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London. England’s historic capital city, packed with plenty of attractions to visit and things to do as part of your whirlwind urban adventure. One question I get asked a lot is, “what top destinations can I get to within easy reach of London?” As with any city break, it is easy to end up staying inside the city, when in fact there are plenty of places to explore as part of a day trip. Which is certainly something that is the case with a trip to London.
Below is our guide to 15 dreamy day trips from London (there’s even an extra 10 ‘mini’ day trips from London that don’t require you to actually leave the city!) No matter what your budget or your interests, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to book through any of these best day trips from London via the links below I get a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. And even better – the tour operators offer a best-price guarantee so you know that you’re getting the best London Day trips & London excursions for the best price in what can be an expensive destination!
15 INCREDIBLE Day Trips from London
Table of Contents
- 1 15 INCREDIBLE Day Trips from London
- 1.1 White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury
- 1.2 Oxford and the Cotswolds
- 1.3 Stonehenge and Bath
- 1.4 Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour
- 1.5 Luxury Paris Day Trip
- 1.6 Downton Abbey Tour
- 1.7 (Southern) England in One Day Tour
- 1.8 Seven Sisters and South Downs
- 1.9 Windsor Castle Express Tour by Train
- 1.10 Lake District Tour
- 1.11 Cambridge Day Tour from London
- 1.12 The Beatles and Liverpool Rail Day Trip
- 1.13 Edinburgh Rail Day Trip
- 1.14 Midsummer Murder Tour from London
- 1.15 Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge
- 2 Mini Day Trips In (& Around) London
White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury
RATED: ★★★★½ (4.5/5)
Spend the day exploring Kent with a live tour guide on which you will enjoy looking out at the coastal views on a walk over the White Cliffs of Dover, followed by a walking tour of the historic city of Canterbury, including a visit to the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral.
Oxford and the Cotswolds
RATED: ★★★★½ (4.5/5)
Escape London and head to the countryside for a day traveling around some of the most beautiful areas in England. Your guide will take you on a tour of Oxford, home to the world’s oldest university, followed by visits to some traditional Cotswolds villages, famous for their chocolate box cottages.
Stonehenge and Bath
RATED: ★★★★½ (4.5/5)
London to Stonehenge is just a short 2-hour drive and on this day trip from London, you can be sure you will enjoy a day out to remember. Head West for a visit to the UNESCO world heritage sites of Stonehenge (the mystical stone circle) at Salisbury Plain, followed by a leisurely exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath, where you can tour the sites, including Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths and the Jane Austen Visitor Centre.
This Stonehenge and Bath day trip is
Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour
RATED: ★★★★½ (4.5/5)
While we all know that Platform 9 3/4 is can be visited for free at Kings Cross Station (right next to St Pancras). Potterheads will need to hop on a coach from Victoria Station to really get to the heart of the magical world of Harry Potter. On the Harry Potter Studio Tour London you will get the chance to see some of the original sets, props, and costumes. And with the potential to ride a broomstick and walk down Diagon Alley, it’s a must for any Harry Potter fan.
Luxury Paris Day Trip
RATED: ★★★★ (4/5)
Who says you have to say in England when planning a day trip from London? On this Luxury smallgroup day trip, you will travel first class on the Eurostar to Paris where you will enjoy visiting some top attractions including a guided tour of the Louvre. You will also enjoy a river cruise along the Seine followed and a delicious champagne lunch up the Eiffel Tower. (It’s one of the most unique experiences you could have on a day trip from another country!)
Downton Abbey Tour
RATED: ★★★★½ (4.4/5)
The ultimate day out for all Downton Abbey fans, hop on a luxury coach from London for a visit to Bampton AKA Downton village where you will enjoy a tasty lunch. Follow this with a guided tour of Highclere Castle in Basildon Park (a UK National Trust site), home to the Grantham family on Downton.
(Southern) England in One Day Tour
RATED: ★★★★ (4/5)
A trip for anyone wanting to experience England in a day as part of your trip to London. Enjoy visiting sites including Stonehenge, Bath, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon, hosted by a professional tour guide, onboard a luxury coach with a glass of sparkling wine and scones to top off your day.
Seven Sisters and South Downs
Head down to Brighton from where you will start your journey exploring the South Downs with a visit to see the stunning Seven Sisters cliffs, along with views from Devil’s Dyke and the Neolithic carving at Longman of Wilmington. And if you love that part of the UK, be sure to think about adding the Isle of White to your UK itinerary.
Windsor Castle Express Tour by Train
Experience the royal town of Windsor with a guided tour of the historic Windsor Castle, home to Her Majesty the Queen. In a small group of up to 15 people, you will enjoy the chance to stroll through the castles staterooms and step inside St. George’s Chapel, where the Duke & Duchess of Sussex were recently wed.
Lake District Tour
RATED: ★★★★½ (4.3/5)
Hop on the train at Euston Station with your guided tour for a trip north to the scenic Lake District, where you will be left feeling inspired with the views on a lake cruise, followed by a visit to the medieval village of Hawkshead, a tour of the home of Beatrix Potter and a delicious cream tea at the charming Lindeth Howe Country Hotel.
Cambridge Day Tour from London
RATED: ★★★★½ (4.7/5)
Home to the world-renowned Cambridge University, travel by luxury coach to the city with your tour guide for a tour of all the major sights including the historic University colleges, or if you fancy it, hire a punt and enjoy a trip along the River Cam.
The Beatles and Liverpool Rail Day Trip
An unforgettable experience to discover the hometown of The Beatles. Catch the train from London to Liverpool and enjoy the day exploring the city, along with entry to the Beatles Story and a two-hour mystery tour of Beatle-related sites.
Edinburgh Rail Day Trip
RATED: ★★★★½ (4.5/5)
Head across the border into Scotland on this full-day return trip to Edinburgh. On this independent trip, you will start by enjoying your train ride through the English countryside followed by plenty of time to explore the historic city of Edinburgh. Tour the city on an open-top bus, visit Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile and more!
Midsummer Murder Tour from London
RATED: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Spend the day with a tour guide exploring some of the villages across Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire that have been seen on the screen of one of Britain’s most popular and longest-running TV shows, Midsummer Murders.
Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge
RATED: ★★★★★ (5/5)
A cultural day out in Somerset where you will visit the unique town of Glastonbury, home to Glastonbury Abbey and Glastonbury Tor. Carry on to the spectacular Cheddar Gorge where you can take in the amazing views of the English countryside and head underground to explore the ancient caves.
Mini Day Trips In (& Around) London
For those of you that don’t want to stray too far from the city center, there are plenty of ‘mini’ day trips that you can do in and around central London including:
- Admire the beauty and serenity of St Paul’s Cathedral
- Need a rainy day activity, don’t forget the family favorite wax museum at Madame Tussauds
- Dine on a delectable Afternoon Tea at these famous London restaurants: The Ritz, The English Tea Room or Claridge’s.
- Cruise down the River Thames on one of the many Boat Tours available.
- Grab some discount theatre tickets in Leicester Square and treat yourself to a show in the West End.
- Stock up on local produce at the Farmers markets at Marylebone, Blackheath, Greenwich or Parliament Hill.
- Work some of those afternoon calories off with one of London’s favorite outdoor activities on one of the various biking tours offered around the city of London
- Hand out in one of the many green spaces and public parks within central London.
- Take a peek at old-world justice at the Tower of London
- See London from above with a revolution on the London Eye or sipping a cocktail at Sky Garden.
We told you there were plenty of day trips from London to choose from and we hope that you have found something that ticks all your boxes, whether it be a historical or action-packed day out – or one a little closer to home. If you are planning your city break to the UK and hope to incorporate one of our recommended day trips, we would love for you to let us know what you thought in the comments below.
We have plenty more day trip guides available, whatever city you are visiting. Check the links below for more.
Oh, and if you enjoyed this article or know someone planning their big trip to London, please tweet, pin, flip or share on Facebook – I’d really appreciate it!
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Hi There! Thanks for reading my travel tips and the ultimate guide to The 15 BEST Day Trips from London, I just wanted to let you know that this travel guide contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here.
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Vicki is the Lawyer turned Content Creator, Editor-in-Chief and all round Boss Lady at MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld.
She has lived and worked in 7 different countries and started the site to show everyone that it is possible to travel whilst holding down a full time job (because not everyone can – or wants to – quit and walk away from it all).
Her style of travel has always been to get the best out of a destination as a time poor traveler making the most of limited vacation days and all without breaking the bank; BUT she does know where to save and where to splurge to have the most incredible travel experiences – such as luxury hotels and over-water bungalows, safaris, spas and more(!) – where the situation calls for it.
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