Guest blogger Anita Dykstra is a travel writer from New Zealand. You can read her great blog on her website.
London is a beautiful place, but let’s admit it—sometimes the constant noise and madness of rush hour drives you mad. Luckily for the city, they have one of the best transport systems in the world so it’s easy to jump on a train and visit a new place for the day.
There are so many cool and beautiful day-trips you can do from London that depart from any of the main train stations like London Euston or London St Pancras. Here are seven day-trips that you must do from the capital city!
Brighton is not only by the sea, but there’s so much to do here—not to mention eat! It’s only an hour-and-a-half train ride from London Victoria station. If you’re looking for some fresh air and fish and chips by the sea, then you’re going to love it. Brighton is one of the most popular day-trips from the city as there’s plenty to do here, including visiting the Pier, which holds an amusement arcade and ice-cream.
There’s also some amazing architecture around the seaside town such as the Royal Pavilion and plenty of Regency-era buildings to look at. Don’t forget about The Lanes, which is where most of the shopping is situated. Back in the day, it used to be a slum, but now it’s one of the most popular areas of the town!
This 18th-century town is famously known for its Roman baths which you can still enter today. If you want a day-trip with a huge historical element, then Bath is the place you should come to. The city is also known for its beautiful architecture—and because of the historic value of Bath, it’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 1978, you’re not permitted to swim in the ancient baths themselves but there are still thermal spas in town to take advantage of.
Oxford has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. It’s famous for its university which was established in the 12th century. If you’re a lover of architecture, then this should be number one on your list; you’ll be in architectural heaven, promise! This city is absolutely smothered in history so make sure you leave from London early to make the most out of your day. A quirky thing here is to take a visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum to see the shrunken heads if you’re brave enough!
Only a 20-minute train ride from London St Pancras is St Albans, a very historic Roman city. It was, in fact, the second-largest city in Roman Britain, which was formerly known as Verulamium. There are still parts of Roman ruins situated in Verulamium Park. It’s a beautiful city to spend the day in. And make sure you visit The Pudding Shop for a sweet treat.
Windsor is a town situated on the River Thames, only 45 minutes by train from London Paddington Station. Windsor Castle is, of course, the main attraction in this beautiful town. It’s the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world and apparently it’s the Queens favourite weekend getaway. When you see it for yourself, you will understand why!
Colchester claims to be the oldest town in Britain, with a history that dates back over 2,000 years. It’s now one of Britain fastest-growing towns, making it the perfect day-trip from London. Make sure you take a visit to Colchester Castle, one of the most popular attractions in the east of England. It’s only an hour-and-a-quarter away from London and you can catch the train from London Liverpool Street Station. To really get the feeling of Colchester and its history, book a walking tour.
Cambridge is another stunning British city famously known for its university, the University of Cambridge. It was founded in 1209 and is now one of the top five universities in the world. If it’s good enough for 15 British prime ministers, 30 foreign heads of government, nine monarchs and the Lord Protector of England, then you know it’s prestigious! The grounds are absolutely stunning; in fact, the whole city is. Make sure you try your hand at punting, one of Cambridge’s favourite things to do on a sunny afternoon!
Which English town or city would you love to visit? Tell us below!