London is a humongous city, (if you’re looking for a 1 day itinerary in London, check out my epic blog post here) one in which you could spend a week or two exploring, but when you’re on the road that city life can get to you! So if you’re feeling the urge to escape London for the day, fear not, you have plenty of options. Below are 5 great ways to spend a day outside of London, all of which are within a hour or two of the city. So get your train ticket at the ready and check out these five beauties:
1) Stonehenge: Rumoured to be inhabited since around (a mindboggling) 8000BC, this UNESCO sight is well worth a day trip from London. There’s a lot of impressive archeological sites dotted around the area, but let’s face it, you’re hear 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 though 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!
Stonhenge is accessible by tours from London (a pricey $70), or take the train from London to Salisbury and connect with a bus from there.
2) Windsor (and Eton): 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. 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.
Take the train from London Waterloo to Windsor and Eton Riverside. The journey takes around an hour
3) 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)
Take the train from London Bridge directly to Brighton station, it should take around an hour.
4) Bath: The city itself has been labeled a UNESCO world heritage site. The city is famous for it’s hot springs, roman paths and amazing, 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.
5) 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.
So London is a great place to visit, steeped in history and culture but sometimes you just need to escape, and no better places to escape to than these 5 gems listed above. Happy travels!
With so many airports across the UK it’s never been easier to explore the region. If London is your destination of choice it’s easy to find both Heathrow airport parking and Gatwick Airport parking online. Alternatively, if you’re venturing further north, Leeds Bradford airport parking is equally as painless to locate.