10 Amazing Day Trips From London To See The Sights And Explore England

London is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world. You can easily spend weeks wandering around the capital of the UK and discovering all of its tourist attractions, historical sights, and secrets.

10 Amazing Day Trips From London To See The Sights And Explore England

However, if you feel the need to leave the big city and find something a little different, then London is perfectly located for a wide variety of day trips.

There is a network of trains and buses that leave from London frequently throughout the day or you could hire a car and hit the open road.

Here are 10 amazing day trips from London you can take to see the sights and explore England.

The New Forest

If you want to get out of the city and head into nature, then The New Forest should be on top of your list.

The New Forest is a national park that has a variety of different natural landscapes including wetlands, bogs, ancient woodlands, and open heathlands.

It’s home to a wide range of rare plants and wildlife but you’ll also see plenty of the famous New Forest ponies and free-range Highland cattle.

As well as the natural sights, there are also several delicious restaurants and independent stores. The New Forest Centre is an instructional center that will give you all of the information you need about the local area.

Distance from London: 90 miles

How to get there: There is a train from Waterloo to Brockenhurst that takes around 90 minutes. It will take about two hours to drive.

Windsor

Windsor is world-famous for its links to the British royal family.

One of the biggest draws of the city is Windsor Castle which has been the center of several royal events in recent years, including the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Parts of the castle are open to the public so you can view some of the impressive rooms inside the castle and walk around the grounds.

Windsor also has many other sights on offer. It has a very charming and traditional vibe in its shopping district and you’re bound to find all of the souvenirs you want.

Savill Garden is a beautiful ornamental park that you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through, you can take a boat ride along the Thames, or visit one of the several museums at the famous Eton College.

Distance from London: 22 miles

How to get there: There is a train from Waterloo to Windsor that takes around 40 minutes. It takes about 50 minutes to drive.

Bath

Bath is one of the most historical cities in the UK as it was established as a spa town during Roman times, nearly 3,000 years ago. Many of the Roman baths are still there and you can tour around them.

You can’t use the Roman baths, unfortunately, but if you do want a spa day there are plenty of other more modern options available. 

Literature fans will love to take a Jane Austen-style walk along the Royal Crescent and fans of live theater can take in a show at the Theatre Royal Bath. There are also dozens of museums and galleries throughout the city to visit as well. 

Distance from London: 115 miles

How to get there: There is a train from Paddington that takes around 90 minutes. It takes about two hours and 30 minutes to drive.

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Stratford-Upon-Avon is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare and there are plenty of Shakespeare-related sights to see.

You can visit Shakespeare’s home, his school, his wife’s cottage, and of course, take in a show at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s famous theaters.

There is more to see than just sights related to the Bard, however. If you want to see traditional thatched cottages you will find plenty in Stratford-upon-Avon and you can take a fascinating boat tour of the local canals.

Distance from London: 104 miles

How to get there: There is a train from Marylebone that takes around two hours and five minutes. It takes about two hours to drive.

Hastings

10 Amazing Day Trips From London To See The Sights And Explore England

Hastings is famous in British history for being the battleground of William the Conqueror’s famous victory in 1066. As well as being a famous battleground, Hastings was also a smuggling hotspot during the 18th century so there’s plenty of history to find around the city.

You can visit the ruins of a Norman castle or visit Smugglers Adventure, a museum about smuggling that is actually located in the caves formerly used by smugglers. Hastings is a great location for independent stores so you’re sure to find something unique.

Distance from London: 54 miles

How to get there: There is a train from London Bridge that takes around 90 minutes. It takes about two hours to drive.

Margate

Margate is a traditional coastal town that is full of lovely beaches and seaside charm. It has plenty to offer other than its beaches, however, such as the Turner Contemporary art gallery. This is free to visit and is located near the beachside.

Thrillseekers can head to the Dreamland, a retro amusement park full of vintage rides and even includes a ghost train from the 1960s. Margate is also a hub for cold-brew coffee, craft beer, and delicious food so you’re sure to find something to appeal to you.

Distance from London: 76 miles

How to get there: There is a train from St. Pancras International that takes around 85 minutes. It takes about two hours to drive.

Brighton

Brighton is another coastal town but it’s very different from Margate. Instead of having sandy beaches, Brighton is famous for its pebble beach and lengthy piers that are full of stores and amusements.

The main pier is over 120 years old and Brighton also has the world’s oldest aquarium and electric railway.

Despite this, Brighton is still a very modern city that has a thriving LGBTQ+ scene as well as lots of live music and performances. You’ll find a large number of independent boutiques, craft breweries, and vegan restaurants.

Distance from London: 50 miles

How to get there: There are trains from Victoria, Blackfriars, and London Bridge that take around 60 minutes. It takes about two hours to drive.

Canterbury

The main draw of Canterbury is the stunning Canterbury Cathedral. Many people visit Canterbury purely for the cathedral but if you need more reasons to visit the city, then there is plenty more on offer.

You can take a picturesque punting tour along the city’s waterways, visit one of several city museums, or even go on a vineyard tour or visit a farm famous for only having micro versions of the typical farm animals.

Canterbury is also a great day trip for foodies thanks to its range of restaurants and farmers’ markets.

Distance from London: 61 miles

How to get there: There is a train from St. Pancras International that takes around 60 minutes. It takes about one hour and 30 minutes to drive.

Salisbury

If you want to see Stonehenge, then Salisbury is where you will need to go. You can visit the iconic Stone Circle as well as the other exhibits located at the World Heritage Site, such as a Neolithic village and the bones of a 5,000-year-old man.

Salisbury isn’t just the hub for Stonehenge, however. It also has a beautiful cathedral that has the tallest spire in England and was the location for the signing of the Magna Carta. One of the four surviving copies of the original document is on display at Salisbury Cathedral.

Distance from London: 85 miles

How to get there: There is a train from Waterloo that takes around 90 minutes. It takes about two hours to drive.

Tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells is a beautiful location for a day trip from London. It has several stunning parks to walk through and is also home to the 6,500-acre Ashdown Forest which was the inspiration behind Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Acre Wood.

It’s a great place to get lost in nature. If you like to see castles and Victorian mansions you should head to Scotney Castle and its beautiful garden and moat. There are several manor houses to visit and view also and there are also plenty of options for shopping and fine dining.

Distance from London: 45 miles

How to get there: There are trains from Charing Cross and Waterloo that take around one hour. It also takes about one hour to drive.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we listed 10 amazing day trips that you can take from London. We included a variety of different trips so whatever you’re looking for, there is bound to be something for you.

Whether you want a day out in nature or to see a royal castle, we hope that you enjoy your stay in London and all of the day trips you take.

Mylene Mace