12 Day Trips From London

12 Day Trips From London

London is one of the most exciting and vibrant metropolitan cities of the world. While spending time in the city is a must-do, if you're lucky enough to have more than a few days in town, you might want to consider taking a day trip (or two) to explore some of the UK's other gems.

The best part of being in Europe is how convenient it is to get from city to city by train. You can easily get a rail pass from companies like Rail Europe and travel to hundreds of destinations within the continent. 

But before you get that ticket, here's some "destination inspiration" for fun and easy day trips from London that you can make during your stay!

 

1. York

York England

Train Time from London: Approx. 2hrs

Oh, how I love York. York is such a charming little town just north of London that is absolutely worth a visit. You can spend your day wandering around "The Shambles," learning history while exploring the walled city, or drinking tea and champagne at Betty's (my favorite). You can easily walk the city in an entire day, or take one of the hop-on hop-off tour buses if that's your sorta thing.

Perfect for:  Couples, solo travelers, families, groups of friends, history lovers, and cultural travel

Search train tickets to York

 

2. Oxford

Train Time from London: Approx. 1hr

If you're not really in the mood to go very far from London, check out Oxford for the day. You can see the gorgeous, historic university in the heart of town, visit the majestic Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill) just outside the city center, or just wander around the cute city streets. There is lots to explore around Oxford--and even more to hunt down if you're a Harry Potter fan! *Oxford was featured in various scenes of the Harry Potter films, in case you didn't know...

Perfect for:  Couples, solo travelers, families, groups of friends, history lovers, Harry Potter fans, and cultural travel

Search train tickets to Oxford

 

3. The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds England

Train Time from London: Approx. 1hr 40min

If you're interested in finding yourself in the middle of a fairy tale world, I would suggest a visit to the Cotswolds. Just outside of Oxford is the idyllic region of the Cotswolds. In my opinion, the best way to explore is by taking The Secret Cottage Tour. You can read more about what that tour entails and how to experience the Cotwolds right here! *Pro tip: As I note in that post, you'll want to take the train from London to Moreton-in-Marsh for the easiest access to the area. There isn't a city named "The Cotswolds."

Perfect for:  Couples, solo travelers, families, groups of friends, history lovers, and cultural travel

Search train tickets to The Cotswolds (such as Moreton-in-Marsh)

 

4. Harry Potter Studio Tour

Train Time from London: Approx. 20min

For all you Harry Potter fans out there, you simply cannot make a trip to England without visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour just outside of London. Escape into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and see how all of the films were made right on the same sets that they were filmed. I mean...how often do you get to say that you were literally hanging out in Dumbledore's office?! This studio tour is absolutely a must see, especially since it's so closeby!

*Word to the wise: Make sure you get on the direct (express) connection train to Watford Junction from London Euston. I made the mistake once of getting on the local train, which unfortunately stops at every single station on the way (it took 45 minutes instead of 20...ugh), Once you arrive, a Warner Bros. Studio Tour decked out in HP logos will pick you right up from the station. You can't miss it.

Perfect for:  Families, solo travelers, Harry Potter fans, groups of friends, and movie buffs

Search train tickets to Watford Junction

 

5. Brighton

Train Time from London: Approx. 1hr

Just an hour outside of London is the cheery, beachy town of Brighton. This city basically has the beach scene that London is missing. The best time to come is in the warmer season as the winter season tends to limit the amount of outdoor activities you can do. Come here to stroll down the pier or walk along the beach, see the colorful downtown area, and maybe stop in a trendy cafe or two. The city is also known for their lively LGBTQ community.

Perfect for:  Couples, solo travelers, LGBTQ travelers, groups of friends, families, and outdoorsy travelers

Search train tickets to Brighton

 

6. Bath

Train Time from London: Approx. 1hr 30min

Bath is known for being a quaint, countryside destination that is famous for its well-preserved Roman-era bathhouses, 18th-century Georgian architecture, and honey-colored bath stone that is used throughout the town's architecture. A trip to Bath is like a trip into history. *Pro tip: if you're feeling up for it, you can combine this visit with a trip to Stonehenge, too. It might be a bit tight for some, but just know it can be done!

Perfect for:  Couples, solo travelers, history lovers, groups of friends, and cultural travel

Search train tickets to Bath

 

7. Edinburgh

Train Time from London: Approx. 4hr 30min --OR-- Flight Time from London: Approx. 1hr 20min

At the north end of the UK is the ever-popular town of Edinburgh, Scotland. While it might be a bit long for a train ride (clocking in at under 5 hours), you can always hop on a quick flight in the morning and be in the city in less than 2 hours. Visitors can enjoy the medieval influence and architecture of the Old Town, alongside the elegant charm and Georgian influence of the New Town. There is also a lively food and art scene that shouldn't be missed while visiting.

Perfect for:  Couples, families, solo travelers, groups of friends, foodies, history lovers, and cultural travel

Search train tickets to Edinburgh

 

8. Cambridge

Source

Source

Train Time from London: Approx. 50min

Talk about a history lover's paradise! Cambridge boasts one of the world's most prestigious, oldest, and prettiest universities right in town. The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209, so it's bound to have some really unique stories right within those old walls. Come here to relax around the town, explore the quaint passageways between the historic buildings, and grab a pint or some food at the local pub.

Perfect for:  Groups of friends, solo travelers, couples, history lovers, cultural travel, and educational travel

Search train tickets to Cambridge

 

9. Stonehenge

Train Time from London: Approx. 1hr 30min

I don't think I need to speak for Stonehenge because this miraculous, prehistoric site speaks for itself. It's not too far from London, so history lovers should definitely put this on their list. It is worth saying that Stonehenge will not take up your full day's itinerary, so you can easily combine it with a nearby city like Bath or Salisbury. *Pro tip: When you arrive to the train station in Salisbury, you'll need to take a bus or taxi to get to the actual site. The bus is probably your cheapest option and costs around £14 for the trip only, or £26 for trip and site entry.

Perfect for:  History lovers, couples, solo travelers, cultural travel, and groups of friends

Search train tickets to Salisbury (for easiest way to Stonehenge)

 

10. Liverpool

Train Time from London: Approx. 2hr 10min

Music and maritime history are the 2 most popular things to come out of Liverpool, England. Big fans of The Beatles, or just legendary music in general, can add this British hub to their destination list. Stop in at the popular Cavern Club, where the Beatles once played on stage, or spend your time exploring museums or restaurant hopping around town.

Perfect for:  Music lovers, cultural travel, families, couples, solo travelers, and groups of friends

Search train tickets to Liverpool

 

11. Rye

Train Time from London: Approx. 1hr 45min

Rye is an incredibly adorable, historic, and quaint city just near the coast in East Sussex. This little medieval town is a hidden gem within England and is a great place for exploring the cobblestone roads, half-timbered houses, and plenty of cozy tea rooms. There is even a street called Mermaid Street... Yes, please!

Perfect for:  Couples, solo travelers, families, history lovers, cultural travel, and groups of friends

Search train tickets to Rye

 

12. Windsor

Train Time from London: Approx. 1hr

For travelers looking to get an inside look at royal life outside of London, take a trip to the Queen's favorite weekend home at Windsor Castle. Visitors can take tours of the castle grounds and see things like the State Apartments and the Great Park. If you're into horses or racing, you can check out Ascot Racecourse, which is just a few miles from the castle. For families traveling with small children, Legoland Windsor might also be a good option for the afternoon.

Perfect for:  Families, cultural travel, couples, solo travelers, history lovers, and groups of friends

Search train tickets to Windsor & Eton

 

BONUS: Paris

Train Time from London: Approx. 2hr 15min

Alright, so it's not in the UK... But Paris is always a good idea! It definitely is possible to do a day trip from Paris because the train ride is only a little over a 2 hours. Obviously, I'd recommend spending more than just 1 day in Paris; but if it's the only chance you have to see it, then do it.

Search train tickets to Paris

 

A Few Other Destination Ideas:

 


Have you ever taken a day trip from London? --OR-- Do you have any other day trip recommendations that you'd add to this list? Comment below with more tips!

*Disclosure: Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links. It is at no risk to you and does not cost you anything extra. All money made from affiliate links go directly back into maintaining this website and making it better for you.


Similar Posts For You