonehenge, so once you arrive in Salisbury you will need to take the Stonehenge Tour Bus.

Stone Circle

A walk around the Stone Circle is the centrepiece of any visit to the Stonehenge Heritage Site. With a history spanning 4,500 years, the Stonehenge has many different meanings to people today - a wonder of the world, a spiritual place and a source of inspiration. Sign up for a Stone Circle Experience and partake in the unique opportunity to experience up close this world famous monument.

Neolithic Houses

Right outside the visitor center, there are 5 Neolithic houses furnished with replica Neolithic axes, pottery and other artefacts, revealing the type of homes that the builders of the ancient monument might have lived in four and half thousand years ago. These dwellings help to reconnect the ancient stones with the people that lived and worked in the Stonehenge landscape.

Stonehenge Visitor Centre

With a cafe, ticket office, shop and a museum displaying priceless loans from Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum, make sure you spend at least an hour at the Visitor center.

4Reading

Day Trips From London

67 km

Distance
Ruins History

Reading has been nicknamed the city of parks by locals in the UK. There are over a hundred of them in this miniature town, each park with its own characteristics. Leisure areas are supplemented with interesting attractions, children's playgrounds, and sports platforms. Many parks have long acquired the status of cultural centers. In summer they often hold open-air concerts and entertainment events. Oxford 25 minutes on the train in one direction, and London 25 minutes in the other, Reading has a bit of a hard sell as a stopping point. However, we urge you to make that stop and explore this quaint town.

Best Time to Visit
Late March to Early June and September to November
Travel Time
1 Hour

Bus

On average, the bus takes approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes to get from London to Reading. There are 2 transfers involved and hence is honestly not worth the hassle. We would recommend going by train or driving to Reading.

Train

The train ride from London to Reading is a quick one on the Great Western Railway, just about 25 minutes. Trains are frequently available through the day from Paddington to Reading.

Car

If you ride your car with an average speed of 112 kilometers/hour, you’ll reach Reading in just 37 minutes. Having a car can be quite handy as you can roam around Reading at your pace without having to depend on public transport.

Reading Museum

The Reading Museum explores the town’s past, from its earliest days as a Saxon Settlement, through its Medieval abbey, industrialisation and up to the 21st century. The museum also holds pieces excavated from Reading Abbey, and the country’s only copy of the Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Norman conquest of Britain.

Abbey Ruins

On the southeast boundary of Forbury Gardens are the ruins of Reading Abbey founded by Henry I in 1121. Even though the complex has not been in use for almost 500 years, the ruins are Grade I listed, and you can enter the shell of the former chapter house.

Mapledurham House

A few miles up the Thames is an exquisite Elizabethan stately home, constructed in 1585 and offering tours on weekdays. Once inside, you’ll see authentic 16th-century priest holes built to hide Catholic clergy at a time when the denomination was persecuted in England.

Caversham Court

On the north bank of the Thames, Caversham Court is a garden on the grounds of a former mansion. Some of Reading’s most powerful families lived here in the centuries after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Though no one currently lives at the Caversham Court, the gardens are worthy of a visit.

Day Trips North Of London

The most popular destinations situated to the north of London that you can visit in a day are Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds and Warwick. While Oxford is famous for its historically impressive university buildings and has fondly earned the nickname of “Dreaming Spires”, Warwick has earned its fame as a charming historical city with an impressive castle typical of old fairy tales. On the other hand, the unremitting beauty of the Cotswolds - the rolling hills and honey-coloured houses, draws visitors in their thousands every day. Another extremely popular day trip up north from London is an excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon, an 800-year old town that is also the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

5Oxford

Day Trips From London

90 km

Distance
Heritage Culture

Situated 60 miles from London, Oxford is one of the easiest day trips that you can take from London. At Oxford; emphatic university buildings, utterly charming houses, museums and experiences such as punting on the River Thames (or The Isis in Oxford) and having a drink at a bar where J. R. R. Tolkien used to hang out and await you. If you want to walk the hallowed halls of old university buildings, go cruising down the Thames, explore “haunted” buildings, check out the shoot locations for the Harry Potter movies or simply admire the architecture and sights of a medieval British town, then a day trip to Oxford from London is your best bet.

Best Time to Visit
April to August
Travel Time
1 hour 20 minutes

Bus

The Oxford Tube is a popular way to get to Oxford. Buses leave London Victoria Coach Station every 10 - 15 minutes through the day and have multiple pick up points from around London and plenty of stops in Oxford. You’ll reach Oxford in 1 hour 40 minutes.

Train

There are about 168 trains that shuttle between Paddington station in London to Oxford in a frequency of about 5 -10 minutes between trains. Purchasing round trip tickets work out cheaper than one way tickets. The journey will take you about an hour.

Car

Oxford is 92 km from London and though the drive is not interesting, you can stop by towns like Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace on your way. Take the M25 to the M40 and get off at the A40 to reach Oxford. Note, parking in Oxford is a difficult and expensive affair. The drive will take you about 1.5 hours without any stops.

University of Oxford Tour

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the city’s architecturally splendid university, led by guides who know its colleges, quads and hidden corners inside out.

Oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum

The UK’s oldest botanic garden and a stunning 130 acres of woodland is ideal for you to escape the busy city and recharge in. The scientifically-important grounds and glasshouses contain more than 6,000 types of plant.

Pitt Rivers Museum

This is Oxford’s world-famous museum of archaeology and ethnography where you can expand your brain looking at some very, very tiny heads. It contains some shrunken heads and another half-a-million-and-counting exhibits. Also, entry is free.

Bodleian Library

The main research library of the University of Oxford, the Bodleian is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and without a doubt one of the most beautiful. It sits proudly in Radcliffe Square and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

University Church of St Mary the Virgin

With its distinctive decorated spire and beautiful architecture, St Mary’s is one of Oxford’s most prominent churches. This church has stood on the very same site since Anglo-Saxon times and was adopted as the first university building in the very early days of Oxford University. Take a trip up to the top of the 13th-century tower for unbeatable views of the city.

Punting

This is the most “Oxford” thing and happens to be the best way to cruise past the city's riverside treasures. If you have not gone punting before, there's no place better to do it than in Oxford, so pack a picnic and get punting. If you're not up for getting wet, try watching a punting match and relish the fun.

Harry Potter Locations Tour

Prominent Oxford locations - the Bodleian, New College and Christ Church famously feature in many of the early Harry Potter films helping to create the iconic gothic backdrop that became the unmistakable Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Here’s a self-guided tour map of all the Harry Potter locations in Oxfordshire.

6Warwick

Day Trips From London

153 km

Distance
Country Side Castles

Warwick is situated a 100 miles north of London and is another popular day trip destination from the capital. A county town, Warwick is famous for its iconic 1,1000-year old castle and medieval charm. Through the year, the town is home to a wide calendar of events which include the Folk Festival, Literary Festivals as well as the renowned Victorian Evening. Lonely Planet placed Warwick sixth in a 2016 list of Europe’s best destinations, identifying it as one of the best places to visit in Britain.

Best Time to Visit
Late March to Early June and September to November
Travel Time
1 hour 47 minutes

Warwick Castle

The Warwick Castle is a massive battlement-crowned fortress that can trace its roots all the way back to the time of William the Conqueror. Notable features include the 14th-century Castle Dungeon, a full-scale working siege machine, the country's second largest collection of old weapons and armor, and a wax model museum designed by London's Madame Tussauds.

Mill Garden

The half-acre Mill garden is wedged between the Avon and Warwick Castle and has been in Measures family since 1938. It sits on the roadway of the Old Castle Bridge, which was destroyed by a flood in the 18th century, and those surviving arches are covered with grass and flowers.

Lord Leycester Hospital

This Grade I-listed complex of half-timbered buildings has been a retirement home for former servicemen since the 16th century. These structures go back a century before, when they were built as residences, meeting halls and dining halls for the newly combined Guilds of St George and the Blessed Virgin.

Royal Leamington Spa

Royal Leamington Spa is famous for its wonderful medicinal springs and gardens. Stroll through the attractive glasshouses and flowerbeds at Jephson Garden or visit the splendid Royal Pump Room Gardens with its art gallery and café.

7Cotswolds

Day Trips From London

139 km

Distance
Scenic Rural Walks Rolling Hills

It’s been over 50 years since the Cotswolds was declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Spread over 800 square miles of rolling hills, the Cotswolds is the biggest of the 38 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales. Reminiscent of the old-world charm, this pretty corner of England has repeatedly been honored as the most picturesque rural setting in all of the British Isles. If you wish to experience the most charming and typical rural Britain landscape, then head over to the Cotswolds. Situated 100 miles from London, the trip to Cotswolds is a leisurely affair, one that makes visiting the region an absolute must for those visiting London.

Best Time to Visit
March to May
Travel Time
1 hour 50 minutes

Bus

From the Victoria Coach Station in London, you can catch a bus to Cotswolds and get down at either Cheltenham, Gloucester or Stroud. Though this is a slightly more expensive and longer option, the roads are scenic and making a road trip of it without the hassle of driving is well worth the money spent. The bus journey should take you about 2.5 hours.

Train

Going from London to Cotswolds by train is a great idea as it is quick, economical and most importantly, the British railways are an impeccable experience in itself. Here's a list of train stations at Cotswolds - Cam and Dursley, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Kemble , Moreton-in-Marsh, Stonehouse, Stroud and Ashchurch . You have trains from Paddington, London to all of these stations throughout the day. The journey should take you 1 hour 40 minutes.

Car

You can take the M4, M5 and M40 to get to Cotswolds from London. Though this is an expensive option, if you have plans of exploring all of Cotswolds in a short span of time, having a car handy is great as the public transit system in Cotswolds is not extensive. The drive will take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2 hours.

Cotswolds Wildlife Park

The Cotswolds Wildlife Park is home to over 260 different animal species in 160 acres. Enjoy a few hours at this family friendly destination in the company of giraffes, asiatic lions, lemurs, zebras, rhinos, penguins, crocodiles, meerkats amongst the many animals here.

Castle Combe

Among the many villages set on the rolling hills of Cotswolds, Castle Combe is called "The Prettiest Village in England" and with good reason. This movie set-like village has an ancient charm with limestone cottages, floral hanging baskets and stone-tiled roofs and even a weekly Saturday market!

Cotswolds Distillery

This is the first full-scale distillery to be established in Cotswolds. Though it makes gin and other natural spirits artisanally, the Cotswolds Distillery focuses on distilling single malt whisky and is one of the only 6 distilleries still producing English whisky. Sign up for a tour and tasting here.

Westonbirt Arboretum

The Westonbirt Arboretum is a lovely place to wander both on and off the paths and trails. Lined with rhododendrons and azaleas, bluebells and wild garlic, this 600 acre land of reserves is all things calming. Two popular trails here are the Old Arboretum and Silk Wood, both starkly different yet outworldly beautiful.

8Stratford-upon-Avon

Day Trips from London

163 km

Distance
Medieval Towns Literature Lovers

Famous for being the town William Shakespeare was born in, Stratford-upon-Avon is a town located a 100 miles from London and is famous for its parks, rivers, medieval buildings and the largest butterfly park in the world. A model British town, at Stratford-upon-Avon, you can enjoy some fine food and beer at one of the many pubs, get your fill of everything Shakespeare, enjoy Tudor architecture and a cruise down River Avon.

Best Time to Visit
March to May
Travel Time
2 hours

Bus

National Express runs 3 coach trips a day on weekdays to Stratford-upon-Avon Riverside Bus Station from London Victoria Coach Station . The journey takes just under 3 hours to a little over 4 hours.

Train

Chiltern Railways run a limited number of direct trains between London Marylebone Station and Stratford-upon-Avon Station. The trip takes between 2 hours to 2.5 hours.

Car

Stratford-upon-Avon lies to the northwest of London via the M4, M25. M40 and A46 roads. It takes at least 2-3 hours. Parking in Stratford-upon-Avon can also be costly and the traffic wardens are aggressive about giving out tickets. If you do decide to drive, try to stay at a hotel or B&B that includes parking.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, this carefully restored, timber-framed house is where Shakespeare was born and spent his childhood. Have a look at rare artefacts from the Trust and take a trip back in time with the captivating costumed guides who will bring Shakespeare’s story to life.

The Swan Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

All the world’s a stage, but there’s no better place to watch Shakespeare’s plays than his hometown.The Royal Shakespeare Company has three theatres in Stratford. You can catch many of the Bard’s famous works, and the more intimate Swan Theatre regularly stages plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries and later writers.

Anne Hathaway’s cottage

Shakespeare buffs, won’t be disappointed with a visit to this picturesque 500-year-old cottage and the poignant love story behind it. Originally a farmhouse, this was the site where Wills courted Anne, who would later become Mrs Shakespeare. The cottage has its original furniture and features, and the romantic gardens are the stuff sonnets are made of.

Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm

Wander through exotic plants and gurgling waterfalls while hundreds of free-flying butterflies flutter around you in the UK's largest tropical butterfly attraction. Get up close to appreciate these dainty insects and learn about their lifecycle from caterpillar to chrysalis and beyond.

Holy Trinity Church

This Parish church is the place Shakespeare was baptised and buried. You can visit the final resting place of Shakespeare, his wife and other close relatives who lie at the foot of the chancel steps. If you’ve spent a trip following Shakespeare’s life, then this humbling grave site is a fitting end.

Day Trips East Of London

The most popular destinations situated to the north of London that you can visit in a day are Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds and Warwick. While Oxford is famous for its historically impressive university buildings and has fondly earned the nickname of “Dreaming Spires”, Warwick has earned its fame as a charming historical city with an impressive castle typical of old fairy tales. On the other hand, the unremitting beauty of the Cotswolds - the rolling hills and honey-coloured houses, draws visitors in their thousands every day. Another extremely popular day trip up north from London is an excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon, an 800-year old town that is also the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

9Leeds, Kent

Day Trips from London

68 km

Distance
History Architecture Castle

A must-visit for lovers of history and architecture, Leeds Castle is situated 50 miles from London in the beautiful region of Maidstone, Kent. Built in the 12th century on an island in a lake formed by the River Len, Leeds Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in England. Its prominence rose as it became the favourite residence for King Edward I. Leeds Castle was also home to Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Today, the castle is an important tourist destination in the region. Some of the attractions at the castle grounds, apart from the majestic castle itself, include a maze, a golf course and an eccentric museum dedicated to dog collars.

Before you head out, make sure you set your Satellite Navigation for the correct postcode or book your train for the right station. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the Yorkshire city of Leeds instead of the Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent.

Best Time to Visit
May to September
Travel Time
1.5 hours

Bus

From Victoria Coach Station, hop on Bus Number 814 or 021 and disembark at Maidstone King Street. From here, transfer to Bus Number 10X and get off at Hollingbourne, which is a 12 minute brisk walk from the Leeds Castle.

Train

Southeastern Trails run regular services from London Victoria to Bearsted Station. A shuttle bus operates from the station to the castle during the summer months.

Car

Leeds Castle, Kent is situated 4 miles east of Maidstone, off Junction 8 of the M20 motorway, just 1¼ hours from London, 30 minutes from the Channel Tunnel and Channel Ports. From junction 8 off the M20 motorway, follow the brown and white tourist signs.

Guided Tours From London To Leeds Castle

Several tour companies operate sightseeing tours from London that include Leeds Castle. This is the most comfortable mode of transport, with roundtrip transfers, the company of a local guide and tickets to the Leeds Castle included.You can skip the hassle of waiting in ticket queues after arriving at Leeds this way.

Leeds Castle

The Leeds Castle is built on islands in a lake formed by the River Len to the east of the village of Leeds. It has been called the “loveliest castle in the world” and for the right reasons. The Royal Manor was originally built in 857AD and owned by a Saxon royal family. During its lifetime, the castle has been home to six medieval queens – Eleanor, Isabella, Philippa of Hainhault (wife of Edward III), Joan of Navarre, Catherine de Valois and Catherine of Aragon. Today, visitors come from all around the world to view this magnificent castle set in over 500 acres of landscaped parkland with its maze, grotto, waterfowl, aviaries, and vineyard. Here’s a complete list of all that you could do at the Leeds Castle.

10Canterbury

Day Trips from London

101 km

Distance
History Cathedral

Canterbury is a historic cathedral city in the district of Kent and UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies on the banks of River Stour. An extremely popular destination in Kent, Canterbury is situated about 60 miles to the east of London. The medieval city of Canterbury has been the setting of many works of literature and is most famous for once being the centre of English Christianity. Testimony to this is the iconic Canterbury Cathedral, one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. You can also explore the rolling countryside and the beautiful coast, discover historic buildings or go shopping and enjoy a nice day out.

Best Time to Visit
May to September
Travel Time
1.5 hours

Bus

Buses are provided by National Express, and the direct journey takes 2 hours, 15 minutes. You can catch the bus in London from Victoria Station, with connections to the Circle, Victoria, and District lines of the Underground. In Canterbury, the bus stop is centrally located and within a short walking distance to the city centre

Train

You can catch trains to Canterbury from several of London's biggest stations—St Pancras, Charing Cross, Victoria— although the fastest trains leave from St Pancras. Trains arrive in Canterbury at one of two stations, Canterbury West or Canterbury East, both of which are walking distance from the city center.

Car

Canterbury is only an hour and a half from London by car in an easy drive, however, driving out of London can add a significant amount of time to the journey. If you're only planning to visit Canterbury for a day, you're better off using the train or bus to avoid the hassles that come with bringing a car, including parking, gas prices, and tolls.

Canterbury Cathedral

One of Canterbury’s main attractions, the Canterbury Cathedral has been a place of worship for over 1500 years. It has survived a fire, the Restoration and general modernity – and yet its gothic towers and beautiful stained-glass windows remain as impressive today as ever.

St John Boys House

This wonky house is home to an amazing Catching Lives Bookshop and its unusual slant also makes it a prime photo-opp material. The books sold here raise money to help those living on the streets of Canterbury and Kent.

Stour Boat Trip

The Canterbury Historic River Tours company provides 40-minute trips along the Stour from March to October. Hop on a large rowboat and see some of Canterbury’s Medieval monuments from the comfort of your boat - 13th-century Greyfriars’ Chapel and pass below the 12th-century Eastbridge, King’s Bridge and many more.

Westgate Gardens

This beautiful garden is one of England’s oldest parks, dotted with beautiful curiosities, the most beautiful being the Victorian Tower. the Pack a picnic and enjoy the great outdoors, there is nowhere prettier in the city to do so.

St Augustine’s Abbey

A testament to the revival of Christianity in England, St Augustine’s Abbey was founded by St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, in 598. For centuries it was Kent’s only religious house of real significance.

11Dover

Day Trips from London

126 km

Distance
Coasts Cliffs

Situated on the eastern coast of England facing France at the Strait of Dover, Dover is a historically important city in England home to the most famous geographical chalk cliffs in the world - the White Cliffs of Dover. The most famous man-made attraction is the formidable Dover Castle, a prominent fortress perched high above the English Channel. Dover is situated around 80 miles of London and is a popular day tour destination for visitors to London.

Best Time to Visit
May to September
Travel Time
1 hour 44 minutes

Bus

From the Victoria Coach Station, you have frequent National Bus Services which stops at Dover Ferry Terminal first, and then the Dover Town Centre. The journey takes about 3 hours. If you’re planning a day trip, we would not recommend a bus journey as 6 hours of your day will be spent in commute.

Train

London to Dover by train is covered by three lines- London St. Pancras, Charing Cross via London Bridge and Victoria, and Gatwick - the fastest and most expensive being St. Pancras which take only 65 minutes. The train from Gatwick is the cheapest option.

Car

London to Dover by car is approximately 86 miles and takes about 1.5 hours without traffic. A good route to take is through Old Kent Road, Eltham Road and through Greenwich.Since Dover is a scenic port town, having a car at your disposal for long drives is quite convenient.

Cycle

A commonly used London to Dover cycle route (no cycling trails or green lanes) is through Dartford, Rochester, Faversham and Canterbury – don’t miss wandering around the medieval city of Canterbury before relaxing in Dover! At a good pace, you’ll take about 8 hours one way.

London to Dover Guided Day Tours

By opting for a guided tour from London to Dover, not only do you learn a lot more than you would have otherwise, thanks to your friendly tour guide, the cost of visiting sites along the way like Greenwich and Leeds Castle is also covered. Picking this option is the best if you’re travelling with family and children. A round-trip day tour will consume about 10-12 hours of your day.

Dover Castle

Also called “Key To England”, this medieval castle founded in the 11th century played an important role in England’s maritime defense. It is the largest castle in England and it has withstood several invasions over the centuries. Don’t miss the Royal Chapel and St. Mary in Castro within the castle!

White Cliffs of Dover

These cliffs are so named because of its chalky composition, with streaks of black flint. This 8 mile stretch offers a gorgeous view of the English strait from the top, and sandy beaches from the bottom.

Fan Bay Deep Shelter

These Secret Wartime Tunnels are a series of tunnels constructed during World War II, 23 metres down the White Cliffs of Dover. Carved in just a hundred days by the Royal Engineers, these tunnels were constructed for the Fan Bay gun batteries. A tour here is not for the claustrophobic ones.

Dover Museum

Founded in 1836, the Dover Museum museum tells the story of this little town and its history, with collections dating back from the prehistoric times. The temporary exhibition showcases local art with a section about the history of Dover town. Don’t miss the Bronze Age boat that is estimated to be nearly 3000 years old!

12Mersea Island

Day Trips from London

111 km

Distance
Sea Food Island Life

Mersea Island is an idyllic tiny estuary island found nine miles southeast of Colchester, with a glowing reputation for beautiful scenery and a pilgrimage spot for seafood fans and families who love its old-world charms. With an array of unassuming seafood shacks on the shores of a muddy creek, Mersea Island is something of an insider's secret. Divided into East Mersea and West Mersea, the island has many features and hosts several events throughout the year making it a tourist hotspot, all year round. The island was very popular with the Romans who were big fans of the native oyster, still farmed to this day off the Mersea coast and famous around the world.

Best Time to Visit
May to September
Travel Time
1 hour 40 minutes

Bus

First Busses operate bus numbers 67 or 67A from the high street in Colchester to West Mersea.The bus stop is right in the city centre, so you can walk to pretty much everything in town from here. The journey takes about 1.5 hours.

Train

Catch a train from London’s Liverpool Street to Colchester Town Station, the duration of the journey spanning between 50 minutes to an hour. Colchester Town Station is a 20 minute taxi journey to the island.

Car

From the A12 London leave at junction 26 which is signposted Halstead & Stanway A1124 and follow signs to Mersea Island B1025. As you get closer to the island you will cross the Strood leaving the mainland and arriving onto Mersea Island. For West Mersea, where the famous fish eateries are located along with shops, cafes, restaurants, the jetty which is popular for boat trips and crabbing and the high street fork right continuing on the B1025.

Mersea Island Vineyard

Mersea Island Vineyard produces white, rose and sparkling wines. The company also owns a brewery which you can visit, if you prefer beer over wine. The brewery tour ends with a tasting session and an essential tipple for every real ale fan is the Oyster Stout.

West Mersea Beach

An 8 mile square beach with a high spring tide, wander along the sandy, pebbly West Mersea beach that’s excellent for crabbing. Feast on fresh native oysters before heading to the beach shops to pick up any other little trinkets or souvenirs from your day.

Woodup Pool

Also known as Woodrolfe Pool, this is a very basic salt water bathing pool that even has its own little beach at one end! The pool can be found next to Woodrolfe Park flats and Woodrolfe Creek. It is open between May and September, and is free to visit, making for a splashtastic time!

Layer Marney Tower

The view from the roof of the Layer Marney Tower gives you an impeccable view of this coastal town - the churches, outbuildings, play area, gardens, estate and wildlife walk. The Tearoom, situated in the Old Stables, offers a range of light lunches as well as tea and cakes.

Day Trips South Of London

There’s plenty to visit South of London, and if you go real South you’ll even reach Paris! If you’re a fan of beachside towns - Brighton it is and if you’re looking for historic, charming towns then Rye and Chichester make for the obvious choice. Being quaint they're quite petite, so you'd struggle to find enough to amuse yourself for a whole day, once you've exhausted those Tudor frontages and traditional tearooms. We suggest clubbing at least 2 nearby cities for a day.

13Brighton

Day Trips from London

86 km

Distance
Hipster Culture Galleries

On the southern coast of Great Britain, lies the charming town of Brighton - where hipsters, drag queens and family vacations blend into a happy whole! With its unique architecture, pleasant festivals, galleries, museums, drama, arts, music, spectacular outdoor activities, sprawling beaches, Brighton never ceases to amaze. Brighton has colour and character in droves, and it’s hard not to be wooed by its inclusive impulsive vibe.

Best Time to Visit
June to August
Travel Time
1 hour 46 minutes

Bus

The National Express coach departs from London Victoria Coach Station every two hours and the ride takes a minimum of 2 hours and 11 minutes. It can sometimes take up to three hours and 40 minutes, though, which is why most people prefer the train over the bus.

Train

The fastest and easiest way to travel from London to Brighton is by train. Southern trains depart from London Victoria Station every four hours, the Gatwick Express departs hourly, and Thameslink trains run every 30 minutes, and the ride often takes about an hour.

Car

It takes about 1.5 hours to drive to Brighton no matter which route you take out of the city, but there are three main options: to go via the A23, the M23, or the M25. None are particularly scenic, but the A23 is shorter by a few minutes.

Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion is a magnificent palace constructed by George IV that boasts beautiful furniture and an impressive collection of original artworks. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in Brighton, known for its amazing and unique edifices and meticulously manicured gardens.

Booth Museum of Natural History

The Booth Museum of Natural History houses over half a million specimens and data about natural history that has been compiled over many centuries. There are dinosaur bones, killer whale skeletons, birds exhibits and a wide variety of preserved insects. A huge hit among kids and adults alike, this museum never fails to bring natural history to life.

Brighton Pier

Formerly known as the Palace Pier, this picturesque Victorian pier offers rides and attractions for the whole family, plus a lot of fancy restaurants, food kiosks and bars to choose from.

Brighton Marina

One of the biggest man-made marinas in Europe stroll by its fancy restaurants, boutiques, shops and service centres to its casinos, leisure and gaming areas and water activities. It’s fun unlimited here!

Brighton Wheel

From serene sunsets to shimmering night lights, the Brighton Wheel offers the best aerial panoramas of Brighton city and the adjoining blue sea.

Brighton Murder and Mayhem Tour

For those who are fond of horror stories, there is a 2 hour horror walking tour offered every night except Sunday. This is the Brighton Murder and Mayhem tour narrates to the visitors the hidden horror tales behind the famous landmarks in Brighton.

British Airways i360 Observation Tower

British Airways i360 is a 162 m observation tower on the seafront of Brighton with a fully enclosed viewing pod where visitors experience 360-degree views across Brighton, the South Downs and the English Channel.

14Paris

Day Trips from London

464 km

Distance
Eiffel Tower French Culture

Thanks to the high-speed passenger train Eurostar, you can go from London to Paris in just 2 hours. If you’re up for 4 hours of scenic train travel in a day’s time, then a day trip from London to Paris is entirely possible and quite fun too! Dubbed the City Of Lights, Paris is the French capital and a historic city that many claim to be the most beautiful and romantic of all cities in the world. Brimming with historic landmarks and cultural experiences that can’t be found anywhere else, the far-reaching influences of Paris and its culture are well known; especially in the world of art, fashion, architecture, food and design.

Best Time to Visit
April to June and October to early November
Travel Time
2 hour 30 minutes (Eurostar)

Eurostar

The Eurostar runs from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord every hour or so, 7 days a week all year round except Christmas Day. The distance between London to Paris is 491.8 km and the train journey is covered in 2h15 non-stop. This is the most effective way to travel from London to Paris for a day trip.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is one of Paris’ most recognizable landmarks and for first-timers, a visit to Paris would not be complete without a trip up the Eiffel Tower. The line to visit the Eiffel Tower can be epic (we’re talking a 2 to 3 hour wait). To avoid this nightmare, book your tickets in advance.

Louvre

Today, the Louvre is the world’s largest art museum, a building that was once the home to French Kings, including Louis XIV. During the French Revolution in the 18th century, the Louvre was converted to a museum.While you can’t see all of it in a day, make sure to see the highlights - Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory in just an hour or two.

Champs-Elysees

This is one of the most recognizable streets in the world, running from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Along the way, pop into Laduree for macarons, another must do while in Paris. You could also grab tickets to climb atop the Arc De Triomphe to end the long walk on a high note!

Sainte Chapelle

Just a short walk from Notre Dame is Sainte Chapelle, one of the most gorgeous cathedral’s in Paris and one of the world’s best displays of stained glass. Lines to get into Sainte Chapelle are usually long, but it’s worth the wait.

Musee d’Orsay

Musee d’Orsay houses the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world. You can see Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gaugin and many more. Barring the art inside the building, the building in itself is a work of art. Musee d’Orsay was once Gare d’Orsay, an old train station, which was renovated and became this art museum.

15Rye

Day Trips from London

126 km

Distance
Quirky Shops Cobbled Towns

Rye is as postcard-perfect as towns come. This hilltop town with a picturesque labyrinth of cobbled streets and historic buildings, East Sussex is a British costume drama set come to life. You’ll find quirky shops, medieval inns, charming cafés, historic pubs and local restaurants dot the city with life. Rye’s most picturesque street – and the most photographed – is the sloping cobbled Mermaid Street, the town’s main thoroughfare in the 16th century. Writers and artists, most notably Henry James, once took up residence in Rye, attracted by its historic character, secluded landscapes and the unusual light of its surrounding countryside.

Best Time to Visit
May to September
Travel Time
1 hour 48 minutes

Train

From St Pancras International, London the Southeastern trains travel to Ashford International at an hourly frequency. From Ashford International, you’ll get a direct train to Rye. The entire train journey takes.

Bus

Traveling from London To Rye by bus involves a long winded route.You can get on a National Express coach from London Victoria to Hastings, and from here a local Stagecoach bus to Rye.

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Those with a penchant for bird-watching will love the Rye Harbour Nature Reserves. Hike along one of the many footpaths leading you around salt marshes, saline lagoons, and vast grassland. Pack binoculars and a camera if you plan on spending a good few hours at this natural wonderland.

The Parish Church of St. Mary, Rye

Also known as the Cathedral of East Sussex, this parish church has graced the hilltop on which it stands for over 900 years. Its tall spire can be seen from miles away, welcoming visitors to its hallowed stone walls, requisite stained-glass windows and breathtaking views from the top.

Rye Castle Museum and Ypres Tower

The Rye Castle Museum consists of two sites: The Ypres Tower and East Street. Ypres tower was commissioned by Henry III as part of a defense strategy against French invaders. The East Street site opened in 1999 and provides visitors an opportunity to view the museum's collections and learn even more about the history of Rye and the Ypres Tower.

Mermaid Street

Mermaid street is one of the most photographed streets in England. It's cobbled pathway lined with crooked timber houses bursting with blooms looks right out of a fairytale! Make sure to walk by The Mermaid Inn and Mermaid Street Cafe, while paying attention to the funny house names-from "The House With Two Front Doors" to "The House Opposite” !

Camber Sands

Bordering Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on one side and RSPB Dungeness on the other, Camber Sands isn't technically in Rye. But it takes just 5 minutes out of Rye to get there.This popular sandy beach is a haven for English weekenders, especially in the summer. Expect a calming respite filled with crashing waves and miles of soft golden sand and occasional grassy sand dunes.

16Chichester

Day Trips from London

130 km

Distance
Georgian Buildings Autumn Getaways

The Romans founded Chichester, the capital city of West Sussex, set between the high chalk uplands of the South Downs, and the peaceful waterside tracks around Chichester Harbour. A perfect autumn break getaway, the city’s streets and lanes of Georgian buildings fan out from the lovely medieval cathedral close at its heart. The pedestrianised city centre is neatly enclosed within the ancient city walls and this helps to make Chichester compact and pleasant to explore on foot. Plan your visit in June to visit the Lordington Lavender in full bloom.

Best Time to Visit
May to September
Travel Time
1 hour 47 minutes

Train

The average journey time between London and Chichester is 1 hour 42 minutes on the Southern railways from Victoria to Chicester. On an average weekday, there are 64 trains travelling from London to Chichester.

Bus

National Express Buses ply from London to Chichester multiple times a day, and the journey takes about 3 hours 40 minutes. We’d recommend going by train as the bus journey is too time consuming.

Car

The drive will take you about 1.5 hours via A3 and A27. It’s a scenic ride and we recommend taking your vehicle in order to have a car at your disposal to drive around Chichester.

Chichester Cathedral

A seamless blend of Norman Romanesque and Gothic architecture, Chichester Cathedral was consecrated in 1108 and is quite unlike other English cathedrals for its twin aisles campanile. There are also some outstanding pieces of Medieval workmanship to admire here.

Weald & Downland Living Museum

This excellent outdoor museum has more than 50 historic buildings spread across 40 acres. There are timber-framed cottages, a market hall, barns, granaries, farmhouses, sheds, stables, a watermill, and also a school from the 19th century. The buildings paint a picture of English rural life over a millennium.

Bishop’s Palace Garden

This charming garden has immaculate formal flower beds against the evocative backdrop of the old walls with over a 100 odd exotic and rare trees, a wildlife garden and a rose pergola entwined with clematis, honeysuckle and climbing roses.

Chichester Cross

An exuberant Perpendicular Gothic monument is erected where Chichester’s two Roman streets converge in the city’s pedestrian-friendly old centre. The Chichester Cross is built from Caen stone and has an octagonal shape, with each side opening through a Gothic pointed arch.

Chichester Harbour

Chichester Harbour is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and makes for a superb sailing creek. You’ll see little settlements by the water, like Bosham and West Itchenor have boatyards, slipways, and hundreds of yachts anchored offshore.

Day Trips From London - Compare Your Options

London Day Trips Distance Duration Category Good For
Windsor 40 KM 45 minutes History Aficionados Family, Couples
Reading 67 KM 1 Hour History Family, Couples
Leeds, Kent 68 KM 1.5 hours History & Architecture Family, Couples
Brighton 86 KM 1 hour 46 minutes Galleries, Hipster culture Youngsters, Couples
Oxford 90 KM 1 hour 20 minutes Heritage Family, Couples
Canterbury 101 KM 1 hour 30 minutes History Family, Couples
Mersea Island 111 KM 1 hour 40 minutes Seafood, Island life Family, Couples
Dover 126 KM 1 hour 44 minutes Coast, Cliffs Family,Youngsters & Couples
Rye 126 KM 1 hour 48 minutes Cobbled towns, Quirky shops Family, Couples
Chichester 130 KM 1 hour 47 minutes Georgian buildings Family, Couples
Cotswolds 139 KM 1 hour 50 minutes Scenic rural walks Family, Couples
Stonehenge 142 KM 1.5 Hours History Family, Couples
Warwick 153 KM 1 hour 47 minutes Countryside Family, Couples
Stratford-upon-Avon 163 KM 2 hours Medieval towns, Literature lovers Family, Couples
Bath 185 kms 2.5 Hours History Family, Couples
Paris 464 KM 2 hour 30 minutes (Eurostar) French culture Couples

Consider Before Choosing A London Day Trip

1. Dress for the weather
The weather in England it seems cannot make its mind up. A day beginning with the sun shining brightly can easily turn into an afternoon of rain and shower. Check the local weather report before you head out.

2. Make an itinerary
England may be a small country but it offers an astounding number of experiences. It is better to plan your visit and not cramp in too much as you will be tempted.

3. Go for tours
Whenever you can, go for a guided tour. If it's your first time visiting England, then your guides will help you learn and experience interesting things that you otherwise wouldn't have.

4. Try the local cuisine
That english food is boring is a myth. As you travel out of London, try enjoying the local dishes. English food features a whole lot of fresh garden produce, meat and dairy as well.

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