Day trips are one of the greatest pleasures of travel. They give you the chance to expand your trip without having to spend money on finding a place to stay, and are one of the many benefits of visiting (or living in) a centralized location. London is one of those cities, and I have listed a few ideas for fun and easy getaways departing from London. I have personally taken these day trips and I guarantee they are worth the journey!
Brighton Beach (50 minutes from London by train)
With fares starting at 5 pounds to travel from London to Brighton, this day trip is a no-brainer. It is a quick getaway to this quaint seaside town. With a pavilion at its center filled with restaurants and rides and streets lined with shops and bars, this is a fun place to escape the city life and breathe the ocean air. The beach is comprised of pebbles, but they offer tons of seating and, of course, a chance to dip your toes in the English Channel.
Stratford: (Two hours by train from London)
Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare and is full of fun things to do. You can go see a Shakespeare play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, visit the actual birthplace of Shakespeare, or take a stroll around Anne Hathaway’s cottage (Shakespeare’s wife not the actress). It is a beautiful, small town filled with history, charm, and nightlife.
Stonehenge (Two hours by bus from London)
This is an obvious day trip from London but one that is worth the ride. Stonehenge is a modern wonder of the world and is one of those sites that you have to see once in your life. Getting to Stonehenge isn’t too challenging. It is an hour and 24 minute bus ride to the gothic town of Salisbury and then a short bus ride from Salisbury to the site of the 40-ton rocks. There are a lot of tours available from London, and I recommend you take a tour so that you know what you are looking at and get the background of what makes Stonehenge worth visiting. It is important to note that most tours combine Stonehenge with other places such as Windsor, Bath, or Oxford.
Oxford: (One hour from London by Bus)
Oxford University is a landmark in England and the world. Oxford is the oldest university in the world and contains so much history. Some of the scenes from Harry Potter movies were shot inside these buildings, and Oxford’s main hall was used as inspiration for the movie’s Great Hall. As mentioned previously, tours to Oxford are commonly combined with other places such as Stonehenge, Bath, Stratford, etc.
Brussels: (Just over 2 hours from London by Train)
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and is just over two hours by train through France from London. This is probably my favorite day trip from London thus far. Entering Grand Place fills your senses with chocolate, beer, and waffles. Brussels is an eclectic city with multiple official languages and the home of the European Union. The people are friendly, the food and beer are delicious, and the city is beautiful. Absolutely worth the trip out of London for at least a day. You can read more about my trip to Brussels here.
Paris: (Two hours from London via Chunnel)
When I first visited London back in 2007, I was stunned by how easy it was to get to Paris. Two hours via Chunnel through the English Channel plops you right into Paris. Paris was a stunning city filled with art museums, cafes, and historic sites. You can read about my trip to Paris here.
And there you have it! This is by no means a comprehensive list of places you can travel to for a day out of London. If you have other ideas, comment below and let me know where you have been!
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