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  • Writer's pictureRichard C

The Best Day Trips from London: Explore Beyond the City

Updated: Jun 29

An English  countryide  cottage

While London is a treasure trove of history, culture, and entertainment, its surroundings are equally captivating. Just a short journey away, you'll find charming towns, historic landmarks, and stunning landscapes waiting to be explored. Here are some of the best day trips from London that promise a memorable escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

1. Windsor

Highlights: Windsor Castle, Eton College, River Thames

Windsor is synonymous with royalty, and a visit to Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, is a must. Explore the State Apartments, St George’s Chapel, and the beautiful castle grounds. Afterward, take a stroll through the quaint streets of Windsor, cross the bridge to the historic Eton College, and enjoy a leisurely walk along the River Thames.

2. Stonehenge and Salisbury

Highlights: Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral

Stonehenge, one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world, is a fascinating and mysterious site. The stone circle, believed to be over 4,500 years old, continues to captivate visitors with its enigmatic origins. Combine your visit with a trip to the nearby city of Salisbury, home to the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, which boasts the tallest church spire in the UK and houses one of the best-preserved copies of the Magna Carta.

3. Oxford

Highlights: University of Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmolean Museum

Oxford, known as the "City of Dreaming Spires," is renowned for its prestigious university and stunning architecture. Wander through the historic colleges, visit the iconic Bodleian Library, and explore the fascinating exhibits at the Ashmolean Museum. Don't forget to take a peaceful punt along the River Cherwell for a unique perspective of this beautiful city.

4. Cambridge

Highlights: University of Cambridge, King’s College Chapel, The Backs

Like Oxford, Cambridge is famous for its university and picturesque setting. Admire the stunning architecture of King’s College Chapel, stroll along The Backs for scenic views of the colleges, and take a punt along the River Cam. The Fitzwilliam Museum offers a diverse collection of art and antiquities, making it a great stop for history buffs.

5. Bath

Highlights: Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, Royal Crescent

Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its Roman-built baths and Georgian architecture. Visit the well-preserved Roman Baths, explore the stunning Bath Abbey, and take a walk around the iconic Royal Crescent. Bath’s charming streets, filled with boutique shops and cafes, make it a delightful place to wander.

6. Brighton

Highlights: Brighton Pier, Royal Pavilion, The Lanes

For a seaside escape, head to Brighton. Enjoy the lively atmosphere of Brighton Pier, visit the exotic Royal Pavilion with its Indian-inspired architecture, and explore The Lanes, a maze of narrow streets filled with independent shops and cafes. Brighton’s vibrant arts scene and beachfront make it a perfect day trip for those looking to relax and have fun.

7. Canterbury

Highlights: Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, Westgate Gardens

Steeped in history, Canterbury is home to the stunning Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the centerpiece of the Anglican Church. Visit the ruins of St. Augustine’s Abbey, explore the medieval streets, and enjoy a peaceful walk in the Westgate Gardens along the River Stour.

8. The Cotswolds

Highlights: Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, Cotswold Wildlife Park

The Cotswolds, known for its rolling hills and picturesque villages, offers a quintessential English countryside experience. Visit charming villages like Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury, known for their beautiful stone cottages and scenic beauty. For animal lovers, the Cotswold Wildlife Park is a great addition to your itinerary.

Each of these day trips offers a unique glimpse into the rich history and diverse landscapes surrounding London. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient monuments, prestigious universities, or charming seaside towns, there’s a perfect escape waiting just a short journey away from the city. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover more of what England has to offer!

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