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8 Best London day trips

Updated: May 30

Exploring Beyond the City: Unveiling the Best Day Trips from London


Cambridge, England

London, a bustling metropolis with its iconic landmarks and vibrant culture, serves as an excellent starting point for exploring the diverse beauty that England has to offer. There are so many enchanting day trips from London, each destination offering a unique blend of history, architecture, and culture. In this blog post we discover the best day trips from London, providing not only a list of exciting destinations but also train information to make your excursion seamless. If you are brave enough to drive on the other side of the road, of course a car is always an option as well. This is what we like to do as it affords the most freedom and flexibility. We took our 4 kids along for the ride so all of these destinations are both adult and kid approved as well. From the medieval charm of Canterbury to the academic allure of Oxford and Cambridge, the regal splendor of Windsor to the Roman heritage of Bath – these day trips promise an unforgettable experience.


List of London Day Trips

  1. Windsor

  2. Oxford

  3. Cambridge

  4. Bath

  5. Brighton

  6. Canterbury

  7. Cotswolds

  8. Warner Bros. Studio


Windsor


Windsor, England

Train Information:

Departure Station: London Paddington

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Frequency: Trains run every 30 minutes


Windsor, England

Venture into the regal realm of Windsor, where the world-famous Windsor Castle stands proudly as the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world as it has been the home of 40 monarchs. This castle was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Tour the State Apartments, witness the changing of the guard, and stroll through the stunning St. George's Chapel, where Harry and Meghan were married. After you are done touring the castle, enjoy a leisurely walk along the Long Walk. This is a 2.6 mile tree-lined avenue that gives a great view of the castle. Make sure to spend some time exploring the charming town of Windsor with its traditional pubs and boutique shops as well. This is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.


Oxford


Oxford, England

Train Information

Departure Station: London Paddington

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Frequency: Trains run every 30 minutes


Known as the "City of Dreaming Spires," Oxford beckons with its prestigious university and captivating architecture. Take a guided tour of the University of Oxford, where luminaries


Oxford, England

like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien once roamed. Explore the Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Camera, and the beautiful Christ Church College with its Great Hall, hidden gardens and Great Tom (the bell inside the Wren tower). The college, of course, is still a working school with students so be respectful. There are guided tours as well as self guided audio tours. The town of Oxford is wonderful to explore after your tour. There are great pubs to grab some lunch and cute shops to enjoy. The Botanic Garden is worth a stop as well.


Cambridge


Cambridge, England

Train Information:

Departure Station: London King's Cross

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Frequency: Trains run every 30 minutes


A short journey from London brings you to another world-renowned university town – Cambridge. The iconic King's College Chapel is a must see. It is probably the most recognized building in the city. One of our favorite things to do when in Cambridge is to attend an Evensong in this chapel to hear the choir. After a visit to the church, explore the picturesque colleges that define Cambridge's skyline.


Punting in Cambridge, England

Make sure you take some time to punt along the serene River Cam. A punt is a flat bottomed boat with a square bow that is used to float down rivers and shallow water. The punter propels the boat with a long pole. You can rent the boat with a punter or try to do it yourself. I would suggest paying for a punter. It is harder than you think to control the boats and you will receive some information about what you are seeing along. After you float on the river, stroll through the quaint streets, and absorb the academic atmosphere that has shaped the minds of countless scholars.


Bath


Bath, England

Train Information

Departure Station: London Paddington

Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours

Frequency: Trains run every hour


Immerse yourself in the Roman heritage and Georgian elegance of Bath, a city known for its iconic Roman baths and stunning architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Beth, England

The Roman Baths weren't discovered until the late 19th century. Much of it extends below the modern streets so the site is much larger than it seems. The pump room has a restaurant if you are feeling peckish. The Bath Abbey, and the Royal Crescent, a beautiful row of townhouses are other must-see sites in town. Take a leisurely stroll through the delightful Victoria Park or indulge in a relaxing spa experience at the Thermae Bath Spa. Bath's rich history and architectural splendor make it a must-visit destination.


Brighton


Train Information:

Departure Station: London Victoria

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Frequency: Trains run every 30 minutes


Brighton, England

Brighton is a lively seaside city which can be a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of busy London. Explore the eclectic shops, and take a walk along Brighton Pier with its rides, attractions and food. If the crowds of the pier are getting too much, relax on the pebble beach and dip your toes in the water.


Royal pavilion, Brighton, England

The iconic Royal Pavilion is a great stop as well. With construction beginning in 1887 the pavilion was built in a style reminiscent of India. The inside is gorgeously decorated. Touring the pavilion and its garden is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. The bohemian spirit and seaside charm of Brighton provide the perfect escape for a day.


Canterbury


Canterbury, England

Train Information

Departure Station: London St Pancras International

Duration: Approximately 1 hour

Frequency: Trains run every 30 minutes


Canterbury is renowned for its magnificent cathedral and medieval architecture. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Canterbury Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that has witnessed centuries of history. Founded in 597 by St. Augustine, is a major pilgrimage site and the place of Thomas Beckett's murder. The cobbled streets lined with timber-framed houses are absolutely charming. Visit St. Augustine's Abbey, and immerse yourself in the tales of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Enjoy a stroll along the River Stour and savor the charming atmosphere of this quintessentially English city.


Cotwolds


Cotswolds, England

Just a stone's throw from London lies the Cotswolds. This beautiful part of English countryside beckons with its rolling hills, charming villages, and timeless beauty. The idyllic Cotswolds looked like they are plucked straight from a storybook. For nature enthusiasts, the Cotswolds offer a network of scenic hiking or biking trails. Lace up your walking shoes and explore the rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and meandering streams that characterize this area of outstanding natural beauty.


Getting there:

The Coltswolds is an area which includes many towns and villages, not a singular destination so instructions on how to get there are a little more involved.



Cotswolds, England

By Train:

The most convenient and efficient way to reach the Cotswolds from London is by train. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on your chosen destination within the Cotswolds. Start your day trip by catching a train from London Paddington Station. Trains to the Cotswolds operate regularly, and it's advisable to check the schedule in advance for the most suitable departure time. The Cotswolds cover a vast area, so it's essential to decide on a specific destination based on your interests. Popular choices include Moreton-in-Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Chipping Campden. Several train services operate to different Cotswold destinations. Great Western Railway (GWR) and CrossCountry are the primary train operators serving this route. Consider booking your tickets in advance to secure the best fares. Upon arrival in your chosen Cotswold destination, you'll find local transport options such as buses or taxis to take you to nearby villages and attractions. Some stations have car rental services if you prefer exploring at your own pace. Also consider taking the train to a village and renting bikes to ride to other villages for a delightful day. Some villages are even walking distance apart from each other.


Cotwolds, England

By Bus:

For those seeking a more budget-friendly option or a more leisurely journey, traveling to the Cotswolds by bus is a viable choice. The bus journey may take a bit longer than the train, but it offers a scenic route through the countryside. Buses to the Cotswolds depart from London Victoria Coach Station. National Express and other coach services operate routes to various Cotswold towns. Similar to the train option, choose a specific Cotswold destination based on your preferences. Some routes may have multiple stops, allowing you to explore different villages in the region. National Express provides direct coach services to key Cotswold towns. The journey might take around 2 to 3 hours, but it allows you to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty along the way. Upon reaching your chosen Cotswold town, you can explore on foot or use local buses to hop between villages. Check the local bus schedule to plan your itinerary efficiently.


Some of the more popular Cotwold towns and villages:


Moreton-in-Marsh

You will be greeted by a traditional market town, complete with historic architecture and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Known for its vibrant market square and historic High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh offers a quintessential Cotswold experience. Visit the 16th-century Redesdale Market Hall and explore the charming boutiques and tearooms. The town has several old inns and eateries dating back to the 1600s. King Charles I stayed in the White Hart Inn back in 1644 and it is rumored that all 4 of the ancient inns are haunted.


Chipping Campden


Chipping Campden, Cotswolds, England


One of the jewels of the Cotswolds, this charming market town boasts honey-colored stone buildings, quaint shops, and narrow, winding streets. Explore the historic Market Hall, St. James' Church and the iconic High Street. Take your time to soak in the timeless beauty of this idyllic village.












Bibury


Bibury, England

Often referred to as the most beautiful village in England Bibury is a wonderful stop on your Cotswold itinerary. The Arlington Row, a row of ancient cottages alongside the River Coln, is a postcard-perfect sight. Enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the local pubs or tea rooms, savoring the flavors of traditional British cuisine amidst stunning surroundings.


Bourton-on-the-Water


Bourton on the water, Cotswolds, England

Known as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds.' This charming village is adorned with stone bridges crossing the River Windrush. Explore the quaint boutiques, visit the Model Village, and take a peaceful stroll along the riverbanks. Bourton-on-the-Water's enchanting ambiance makes it a must-visit destination.


Warner Bros. Studio


Warner bros. studio, London

A visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is a dream come true for fans of Harry Potter and cinema enthusiasts alike. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, located in Leavesden, just outside of London, offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the beloved Harry Potter film series. As you enter the studio, be prepared to be transported to the iconic sets, costumes, and props that brought J.K. Rowling's magical world. Step into Hogwarts' Great Hall where countless magical moments were filmed, wander through the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley lined with wizarding shops and familiar storefronts, and pose with the luggage trolley disappearing through the magical platform barrier at platform 9 3/4. You will also encounter magical creatures and secrets hidden within the dark and mysterious Forbidden Forest, board the actual Hogwarts Express train exploring its interior, and see Harry's bedroom cupboard. Of course butter beer in all its forms is available for your enjoyment. If you are even a small Potterhead you will absolutely love your time here.


Getting There - Train Option


Departure from London Euston:


Warner Bros. studio, London

Begin your journey by making your way to London Euston Station. This major railway station in central London is well-connected and easily accessible from various parts of the city. Several train services operate from London Euston to Watford Junction, the nearest railway station to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Avanti West Coast is one of the primary train operators serving the route to Watford Junction. Trains run regularly throughout the day, offering a comfortable and swift journey. London Northwestern Railway also provides direct services to Watford Junction. Check the schedule in advance to plan your departure time.


The train journey takes approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on the specific service. Once you arrive at Watford Junction, take advantage of the shuttle bus service that runs from Watford Junction to the studio. The bus ride takes around 15 minutes, and tickets can be purchased in advance or on board.


Warner bros. studios, London

Bus Option

For those who prefer a bus journey, you can catch a bus from central London to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. National Express operates direct services to Watford Junction from various locations in London, including Victoria Coach Station and Baker Street. Check the schedule and book your tickets in advance to secure the best fares. The bus journey takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the departure point. Similar to the train option, utilize the shuttle bus service from Watford Junction to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. The shuttle provides a convenient and efficient transfer to the studio.


Warner bros. studio, London

Ticketing and Entry:

Ensure you've booked your tickets in advance for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Tickets are often in high demand, especially during peak times, so securing them online ahead of your visit is recommended. The studio tour typically takes around 3 to 4 hours, allowing you ample time to explore the various sets, exhibits, and interactive displays.


All of these day trips are within easy reach of London. They are a great way for you to get out of the city and explore more of the beautiful countryside, fascinating history and awe-inspiring architecture of England.


Ready to travel to England? Email us at eurotravelsbydesign@gmail.com to have us plan a custom itinerary just for you.








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