With these best day trips from London, you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. This selection of destinations offers a tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty within easy reach of the city. Having visited many of the above locations, we have a good sense of what to expect in these places due to our first-hand experience.
The purpose of this guide will be to highlight the top places to visit in the UK, as well as the top landmarks in these places, as well as transportation options to get there and optional tours that you can take from London to these places.
The Cotswolds, a charming area of South Central England known for its charming villages, rolling hills, and classic rural appeal, continue to attract tourists from all over the world. With its pristine landscapes and distinctively British personality, it is an experience you will not forget.
Why Visit Cotswolds UK?
A beautiful place with honey-coloured villages, undulating green hills, and charming market towns awaits you here. Experience a wealth of historical and cultural experiences by dining on regional specialities and strolling along scenic paths. A relaxing and soothing experience awaits you in the Cotswolds, offering a peaceful haven of rest and renewal. This is an escape from the rush of modern life.
Trains from London: Direct trains departing from the London train stations of Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, Waterloo, and Kings Cross will take you to the Cotswolds. Travel time takes between 50 minutes and 2 hours.
Train Services Around Cotswolds: You can utilise the local train services to get to particular towns and villages in the Cotswolds after arriving at one of the main stations. Due to the limited train network, you might have to complete the final leg of your journey via buses or taxis. The trains within the vicinity or inside Cotswolds are Gloucester, Stroud, Kemble, Oxford, Cheltenham Spa, Banbury, Bath, Cam and Dursley Charlbury, Kingham and Moreton-in-Marsh.
Travelling by car from London: By car to the Cotswolds will take you between one and two hours, depending on where you are going in Cotswolds. To reach different Cotswolds towns and villages, take the M4 or M40 motorways and then follow the signage.
Getting Around Cotswolds By Bus: A network of bus routes connects the cities and villages throughout the Cotswolds. To travel around, especially if you plan to use the train network from London or other nearby cities, you might check the schedules for the local buses. Services, however, may be few, particularly in more isolated locations.
Always take a chance and do some research about the place you want to visit from the comfort of your own home.
Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts tourists from around the world with its mix of culture, history, and scenic beauty. Immerse yourself in Bath's timeless charm by exploring charming neighbourhoods, experiencing luxurious spa treatments, and enjoying delicious cuisine.
Why Visit Bath UK?
Bath Abbey and other magnificent ancient sites are among the city's many museums and galleries. Beautiful cafes, boutique stores, and a thriving cultural scene give Bath's medieval streets a contemporary edge. The same revitalising waters that the Romans drank are now available to guests at Thermae Bath Spa.
Trains from London: Bath has excellent train connections to London, and multiple London train stations offer connections to Bath. Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, Waterloo, and Kings Cross are the main train stations in London that have connections to Bath. Direct trains from these stations travel to several locations in and surrounding Bath.
Bath's principal train station is Bath Spa Railway Station, which has frequent, direct trains to London, especially from London Paddington. The trip takes between one and two hours.
Depending on the routes, you may have to change trains or go to different locations to reach the other train stations from London, which could take up to 3.5 hours.
Checking train schedules and purchasing tickets in advance are always recommended.
By Bus from London: London Victoria Coach Station and other main bus terminals are the starting points for National Express and Megabus coach services.
Local bus routes: Both regional and local bus services are centred at Bath Bus Station. Numerous businesses, including First West of England, Stagecoach, and others, run a local bus network.
Bath's local buses travel several routes across the city, making it simple to go to various districts, sites, and facilities. Additionally, Bath has bus connections that connect it to neighbouring cities and villages in Somerset and the Cotswolds, making it simple to explore the area.
Oxford, an English city with a long history, a prestigious university, and lasting appeal, captures visitors. Founded in the twelfth century, Oxford University is one of the oldest universities in the world. It has stunning architecture as well as being home to a large number of libraries, museums, and other establishments, including the Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum.
Why Visit Oxford UK?
Discover the rich history, Gothic architecture, literary legacy, and esteemed University of Oxford. Discover a rewarding experience, listen to knowledgeable commentary, and explore effectively with the help of a tour guide. There are many things to do in Oxford, including the university, the Radcliffe Camera, literary locations, Oxford Castle, botanic gardens, punting, and cultural attractions.
Trains from London: Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, Waterloo, and Kings Cross are all major train hubs that connect it to the city.
It takes approximately one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes to get from Paddington to Oxford. The trip takes a little longer from other stations, and depending on which London train station you leave from, you have a few options.
There are two train stations in Oxford. The most often used one is Oxford Railway Station, also known as Oxford Main Station. Regular train services are provided to and from major cities such as Birmingham, London, and others. The other is Oxford Parkway, which is north of Oxford and connects to Bicester and London Marylebone.
By Bus from London: Buses typically leave from Marble Arch, Victoria Coach Station, and other stations, among other places in London. Find out the most convenient departure place by contacting the operator of your choice.
A quaint town in England's Berkshire county, Windsor has royal and historical ties. Windsor Castle, one of the world's largest and oldest inhabited castles and a royal palace for more than 900 years, is the town's most notable attraction. Royal heritage and tourism make Windsor a popular tourist destination. History, culture, and scenic surroundings combine beautifully.
Why Visit Windsor London?
Visitors to Windsor Castle are attracted by its fascinating trip through time. This picturesque setting, the breathtaking River Thames backdrop, and Eton College's and St. George's Chapel's exquisite architecture further enhance its appeal. Due to its convenient location to London, cultural events, and quaint town centre, Windsor is a favourite destination for many.
Trains from London: South Western Railway has direct trains from the London stations of Paddington and Waterloo to Windsor. From each station, the trip usually takes 30 to 35 and 50 to 55 minutes, respectively.
Windsor's two train stations: Windsor & Eton Central and Windsor & Eton Riverside, are both conveniently located close to the town centre and Windsor Castle. The station you choose may vary depending on where you are in London and where you want to go in Windsor.
By Bus from London: Windsor is reachable from London via a few bus companies. Speak with bus companies that frequently travel to Windsor, such as Green Line or National Express. Buses typically leave from London Heathrow Airport, Victoria Coach Station, and Victoria Railway Station, among other locations. Consult your selected operator about the precise departure spot.
This historic and picturesque city in Kent has a strong religious and literary heritage. A World Heritage Site and an iconic symbol of Christian pilgrimage, Canterbury Cathedral stands at the centre of the city. Middle-age artistry can be seen in its magnificent buildings, including the well-known Bell Harry Tower.
Why go to Canterbury UK?
Walk through the city's winding medieval streets and discover the peaceful River Stour, historic city walls, and timber-framed buildings. A visit to Canterbury Tales, St. Augustine's Abbey, and Westgate Towers Museum will give you an insight into the city's rich history.
The historic coastal town of Dover, located in the southeast, is known for its iconic White Cliffs, rich heritage, and remarkable natural features. Dover is both a symbol of England and a gateway to the world, serving as a junction between the UK and continental Europe.
Why Visit Dover?
The coastal hikes, especially those that follow the White Cliffs, are very popular with hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. A fascinating window into the past can be found in the WWII tunnels for people who are interested in history.
As a major transportation hub, Dover is an intriguing travel destination that combines natural beauty with historical significance.
There are several possibilities for a simple train journey from London to Canterbury, and from there to Dover. The main train stations in London and the approximate travel times to Canterbury and Dover are as follows:
London to Canterbury:
Canterbury to Dover:
Located in Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge was built approximately 2500 BC. A mystery surrounds its gigantic standing stones even today. Its function and construction methods still confound experts. At sunrise and sunset, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is filled with a mystical atmosphere due to the celestial alignments.
The fact that it coincides with the equinoxes and solstices further emphasizes its astronomical importance.
Why Visit Stonehenge UK?
A visit to Stonehenge allows you to learn about ancient history, admire heavenly wonders, and make connections with the mysterious past. It is an opportunity to imagine the wisdom of the ancient people who placed these massive stones and to be amazed by their sheer size. Visiting Stonehenge from London is an opportunity to connect with ancient heritage and lose yourself in a timeless mystery.
Trains from London: From Waterloo Station in London, take a train to Salisbury or Andover. From there, change to a local bus or service to go to Amesbury. You may travel to Stonehenge from Amesbury in a short bus or taxi ride. The trip takes between one and two hours.
Take a tour from Salisbury: There are often tour options that include transportation to Stonehenge. Tour operators often include transportation to Stonehenge, guided tours, and sometimes additional stops at nearby attractions in their packages.
By Bus from London to Stonehenge: Travelling by bus usually takes the longest time and in this case, it can take around 3 hours one way then an additional 1 hour from Salisbury to Stonehenge. Prices are cheaper but considering the amount of time spent travelling it will not be worth it. If you still consider taking a bus, the National Express offers most of the journeys from London.
Interested in going on a Liverpool day trip from London?
There is a unique charm and a rich cultural history to this city in the northwest of England. Liverpool attracts tourists from all over the world due to its welcoming residents, exciting street art scene, and a number of culinary and entertainment options. If you are interested in history, music, or just a real British experience, you are in the right place.
Why Visit Liverpool UK?
This city, known for its strong musical ties, was home to the Beatles. Many people begin their musical journey through the history of the Beatles with the prospect of a London tour.
Fans from around the world fill Anfield and Goodison Park, demonstrating Liverpool's passionate love for football. The Walker Art Gallery, Tate Liverpool, and Liverpool Museum also house a remarkable collection of art and culture.
If you choose to travel alone, our information on buses and trains will surely come in handy when planning your itinerary.
Trains from London: There are several alternatives for getting to Liverpool by train, depending on which London train station you leave from (Euston Station is the only one with the quickest travel time on this route, taking 2 hours and 15 minutes).
Though you might need to make a change, you can begin your journey from these additional London train stations: Paddington, Marylebone, Kings Cross, and Victoria.
Train station in Liverpool: Liverpool Lime station, the city's main and busiest railway station, is where you'll arrive if you're travelling from London. It provides quick access to the city's transit options and attractions. Avanti West Coast is the company that operates the trip.
Arriving by bus: Bus service is available from London to Liverpool. Reaching Liverpool's only bus station, which is ideally situated in the city core and offers quick access to the city's transportation options and attractions. Depending on the route the bus takes and the volume of traffic, the bus ride usually lasts between four and five hours.
We hope that our guide to the best day trips from London has given you a great insight into what there is to explore outside London.
Throughout the United Kingdom, there is so much to explore beyond London's boundaries. These locations around the UK were handpicked based on their history and unique attractions. Don't just stop here. There is more to discover, and these are only a few of them.
Before you go check out some recommended pages:
People often ask questions about going on a day trip or taking a tour to a location around the UK from London. Here are a few that may help.