Eiffel tower at sunrise

London may be one of the most inspiring places in the world, with plenty of things to see and do, but sometimes it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and escape for an hour or two.

Unlike many capital cities, London benefits from being centrally located and within easy distance of a host of other great destinations. This means adventure, relaxation or beautiful rural scenery is never more than a few hours away.

If you want to get out and explore more of the surrounding area during your stay in London, hire a car or book an excursion to these top choices.


Oxford is one of the most famous places in the UK. Historic and stunning in equal measure, it attracts tourists from all over the world. Located just 1.5 hours away from London by road, it couldn’t be further away from London’s buzz. Its calming streets and laid-back atmosphere makes it the perfect escape for those looking for a quintessential English experience.

Despite its restful ambiance, there is plenty to fit in during a day trip to Oxford. There’re lots of museums, churches and cathedrals to capture your interest while the Bodeian Library, Iffley Lock and the university parks always feature highly in city guides. If you have time, we recommend visiting Blenheim Palace, which is just a 20 minute drive away and neighbouring Woodstock, which is a small town next door.

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

Located in Hertfordshire, the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour is the perfect day destination for muggles. Full of film memorabilia, this is where much of the filming took place. Expect plenty of Harry Potter history and actual sets. If you’re feeling confident, you can also try out a few spells, get a picture on a broomstick and explore the new Forbidden Forest.


As a landlocked city, you may think that a trip to the seaside would take forever when departing from London, but in just under an hour by train, you can be in the cool beachy town of Brighton. A firm favourite with visitors from London, as well as city-dwellers themselves, it has a reputation for being a diverse, thriving city with plenty to offer.

The pier is one of its most famous landmarks, while the Lanes shopping area and iconic pebbled beach attract sun worshippers from all over the world. Although most enjoyable on a warm day, there’s still plenty to do in winter too. Booth Museum of Natural History, the Brighton Dome and St Bartholomew’s are all worth checking out whatever the weather.

Downton Abbey Tour

An alternative day trip, this one is dedicated to one of ITV’s runaway shows, Downton Abbey. The historical drama was so successful that there are now dedicated Downton Abbey day tours departing from London. There are a number of pick-up locations around the capital, meaning it’s easier than you may think to experience the key locations featured in the captivating period drama first hand.


Valentine’s Day may be over for another year, but if you fancy visiting the city of love, it’s easy to do from London. Just over two hours away by Eurostar, you can hop over to Paris and see the sights, do some shopping or just experience the Parisian way of life for a few hours, before heading back to London in the evening.

There are many other places to visit, of course, all easily accessible from the centre of London, but these are some of our favourites.

The Montcalm Royal London Hotel is ideally located if you do want to explore, with great transport links to all of the above cool day trip destinations.