There are so many fun day trips from London. Whether you are a year round resident, or you are just visiting the capital, there is a wide range of days out to suit everyone.
As incredible as London is, when you step outside the city, you get a real authentic flavour of British life.
1. Arundel Castle
If history and castles are your thing, Arundel is well worth including as one of your day trips from London.
This Grade I listed building has been in the ownership and also home to the family of the Duke of Norfolk, and their ancestors, for almost 1,000 years.
Arundel Castle is an imposing and striking castle, commanding your attention as soon as you enter the town of Arundel.
The 40 acres of beautiful grounds and gardens are worthy of a lengthy explore. They are a very popular part of the day for many visitors. The gardens are well laid out and perfect for all to enjoy.
Bath is a unique, stylish and wonderful city. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, the perfect place to explore Roman Baths, natural thermal waters, stunning architecture, Georgian terraces and much, much more.
A day trip from London to Bath won’t seem enough, I’m sure you will fall in love with Bath, but, hopefully you will be able to get a memorable overview of this world class tourist destination.
Find out more – 12 Things To Do In Bath
Brighton is an exciting and vibrant city on the south coast of England.
Often called ‘London on Sea’ it comes highly recommended as a day trip from London. One day won’t cover it all and you will undoubtedly yearn to return for some more seaside fun.
But that shouldn’t stop you from including Brighton in your day trips from London short list.
Once a small fishing village with narrow winding lanes, Brighton has grown into a major visitor destination, attracting many day trippers from London. Brighton is also perfect for a weekend city break, with events taking place all the time.
The range of things to do in Brighton is plentiful and varied. Just heading straight for the beach area and people watching is an experience not to be missed. Brighton prides itself on it’s uniqueness, attracting visitors, students and residents from all over the world.
Check out more fun things to do in Brighton.
4. Bluebell Railway
Experience the exciting bygone era of the steam train on The Bluebell Railway in Sussex. The Bluebell Railway is one of the best preserved railways in the country.
The locomotives operate between the stations of East Grinstead and Sheffield Park, with stops at Horsted Keynes and Kingscote. The collection owned by the society is the largest collection of steam engines in the south of the country.
The university city of Cambridge is steeped in rich history and tradition. Cambridge draws visitors to the city to admire the jaw dropping architecture, ancient colleges and beautiful riverside.
Just wandering around the bustling, atmospheric city is memorable enough, but you won’t want to miss visiting the famous Cambridge University as well as try out a spot of punting on the River Cam.
Discover more things to do in Cambridge.
Canterbury is the perfect day trip from London, incorporating ancient ruins, culture, history and of course the oldest cathedral in England.
The history of Canterbury sits well alongside a modern day, vibrant city, with independent shops, first class restaurants and inviting pubs.
Getting around Canterbury is easily done on foot, with plenty of organised or self guided tours available. Mix your day up with a combination of exploring the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a relaxing boat trip along the River Stour.
7. Chislehurst Caves
Chislehurst Caves are not far from central London, located close to Bromley in Kent.
The caves are 30 metres deep, home to 22 miles of passageways, that although called caves, were dug by man, and once used as chalk and flint mines.
Visit the Chislehurst Caves site for more details.
Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town, attracting over 4.5 million visitors each year. Colchester has a rich history dating back 2,000 years. In 2004, Britain’s only Roman Circus was discovered in the south of the town.
9. Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle)
If you are a fan of the award-winning TV series Downton Abbey, it is possible to visit some of the locations used in the show. Depending on what you want to see, you might consider taking an organised tour to make the most of your day.
Set in Berkshire in South East England, Highclere Castle is the real castle that plays Downton Abbey.
The seaside resort of Eastbourne, with a pebbly beach and clean promenade, makes for a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Elegant hotels line the seafront with the colourful Carpet Gardens in front.
At the western end of Eastbourne seafront is the famous Beachy Head with its high chalk sea cliffs. They are part of the South Downs National Park and Seven Sisters Country Park and make for a great side trip from the beach front.
Check out more fun things to do in Eastbourne.
11. Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is high up on many visitor’s lists when they come to England.
And with good reason, Hampton Court Palace is rich in atmosphere with history oozing at every turn.
From the outside, it is breathtakingly beautiful – and the inside is spectacular, with fantastic exhibitions that really transport you back in time.
12. Harry Potter Studio Tour
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London offers visitors the unique opportunity to step onto the authentic sets, discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series.
13. Hever Castle
Built in the 13th century and home to Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle is now a popular tourist attraction. Having been bought by William Waldorf Astor in the early 20th century, the castle has been renovated extensively and is in a splendid condition throughout.
The Castle is set in the rural village of Hever, near Edenbridge in Kent, 30 miles from central London.
The charming castle exudes splendour, with a rich and intriguing 700 year history, sure to draw in the young, old and everybody in between.
14. Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens close proximity to central London makes it a perfect day trip contender. It is also one of London’s top tourist attractions.
There is alway something to enjoy, no matter the season, but to make a whole day out of it, any time between Spring and Autumn is ideal.
Kew Gardens was originally established in 1759 and today has the world’s largest collection of living plants. In 2003, Kew Gardens was made a World Heritage Site with UNESCO.
15. Hundred Acre Wood
Home of Winne the Pooh & Friends!
Pooh Bear has won the hearts of millions around the world, young and old. Hundred Acre Wood, the home of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, is based on and inspired by Ashdown Forest in Sussex.
The 6,500 acre woodland and heathland is the perfect place for Pooh fans to come and immerse themselves in the magic and enchantment of the area that A.A Milne called home.
Find out more about visiting the home of Winnie the Pooh at 100 Acre Wood
16. Leeds Castle
Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens in the heart of Kent, the 900 year old Leeds Castle is both spectacular and breath taking.
The moat surrounded castle is an awe-inspiring vision. It is open all year round, with something to interest and entertain every visitor. Leeds Castle has a wealth of attractions and is one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain.
17. The New Forest
A day trip to the New Forest from London will offer you a taster of what a longer trip could offer.
The New Forest officially became a National Park in 2005. The unspoilt ancient woodland and wide open heathland is dotted with beautiful, picturesque towns and villages, stretching across south-west Hampshire, south-east Wiltshire and towards east Dorset.
Find out more things to do in the New Forest
Oxford is one of the world’s most famous university towns. Oxford University is the oldest university in Britain, dating back to the 13th century.
Although Oxford is known for it’s famous university, it offers so much more.
Oxford does a great job in combining the rich history and culture of the city with more modern day attractions.
Paris hardly requires an introduction. Known the world over as one of the most beautifully captivating capitals to immerse yourself in, it is a city brimming with sophistication and cultural treasures.
Is Paris a suitable day trip from London?
Perhaps to suggest Paris as a day trip would surprise some, it is after all a destination that demands a much longer stay to do the city justice.
It is true, a day trip from London will only scratch the surface of the incredible delights to be unravelled within this magnificent city.
But, if time only allows a day, why not grab it and use it as a mere introduction – a snap shot to tempt you to come back for more. Paris deserves it.
Salisbury is a special city in the perfect setting and is easily reached from London for a day trip.
The surrounding countryside of Salisbury is all lush green fields and quintessential English landscapes. Even Salisbury Cathedral is set amongst picture perfect scenery.
Salisbury is well known for the famous cathedral, but there is much more to Salisbury. The city is easy to get around and has much to delight visitors from London.
Visiting Stonehenge from London is a popular choice for many. Looked after by English Heritage, Stonehenge is one of the most well known prehistoric monuments in the world.
21. Warwick Castle
Castle lover or not, travelling from London to Warwick Castle is definitely worth the effort.
Warwick Castle is an incredible medieval castle located in Warwick, in the county of Warwickshire, on the bend of the River Avon. The castle was rebuilt in the 12th century, based on the original wooden castle that was built by William the Conqueror in 1068.
The city of Winchester is located on the edge of the South Downs National Park, combining a perfect mix of rural beauty with a vibrant city. Winchester is compact, meaning getting about on foot is relatively easy. Winchester is also an accessible city, making a day trip from London possible.
Winchester, England’s ancient capital, is bursting with a rich and varied history. Once the seat of King Alfred the Great, whose statue you can see in the centre of the town. The River Itchen flows through the town, with a wide selection of independent shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Whitstable is a popular seaside town, about 5 miles north of Canterbury, on the north coast of Kent so is a real possibility when considering which day trips from London to choose.
The town dates back to before the writing of the Domesday Book and has a rich maritime history. Whitstable offers intriguing independent shops, inviting restaurants and pubs – don’t forget to try the oysters!
24. Windsor & Eton
Windsor Castle is probably one of the most well known castles and Royal residences in England, if not the world. It is certainly the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world.
The original castle was built by William the Conqueror, after the Norman invasion. It has since been occupied by each succeeding monarch.
York is one of the further away locations in our Day Trips From London guide. However, it is well worth the effort of making the trip north to the medieval city of York.
Once the Roman northern capital, York was founded in 71AD, and sits with the River Ouse flowing through it. The historic city is well known for it’s Medieval buildings and of course the famous narrow cobblestoned street, The Shambles. York is a compact city and easily explored on foot.
Will you choose one of these day trips from London? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear about it!
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