Best Day Trips out of London

best day trips out of London

London, with its bustling city life and iconic landmarks, is a destination that attracts millions of visitors each year. Indeed, there is so much to do and see in London that its almost impossible to see it all, whether you take in popular attractions or hidden London gems. However, sometimes it’s nice to escape the city and explore charming destinations just a stone’s throw away from London on the best day trips from London.

Here we suggest days out of London. Luckily, there are plenty of easy day trips from London that will transport you to historic castles, picturesque villages, and breathtaking landscapes. So, if you’re looking to venture outside of London and experience the beauty and history of the surrounding areas, join us as we embark on a journey to discover the best places and charming day trips out of London.

Walk Around London has parnered with Premier Tours to bring you best of day trips out of London without the hastle of arranging these yourself. These trips are curated so that the visitor gets the most out of a short trip out of London and gets the best out of the experience. Here are the best day trips out of London.

Day trip Windsor Castle and Windsor

One of the best day trips from London is to the popular Windsor Castle and the town of Windsor. Just a short train or coach ride away, Windsor offers a delightful escape from the city and a chance to immerse yourself in history and royal heritage. The highlight of the trip is undoubtedly Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. But Windsor is not just about the castle – the town itself is full of charm and character, with its cobbled streets, quaint shops, and cozy cafes. Let’s dive into the historical significance of Windsor Castle and what to expect when exploring the town of Windsor. 

We recommend taking a tour to get the best out of Windsor without having to think about the logistics of getting places: its all done for you by Premier Tours with whom we have partnered. Click here to see their offering.

Historical Significance of Windsor Castle

Offering one of the best day trips out of London, stepping foot inside Windsor Castle is like taking a journey through time . This impressive fortress has been a royal residence for over 900 years and is closely associated with the British monarchy. The castle was originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and has served as a residence for countless monarchs since then. Over the years, Windsor Castle has witnessed significant historical events, from the reign of Henry VIII to World War II.
One of the most notable periods in Windsor Castle’s history is the time of Henry VIII. The king, known for his six marriages and his role in the English Reformation, spent much of his time at Windsor Castle. He undertook extensive renovations and expansions, transforming the castle into a grand palace fit for a king. Today, visitors can explore the State Apartments, which showcase the opulence and grandeur of the Tudor era. Another nearby palace of historical significance is Hampton Court Palace, the former royal residence of King Henry VIII. Located on the River Thames, this baroque-style palace is surrounded by stunning gardens and parkland, making it a charming day trip out of London.
Windsor Castle also played a crucial role during World War II. As London faced intense bombing raids, the royal family sought refuge at Windsor Castle. The castle’s underground tunnels served as an operations center, and the royal apartments were equipped with air-raid shelters. Exploring the castle offers a unique glimpse into the resilience and courage of the British people during one of their most challenging times. The architecture of Windsor Castle, with its mix of medieval, Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian elements, is a testament to the evolution of British history and will leave you in awe of the craftsmanship and skill that went into its construction.

What to Expect at Windsor Town

Aside from the magnificent castle, Windsor town itself offers a delightful experience for visitors. Here are a few things to expect when exploring Windsor town:

Quaint Shops and Cozy Cafes: Take a stroll down the town’s cobbled streets and discover charming independent shops and boutiques. Indulge in a bit of retail therapy and bring home unique souvenirs from your trip.

• Walking Tour: Explore Windsor on foot and admire the picturesque architecture, from historic buildings to beautiful gardens. The Windsor and Eton Heritage Walking Trail will guide you through the town’s most notable landmarks.

• Windsor Great Park: Take a leisurely walk along the Long Walk, a stunning tree-lined avenue that leads to the castle. Enjoy the tranquility and natural beauty of Windsor Great Park, a vast green space perfect for a peaceful retreat.

• Changing of the Guard: Witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Windsor Castle, a traditional and grand display of military precision and British pageantry.

Pub Lunch: After exploring the castle and town, indulge in a traditional pub lunch at one of the charming pubs in Windsor. Enjoy classic British dishes, from fish and chips to beef and ale pie, paired with a pint of local ale.

Day trip to Stonehenge

Delving into the enigmatic allure of Stonehenge, one encounters captivating theories surrounding its purpose and construction. From ancient rituals to astronomical alignments, the stone circle continues to intrigue visitors with its mystical aura. Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site transports you back in time, evoking a sense of wonder akin to stepping into a world of myths and legends. Immerse yourself in the ambience that has inspired countless tales, including references in popular culture such as “Harry Potter”. Let the stones whisper stories of the past as you unravel the mysteries shrouding this iconic site.

Theories about Stonehenge

Delving into the mysteries of Stonehenge reveals a tapestry of theories that intertwine its ancient origins. Believed to be a burial ground or celestial observatory, Stonehenge captivates with its enigmatic past. Some attribute spiritual or ceremonial importance to this iconic stone circle, while the enduring puzzle of how the bluestones were brought from distant lands continues to intrigue. The precision of Stonehenge’s construction stands as a testament to the advanced engineering skills of its creators. Unraveling the webs of time, exploring the diverse conjectures surrounding Stonehenge unveils layers of history that evoke a sense of wonder and curiosity.

Practical Tips for Visiting Stonehenge

When planning your visit to Stonehenge, consider booking tickets in advance to skip long queues. Utilize audio guides for enriching insights into the site’s history. Opt for comfortable footwear as you explore the outdoor monument. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the mesmerizing beauty of Stonehenge at sunrise or sunset for breathtaking photos. Lastly, make sure to plan your visit efficiently as Stonehenge doesn’t require much time to explore, leaving you with plenty of time to visit other charming day trips out of London, or take in the City of Bath nearby.

best day trips out of London

Day trip to Bath and the Roman Bath

Nestled in the charming city of Bath, the ancient Roman baths stand as a testament to history. Bath is another city that offers easy and fascinating day trips from London. The allure of this site, where visitors can explore the remarkable Roman architectural ruins, is undeniable. As you wander through the city’s streets, you might feel like you’ve stepped into a Jane Austen novel with its classic Georgian architecture. The National Trust-managed Roman Baths, now known as Thermae Bath Spa, provide an immersive experience into the past, inviting you to soak in the rich heritage of the area. Imagine yourself back in the time of Henry VIII, soaking in the same waters that were famous in ancient times in the Pump Room of the Thermae Bath Spa. Exploring the city of Bath offers a blend of historical marvels and picturesque landscapes, making it a must-visit destination for any traveler. 

We recommend taking a tour to get the best out of Bath (and possibly taking in other gorgeous sites like Stonehenge and the Cotswolds) without having to think about the logistics of getting places: its all done for you by Premier Tours with whom we have partnered. Click here to see their offering.

The Historical Architecture of the Roman Baths

Delve into the rich history of the Roman Baths complex, originating around 70 AD, showcasing remarkable ancient Roman engineering in harnessing thermal springs. The Great Bath served as a hub for social gatherings and relaxation, while artifacts on display offer insights into daily Roman life. Admire the intricate mosaics and grand architecture that adorn this historical site, painting a vivid picture of Roman opulence and sophistication amidst the Baths’ ambiance of tranquility and reflection. Explore the intersection of ancient ingenuity and leisure at the Roman Baths, a captivating journey back in time through the lens of architectural marvels and cultural significance.

Must-Visit Spots in the City of Bath

Discover the charm of Bath by strolling across the iconic Pulteney Bridge, a picturesque spot over the River Avon. Immerse yourself in history as you explore the intricate Gothic architecture of Bath Abbey. Don’t miss the elegance of the Royal Crescent and the Circus, showcasing stunning Georgian architecture. Uncover hidden treasures with a leisurely walking tour through the city’s quaint streets. Complete your Bath experience with a touch of tradition by enjoying a delightful afternoon tea in a historic setting, soaking in the city’s rich heritage.

Day trip to the University Town of Oxford

Nestled in the heart of England, Oxford is more than just a university town; it’s a great place where history and academia blend seamlessly. With its stunning architecture and picturesque landscapes, Oxford captivates visitors with its timeless charm, offering one of the best day trips out of London. Strolling through the city streets feels like taking a step back in time, where every cobblestone whispers stories of the past. The famous landmarks, like the Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera, stand as testaments to centuries of learning and knowledge. Exploring the colleges, each with its unique character, gives a glimpse into the prestigious academic legacy of Oxford. For those enchanted by literature, the town is a pilgrimage site connected to literary giants like Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien. Oxford’s allure lies not only in its educational prestige but also in its ability to evoke a sense of wonder and nostalgia, making it a truly unforgettable experience for any visitor. 

Famous Landmarks in Oxford

Oxford is renowned for landmarks that define its charm. The Bodleian Library stands as an iconic symbol, beckoning visitors with its historical allure. A visit to the Radcliffe Camera is a must to marvel at Oxford’s architectural finesse. Immerse yourself in Oxford’s rich history at the Sheldonian Theatre, offering a window to the past. Stroll along the Bridge of Sighs, one of the best things to do in Oxford, a picturesque bridge steeped in tradition and romance. Lastly, the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin invites exploration, echoing tales of academia and spirituality in this ancient city. For Harry Potter fans, a walking tour of Oxford’s filming locations, including Christ Church College, is a must-do while visiting this charming city.is

The Student Life and Culture of Oxford

Immerse yourself in Oxford’s rich heritage, where centuries-old traditions shape the vibrant student life. Experience the academic aura resonating through the college walls, blending seamlessly with the city’s cultural tapestry painted by students’ contributions. Uncover the charm of Oxford through student-led initiatives that breathe life into its storied allure. Wander through quaint cafes and bookshops, each holding tales of generations past, adding layers to the nostalgic ambiance of this academic haven.

Day trip to Medieval Warwick Castle

Nestled alongside the River Avon, Warwick Castle boasts a rich history dating back to medieval times. The castle’s impressive architecture and well-preserved walls offer a glimpse into the past, inviting visitors to explore its historical significance. With highlights like the majestic Great Hall and the iconic Caesar’s Tower, the castle exudes an aura of grandeur and mystique, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts. Nearby attractions complement the castle experience, adding depth to the journey through time within this ancient fortress. Delving into the secrets and stories of Warwick Castle transports visitors to a bygone era, igniting curiosity and fascination with each step taken on its hallowed grounds.

Highlights of Warwick Castle

Immerse yourself in captivating medieval reenactments at Warwick Castle, where history comes to life. Step into the Great Hall for a glimpse of medieval feasting and grandeur, transporting you back in time. Discover the royal lifestyle by exploring the stunning State Rooms, echoing with tales of bygone eras. Wander through the castle grounds, soaking in scenic views and unraveling the rich historical tapestry of Warwick. For the brave-hearted, venture into the castle dungeons for a spine-chilling experience that will send shivers down your spine. Warwick Castle stands as a testament to the past, offering visitors a nostalgic journey through centuries of royal heritage and intrigue.

Nearby Attractions from Warwick Castle

Exploring the idyllic surroundings of Warwick Castle unveils a tapestry of historical gems nearby. A short drive leads to the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon, immersing visitors in literary history. For a serene retreat, the charming Leamington Spa beckons with its tranquil ambiance. History buffs can delve into the past at Kenilworth Castle, a nearby gem awaiting exploration. Strolling along the scenic River Avon near Warwick Castle offers a peaceful escape into nature’s embrace. The quaint villages encircling Warwick Castle, such as the lovely village of Lacock, promise a glimpse into the picturesque countryside, adding a touch of tranquility to the journey.

Day trip to the Pilgrimage Town of Canterbury

Nestled in history and offering one of the best day trips out of London, Canterbury holds a special place as a pilgrimage site. The Canterbury Cathedral stands tall, symbolizing spiritual significance and architectural marvel. Exploring the town unveils centuries-old tales intertwined with modern charm, offering a unique blend of tradition and contemporary life. A visit to Canterbury transports you to a bygone era, where every cobblestone whispers stories of pilgrims and knights. The allure of Canterbury lies not just in its historical prominence but also in its vibrant atmosphere that resonates with a sense of reverence and tranquility amidst bustling city life.

The Canterbury Cathedral and its Significance

Immerse in the rich history and heritage embodied by the iconic Canterbury Cathedral. Delve into the shrine of Thomas Becket nestled within its ancient walls, echoing tales of faith and reverence. The breathtaking stained glass windows, each telling a unique story, captivate visitors with their beauty and significance. Descend into the crypt beneath the cathedral, a treasure trove of hidden wonders waiting to be explored. Find solace in the tranquil precincts surrounding the cathedral, offering serene spaces for quiet contemplation amidst the echoes of centuries past.

We recommend taking a tour to get the best out of Cantebury (with Dover and Leeds Castle) and  without having to think about the logistics of getting places: its all done for you by Premier Tours with whom we have partnered. Click here to see their offering.

The Natural Beauty of the White Cliffs of Dover

Standing majestically along the English coastline, the White Cliffs of Dover offer a breathtaking sight that has captured the imagination of many. These iconic chalk cliffs are not just a natural wonder but also hold historical significance as a symbol of England’s strength and resilience. Visiting the White Cliffs of Dover provides a sense of nostalgia for travelers seeking to connect with the country’s rich heritage and stunning landscapes. Whether admiring the cliffs from afar or embarking on a closer exploration, the experience is bound to evoke a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beauty of nature intertwined with history.

Engulfed in history and maritime lore, the White Cliffs of Dover stand tall, symbolic of England’s seafaring past. A visit to the South Foreland Lighthouse nearby offers a glimpse into bygone eras, adding a touch of historical charm to your exploration. Witness the cliffs’ chalky facade transforming under the play of light, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. As you gaze out from the cliffs, let the unobstructed views of passing ships and ferries stir your sense of wonder. Amidst this natural beauty, delve into the diverse ecosystems that thrive along the rugged cliffs, showcasing the rich biodiversity of the area.

We recommend taking a tour to get the best out of Dover without having to think about the logistics of getting places: its all done for you by Premier Tours with whom we have partnered. Click here to see their offering.

Visiting Dover Castle

Immerse yourself in the captivating medieval architecture of Dover Castle, experiencing its grandeur firsthand on one of the best day trips out of London. Delve into the historical significance of this fortress’s strategic location, steeped in tales of ancient battles and royal intrigue. Take in breathtaking views of the English Channel from the castle’s vantage point, offering a glimpse into the past. Uncover the clandestine wartime tunnels concealed beneath the castle, a hidden gem of history waiting to be explored. Let the rich narratives and legends surrounding Dover Castle transport you to a bygone era, making your visit truly unforgettable.

Downton Abbey's Highclere Castle

Nestled in the English countryside, Highclere Castle is famously known as the backdrop for the beloved TV series “Downton Abbey.” A day trip to Highlere Castle from London is highly recommended, especially for fans of the series. Stepping onto the grounds of Highclere Castle feels like a journey back in time, evoking a sense of nostalgia for fans of the show. The castle’s rich history and stunning architecture offer visitors a glimpse into the elegance of the Edwardian era. Exploring the rooms where the Crawley family drama unfolded, visitors can immerse themselves in the opulence of the period. The expansive gardens surrounding the castle provide a peaceful retreat, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a moment of reflection amidst the beauty of the landscape. For fans of the show, creating your own tour to visit Highclere Castle, along with other locations such as Bampton and Lacock, is a must-do experience.

Behind the Scenes of Downton Abbey

Delve into the enchanting realm of Downton Abbey behind the curtains of Highclere Castle. Experience the dedication to detail in replicating the iconic sets, facing the artistic challenges of breathing life into the series. Witness Highclere Castle’s magical metamorphosis into the beloved backdrop of Downton Abbey, embodying the essence of the era.

Best Day Trips out of London

Exploring Highclere Castle

Step into the magical gardens and expansive grounds of Highclere Castle, where beauty and history intertwine seamlessly. Marvel at the meticulously landscaped gardens that envelop the castle, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of grandeur. Uncover the intriguing tales and profound legacy that are woven into the very fabric of Highclere Castle, enriching every step of your journey. Let an expert guide lead you through the opulent rooms and priceless relics that adorn the castle, each whispering stories of a captivating past. Immerse yourself in the refined lifestyle of English nobility as you traverse the corridors of this architectural gem, evoking a sense of nostalgia for a time long cherished.

We recommend taking a tour to get the best out of Highclere Castle without having to think about the logistics of getting places: its all done for you by Premier Tours with whom we have partnered. Click here to see their offering.

Is a Day Trip Out of London Worth It?

Venture beyond London to explore captivating destinations, embracing the charm of historic castles, tranquil villages, and scenic landscapes. Experience a delightful escape from the city’s hustle, immersing in rich history and natural beauty. Discover the allure of day trips for lasting memories.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there is so much to explore and experience just a short trip away from London. From the historical significance of Windsor Castle to the mystery of Stonehenge, the architectural wonders of Bath, the prestigious university town of Oxford, the medieval charm of Warwick Castle, the pilgrimage town of Canterbury, the natural beauty of the White Cliffs of Dover, and the iconic Highclere Castle from Downton Abbey, the best day trips out of London will be worthwhile with each destination a unique and unforgettable experience.

Venturing out of London allows you to immerse yourself in history, culture, and natural beauty. These day trips provide a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of London, allowing you to relax, rejuvenate, and create lasting memories.

So, if you’re craving a change of scenery and want to escape the city for a day, don’t hesitate to embark on one of these charming day trips. The rich history, picturesque landscapes, and captivating experiences are well worth it. So pack your bags,  book a tour or hop on a train, and let the adventure begin!

Best Day Trips out of London

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