9 Best Day Trips from London

Day Trips from London UK – Where to Go ?

While London boasts countless exciting attractions, sometimes it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle for a while and to take a day trip to explore another part of the UK.

In this handy travel guide, we look at 9 of the best day trips from the city that you can enjoy during your weekend break or short holiday in the capital.

1. Bath

Just a 90 minute train ride from the heart of London takes you to the gorgeous city of Bath, best known for its Roman heritage and beautiful sandstone buildings.

Travellers on a budget will enjoy a free guided walking tour of the city which encompasses all of the top sights and attractions from the Abbey to the famous Crescent, best known as the filming location for the musical Oliver!

While you’re in the city, the Roman Baths complex is a must-visit, and offers hands-on activities for all the family while the Jane Austen Centre gives an insight into the life of one of the city’s most famous former residents.

Fans of fashion will love to pay a visit to the Bath Fashion Museum which showcases stunning clothing from the 17th century up to the present day, while the famous Pump Room is an ideal spot to enjoy a sophisticated afternoon tea before heading back to the capital.

Bath in Somerset

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2. Oxford

On a direct line from Paddington Station, Oxford can be reached in under an hour’s train ride from the city centre and offers an immersive cultural experience for your day out.

Visit the famous Christ Church College, best known as a filming location for the Harry Potter movies, or explore Britain’s oldest public museum, the Ashmolean, where you can see fascinating art and architecture exhibits from around the world. This museum is a great addition to your cheap day out, since entrance is completely free of charge.

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is a wonderful place to discover fossils and exotic insects as well as the remains of a skeletal T-Rex. Take a stroll through the beautiful botanical gardens or splash out on a punt and take a trip up the river.

Radcliffe Camera and All Souls College Oxford University

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3. The Cotswolds

If you’re longing for a taste of the countryside after spending a few days in the heart of London, head to The Cotswolds for the day. Although it’s possible to travel to this beautiful region by public transport, travelling by car will give you the freedom to explore the small traditional villages that make this area so picturesque.

Bourton on the Water is a gorgeous spot with a motor museum, authentic cafes and a pretty river winding through the centre of the village, while animal lovers will enjoy a visit to the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens with its rhinos, meerkats and lemurs.

Landscape view of the Cotswolds

4. Cambridge

Few university towns are as celebrated as Cambridge, and you can visit this lovely spot on the banks of the River Thames in less than an hour’s train journey from King’s Cross.

Visit the breathtaking 16th century King’s College Chapel with its stunning Gothic architecture, or discover the treasures held at the Fitzwilliam Museum where you can find Egyptian and Roman artefacts as well as beautiful artworks.

Punt down the river and see the Backs, the gorgeous parks and gardens that extend down to the Thames or enjoy a drink at The Eagle, the haunt of famous academics for generations.

Bridge of Sigh at Saint John's College, Cambridge

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5. Brighton

One of the UK’s most famous seaside town’s, Brighton is an hour by train from the capital and is a great destination for coastal fun and games.

While its main attraction is the shingle beach, Brighton has plenty of other popular attractions such as The Royal Pavilion, transformed in the early part of the 19th century into an exotic palace for the Prince Regent, the Brighton Palace Pier and the town’s museum and art gallery. Go window shopping down the famous Lanes, or take a stroll by the marina before catching the train back to the big smoke.

Brighton Pier in England UK

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6. Stonehenge

One of the UK’s most iconic landmarks, the standing stones at Stonehenge are visited by countless tourists every year.

Take a guided tour from London or drive under your own steam to this attraction in Wiltshire, just a two hour journey from the capital. Here, you can visit the world class visitor’s centre which gives you a unique insight into the history of this ancient spot before getting up close to the famous landmark itself.

Stonehenge near Salisbury Wiltshire UK

7. Warner Bros Studio Tour

Join an organised coach trip or take the short drive to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Leavesden. Fans of Harry Potter are sure to delight in this thrilling excursion into the world of movie making where you can get up close to sets from the movies, interact with costumed performers and take photographs to your heart’s content.

Afterwards, sample a Butterbeer in the cafe and then shop until you drop in the enormous gift shop which is packed with all kinds of Hogwarts memorabilia.

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

8. Bristol

Head west from the capital and experience the beauty of the Avon Valley on a day trip to Bristol. Here, you can see such famous sights as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and go on board the SS Great Britain, once a passenger steamship but now a fascinating museum attraction giving an insight into life at sea in the 19th century.

Children and animal lovers will enjoy a day at the Bristol Zoo, while those looking for cheap attractions will love the many free museums that have their home in the city, including the Georgian House, Red Lodge and the M Shed.

bristol cathedral city

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9. Paris

For a really unusual day out from London, why not consider heading to another country? The Eurostar departs from Waterloo Station and a one way ticket can cost as little as £29, meaning that a visit to France is well within the reach of most travellers.

See such iconic sights as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur before strolling up the Champs Elysee and taking a boat trip up the Seine. Keen shoppers won’t want to miss a trip to the famous Les Halles, while art lovers will want to make a stop at The Louvre. When the sun goes down, hop back on the train and you’ll be back in Blighty in no time.

Paris Eiffel Tower in Spring