10 Best Day Trips From London That Are Worth Taking

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London, the capital of England, is an amazing city which combines both the traditional and the modern aspects of a big city. While there is a lot to do in the city, there are some incredible day trips from London you shouldn’t miss too.

Regardless of your way of transportation, it is guaranteed you will have the time of your life around London. With this in mind, here is our list of the best day trips from London.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet London (Travel Guide)

10 Best Day Trips from London

1. Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath

Stonehenge - Day Trips From London

The most famous of the all-day trips from London start at Windsor Castle. It has been used by the British Royal Family for the previous 9 centuries as one of their residencies.

Windsor Castle is considered the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and here you will be able to explore the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel.

Next, on the tour, you’ll have the chance to witness the amazing rock displays in Salisbury, Stonehenge.

Built around the year of 2500 BC, this temple made up of stones aligned according to the movements of the sun was actually built in multiple stages.

Stonehenge is one of the most visited spots in Europe and is located just 2 hours from London.

Finish your excursion at the city of Bath, home of the famous literature author Jane Austen. Bath is a stunning city with a rich history, sandstone architecture and of course, the Roman baths.

Our top recommended tours:

2. Oxford, Warwick Castle, and Stratford-upon-Avon

Oxford, Warwick Castle, and Stratford-upon-Avon one of the best day trips from London

This is one of the most sought-after day trips from London and is perfect for those in love with literature and history. One of the highlights of this excursion is in Stratford-upon-Avon – a visit to Shakespeare’s birthplace and his Schoolroom from the 1750s.

This charming town also hosts theaters of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The university city of Oxford is yet another top visit during this day trip.

University of Oxford’s ivy-walls, courtyards, chapels and libraries (over 100 of them!), will take your breath away.

Other than the university, the city is considered one of the most beautiful in England due to its abundance of historic architecture and many narrow passageways to explore.

To make it an even a better day, a trip to this region from London includes a visit to the famous Warwick Castle with over one thousand years of history.

Warwick Castle was once a fortress and during your tour of the grounds, you will learn about many legends of this medieval place. Situated by the River Avon, the castle is still inhabited today but the majority of it is open to tourists.

Take some time to stroll around its gardens populated with many peacocks and, if you’re lucky with your timing you might be able to watch a medieval re-enactment.

Our top recommended tours:

3. Leeds Castle, Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury

Cliffs of Dover, England

This tour covers Kent County and some of its famous sights. On the way to Kent County, you will drive pass Greenwich where some tours include a stop at the Royal Observatory, which marks the Universal Time (UTC) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

A highlight of Kent County is Leeds Castle, a beautiful old castle that has gone through many changes and restorations over the years. Around Leeds Castle, do not miss the opportunity to visit the medieval town of Canterbury. 

Here you can observe the stunning Canterbury Cathedral and many other historical constructions. Your last and furthest stop is at the White Cliffs of Dover (1.5h drive from London). 

These stunning white chalk cliff formations along the coastline facing France and the Strait of Dover.

Our top recommended tours:

4. Downton Abbey and Highclere Castle

Downton Abbey and Highclere Castle, England

Downton Abbey is the magnificent estate of the Crawley family that gives the name to the most-watched British TV series. Highclere Castle in Berkshire is the real-life Downton Abbey and only a little over 1h from London.

Downton Abbey and Highclere Castle are close enough from London, and each other, to fit in one of your day trips from London.

This day trip allows you to discover the grounds and stately rooms of the iconic Highclere Castle and you will also have the opportunity to visit Cogges Manor Farm and the fictional Downton Village (the Cotswolds village of Bampton in real life).

Our top recommended tours:

5. Cambridge

Cambridge England

The university city of Cambridge is beautiful at any time of the year! One of the more traditional activities to do in Cambridge is punting on the River Cam.

Punting is done on a flat-bottomed square wooden boat designed to be used on small rivers or other shallow waters. Relax with a glass of wine in hand while your boat chauffeur does all the hard work for you!

Trinity College is one of the most important colleges of Cambridge University and most tours will take you there. Trinity College students have already won 32 Nobel Prizes, making it the most prized college in the world.

Make sure to visit the Bridge of Sighs which is accessed through the courtyard of St. John’s College and is considered the most beautiful bridge in the city.

Other highlights to see in Cambridge are the Round Church, Caius College, King’s College, Corpus Christi College, The Eagle Pub and Isaac Newton’s famous apple tree.

Our top recommended tours:

6. Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace, England

Do you want to experience the best of what England’s countryside has to offer? Well, this day trip from London does exactly that.

A tour to the Cotswolds will allow you to observe the timber houses of Burford Village, go shopping at the market town of Stow-on-the-Wold and relax at the village of Bourton-on-the-Water.

On this same excursion, at just 1.5 hours from London, you will also have the chance to visit the grand Blenheim Palace with a guided tour of its many rooms.

Besides being the set of several movies, this palace in Oxfordshire became famous for being the birthplace of former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Our top recommended tours:

7. Liverpool

Liverpool, England

A day trip to Liverpool includes a 2.5h train ride from London and a guided tour of the city focusing on The Beatles’ story. The 2-hour Magical Mystery tour takes you to Penny Lane and the Cavern Club, where the band played 292 times.

During your own free time, dedicate it to visit other sites around Liverpool such as Albert Dock by the Mersey River, where Tate Liverpool Art Gallery and Merseyside Maritime Museum are located. Albert Dock also houses many great restaurants and bars.

Our top recommended tours:

8. Brighton

Ferris wheel in Brighton

If you love the beach and are visiting London during the summer, Brighton can be a great day trip option. This little piece of quirky beach paradise in England welcomes many visitors in the summer who look for a place in the sun on the rocky beach and swimming in the usually cold sea.

The traditional striped chairs are available for those who do not want the discomfort of sitting on stones.

The Victorian Brighton Pier is one of the most unique and well-known buildings in the seaside area of Brighton. Filled with small shops, bistros, bars, cafes, amusements, and a funfair, there’s enough to do to occupy a couple of hours.

The walkway along the beach is buzzing in the Summer months with live music, DJs and more bars and restaurants to enjoy.

You must also visit the North Lanes for a shopping experience with a hippie and bohemian twist. The train journey from London to Brighton takes around 1 hour.

Our top recommended tours:

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet London (Travel Guide)

9. Warner Bros. Studio

Warner Bros. Studio from London

London is the place to be if you are a Harry Potter fan! When not in the wizarding world, much of the story of Harry Potter is set in London and its surroundings.

During your Warner Bros. Studio Tour, you can go behind the scenes and visit the sets such as Dumbledore’s office, Diagon Alley and Ministry of Magic.

You can also observe the costumes and other objects used in the hugely popular films and visit the famous Platform 9 ¾ to take photos in front of the Hogwarts Express.

The average tour lasts about 3.5h and you can book onto one of the organized day trips from London to make your visit easier.

Our top recommended tours:

10. Thorpe Park

The amusement park of Thorpe Park is only a 1-hour drive from London, just past Heathrow Airport. It is one of the best day trips from London for families or to simply get away from the busy capital.

Besides housing the top 5 roller coasters in the United Kingdom, Thorpe Park contains over 30 other rides, attractions, and live presentations.

The park is easily accessed by car but it is also possible to book an organized tour.

Our top recommended passes:

London for a Day

Just like most major touristic cities in the world, London offers the option of a Hop-On Hop-Off bus pass for a day around the city. But, you can also choose to do it on your own using the many transport options or book a full-day tour with an organized itinerary.

Either way, you will get to see most of the iconic highlights of the English capital.

Start your day at Westminster Abbey, where coronation ceremonies have been held since 1066.

From there, head to the Houses of Parliament, admire the famous Big Ben and cross the bridge over to the London Eye, the most famous Ferris wheel in the world which gives you the best bird’s eye view of the River Thames and beyond.

Make sure to watch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace (11 AM) and finish your day with a visit to the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Our top recommended tours:

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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1 thought on “10 Best Day Trips From London That Are Worth Taking”

  1. Liverpool is a bit far for a day trip, isn’t it?
    If you are going that far, you might as well stay there.

    A beautiful day trip however is Winchester, the old English capital.


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