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The 5 EASIEST Daytrips Outside London

London is a humongous city, but when you’re traveling to the UK, you don’t want to spend ALL your time there. Actually if you’re smart, you can do a 1 day itinerary in London and tick off nearly allt he main sights! That means you’ll have time to take some daytrips outside London too, and see some other amazing things in the south of England. Below are 5 great ways to spend a day outside of London, all of which are within an hour or two of the city. So get your train ticket at the ready and check out these five beauties:

Daytrips outside London
Me being a tourist during my 1 day in London last time

Stonehenge

Rumoured to be inhabited since around (a mindboggling) 8000BC, this UNESCO site is the best daytrip outside of London, without a doubt! There’s a lot of impressive archaeological sites dotted around the area, but let’s face it, you’re here to see the main attraction (an additional $10). The stones are located right by the car park so you get to see them as soon as you arrive, just spare a thought for how long ago this was set up.

If you can time it right, try to attend during Summer Solstice (21 June), Winter Solstice (21st, 22nd or 23rd December) where you can ‘party’ with the neo-pagans and druids – a sight to behold!

How far is this daytrip from London?

It’s a 2.5 hour drive, about 90 miles or so. If you book a tour, you can get there, visit Stonehenge, and back to London for a late lunch.

TOP-TIPS for Stonehenge:

Stonehenge is found on the same side of London as Heathrow, so if you’re going to travel from London to Stonehenge independently. Then you can do it as soon as land in Heathrow. Note, public transport from London to Stonehenge is almost impossible. That means either renting a car and driving. Or taking an organised half-day tour from London to Stonehenge. The tour actually works out cheaper at around £55. You can see the info for the tour here.

daytrips outside london
Daytrips outside London; Stonehenge!
London daytrips
London daytrips; Stonehenge

Windsor Castle (and Eton School)

These twin towns are separated by the river Thames. Windsor is home to the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, Windsor Castle where the Queen occasionally resides. Remember, try to arrive before 11am to see the world-famous changing of the guard too.

Eton is home to Eton College, England’s most famous private school, where a huge number of former (and no doubt future) leaders were educated. Including the last 2 British Prime Ministers (make of that what you will!).

How far is this daytrip from London?

26 miles from London city centre. 1 hour by bus, train or car.

TOP-TIPS for Windsor & Eton:

Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor are all on the same side of London. For just 49GBP, you can combine ALL 3 Daytrips from London in one! That’s the best way to do it 100%.

Daytrips outside London
Daytrips outside London; The Queen’s house, Windsor Castle
Eton College daytrip from London
Eton College daytrip from London

Brighton

You’ll feel a lot further than an hour from London city when you’re lying on the beach in Brighton. Brighton pier and Brighton beach are the highlights of the trip, and if you’re there at the right time of year, surfing is a great way to spend the day. Each year Brighton plays host to Brighton festival (in May, Britain’s second-biggest arts festival kicks off each year) and Brighton Pride (July 25th marks the beginning of the UK’s largest Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Pride Festival)

How far is this daytrip from London?

75 miles directly south. 2 hours on the train, can be up to 3 hours by car.

TOP-TIPS for Brighton:

Combine with a trip to the White Cliffs of the Seven Sisters, beachy head point and a Brighton tour. Pick up and drop off from London, all for 89GBP

Day trips from london
Day trips from london; Brighton
trips from London
trips from London; Seven Sisters, combined with a Brighton daytrip

Bath

The whole beautiful city of Bath itself has been labelled a UNESCO world heritage site. The city is famous for its hot springs, Roman Baths and amazing, and ancient architecture. The whole place is quintessentially English! The Roman baths are over 2000 years old and are fuelled by England’s only mineral fuelled hot springs – it costs around $15 to enjoy. Bath Abbey, England’s last gothic church is another great site, and from the top ($8) you can enjoy an awesome view of the city.

Take the train from London to Bath Spa – it should take around 90 minutes.

How far is this daytrip from London?

75 miles directly south. 2 hours on the train, can be up to 3 hours by car.

TOP-TIPS for Bath:

Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor are all on the same side of London. For just 49GBP, you can combine ALL 3 Daytrips from London in one! That’s the best way to do it 100%.

London daytrips
London daytrips; Bath
London daytrips
London daytrips; The Roman Baths in Bath

Oxford

 You’ll feel more intelligent by just walking around this city, home to the oldest university in the UK and one of the oldest in the world! The college system runs well and individual colleges allow tourists to explore at certain times – check out Christ Church to see where they filmed some of Harry Potter and Magdalen for a step back in time to when Oscar Wilde, CS Lewis and Seamus Heaney were roaming around

Take the train from London Paddington to Oxford, should take an hour. Try to book in advance online for discounted tickets.

How far is this daytrip from London?

56 miles west of London, about an hour in a car or train.

TOP-TIPS for Oxford:

Combine a daytrip from London to Oxford with Stratford, the home of William Shakespeare. AND even through in Warwick Castle, and the Cotswolds for good measure! That’s a cracker of a day for 65GBP.

daytrips outside London
daytrips outside London; Oxford
daytrips outside London
daytrips outside London; Oxford University

Final thoughts on Daytrips outside London

England is steeped in history, all the way from the north and things to do in Whitley Bay, to the south. and there is no end of potential daytrips outside London. Personally, though, I think these 5 spots, spread over 2 days, is the perfect blend of history, nature and culture. That combined with 1 or 2 days sight-seeing in London and you’ll be all set. Happy travels!

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13 thoughts on “5 EASIEST DayTrips Outside London

  1. Just got back from a weekend in London. Thanks to the article, I was able to make the best out of my really short trip. I also discovered this sightseeing bus tour which covers most of the tourist destinations in the city. It is a 2 day unlimited hop on hop off so you can get down at any hot spot and get back on the tour from the same location, there is a bus roughly every 20 minutes if i remember right. Purchased the ticket from this website: https://www.extrapolitan.com/city/london-sightseeing-bus-tour

    I also did a free walking tour which was really informative and interesting. We were a group of around 20 and the starting point was right outside the Temple tube station. Would really urge first time visitors in London to go on both these tours.

  2. Seamus Heaney is STILL wandering around-far as I know!
    By the way, not quite sure why you priced everything in dollars. You won’t get far with those here! Oh and it’s Stonehenge not STONhenge. No one calls it ‘London City’ either. Good effort otherwise.

  3. I am planning to travel London next month, is London too costly ? for 7 days trip how much should i need ?

  4. Nice article! We like to explore more in England!
    The bridge at Brighton looks like the Urbain bridge in Myanmar near Mandalay! 🙂

  5. If you decide to travel by bus, make sure you book the tickets at least one month in advance if you want to get it for cheap on megabus or national express, otherwise the prices become almost as expensive as taking the trains. Or if you are travelling with a few people, hire a car and split the cost. Unfortunately, the UK isn’t cheap, but if you plan things in advance, you can save a few pounds here and there.

  6. Hi Johnny,

    The baths in… err Bath are awesome. Have you ever been to Derbyshire ?

    Some of the original spa baths were found there, albeit with more northerners to be found around them 🙂

    Cheers

    Duncan

    1. hey duncan, i went to uni in loughborough – just around the corner, right? my exgf was from derbyshire i think – gooD trivia on the spas, cheers mate 🙂

  7. I would recommend pre-booking train tickets wherever possible; UK trains can be stupidly expensive if you buy your ticket just before you travel.

    1. you’re so right Claire – the UK is crazy for expensive rail tickets, maybe the bus is a better option if you’re freestyling it?

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