10 of the best day trips from London

London, England is a popular travel destination for travelers from around the world, and once you fall in love with this fantastic city, chances are you’ll be hooked. For people who frequently cross the pond or visit the London area, the possibilities in, near and outside the city seem almost endless.



That said, if you’re planning on spending more than three days in the city, you should definitely take the opportunity to get out of London and explore the rest of the UK. To help you out, here are the ten best day trips from London to add to any traveller’s itinerary.

ten Bath & Stonehenge

One day trip in particular that is an absolute must is a short jaunt to see some of the top attractions. Only a few hours away, visitors can explore Bath and the famous Stonehenge– all in one trip if you book a tour or excursion in advance (popular tours like this often sell out quickly).

These iconic locations are full of history and fun for the whole family. For those who prefer not to spend a whole day visiting all the sites, there are also individual tours available for either location and faster options like taking the train instead of a car or a tourist bus.

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Stonehenge

9 Cliffs of Dover, Dover Castle and the English Channel

Another option to cross off your to-do list is a pleasant, leisurely trip to the Cliffs of Dover, Dover Castle and the English Channel. As travelers make their way towards the towering white cliffs, the castle and the vast English Channel are easily visible.

But visitors should check out these three important sites. Stroll along the shore of this wonderful waterway and get a different perspective of the 350 foot high cliffs.

After spending some time below, it is highly recommended to ascend to Dover Castle for a tour of this historic structure/military fortress and its strategically designed grounds.

8 The Cotswolds

For travelers looking to see a breathtaking little country village with all the British trimmings, they need look no further than The Cotswolds. This lesser-known spot is only a few hours from central London (by train or car) and is a great option for anyone looking for the quintessential British experience.

To visit this charming town, all you need to do is pre-book a full-day tour (group, small, or private). When booking this delightful excursion, don’t forget to splurge and add morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea.

Related: Why The Cotswolds Are Considered Outstanding Natural Beauty

seven University of Cambridge or Oxford

These universities need no introduction. Both are beautiful colleges with history, easy to navigate and make for the perfect day trip from London. Here, visitors will find other must-see attractions to explore, as well as a host of quaint cafes, bars and restaurants.

Whichever college you choose to visit, the travel time to get to either is less than two hours by bus or train. It is one of the most affordable options and is ideal for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs.

So stop University of Cambridge or Oxford whether you want to get away from the bustling city for a day or just a few hours.

6 Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Harry Potter fans can revel in all the parts of London that pay homage to the books and movies. Travelers can opt for self-guided and small-group tours around the city or opt for the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

Here, die-hard fans can enjoy “Potter” in all its glory just outside of town. Not only can moviegoers relive some of Harry Potter’s best scenes, they can also learn absolutely everything there is to know about these beloved films and see how they were made.


5 Downton Abbey TV and Movie Locations

Likewise, Downton Abbey fans can get in on the action and check out the various filming locations of this iconic hit TV series. It’s yet another fun way to get out of town for a day.

Plus, there’s a plethora of daytime activities Downton Abbey tours of London available, many of which involve stopping at other locations mentioned above.

So if you are a fan of Downton Abbey, who also wants to visit, for example, the Cotswolds or the University of Oxford, there is certainly a day trip that can meet all these interests.

4 Brighton and Brighton Beach

For travelers who want to possibly have fun in the sun or just appreciate the sleepy seaside towns nearby in the UK, then a trip to Brighton and Brighton Beach is in order.

About an hour away by train, visitors can vacation like many Londoners. Even if you travel to this wonderful seaside region of the UK during the colder months, there is still a variety of things to see and do here.

That said, if you were hoping to bask on the beach, it’s recommended to do so during the summer or when the temperatures allow it.

3 Bristol, England

Another city in England to visit via a day trip is Bristol. This city is excellent for sea enthusiasts, historical old town lovers and explorers. Here, visitors can enjoy the sights, numerous museums, shops, markets, restaurants, and beautiful landscapes/cityscapes.

If this day trip piques your interest, the easiest way to get to merry old Bristol is by train, which takes around two hours.

As a bonus, if you don’t mind going on your own without a guide, you can combine this city tour with Bath since it’s only half an hour from Bristol.

2 Edinburgh, Scotland

One of the advantages of visiting London is that it is the perfect place to experience a few other places like Edinburgh, Scotland.

Travelers can easily take a short flight or hop on the train to discover the wonderful world that awaits them beyond England. Although visiting Edinburgh and checking off several popular attractions like Edinburgh Castle can easily be done on a day trip, you should consider spending at least a few days, if not weekends, here.

If you decide to stay a few days, visit the rest of Scotland and be sure to explore the Highlands.

1 Paris, France

Finally, travelers looking to kick their day of exploring up a notch should use the Eurostar and stop ParisFrance.

Book business class and have breakfast on the way to the city of love. Once there, spend the day in the city, admire the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre, taste French pastries at the The Two Magotsand shop your way.

This day trip from London to Paris will allow you to spend a few hours in this incredible city, which is not enough time to appreciate all of Paris, but it is definitely a good start.

About Thomas Thorton

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