7 Best Day Trips From London You Won’t Want to Miss 

Please share if you enjoy this content!

Taking a few day trips from London is a great way to explore more of England without getting too far away from the city. London is massive, with plenty of things to see and do, but sometimes getting out of the city makes for an even better vacation! 

London is one of my favorite cities, especially since it’s so centrally located in these other parts of the country. All the day trips outlined in this guide are three hours or less from London! 

Remember, though, that the way you travel will affect your time to get to these destinations. Sometimes taking the underground is best, while other times booking a tour is the most efficient way to travel. 

The best day trips from London are listed below, including the quickest way to get there. This way, you can make sure you don’t waste any of your holiday time. 

london eye, day trip from london

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure for more information.

Visiting London + Amazing Day Trips

If you’re in England or planning a European tour, seeing the best of London is a must. Whether you’re in London for just a weekend or a few weeks, don’t miss taking a few day trips! 

Here is a quick list of some of the best ones to choose:

1. Bath 

Bath is probably my favorite place in England. It’s a peaceful place outside the city full of history and culture. 

If you visit during the summer, it can be crowded, but it’s quiet throughout the rest of the year. A Bath day trip from London will allow you to explore literary history since it used to be the home of Jane Austen. There are also many other things to do in Bath if you’re not an Austen fan. 

It’s most famous for the Roman Baths, which are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can only view the baths as they stopped allowing people to get in the water in 1978, but it’s still worth it. 

roman baths, bath day trip from london

They do have a thermal springs spa built nearby, where you can bathe in the hot springs. 

My favorite part about Bath was learning about Jane Austen. You can visit Jane Austen’s House and the Jane Austen Centre. 

You can also have high tea at many different places, including the Jane Austen Regency Tea Room. Get tea here or at one of the other tea rooms in Bath since it’s much cheaper than places in London. 

day trip to bath from london, high tea ceremony, scones, sandwiches
Tea at the Jane Austen Regency Tea Room, Photo Credit: Natalie Castle

How to Get to Bath

Renting a car is one of the best ways to get to Bath. It will take you about 2.5 hours to drive. It’s a great idea to drive if you also plan to go to Stonehenge since it’s on the way to Bath. If you’re not going to Stonehenge, then taking a train from London is a better choice. It takes about an hour and a half. 

2. Bristol 

One of my good friends lives in Bristol, so I’ve been here quite a few times. It’s one of the best day trips from London by train. 

Bristol has a few universities, so the local crowd is young and lively. There are also quite a few pubs and clubs if you’re interested in nightlife. Brozen Bar is a great place for cocktails and Be at One Bristol is a nice pub that turns into a club at night. 

Make sure to check out the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It’s an iconic symbol of the city and is a great photo op dating back to 1864. 

clifton suspension bridge, best day trip from london, day trip by train to london
Clifton Suspension Bridge, Photo Credit: Natalie Castle

Also, don’t miss seeing Cabot Tower. If you’re not afraid of small spaces, you can climb the narrow stairs to the top and get some awesome city views. 

Cabot Tower is located in Brandon Hill Park, a popular place with locals. My friends used to take me here when we just wanted to relax or when the weather was nice. 

If you’re lucky enough to be in Bristol during August, check out the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Go at night when they set all the hot air balloons up and light them in tune with a soundtrack. 

They also have live music and food trucks. During the day, you can also take the kids for fun activities like fair rides and events where they can meet the balloonists. 

How to Get to Bristol

if you’re not booking a tour, you can take a direct train from London to Bristol. It’s straightforward and takes just over an hour and a half. 

street in bristol, best day trip from london

3. Stonehenge 

Stonehenge is one of the most famous spots in England and the entire world. I took quite a few art history classes in college, so I was excited to go to Stonehenge. It didn’t disappoint. 

Some historians argue about exactly when it was built, but it’s said to be over 5,000 years old. Whether you book a tour from London or just go and see it alone, you can visit the stone circle of monuments and some houses from the Neolithic period. 

The houses are not original like the stone circle. Historians built them based on the remains they found a few decades ago. I found the houses underwhelming, but visiting them is included in the price you paid for the ticket. 

How to Get to Stonehenge

Stonehenge is about two hours away from London when you drive. If you don’t want to rent a car, you can take a train to Salisbury. From Salisbury, you will have about a 20-minute bus ride to Stonehenge. You can also book a tour from London, where you will ride a private bus to the site. 

stonehenge monument, day trip london to stonehenge

4. The Cotswolds

A day trip from London to Cotswold is a must, especially for those who want to see old English towns and tour the English countryside. There are many towns to visit in the Cotswolds, but the most popular cities are Bourton-on-the-Water and Burford

Bourton-on-the-Water has a river right in the center of the town with a beautiful bridge crossing over it. It’s also well known for Cotswold Perfumery, a fragrance shop and museum combined into one. 

Burford is famous for the medieval bridges that go through the town. It’s a great place to get pictures, especially at sunset, and worth strolling around. There isn’t much else to do in Burford unless you like antiques. 

cotswold village, old English buildings

Antique shops line the center of the town, as well as a few tea rooms and pubs. Check out Burford Antiques Center and Antiques at the George.

 Huffkins Burford is the best place for tea with scones, sandwiches, and fresh salads. For a few pints and some traditional English pub food, some of the best places are Cotswold Arms and The Royal Oak. 

If you aren’t sure which Cotswold towns to visit, book a tour. This way, you have transportation from one place to the next. A tour guide can also show you the best places in each village. 

How to Get to the Cotswolds

It will take you about 2 hours in the car to get to the Cotswolds from London. If you don’t book a tour, renting a car is a good idea.

Getting there by train or bus requires you to first get to Oxford and then switch lines a few more times, which can be confusing and time-consuming.  

old phone booth in cotswold, day trip from london to cotswold

5. Harry Potter Warner Bros Tour 

This is a top recommendation for Harry Potter movie fans. It’s also one of the best day trips from London if you have children. They will love exploring the magic of how the films were made. 

The studio includes famous sets like the Forbidden Forest and the Great Hall of Hogwarts. My favorite part of the tour was seeing the prop room, which had thousands of props used in the movies. 

At the end of the tour, you’ll be able to visit the Creature Effects section and the Visual Effects section. The graphic designers will explain how they were able to create scenes using special effects. 

Taking a Harry Potter tour is an enjoyable day if you’ve spent most of your time in London visiting museums or going on historical tours. It has a different vibe compared to some other day trips.  

How to Get to Harry Potter Warner Bros

This is one of the shortest day trips on the list, as it’s only about 20 minutes from downtown London in the car. If you don’t want to drive, book a tour company that will pick you up at your hotel.

You can also take the train to Watford and then a bus to the studio. If you choose the train and bus option, it will take you about an hour. 

diagon alley movie set, harry potter tour, warner bros studios

6. Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is one of the most popular day trips from London especially for those that like to learn about the royal family. it has been a residence for the Royal Family for 900 years. Henry VIII is even buried here.

You can tour certain rooms inside the castle including some of the staterooms. When you’re done seeing the inside, you can walk around the castle gardens.

How to Get to Windsor Castle

From the London Waterloo station, you can take a direct train to Windsor Castle and be there in about an hour. From the train station, you can walk to the castle in about 10 minutes.

edward III tower of winsor castle, blue skies in the background

7. Paris

Paris is one of the most visited cities in Europe and for good reason. Home to the famous Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe; Paris is a must-visit if you have the time.

Keep in mind though one day is really not enough to see all of Paris, so you want to make sure you have a very organized itinerary or that you book a day tour. You can also buy all your tickets ahead of time to the attractions so you don’t have to wait in line for a long time.

Other than seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, you should also eat as many pastries as possible and have an amazing dinner before heading back to London.

How to Get to Paris

The easiest way to get between the two cities is the Eurostar train. It only takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes. You can also book a guided tour if you prefer to have a more structured itinerary.

montmarte neighbrohood paris, top of basilica in the background, cobblstone old street with restaurants and outdoor dining on both sides

How to Get to London 

London has many different airports. You can fly to London Heathrow (LHR) if you’re coming internationally. It’s the biggest and busiest airport in London. 

If you’re already in Europe, you can probably find a cheap flight to London Stansted (STN) or London Gatwick (LGR). These airports are smaller and further outside the city, but the airfare is often cheaper. 

If you’re already in the UK, you can take a bus or train to London. 

window.fd(‘form’, { formId: ‘5f654c78bf43d8ae8bbfa457’, containerEl: ‘#fd-form-5f654c78bf43d8ae8bbfa457’ });

When to Visit London 

London is very crowded during the summer months, both with tourists and locals. The weather is usually mild in the summer, so people want to get outdoors and visit attractions. 

London is also very busy during the holidays, even though it’s cold. To avoid crowds and enjoy the best weather, consider visiting London in March through May or August through October. 

The Best Day Trips from London Are Waiting For You!

Ready for your London trip? The best day trips from London include visiting historical monuments, other English cities, and the Harry Potter movie sets. 

Whether it’s your first time in England or your tenth, taking a few of these day trips will help you better immerse yourself into the culture and history of Great Britain. 

Which day trips from London are you booking? 

You Might Also Like

Like it? Pin it!

Please share if you enjoy this content!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *