A true world city in every sense of the word, the British capital of London needs no introduction. In this sprawling metropolis, it's possible to enjoy just about everything, from some of the world's best restaurants to great shopping to top cultural events and historic sites, including the best museums in London. Truthfully, it's entirely possible to spend a lifetime in London and never exhaust everything it has to offer.
But as everyone who lives outside London will tell you, there's more to the UK than just its capital. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in London, and you can take advantage of some of the incredible day trips that are possible from the city. Day trips from London will give you a better insight into the history and culture of the UK and show you that despite everything London has to offer, there is more to this country than its biggest and best-known city.
How to get out of London
The city of London itself has one of the most well-developed public transportation networks in the world, and you can read more about how to get around London here. Plus, given that London is the capital of the country that invented rail travel, you would expect the city to have some great options for train trips, and you'd be right. In the UK, all roads lead to London, and so the capital makes the perfect base to enjoy the very best day trips, no matter what you like to do.
That's just as well because you really don't want to drive in London. Parking is scarce and ludicrously expensive, and you'll be charged simply for the privilege of driving into the central part of the city. Better where possible to take the train or a bus to get where you want to go and enjoy your day trip without unnecessary stress.
If you want to visit some of the more remote locations for day trips from London, you may find that you need a car. But in that case, it's better to rent one from one of London's airports or another area outside the center of the city itself so you can avoid the brutal London traffic and its congestion charges.
From London to Windsor Castle
A royal residence that has been in use for nearly 1,000 years, Windsor Castle is located just outside of London in the town of Windsor. The castle is an official residence of the British royal family and has been used as a place of retreat by monarchs for centuries.
Today, Windsor Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK, and it's easy to see why. The castle grounds are immense, and there is so much to see and do, including exploring the State Apartments, St. George's Chapel, and the Queen Mary's Dolls' House. If you want to get a taste of what it's like to live like royalty, this is the day trip for you. Visit Windsor Castle to enjoy one of the best day trips in London and get a more intimate insight into the lives of the British royal family.
How to get to Windsor Castle
A short train ride from Paddington Station will bring you to Slough, and from there, bus number 8 will take you to the castle. The whole journey takes just over an hour. Driving takes only 45 minutes, in theory, but that assumes there'll be no traffic. This is London. There will be traffic.
From London to Stonehenge
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world's most famous prehistoric structures and an icon of the UK. Anyone with even the slightest interest in history or archaeology should make it their business to visit this enigmatic ruin.
Situated in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside, Stonehenge is more than just a pile of rocks. It's a complex archaeological site that was built over several centuries and has been the subject of intense scrutiny and debate. No one knows for certain why Stonehenge was built, but that only adds to its mystique. Plus, the area around Stonehenge is incredibly rich in other prehistoric monuments, some of them even older than the famous stone circle, so this is one of the best day trips from London for those with an interest in the ancient past.
The best way to visit Stonehenge is on a tour that includes round-trip transportation from London. That way, you don't have to worry about renting a car or finding your way there and back. You can just sit back and enjoy the ride through the English countryside and soak up the history of this fascinating site.
How to get to Stonehenge
If you're willing to make your own way to Stonehenge, the best thing to do is to take a train from Waterloo Station in London to Salisbury train station. The train will take around an hour and a half, so you can reach the monument in about two hours from London. An alternative is to take a guided tour that will take you to the stone circle by bus.
From London to Bath
The picturesque city of Bath is located in southwest England, not far from Bristol. This small city is packed with history and culture, and it's famous for its ancient Roman baths, which give the city its name.
Despite its small size, Bath has a lot to offer visitors. In addition to the Roman baths, there are plenty of other historical sites to explore, such as the Jane Austen Centre and the Bath Abbey. There are also some great museums, including the Fashion Museum and the Museum of East Asian Art. You can also take a walking tour to learn more about the long history of the city or enjoy afternoon tea in one of the many tea houses in town.
While you're in town, you can't miss taking a dip in the thermae, which are bathhouses that use natural hot springs water. If you want to relax and rejuvenate during your day trip from London, this is the place to do it.
Just a short train ride from London, Bath is the perfect day trip for anyone who wants to experience some of England's rich history and culture. A full-day tour to Bath is one of the best day trips from London, and a relatively easy trip to take, too.
How to get to Bath
You can reach Bath from London in just over an hour by taking a train from Paddington Station. This will bring you right to the center of Bath and is probably the easiest way to get there. However, there are also bus tours that can pick you up from various locations in the city and take you to Bath.
From London to Bristol
Located in southwest England, Bristol is a large city with a lot to offer visitors. From its world-famous suspension bridge to its lively arts scene, there's something for everyone in Bristol.
The city is home to some of the UK's best museums, including the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and the M Shed Museum. There are also plenty of historical sites to explore, such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and St. Mary Redcliffe Church.
And, of course, no visit to Bristol would be complete without taking a ride on the Bristol Ferry Boat. This unique mode of transportation has been ferrying passengers around the city for centuries, and it's a great way to see the sights.
Whether you're interested in history and art or just want to take a ride on a cool boat, Bristol is the perfect day trip from London.
How to get to Bristol
A train ride of an hour and a half will bring you from London's Paddington Station to the center of Bristol. Alternatively, you could drive, but it will take longer, at over two hours.
From London to Oxford
Home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, Oxford is a must-visit for anyone interested in history or education. The city is absolutely crammed with historical buildings and sites, such as Christ Church College, King's College Chapel, and Rhodes House. Harry Potter fans will get a kick out of visiting this university town since several sites in the city inspired scenes in the books and were used in the Harry Potter movies.
There are also plenty of museums to explore, including the Ashmolean Museum and the Museum of Natural History. And if you want to do some shopping, Oxford has you covered with its many boutiques and independent shops.
A day trip to Oxford is the perfect way to experience some of England's rich history and culture.
How to get to Oxford
There are plenty of bus tours that will take you from London to Oxford and back again in a day, and these are some of the best day trips in London if you don't want to deal with planning and just want to relax. A small group tour will also help you learn more about what you're seeing in this historic city. However, if you want to go it alone, you can reach Oxford by train in a little over an hour from London.
From London to Blenheim Palace
Located in the town of Woodstock, about an hour northwest of London, Blenheim Palace is a must-visit for anyone interested in English history. This massive palace was built in the early 18th century as a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough.
Today, the palace is open to the public and features a number of historical exhibits. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the palace and its grounds.
In addition to being a fascinating historical site, Blenheim Palace is also a beautiful example of English architecture. The impressive palace is set amidst expansive gardens and parkland, making it the perfect place to spend a day exploring.
How to get to Blenheim Palace
It's possible to take a train from London Marylebone Station to Blenheim Palace, but the journey will require several changes and take hours. A better option is to either drive or take a bus tour which will bring you directly to the palace and back again, making this one of the easiest London day trips to take.
From London to Stratford-upon-Avon
The medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon might have remained an obscure and little-known English town if it wasn't for the fact that in 1564, it became the birthplace of possibly the most famous writer the world has ever known. William Shakespeare was born in a half-timbered house on Henley Street and spent his formative years in Stratford before leaving for London in 1585. At the end of his life, Shakespeare retired back to his hometown and is buried in the church where he was baptized in Stratford.
Today, the town is a popular tourist destination for those interested in English literature and history. Visitors can explore a number of sites associated with Shakespeare, including his birthplace, Anne Hathaway's Cottage, and Mary Arden's House. There are also several museums dedicated to the life and work of the famous playwright.
Besides the Shakespeare connection, Stratford is a charming and well-preserved medieval town to visit to get a sense of English history and a slower pace of life away from the capital on one of the best day trips from London.
How to get to Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford is almost 100 miles north of London and takes around two hours to reach by car. It can be reached by train in two to three hours, or you can take a bus tour to make your day trip easier.
From London to Leeds Castle
Don't let the name fool you. Leeds Castle is nowhere near the northern English city of Leeds but is instead located southeast of London in the county of Kent. This picturesque castle is set on two islands in a lake and is surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and gardens.
Leeds Castle has a long and fascinating history, having been built in the 12th century and serving as a royal palace for many English monarchs over the centuries. Today, the castle is open to the public and features a number of historical exhibits. Visitors can also explore the castle grounds, which include beautiful gardens and a maze. This is one of the best day trips from London for those who want to immerse themselves in history and take a trip that feels like stepping into a time machine.
How to get to Leeds Castle
You can get the train from London Victoria to Hollingbourne Station, and walk to the castle from there. The train ride takes just over an hour, and the walk will take most people about half an hour.
These are just a few of the best day trips from London. Whether you're interested in exploring English history, literature, or architecture, there's a day trip that's perfect for you. And with convenient transportation options available, getting out of the city for a day is easy and stress-free. So get out there and start exploring!