Top 10 Day Trips from London (United Kingdom)

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Ah, the city of London- where the famous Big Ben is located, old towers that remind us of a fairytale, the London Eye, and so on. It’s no wonder why many tourists fell in love with the place- the beautiful city has a lot to offer. You might think that London is already enough for you to satisfy your curiosity for adventure; however, there are a lot of places outside London that you should visit.

These day trips are either accessible by train or bus, and some may take an hour of travel or more, but visiting these places will be truly rewarding. Here are top day trips from London you shouldn’t miss and will make you realize that there’s more to the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.

Top Day Trips from London That Are Not More Than 2 Hours Away!

top day trips from london the united kingdom brighton royal pavilion

Brighton

It is one of the train day trips from London you should visit because this beachside city has a lot of character. From their LGBT village and parties, creative boutiques, pubs, cafes and amusements, Brighton might be just the perfect city to explore.

What to expect:

Spending your time here in the city can be a little wild – and a little expensive. There are a lot of upscale boutiques, and you might think twice about the shopping; however you can visit The North Lanes and the markets nearby. There are also restaurants and cafes that offer student discounts, so make sure to bring your student card with you.

Like New York, Brighton is a city that never sleeps. You can go out and have a party all night in their numerous bars and clubs, so keep your energy going! Brighton is also known as the LGBT capital of United Kingdom, and they have their own annual Pride Festival, which attracts 160,000 visitors.

Wanna say “I do” already to the love of your life? They have LGBT wedding venues which include popular attractions such as The Royal Pavilion and Brighton Pier.

How to get there:

Take a train from London Victoria, London Bridge Station or St Pancras International. Travel time is about an hour and a half. If you plan to take the bus, you should visit the National Express. Some journeys are cheaper, which costs around £10 round trip- however, the travel time is about 2-3 hours which is a lot longer than traveling by train.

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top day trips from london the united kingdom canterbury cathedral

Canterbury

This city belongs to the top trips from London you should visit because of its beautiful cathedrals, medieval streets and more. The Canterbury Cathedral, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a definite must visit. Some of the top destinations here are the Leeds Castle, Dover Castle, and the ruins of the sixth century St. Augustine’s Abbey.

What to expect:

Canterbury Cathedral is closed to the public every Sunday, and some events are usually held there. We suggest that you visit their official website first before going. There are also numerous restaurants that are budget friendly in the area, as well as shopping centers near historical landmarks.

How to get there:

You can take a train from London St Pancras to Canterbury, and the travel usually takes less than an hour. If you want to travel by bus, you can get the coaches in National Express which costs around £5.

top day trips from london the united kingdom bath pulteney bridge

Bath

Bath is arguably one of the best day trips from London. It is famous for their Roman Baths which is divided into four – the Bath House, Sacred Spring, Roman Temple and the Museum. Some of the famous attractions to visit are the Pulteney Bridge, Royal Crescent, and Victoria Art Gallery.

What to expect:

With many attractions inside, exploring Bath for just a day is not enough. Like London, the city has so much to offer, so it is better if you visit only the attractions that you are particularly interested in. There are also no malls yet inside the city so prepare to go through old fashion shopping shops- which are a lot enjoyable and picture worthy!

How to get there:

Take a train from Paddington Station to Bath and travel time is around 1 hour and 40 mins. By bus, take the touring coaches from National Express; however the travel time is about 3-4 hours.

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top day trips from london the united kingdom stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a fascinating sight to see and is a must visit. A stone circle is believed to be built 5,000 years ago. Many theories have centered on the mysterious structure which left people in awe and discover themselves. No wonder this place is one of the best day trips in London and also one of the top destinations to visit in the UK.

What to expect:

Before entering the Stonehenge Circle, you’ll see the Stonehenge Visitor Centre which opened in 2014. Inside the Centre, there are gift shops, parking area, cafes, and restrooms. Tickets to Stonehenge can be purchased online, and the card covers the access to the Stonehenge, Visitor Centre and shuttle.

You are not allowed to walk up to the stones and enter the circle; during the visit, you’ll be about 10 meters away from the rocks. There are special tours outside public opening hours which allow a maximum of 26 people to enter the Stonehenge Circle.

How to get there:

There are trains from Waterloo Station to Salisbury, which is the nearest station to Stonehenge. From here you can catch the Stonehenge Tour Bus which will take you to the Visitor Centre. Take note that there are no public buses that will take you to Stonehenge.

top day trips from london the united kingdom paris france

Paris, France

Just two-hour travel by train, Paris is one of the best day trips out of London. Known as the city of love and romance, Paris is bursting with culture and attractions you can’t miss, especially if you are traveling with your partner. Popular attractions include the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame de Paris and Arc De Triomphe.

What to expect:

Paris is known to be very intimidating, aside from its towering structures and preserved culture, visiting here can break your budget. Their food is quite expensive, as sodas can cost as much as a sandwich. Taxi fares are also costly especially at night, so it is advisable to stick to the Metro.

French people also admire people that try to speak French, so at least learn a few basic French greetings or phrases. They also say hello and goodbye every time they enter and leave a store or a restaurant, which is a sign of politeness.

Greet them with a “Bonjour,” and you’ll be likely to receive a response back. It is also difficult to find public restrooms, and some of them are not free. You can find nice restrooms in parks (with fee) and free restrooms in department stores.

How to get there:

Many tourists take the Eurostar trains to get to Paris and the travel time usually takes 2 hours, although it can be very pricey especially at popular times and dates. If you opt coaches to get to Paris, the fastest ones may take 7.5 hours travel time.

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top day trips from london the united kingdom cambridge

Cambridge

This city will never be out of “top day trips from London” lists because of its century-old beautiful buildings, historical landmarks, and prestigious colleges. Places to visit are the famous Cambridge University, the 800-year old Great St. Mary’s Church, Kings College Chapel and Fitzwilliam Museum.

What to expect:

For transportation, public buses cost up to £2, and the taxi fares may cost around £4.50. Some tourists rent a car to travel around Cambridge, and it costs £15 per day. Companies that offer rental car service are Europcar, Thrifty, and Avis.

If you want to buy souvenirs from Cambridge University and experience all around shopping, try visiting John Lewis and Lion Yard in the town center. For gourmet restaurants, expect to pay around £40 or more per head.

How to get there:

Take a train from King’s Cross which will take around 46 minutes travel or take a train from Liverpool Street, which will take around hour travel.

top day trips from london the united kingdom mersea island

Mersea Island

This magical island is located in Essex, and it is split into two main areas, West Mersea and East Mersea. This island is famous for its fishing industry, particularly oysters which also helps the island’s economy. There are also colorful beach houses, holiday parks and a week-long festival of boat racing every summer. Tourism has been notable here ever since that’s why it’s one of the best day trips from London you shouldn’t miss.

What to expect:

The Company Shed which serves delicious seafood platters is a popular destination here at Mersea Island. It is advised that you go there before noon because it’s a first-come and first-serve basis and the place can be extremely crowded; so that you can feast on oysters, prawns and everything from the sea.

How to get there:

Take a train from London Liverpool Street to Colchester Station. This station is just a few minutes away from the island, so you can catch a taxi to get to Mersea Island. Travel time from Liverpool to Colchester Station is less than an hour, while from Colchester Station to Mersea Island is about 20 minutes depending on the traffic.

By bus, you can take one from First Busses in Liverpool Street Station and the travel time to Colchester is about 3 hours. There are also available coaches in Victoria Coach Station and the travel time is about 4 hours and 34 minutes.

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top day trips from london the united kingdom rye castle

Rye

Located in East Sussex, Rye is one of the top day trips from London because of its old world charm. Its medieval settlement has attracted tourists from all over the world because of its secret passageways, ancient cobbled streets, and tall towers. Popular attractions include the 14th century Rye Castle, Lamb House, Camber Castle and Camber Sands.

What to expect:

Rye is overflowing with tea rooms and cafes so eating won’t be much of a difficulty. There are affordable accommodations such as The Jeake’s House and The Gallivant, both cost below £100. For shopping, there are plenty of shops such as The Vintage Stockroom and The Shop Next Door, which is located inside George’s Hotel.

How to get there:

Take a train from Ashford International Station and travel time is 1 hour and 32 minutes. If you opt for a bus, you can take it from The Hastings Town Centre or Priory Meadow which may take 3 hours of travel.

top day trips from london the united kingdom margate turner museum

Margate

This place surely belongs to the best weekend trips from London because of its sandy beaches, art galleries, and old-fashioned shops. Some of the best places to visit are Dreamland Amusement Park, Margate Museum, Shell Grotto, Tom Thumb Theater and Margate’s Winter Gardens.

What to expect:

There are already many restaurants on the seafront, however, if you want many choices of food, head over to their town. There are also many pubs and clubs if you’re going to party all night; however there are reported cases of aggressive behavior among people especially late at night. Margate is also known as the first sea-bathing resort, and they hold a lot of festivals in the area.

How to get there:

By train, you can take it from St. Pancras International Station to Margate and the travel time is about 90 minutes. Avoid the hourly train from St. Pancras though, because it takes more than 2 hours. By bus, you can take the National Express Coach from Victoria Coach Station, and the travel time is about 2 hours.

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top day trips from london the united kingdom dungeness

Dungeness

Last but not the least, this day trip from London is one of the best because of its eerie charm and remoteness. This place is perfect for those who want to leave the bustling city life. It is also ideal for nature lovers as they have a national nature reserve, 600 species of plants and lots and lots of birds. Places to visit are the Pilot Inn, RHDR Mini Railway, The Fish Shack and the Dungeness Lighthouse.

What to expect:

There is a lot of wildlife in Dungeness so hope to see rare species of birds, moths, bees, beetles, and foxes. Walking in this place can be very tiring, so it is advisable to wear comfortable footwear. Some parts of the beach and marshes have been used for military training, so watch out for marked danger areas.

How to get there:

You can take a train from Victoria Underground Station or St Pancras International. Travel time is usually about 2 hours. By bus, you can take a National Express Coach in Victoria Coach Station or Red Lion Square. Travel time is about 3 hours.

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