While I love London and you could spend WEEKS here without even scratching the surface of everything to experience in the city, then you could consider heading out of London for a day trip. I usually reserve recommending this to only if you’ve got more than a week in the city. That being said, I’ve compiled this list of the most popular day trips to take from London, plus some recommendations for what to do while there, information on how to get there, and more.
This post contains affiliate links, which help support all of the free content we produce.
Named after the Roman Baths in the city, which are the most popular tourist attraction (I give you permission to skip if you’re not into that kind of stuff), this city in its entirety is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a little luxury, book yourself into the Thermae Bath Spa, which is where you can dip into Britain’s only naturally heated, mineral-rich waters (plus the rooftop pool is pretty cool).
Bath is pretty walkable, so have a wander to find some decent shopping, lovely food spots (go to The Circus Restaurant for dinner and Same Same But Different for breakfast), and more.
Book this walking tour on GetYourGuide which includes (optional) Roman Baths entrance, or this private half-day walking tour with a certified Blue Badge guide.
How to get to Bath from London on your own:
Take the train from Paddington station, it’s super easy. Booking tickets earlier means better availability and prices. Book your tickets here.
If you don’t want to do it on your own, you could take a day trip to Bath from London with a stop at Stonehenge on this group tour.
Another one of the best day trips to take from London is Brighton. If you’re visiting in the warmer months then this city on the beach could be worth a visit. Most famous for its pier and as the gay capital of the UK, you’ll also find good restaurants, cute shops along the city’s “lanes”, and a fairly laid back vibe. If you can make it for Brighton Pride in August, make sure you take advantage. And take a dip in the water if you are lucky enough to visit during one of the UK’s rare heat waves!
For views, get tickets to the new British Airways i360 rotating viewing point, and visit the exotic palace that is the Royal Pavilion which has a very colourful history (get tickets here).
How to get to Brighton from London:
Take the train from Victoria, Blackfriars or London Bridge stations. Check train times and book tickets on TheTrainLine.
Honestly there’s no need to take a group tour here because it’s so easy to get to.
Oxford is of course home to world-famous Oxford University, as well as the Bodleian Library and Oxford Castle. If you’re a Harry Potter fan there are some things to see here, and the city is also the birthplace of Alice in Wonderland, as it’s where Lewis Carroll met the 10-year-old Alice that inspired the story. Punting on the river Cherwell is popular here, which you can hire by the day or hour. I recommend stopping at The Head of the River for a pub lunch or Sunday roast.
Definitely do an Oxford University and city tour with an alumni, which you can book here. You can also tour the Harry Potter filming locations.
How to get to Oxford from London:
Take the train from Paddington or Marylebone station. Booking tickets earlier means better availability and prices. Book your tickets here.
For a fun but jam-packed day you could instead book the Downton Abbey and Oxford Tour, which includes a visit to Highclere castle.
Another famous university city, again here you can go punting (best done by guided tour), visit the world-class Fitzwilliam Museum or Kettle’s Yard Gallery, or enjoy the city’s green spaces, like the Botanical Gardens. Cambridge is great for theatre lovers if you’re able to stay into the evening. The food scene is pretty good too, try Mercado Central for Spanish tapas in a beautiful setting. I also definitely recommend 2648, a sultry speakeasy with delish cocktails.
Book onto a guided university tour to really get a sense of what it’s like to be a student at this prestigious university.
How to get to Cambridge from London:
Take the train from Liverpool Street or Kings Cross station. Booking tickets earlier means better availability and prices. Book your tickets here.
If you don’t want to do it on your own, you could book this tour that pairs a visit to Oxford and Cambridge together.
Windsor is another one of the top day trips to take from London. Home to the Queen who now lives permanently Windsor Castle (book tickets here), this city is easy to get to from London and is popular to visit because of it. Changing of the Guards happens here, with a band and all, so find out when it’s happening when you’re visiting.
If the weather is decent when you visit (which in England just means it’s not raining!) then you can walk to your heart’s content, with many lovely walking trails and of course The Long Walk in Great Windsor Park. Book tickets to W
Besides all the royal-ness and walking, you’ll find some nice shopping and food spots in Windsor too. I’ve stayed overnight in Windsor at The St. Christopher Wren, where I had a lovely dinner and also spa treatments.
How to get to Windsor from London:
Take the train from Waterloo or Paddington station. No need to book tickets online, just buy them at the station, but check train times on TheTrainLine.
Don’t want to go on your own? Take this tour which also stops at Hampton Court Palace.
- 19 Apart-Hotels in London that are Better than an Airbnb
- Where Can You Store Luggage in London? A Comprehensive List of Luggage Storage Locations
- 15 Unique Museums in London to Explore
I want to go to Hampton Court Palace.