The Best Places to Visit and Day Tours From London (UK)

Looking for the best day trips from London? London has a lot to offer for everyone, being one of the world’s most visited cities, things to do are incalculable, from strolling in remarkable establishments and historical sites to exquisite dining and dazzling street night party.

As with its sleepless metropolis, you, somehow want to change of scenery even for a day or an over-the-weekend escapade. There are an unimaginable amount of destinations, cuisine and entertainment that the nearby cities of London can offer.

Numerous day trips from London are just 1 to 2-hour travel. The mode of transportation in hopping out of London is by car or train. Many of the best UK villages, castles, famous landmarks and cities are outside London (though London’s charm will always be unique).

Add a little detour from the bustling metro of the United Kingdom’s capital and head to these marvellous day trips from London.

Read More: Best UK Travel Itinerary for 2 Weeks

The Best Day Tours and Places to visit near London

1. Brighton

Brighton is a city in England located on the south coast. The scenery in Brighton is considered one of the best places to visit near London. It is known for its quirky view due to the vibrant bright coloured buildings, houses and other establishments (Banksy art is everywhere!).

Brighton Pier in Brighton UK

Since it is by the coast, beachgoers are hyped to fill up their vitamin-sea cravings (I am one of them tho), nearby you will find the most magnificent limestone cliffs on UK’s south coast- the Seven Sisters.

This is an amazing place to amble outside London’s busy streets. Read through the article I wrote about the Best Things to Do in Brighton (UK) For Fun Weekend Breaks.

2. Portsmouth

The vibrant, dynamic, historical city of Portsmouth is the naval base of England on the south coast and the United Kingdom’s premier destination for Naval History. The historic dockyard and ships are packed with many historical attractions. Some of the original Naval artefacts from the 1800s and WWI are still on display, open to the public. This evocative visit is a must in your detour from London.

HMS Victory in Portsmouth

Are thinking about where to go near London and considering a short break by the sea? Well, Portsmouth is less than 2 hours of travel by train from London. So what are you waiting for? Let’s go!

Read More: Visiting the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a Weekend Break (UK)

3. Windsor

Visiting Windsor is one of the best train trips from London that is not to be missed. Windsor is widely known as the historical site of Windsor Castle and one of the official residences of the British Royal Family (Hello Royal Family!). Several monarchs have lived in the huge Windsor Castle since it was built. The castle is the largest inhabited castle with 500+ people working and even living in it.

Windsor Castle in Windsor, Berkshire
Photo Credit: Jean-Marc Astesana | CC BY-SA 2.0

Do not miss the museums, parks and cultural ventures in Windsor, there are bountiful of activities waiting for you in this town. Sling up your backpacks and hit the roadway to this exquisite town in England.

Read More: Beautiful Castles and Palaces to Visit in the UK (England, Scotland and Wales)

4. Canterbury

An hour’s drive from London, Canterbury and its amusing view can totally bring you to the yesteryears of England. Canterbury is a cathedral city and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Canterbury Cathedral was founded in 597 AD and rebuilt by the Saxons, and Normans over the years. The iconic cathedral also has impressive medieval stained glass windows and upscale ceilings. Canterbury has a perfect blend of city sight, coast and greenery, ensuring to spoilt your various interest.

Enjoy the beautiful coastline, countryside and breathtaking heritage, culture of Canterbury. Tick this detour in your best day trips from the London UK list.

5. Hastings 

Hastings is home to the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in the whole of Europe. This working fishing port town is packed with hilly natural parks, incredible museums, art galleries, antique shops and other English historical settlements.

Hastings East Sussex

One of the most crucial events in English history happened here, the Battle of Hastings, where the Anglo-Saxons were defeated by William of Normandy and the Norman Conquest began. The ruins and abbey of the battle are now a tourist attraction.

The stretch of Hastings’s coastal line will definitely make your visit one of a kind. Consider Hasting as the most lovable weekend trip from London.

Read More: The Most Beautiful Historic Castles in England That You Must Visit

6. Oxford 

Oxford tour from London is an hour’s ride from the train (the best quick sneak out from the streets of London). This county town of Oxfordshire is one of the largest cities and fastest growing populations in the United Kingdom. Home of the famous and oldest university in the English-speaking world- the University of Oxford.

Blenheim Palace in Oxford

Historical heritage is also in the area, the Blenheim Palace, with an English Baroque architectural approach, this is also the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Having a tour in Oxford is an unforgettable experience, so look for that online booking button and zoom ahead for these marvellous spots!

7. Harry Potter Studios

“Wingardium Leviosa”, for sure you will definitely fly in happiness when you pay a visit to the Harry Potter Studious in Watford.

Chamber of Secrets door

The studio has authentic, beautifully crafted props that are used in the film series (check out the glasses of potions! So cool!), original costumes (try the robes of Harry, Hermoine and Ron) that feel like being a student wizard and the breathtaking sets (the Hogwarts Express locomotive is so legit) that will perfectly put you in the wizard mood.

Being a wizard for a day in the Harry Potter Studios in Watford is one of the premium tours in London. 

8. Cambridge

Universitas Cantabrigiensis is the Latin of the University of Cambridge, the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university and the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world (next to Oxford University).

This prestigious university is a collegiate public research ground (free admission in their nice, huge library) that caters an over 100 academic departments and 30+ constituent colleges, annually they have 20,000 students admitted. The environment on the campus is inspiring and nurturing for both students and tourists.

Being amazed at Cambridge University’s jaw-dropping medieval style that will never let your camera stop clicking, is one of the best day trips from London.

9. Ascot 

Ascot Race is located in Ascot, Berkshire, England and it is the most notable, valuable race meeting for the Brits. It attracts many of the world’s finest and well-trained racehorses to compete for a prize of millions of pounds. The Ascot Racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711.

Royal Ascot is the prominent piece of the Ascot Race, where the British Royal Family arrive via horse-drawn carriage taking a Royal procession towards the venue.  Call your mates and have a blast on this day trip from London. Just make sure your royal outfits and bets are ready for the race!

10. Salisbury 

Salisbury- “the city in the countryside”, encompassed a picturesque of natural landscape that looks like paradise. This is where the world-famous and one of the most iconic man-made structures is situated- the sandstone and bluestone of Stonehenge which will bring you to the Neolithic era.

Another amazing spot in Salisbury is the Early English Gothic style Salisbury Cathedral also known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The church’s spire is the tallest in the United Kingdom. 

The quintessential culture, landscape and history of Salisbury should not be missed in your premium tour out of London!

Top Activities in the UK


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If you are looking for travel inspiration read this post – Best Places to Visit in UK Recommended by Travel Bloggers

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Best day tours and places to visit near London


Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

Travel Blog

Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas and travel guides for travellers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.

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