If you’re visiting London and looking for some great day trips to take, especially to the countryside, you’ve come to the right place! There are so many amazing places to see in and around London, and in this blog post, I’ll share with you 12 of the best day trips from London. Trust me, these are all worth your while!
Bath was actually one of the first places I visited after I moved to London in 2015. This trip combines two of England’s most popular tourist destinations into one great day out. You’ll start at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stonehenge, where you can explore the ancient stone circle and learn about its mysterious origins.
Then it’s off to the picturesque city of Bath, where you can admire the Georgian architecture, visit the Roman Baths, and relax in the Thermae Bath Spa. I highly recommend the spa! Especially if you visit in the warmer months. The rooftop pool has great views.
When I visited Oxford, I went with a coach filled with people. The day trip was still lovely, but if I was to do it again- I would pay that little bit extra for a private car. You’ll explore the picturesque city of Oxford with its famed Universities. You’ll get a local guide that will show you all the best sights, from remarkable colleges to world-renowned bookstores and even a blackboard used by Einstein himself which still holds his formulas.
With your skip-the-line tickets, you’ll get a chance to step into one of the most important universities in the world at Christ Church College. Afterwards, savour a delicious British lunch at an iconic 14th-century tavern.
The best of the above, but crammed into a busier day trip. You’ll start at Windsor Castle, the largest occupied castle in the world and the official residence of the Late Queen Elizabeth II. Then it’s off to Stonehenge, where you can explore the ancient stone circle and learn all about it. Finally, you’ll visit Oxford, home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Then, you’ll make your way back to London.
Spend your day exploring England’s countryside and historical landmarks with an expert guide.
Visit Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO-protected country house where Sir Winston Churchill was born, the picturesque Cotswolds villages of Bibury, where the famous cottages were photographed for inside UK passports, or Bourton-on-the-Water, and finish with a tour of Bampton village made famous by the TV series ‘Downton Abbey.’
You’ll enjoy plenty of time for lunch in between stops before returning to London.
A half-day trip from London to Windsor Castle is a great way to see one of England’s most iconic landmarks without having to spend a whole day away from the city. You’ll tour the castle grounds, including St George’s Chapel where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married, and learn about its fascinating history dating back over 900 years.
The bonus to booking this tour is that you’ll be able to skip the line, not have to fuss about finding really expensive parking in Windsor, and get to learn about all that the Castle and surrounding grounds have to offer- without having to worry about finding a guide.
Calling all Beatles Fans! This trip takes you from London Euston to Liverpool, home of The Beatles! You’ll hop onboard the magical mystery tour bus and tour sights associated with the band such as their childhood homes, and Strawberry Field, and visit the famous Cavern Club where they played their early gigs.
292 gigs to be exact! You’ll also get to explore Liverpool itself, a lively city with plenty of museums and galleries to enjoy.
I won’t lie- this is probably one of my favourite day trips from London. Why wouldn’t you want to experience Christmas in London and a quick trip to Bruges Christmas market!? I didn’t put this right at the top of my list because I haven’t ordered these day trip tours in a ‘most liked’ order. However, if you are visiting London during the Christmas season, then this day trip is one worth booking.
You’ll travel by Eurostar train through the Channel Tunnel to Brussels before continuing onwards to picturesque Bruges in Belgium. Here you’ll have time to wander around the charming Christmas market and do some last-minute holiday shopping. Plus enjoy a creamy hot chocolate. It’s a must!
Take a guided day trip from London to England’s Lake District and explore its stunning natural beauty and rich literary history. Your round-trip rail tickets are included. Upon arrival, you’ll tour the region by minivan, visiting Lake Windermere, Hawkshead, and Tarn Hows.
In summer, enjoy an added visit to Beatrix Potter’s former farmhouse at Hill Top; a scenic lake cruise; and tea at the Lindeth Howe hotel – famous for its afternoon teas!
You also have the option to upgrade to first-class rail tickets for extra comfort on your journey.
This tour of Cambridge comes with a guided sightseeing component led by a local guide, as well as plenty of free time to take in the city’s history on your own.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with choices during your stay, don’t worry! You can pick from touring the colleges, strolling along the River Cam, or my favourite- going on a small group punting tour and sailing downriver for a unique experience. You’ll almost feel like you’re in Venice!
Or, take a trip to the Trinity College Library, designed by Christopher Wren, instead. Inside, you can find Newton’s “Principia Mathematica” on permanent display as well as a manuscript of A. A Milne’s much-loved book, “Winnie the Pooh”.
Fun fact: his son Christopher Robin also studied at this college.
10. Cotswolds Tour
On this full-day trip from London, you’ll be able to escape the bustling city for the serene beauty of the Cotswolds. You’ll get there by a comfortable, air-conditioned coach and drink in all the picturesque views of this enchanting region.
This is an ideal place to stroll around gorgeous towns and villages such as Burford, Bibury (my fave) and Stow-in-the-Wold since it’s known for its stone-built buildings, lush pastures, and old-world atmosphere. You’ll also have free time to enjoy the villages and get a 2-course traditional English lunch at one of the many old Cotswolds hotel restaurants that come complete with wood panelling, stone fireplaces, and oak beams.
On this full-day coach trip from London, you’ll get to see three of southern England’s top sights: Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, and Dover.
You’ll pass by the maritime historical buildings of Greenwich on your way to scenic Kent (a county known as the ‘Garden of England’), where you’ll take a private tour around stunning Leeds Castle before the crowds arrive. Bonus for all your travellers that love to take photos without people in them.
Afterwards, you can enjoy a private tour of the UNESCO-listed Canterbury Cathedral before ending your day with views of Dover Castle and the famous White Cliffs of Dover.
Another one of my fave day trips from London… A quick trip to Paris by Eurostar from London St Pancras Station. The morning Eurostar ride whisks you into the city in just over two hours, where you have the whole day free to explore at your leisure.
Use included maps and a Visite Paris Pass for unlimited 1-day use of Paris’ metro and bus system to easily get around town. Must-sees like the Eiffel Tower and Ile de la Cité are definitely on everyone’s list, or maybe try strolling along the Champs-Élysées, exploring the Louvre, or just enjoy some people-watching over coffee—the choice is yours!
Best Day Trips from London FAQ
Which towns are 30 minutes from London?
For this specific list, Windsor castle is 30 minutes from London by train and by coach.
What are the best day trips from London without a car?
All of the above-listed tours are perfect if you don’t have a car because you either get picked up from a central location on a coach, or you are able to travel by train.
Final Thoughts on my favourite day trips from London
So, there you have it! My list of the best day trips from London. All of the above tours I can personally recommend from either first-hand experience or from friends and family that have raved about them.
If you’re looking to explore more of England and the UK, or are just itching for a fun day out, these trips should be at the top of your list. Get booking your fave day trip from London today – I promise you won’t regret it!
Happy day tripping.
Trea | Map Her Miles