5 Day Trips Out of London
London receives more tourists per year than possibly any other city in the world. It is packed with attractions ranging from historical sites to theatres to museums to nightlife spots to shopping districts to everything else that one could want. But sometimes on holiday all you want to do is escape from the bustling center of activity, and find an adventure somewhere outside. Here are 5 of our top day trips from London:
Britain’s only natural hot springs are located in appropriately-named Bath, just 90 minutes by train from Paddington Station. Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its well-kept Roman baths and other ruins dating back more than 2000 years, offering an interesting look into what the culture was like here before it became so, well, British. There is a modern spa that uses the same ancient waters that the Romans revered so much, as well as a variety of more contemporary architectural and historical sites, such as those related to notable Bath resident Jane Austen.
Brighton Beach is the best seaside escape within easy distance from London. Sure, you’ll share it with plenty of other holidaymakers, but that doesn’t keep it from being a pleasant and memorable scene. Enjoy the sea and sunshine, explore the Artists Quarter, and visit what many believe is Britain’s most beautiful building—the Royal Pavilion, an extravagantly opulent masterpiece of fused Gothic, Chinese, Indian, and Russian architecture. The nightlife in Brighton is also making waves these days, if you care to stay overnight.
3. Kempton Park Racecourse
What better way to get out of the city than a day at the races? Kempton is an excellent place to indulge, with frequent top-rated races like on two courses. Enjoy the National Hunt course, where intense races involving ditches, hurdles, bumpers, and other obstacles test the jockeys and horses, primarily in the winter when the ground is softer and more forgiving. The all-weather flat course is more active in the summer months. In addition, you can catch a great weekly market and bi-monthly antiques market on the grounds of the course. Check their website for details.
4. Hiking from Egham to Runnymede
If the city has you down and you’re missing nature, this is a great way to get your blood moving. Take the train less than 40 minutes out from Waterloo to Egham and find your way to the Thames. Follow its course, hiking through small towns and meadows, and exploring life in the countryside. If you ask around, you’ll discover a variety of monuments, such as one monolith dedicated to JFK, and the site where King John signed the Magna Carta 800 years ago. A refreshing escape from the Big Smoke!
We’re not kidding. With the new Eurostar high-speed trains traveling upwards of 300 km/hour from Pancras Station in downtown London, you can get to Paris in just over two hours. Eat a full breakfast on the train, do some Parisian sightseeing throughout the late morning and all afternoon, and take an evening train back. Why not? If you’re looking for a change from London for a day, this is a great (albeit pricey) way to do it. You could even stretch your trip further with some great day trips to Versailles.
Inspired yet? It’s easy to find plentiful activities inside and outside of England’s capital. Be creative and see what you can find.