London is one of the best cities in Europe for holidays. With its beautiful blend of high class entertainment, scenic and historic landmarks and surplus of shopping opportunities, there’s truly something for everyone during a stay at the Montcalm Royal London House in the City of London. But for those who are spending longer than just a weekend in the city, it’s worth noting that there’s a lot to see and do further afield in England. In fact, the surrounding counties, cities and country retreats are as, if not better for highlighting the wider character of England and Great Britain as whole.
Whilst London is a great escape, its international feel and multicultural attractions mean that it’s easy to mistake the charm and vibrancy of London as indicative of the rest of the country. That’s not to say that cities such as Brighton and Bristol aren’t charming nor the Cotswolds dull, but guests of hotel packages in London will find new layers of character to the country if they venture outside the capital.
This blog will explore some of the best day trips for families from London, showcasing a balance of entertainment, adventure and downright fun. Whether you're looking to expand your taste palette from our restaurant in Finsbury Square to new culinary heights or you want to learn more about the history of England, these family friendly day trips will reinvigorate adults and children alike.
One of the best ways to have fun as a family, London has a selection of theme parks that are easily reachable from the city centre and cater to a range of different tastes and age ranges. Here are some of the best.
Situated in Windsor and only an hour’s train journey from Paddington Station, Legoland Windsor is a Lego themed amusement park that offers young children and families a range of fun, yet bitesize rides. Especially designed for small kids, Legoland is teeming with creative and hilarious rides that will put a smile on everyone’s face. Make sure not to miss the Legoland maze, a real chin scratcher that will confound even the most demanding of puzzle lovers. Another stand out is the garden of miniature Lego towns, designed to reflect major cities across the world with cute, bitesize charm.
Thorpe Park takes between an hour and an hour and a half to reach from Waterloo Station, depending on the speed of the train. If you’re on the hunt for a thrill-a-minute theme park that balances children’s entertainment with some of the country’s best roller coasters, then Thorpe Park is the day out for you. Make sure not to miss the stomach churning Colossus or the high speed Stealth.
Chessington World Of Adventures
Another one that balances children’s rides with fun for older kids, Chessington World Of Adventures is the theme park that challenges Legoland for actual theme coherency. Chessington, just under an hour from Waterloo, is a theme park built on the idea of a mad professor’s creations, bringing a range of weird and wonderful attractions to a characterful amusement extravaganza. Young teens and children will enjoy this one especially.
The Great Outdoors
London is known as a “green city” as 30 percent of its surface area is made up of green parks, gardens and nature reserves. It makes sense then, that the surrounding counties are teeming with natural wonders for adults to drink in and kids to burn some energy around.
The South Downs
The South Downs consist of rolling hills and valleys in the county of Sussex, under an hour from London Victoria Station. The Downs offer a range of attractions and walking trails that are suitable for kids, including the Devils Dyke just outside of Brighton, as well as Ditchling Beacon, both of which gift hikers with the prize of unique land formations and scenic views over the green valleys of Sussex.
For a taste of the bucolic and pastoral ideals often associated with England, the Cotswolds are the place to be. Located just outside of Oxford and spanning several counties, the Cotswolds are a collection of countryside hiking trails, pleasant streams and rivers as well as idyllic villages, notable for their use of sturdy limestone bricks. With plenty of country pubs and cottages to rent, the Cotswolds promise plenty of greenery and a welcome retreat from London and the city.
Easy to reach from London Liverpool Street to Waltham Cross and Cheshunt, the Lea Valley is a large valley that holds the River Lee and its tributaries, offering reservoir walks and hiking trails just north of London. For those who are interested in bird watching, the chain of reservoirs are also known for being wildlife reserves, with migrating birds roosting across the beautiful forests and marshlands.
Hitting The Beach
Though guests of the Montcalm Royal London House have their fair share of open air swimming pools to choose from in London, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing day by the beach. Below are some of our top picks for beach days, whether you’re after a party town, a serene retreat or something that’s in between the two.
This wholesome harbour town in Kentis a popular spot for foodies, the oysters and shellfish in Whitstable being some of the best in the UK. On top of this, the beaches surrounding this Kentish retreat are quaint and quintessentially British. To get to Whitstable, guests of London city hotel deals can get there via Victoria Train Station in just an hour and a half.
Moving southeast, the city of Brighton is known as “London by the sea” for good reason, it shares many of the nightlife, entertainment and cultural qualities of the English capital, but with an added splash to the mix. Brighton's seafront has plenty of pebbly spots to take a scenic dip as well as an iconic amusement pier and its own Sealife Centre.
A popular beach that’s just a train and a bus from London Bridge and Victoria Station in an hour and 45 minutes, Camber Sands in East Sussex is a dune filled beach strip off of Rye Bay and the River Rother. With so many sand dunes, this beach is often visited by London locals and offers beautiful, serene landscapes and plenty of spots for top notch sandcastle building!