Although you can hardly run out of things to do in London, exploring other interesting locations nearby will give you an even better idea about the wealth of history, culture, and art that the UK boasts about. In fact, London is surrounded by popular landmarks, castles, and historic towns, which means that you can easily use London as a hub while you take some day trips to some of the most beautiful locations in the United Kingdom.
You have probably heard about Stonehenge as one of the most intriguing mysteries of the prehistoric world. A massive stone circle believed to have been built by our Neolithic ancestors around five thousand years ago, Stonehenge is truly an impressive site. Visitors can freely wander around on walkways and marvel at the sheer immensity of the stones and their puzzling display.
To get to Stonehenge, take a train from London Waterloo to Salisbury. The journey takes only 90 minutes and the trains run every hour. Once you get to Salisbury, find the Stonehenge Tour Bus that will get you right to the monument.
Windsor is mostly famous for the Windsor Castle, which is Queen Elizabeth’s official residence and one of the largest castles in the world. While at the castle, you can witness the Changing of the Guard, explore the Windsor Great Park and other important buildings on the grounds, including the Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and the Albert Memorial Chapel. You can also take a stroll around Windsor and you will find that there are plenty of things to do in the area. Visitors usually spent their time checking out the beautiful chapels, towers, and museums, and taking boat trips on the river.
Windsor is only 40 minutes away by train from London Waterloo and around 45 minutes by car. Being so close to Greater London, it’s a great day trip option if you’re short on time but still want to explore a bit more than just London.
The city of Bath was once a Roman hotspot due to the area’s thermal springs, which the Romans used to create what we would now call a spa facility. Naturally, the Roman heritage makes Bath one of the most unique spots to visit on a day trip from London. You can start by exploring the stunning historic spa, known as the Roman Baths Complex, which includes the Bath House, the Sacred Spring, and the Roman Temple, then visit the Thermae Bath Spa, the modern rooftop pool. Continue your trip with an exploration of the city’s impressive 18th century Georgian architecture, best represented by the Royal Crescent Complex. The grand medieval Bath Abbey and the picturesque Pulteney Bridge are also well worth your time.
Bath is only 115 miles away from London so you can get there in 90 minutes by train from London Paddington, or 2 hours 30 minutes by car. Direct trains are available twice an hour.
Oxford is well known for the historic, world-famous university, but the city is much more than just gorgeous academic buildings and it is definitely worth a day trip from London. The grand architecture, which attests to centuries of tradition and prestige, contrasts with the youthful atmosphere of the city, which is mostly populated by students. Visitors love to take a tour of the colleges, but there are also many markets, shops, museums, and quaint bridges to explore.
Getting to Oxford takes about 1 h by train from London Paddington and London Marylebone, or 1 h by bus or car from the center of London.
Since Brighton is one of the most popular seaside towns in England, there is no shortage of things to do in the city on a day trip. The city hosts the world’s oldest aquarium, the 18th-century Indian-style Royal Pavilion, and the opulent Brighton Palace Pier, and welcomes visitors with plenty of amusements and wheel rides along the pier. Brighton is also packed with flea markets, bohemian cafes and pubs, and fish & chips restaurants. The beaches are also an irresistible attraction.
Brighton is around 1 h by train from London Victoria Station or London Bridge. By car, it takes around 2 hours.
Although smaller than its academic rival Oxford, many say that Cambridge is the prettiest among the two historic university towns. Besides being greener and more tranquil, Cambridge is so close to London that a day trip will be both relaxing and interesting. You can spend hours checking the beautiful architecture of the old colleges and the collections of the town’s amazing museums. Hiring a boat to punt along the River Cam is also a great afternoon activity.
Cambridge is just 64 miles away from London so you can get there in 45 minutes by train from London King’s Cross and 70 minutes from London Liverpool Street. Trains go several times an hour. By car, it will take you around 2 hour.
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