There are some great day trips you can make when on a London visit if you want to see more of what southern England has to offer.
Whether you like grand houses, country walks, or seaside air, it’s all within a few hours of the capital.
London is a beautiful city with extraordinary things to see and do.
However, if you’re looking for an alternative and want to experience a bit more of England’s charm, there are plenty of easy day trips you can take from London.
8 Top-Rated Day Trips From London
1. Clifton, Bristol
Bristol is a famous and quirky city, and Clifton is one of the most beautiful leafy suburbs it has to offer. You can soak up some history with the Georgian townhouses and unusual cafes or browse for gifts in the wonderful stores that make up the heart of this unique village.
Or, you can opt to enjoy amazing views of the River Avon, go for a swim in a restored Victorian swimming pool, see the rolling hills, and try the Clifton Arcade. Plus, there are lovely, varied food options, and you can even visit the Clifton Observatory if you’re curious about the place’s history.
Clifton’s only about an hour and a half outside of London by train, making it an easy day trip to fit in even if you’ve already got a packed schedule.
If you are a history-lover and want to enjoy some true old-English charm, Amersham is a must-see. This town is only an hour and a half from central London, and you can access it via the Metropolitan line, as it has its own tube station.
This town has served as a film set for several movies because it is so picturesque and charming.
And if you visit on a Saturday, you can enjoy its traditional market in the Market Hall. There’s also a museum that celebrates centuries’ worth of history about Amersham’s people.
Timber buildings, medieval dwellings, and a 13th-century church make up the streets of the Old Town. Meanwhile, there are amazing country walks in this area, with ancient woodland and chalk hills stretching around it.
3. Hever Castle
For those fascinated by British royalty, this 1270 building is more than worth a visit.
It is less than an hour from London Bridge by train, and only about an hour’s drive, so it’s an easy day trip from London. Plus, you can tell everyone that you have stepped inside the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife.
The castle is extraordinary, featuring a floating maze, a Japanese teahouse, and stunning rose gardens. You can even watch live jousting if you visit the castle at the right time.
The castle itself is in beautiful shape, and if you’ve still got time on your hands, you can make a trip to the nearby village. Here, an extraordinary store has been standing for more than 500 years and still sells all kinds of unusual things.
4. The New Forest
Some people are less interested in history and more amazed by nature – and The New Forest is the perfect day trip from London for these souls. Ponies, pigs, and highland cattle roam across the heath, and you can book a buggy or a horseback ride to explore the outstanding natural beauty of the surroundings.
The New Forest is about an hour and a half from London, making it an easy trip for anyone looking to “get away” from the busy city.
5. Bath, Somerset
As the name may suggest, Bath has water features galore, and if you are interested in the Romans, it’s an excellent option for a day trip from London. This UNESCO World Heritage Site lets you explore a rooftop pool that overlooks the historic spa town, tour Roman baths, and visit the various cafes that fill this picturesque city.
The city center is a bit more of a trek from London, taking two and a half hours by car, or two hours from London Paddington Station. Thus, you might want to visit Bath for more than a day, so you have enough time to explore the city’s highlights, including the Fashion Museum, Harry Potter filming locations, and the Royal Crescent.
6. Hertford, Hertfordshire
If you want to escape London, a country walk in Hertford is a great idea. And a direct train from London Waterloo Station should only take about an hour.
In Hertford, you can fish, visit the cinema, check out a 15th-century castle, explore the museum, and see The Women’s Society Boutique. There are plenty of food options and some fantastic pubs as well, including The Salisbury Arms Hotel, which Oliver Cromwell supposedly stayed at during the Civil War.
Or, if you want to enjoy a walk, it’s only a three-mile journey from Hertford to Ware, and you can stroll along the River Lea’s tow path, admiring the water and wildlife along the way.
To experience some real cobbled streets at your own pace, consider heading for the picturesque town of Rye, just over an hour by train from London King’s Cross Station or London St. Pancras. This lovely village is a slice of British history and beauty, just waiting for visitors to explore.
Here, you can find an aptly named Tiny Book Store, Mermaid Street, fresh seafood, and a gorgeous beach. Thus, you can spend your day wading in the water or exploring the town and soaking up the history that’s steeped through its streets.
Only an hour train ride from London Victoria station sits the gorgeous 11th-century Windsor Castle. As the oldest and largest occupied entire castle on the planet, Windsor Castle is definitely worth visiting.
And, besides Windsor Castle, you can also take just a short drive to places like St. George’s Chapel. Or, you can have an afternoon tea at one of the delicious restaurants in the town center, like the Mango Lounge and the Giggling Squid.
Finally, don’t forget to visit some of the independent shops in the area while you’re here.
- Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Watford (best destination for Harry Potter fans)
- Shakespeare’s house and Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon
- King’s College Chapel and the River Cam in Cambridge
- The University of Oxford and Harry Potter walking tour in Oxford
- Stonehenge in Wiltshire (a scheduled tour from the Salisbury Train Station includes entrance tickets)
- Visit Oxford for Christ Church College, the Pitt Rivers Museum, and the Oxford Museum of Natural History
- Leeds Castle in Maidstone
- In Woodstock, visit Blenheim Palace
- Seven Sisters in Eastbourne
- Royal Pavilion in Brighton
- Canterbury Cathedral in the medieval city of Canterbury
- Hampton Court Palace in Surrey
- Ipswich – County town in Suffolk
- The mouth of the River Thames
- Box Hill in Tadworth
Day trips from London can be as amazing as time spent in the city itself, so don’t limit yourself if you’re visiting England’s capital. Explore and immerse yourself in the many different things on offer nearby!