Spending your holiday in London is indeed fabulous and exciting. As a city where mesmerizing history meets flashy modernity, London has a lot to offer. However, if you are either feeling adventurous or drained by London’s electrifying atmosphere, these wonderful destinations in the outskirts of London await your visit. From dreamy medieval villages to sun-kissed beach towns, these places make amazing day trips from London. They are also perfect for weekend trips from London, as you only need 1-2 hours to get there from the vibrant city center. So, here are the 12 best day trips from London!
Best Day Trips from London – Summary
- Elmley Nature Reserve
Famous for: Centuries-old Roman baths, thermal spas, and Georgian architecture
How to get there: 30-minute train ride from London Paddington Station
Starting strong with the town where the Ancient Romans kicked their stress away by dipping themselves in lavish thermal baths. Pun unintended – that was the background of Bath’s name. You can see the centuries-old Roman baths in the town, adorned with well-preserved statues and elegant pillars. They are surrounded by elegant Georgian buildings, telling the tale of Bath’s rich history.
In Bath, you can do as the Romans did. Soak yourself in the mineral-infused thermal baths that are scattered around the town. Besides that, you can stroll around the town and marvel at the landmarks, such as Bath Abbey and Pulteney Beach. Alternatively, walk along the lovely Royal Victoria Park and enjoy the refreshing greeneries. With its historical wonders and proximity, Bath is one of the best day trips from London.
Famous for: a must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site that keeps a lot of mysteries
How to get there: 1 hour and 30 minutes train ride from London to Salisbury Station and 10-minute tour bus ride from Salisbury Station to the site; 2 hour drive from London
Tick off your Wonders of the World bucket list as you arrive at this fascinating site. Stonehenge features a prehistoric circle of 13-feet-tall sarsen stones. Every corner of this site whispers mystery, keeping questions unanswered for years. Nonetheless, it becomes Stonehenge’s distinctive charm that attracts visitors from all over the world. Besides marveling at the unique structure, you can also expect ceremonies in the summer and winter solstice. Therefore, Stonehenge is one of the best day trips from London you must take during your vacation.
Famous for: Stonehenge, the town’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and medieval villages
How to get there: One-hour train ride from London Paddington Station to Swindon and 30-minute local bus ride
Tucked within the world-famous Stonehenge site, Avebury is often overlooked. However, a visit to this hidden gem won’t leave you disappointed. Avebury comprises a village and the less-known Avebury Henge, which looks like a miniature of Stonehenge. The circular formation of pill-shaped stones looks marvelous with the backdrop of verdant, meadowed hills. Moreover, the village of Avebury houses a medieval-styled museum, an elegant mansion, and adorable thatched-roof cottages. With all it has to offer, Avebury is one of the day trips from London worthy for you to check out.
Famous for: Following the footsteps of William Shakespeare
How to get there: Two hours and 15 minutes train ride from London Marylebone
Whether you are a romantic literature fan or a casual traveler, Stratford-upon-Avord will sweep you off your feet. The dreamy riverside town keeps the record of world-famous playwright William Shakespeare, as he was born there. Immerse yourself in the world of the Bard by Shakespeare’s birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Then, take a stroll along the River Avon and enjoy the charming Tudor architecture. Alternatively, you can go for a boat tour of the canal basin and cruise along the West Midlands waterways.
Famous for: Shipwreck-dotted beach and fresh seafood
How to get there: One-hour train ride from St Pancras International to Folkstone, transferring on a 30-minute bus ride; two hours drive by car
Visiting Dungeness means setting yourself in the middle of nowhere. Yes, we kid you not. All you can find in Dungeness is an extensive area of sand kissed by an aquamarine ocean. Shipwrecks and fishing boats are scattered throughout the coastline, creating an eerie yet enticing atmosphere in Dungeness. Furthermore, visitors stop by Dungeness to have some delicious seafood. You can order lobster, crab rolls, or smoked cod with some warm bread on the side. We recommend going to Dungeness Fish Hut to get freshly caught seafood. So, if you are looking for an unusual day trip from London, Dungeness is for you to check out!
Famous for: Sunkissed beaches, vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, and lively party districts.
How to get there: One hour by train from Victoria, Blackfriars, or London Bridge; around two hours by car
Missing the sea during your trip to England? Well, look no further than Brighton. The coastline features both pebbled shores and sandy beaches, where you can laze under the sun and get tanned. The Brighton Pier stands out with its big and bold sign, inviting you to embrace the seaside spirit. Ride a vintage carousel and grab some chips to get a touch of a nostalgic summer. Moreover, get lost in the winding streets of Lanes, which is lined with eclectic shops and vibrant street art. With only 47 miles from the center, Brighton is one of the most fantastic day trips from London you can take.
Famous for: Historical sites, medieval Old Town, and seaside charms
How to get there: One and a half hours train ride from London Bridge; 2 hours drive by car
Hastings knows nothing about ordinary. At the first glance, it might look like a usual, summer getaway-worthy seaside town. However, Hastings is a treasure trove of history. It keeps the record of the battle between King Harold and William the Conqueror in 1066. For that reason, Victorian resorts, medieval old towns, and a centuries-old pier call the town home. The main attraction of Hastings is the Old Town, which features pastel-colored houses, antique shops, laidback cafes, and a clifftop viewpoint.