The best day trips from London

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London is one of the most incredible cities in the UK, but there’s much more to Britain than meets the eye. These day trip locations will all help you discover a lesser-known side to the nation, as well as giving you the chance to experience some of its highlights up close...

Windsor

Most travellers to London will have heard of Windsor Castle, but there is a lot more to this particular town than meets the eye.

Of course, the enormous medieval castle is certainly a major draw, but the village which it occupies is every bit as delightful, albeit in a slightly different way. Windsor is only around thirty minutes from central London, and yet it feels like a world away. Here you’ll find small tea shops and boutiques, rolling greenery and of course, the Norman castle which has given the region its fame.

The castle chapel has been the site of numerous royal weddings, and the castle itself is often used by the Queen as both a residence and a space for major royal events. If you’re in the mood for discovering more about this location, it’s easy to head here after scoping out the best meeting rooms in the city of London.

Stonehenge 

This ancient structure remains a mystery, as nobody is quite sure why (or how) it was built. It is widely thought to have once been a pagan place of worship, and in the intervening centuries has drawn continued debate. It now has the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What we do know is that Stonehenge draws in huge numbers of visitor's year on year, each eager to discover its secrets for themselves.

To help them, there’s a visitor centre on-site which details some of the findings and speculations. For those staying in London, you’re in luck – this Salisbury favourite can be visited any time of year, and provides plenty of intrigue and interest.

Bath

A stunning Georgian city known for its Roman baths, this is a place to explore Roman architecture and the later Georgian buildings which were developed after Bath became a fashionable place to visit.

In addition to all the historical sites you might expect, including abbeys, churches and more, you’ll soon find that Bath, thanks to its universities, is a lively and vibrant part of the UK, filled with an array of fantastic pubs and food producers. This helps make it a great place to visit while staying at the Montcalm Hotel Shoreditch.

Ipswich

Filled with history and stunning nature, Ipswich is one of the most delightful towns in Suffolk. It is noted for its scenery and its strong connection to English culture, most prominently the British seaside.

In addition, there are a few businesses which are making waves locally. Ipswich Brewery serves a range of craft beers, and there’s even a wolf sanctuary you can visit on your trip. The sheer variety available is sure to impress anyone who has made the 2-hour trip from London during a stay at hotel rooms in the city.

Canterbury

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer remains one of the most famous works in English literature, and the city of Canterbury is the location which inspired it. Whilst the city itself is small in size, it has also attained UNESCO World Heritage Site status thanks to its dazzling cathedral.

This beautiful space is ably supported by a range of incredible buildings which have been preserved since the medieval era, as well as many museums which provide a simultaneously traditional and modern city. There’s also a huge student population, which helps to keep things vibrant and exciting.

Oxford

Brighton

Visitors to Brighton often regard it as a city second only to London, referred to by some as ‘London by the sea’. It is certainly one of the most easily accessible cities in the area surrounding London, and somehow seems to combine many of the best bits of the capital city whilst remaining its own distinctive charm.

In addition to being known for its scenery and setting, Brighton has a vibrant and thriving culture and packs plenty of punch into its small size.

 Cambridge

Cambridge is one of the most famous cities in England, notable for its university culture and its incredible scenery and architecture. The city has become beloved on a global scale, noted for its exports like education and rowing.

Much of the architecture in Cambridge dates from the 12th century, and happy visitors are a regular fixture here as they explore the waterways and enjoy all the city has to offer. As you might expect, it is also home to a thriving university and a number of museums and parks which help make the area even more special.

If you feel like getting away from London for the day, then Cambridge could be the perfect place to see a different side of the UK.

Cliffs of Dover

You might have already heard of the Cliffs of Dover, as they are one of England’s most famous natural sights. These striking white cliffs are sometimes the first thing ferries see on arrival in the UK, and have served as a symbol of hope and a distinctive image of Britain for many years.

Thankfully, they are also only a few hours away by train – so if you’re in the mood for a longer day trip, this would be the ideal experience.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is only around three hours away from central London, which makes it an achievable distance for anyone seeking a fantastic day out. Known for its cutesy towns and villages and its plentiful beaches, the Isle of Wight – often called ‘the Island’ by locals – is filled with delightfully offbeat houses and shops where you can find something truly special.

There’s a medieval lighthouse and chances to enjoy either a budget-friendly or luxurious visit, depending on your personal tastes. If you’d like to spend the day seeing more of the great British countryside, then this would be a fantastic venue to experience up close.

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