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The Best Day trips from London

Panoramic London skyline with iconic symbol, the Tower Bridge and Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, known as the Tower of London as viewed from South Bank of River Thames in the morning light

With cultural institutions like the TATE Modern or the British Museum, a vibrant theatre and musical scene, abundant shopping opportunities and an intriguing modern culinary culture, London can be a hard place to leave when you’re visiting for a couple of days.

Nevertheless, the English capital can become overwhelming, and when you need an escape from its urban bustle, there will be a lot of places you can explore in just one day. Read our guide to best day trips from London!

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Day trip from London to Stonehenge 

The mystical structure of Stonehenge is probably Europe’s best-known prehistoric monument. It dates back to the period between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, and it is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The full name of the attraction is “Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site”, and the iconic stone circle is, in fact, only a part of the historical centre.

The site also includes Neolithic Houses that give the visitors an impression of how people lived over 4 millennia ago. Partnering with Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum, Stonehenge centre is also presenting various exhibitions of ancient cultural and historical artefacts, and you will also find a shop with unique artefacts and souvenirs.

Departing from London, you can easily reach Stonehenge by public transportation. Take the train to Salisbury station (1 hour 30 minutes long journey from London Waterloo Station, and return ticket prices start at 42 GBP, approx. 51 USD for an adult ticket), where you can jump onto the Stonehenge Tour bus that will take you directly to the cultural site.

When buying tickets for Stonehenge online you can choose to book only the bus ride (prices start at 10 GBP, approx. 12 USD), but we recommend you look into the visitors’ packages and reserve your spot on the Stonehenge Tour bus together with your entry ticket.

Day trip from London to Stonehenge 

Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric stone monument near Salisbury, in England. Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 to 2000 BC. Stonehenge is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Day trip from London to Bath

If you choose to book a direct tour from London to Stonehenge, the offer will probably include a stop in the town of Bath. It is another UNESCO world heritage site, and with loads of attractions and beautiful spots and places to discover, we recommend you make your visit to Bath a day trip!

The city’s most popular attraction is the complex of Roman Baths; remains of one of the most significant religious spas of the ancient world. Explore the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva with well-preserved Roman pavements. Next to the bathing complex, you will find a small museum showing even more cultural and historical Roman artefacts.

The Roman Bath Complex is open every day, except December 25th and 26th, and from mid-June through August there are special evening openings. Ticket fares vary with season and day of the week, so we recommend to double-check the fares on the official website before you go.

Getting to Bath is fairly easy, we recommend taking the train from London’s Paddington Station. The journey is 1 hour 34 minutes, and adult return fares are around 80 GBP, approx. 97 USD, if you plan to depart early in the morning. You can get a cheaper price by departing slightly later, during off-peak hours.

Day trip from London to Bath

BATH, UK - : City scene with weir on the River Avon near Palladian Pulteney Bridge

Day trip from London to Brighton

Our next suggestion for a day tour is a trip to ”London by Sea”. Less than an hour away from London, you will find Brighton, a vibrant, hip coastal city that is becoming a very popular destination among British and international tourists. One of the main attractions of the city is the famous pier where you will find an amusement park, a concert hall/stage as well as loads of small shops and cafés. For more dining options, go up the promenade that leads to the pier, you will for sure find a relaxed spot for your sunset dinner or a drink with friends.

When in Brighton, be sure you do not miss the Royal Pavilion! This former royal residence is designed and built with a tremendous Asian influence. The Pavilion is open daily except for major holidays like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A single adult ticket is 13,5 GBP (approx. 16,5 USD), but joint family ticket options are available. You can purchase the tickets online in advance of your visit, and digital booking even gives you a 10% discount.

To get to Brighton, jump on a train from London Victoria or London Blackfriars. The journey is around an hour-long, and one-way adult tickets are 25 GBP (approx. 30,5 USD). You can also travel to Brighton by coach for a significantly cheaper price (only 10,6 GBP, around 13 USD), but the bus journey will take you 2 hours 30 minutes. Another option is to book a private day trip from London to Brighton, a good opportunity for those who also want to combine their visit to Brighton with a trip to the famous Seven Sisters Country Park.

Day trip from London to Brighton

Brighton, England : Brighton Pier and bar beer on seafront with Brighton Pier stair, visitor, boat and The British Airways i360 skyline tower in background on hollyday.

Day trip to Warner Bros Studio Tour London 

Ready to start your meander through ”The Forbidden Forest” or experience Hogwarts after dark? Yes, Harry Potter fans are definitely in for a treat with this one, but even if you are not familiar with J. K. Rowling’s fantasy books, you will for sure appreciate some of the attractions, special effects, and movie making hacks that you can experience and come closer to during a Warner Bros Studio Tour.

The tour brings you closer to the fantasy world of Harry Potter, you will be able to step directly into some of the sets that you may recognize from the movies, you can see the costumes used on set in real life, but you can also learn about special effects used in the movie production. Warner Bros Studio Tour basically explains to you the whole process of making the Harry Potter movies through permanent exhibitions and attractions, but also temporary shows.

As special ”seasonal highlights” you can experience the Hogwarts castle in a winter setting or ”by night” during a specially curated experience that will for sure resonate with all ”Pottermaniacs”. On-site, you also have a shop with gadgets and items related to the Harry Potter series, so the Warner Bros Studio is also a unique place to buy souvenirs. 

The Studio Tour is situated 20 miles north-west of London. When driving on your own (there is a free parking area outside of the Studio Your), you can take the M1 or M25 motorway (the Studio Tour is just 3 miles away), but you can also reach The Studio Tour by public transportation. If you want to go by train, you must travel to Watford Junction, which will take you 20 minutes from London Euston.

You can use your Oyster card on this journey. From Watford Junction, you can jump on a direct shuttle bus provided by The Studio Tour. The journey time is approx. 15 minutes and the shuttle buses run every 20 minutes. It is cash only service, and a single journey ticket for the shuttle transport is 3 GBP (approx. 3,5 USD), and you also have to show a valid booking for The Studio Tour to your driver when boarding. 

Day trip to Warner Bros Studio Tour London 

London, UK; Warner Bros Studios London tour, with the sets and original material of the Harry Potter movies.

Day Trip from London to Leeds

Ready for a day trip to the largest city of Yorkshire? Not as famous as the English capital, Leeds is full of surprises and will amaze you with an abundance of cultural spots and events. Architecture enthusiast will not want to miss buildings like the Leeds Corn Exchange built in Victorian style or Leeds Town Hall. A more contemporary addition to the architectural wonders of Leeds is the Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre, famous for its impressive glass roof.

Leeds Grand Theatre and the city’s Opera House attract tourists and locals alike, and before your day trip, it is definitely worth it to check the program, maybe you can catch a performance, even during a short visit!

A Leeds tour highlight would be a visit to Leeds Castle though. The castle was a private property of six of England’ queens in the Middle Ages, and it was also used by Henry VIII (the English king who is now known for breaking the bond to the pope and the Catholic Church and establishing the Anglican Church) and his first (of six in total) wife Catherine of Aragon.

A visit to Leeds Castle does not have to be a one-time pleasure. When you buy an admission ticket (26 GBP equal to 31,5 USD for an adult ticket), you can re-enter the site all year round (for 12 months from the date of issuing the ticket), and that also includes an entry for special events like concerts. The castle is open all year, so it is a good idea to look into the event calendar, maybe you can make a day trip to Leeds Castle and then revisit the magical site for one of the special events. 

Day Trip from London to Leeds

leeds, west yorkshire, united kingdom - a view along the river aire in leeds with waterside apartments and buildings with crown point bridge in the distance

Day Trip from London to Blenheim Palace

This monumental residency in Woodstock, Oxfordshire was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Nowadays the Blenheim Palace is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, and it does not only include the palace building itself, but also vast, lush gardens. The gardens consist of several smaller garden projects, like the “Pleasure Garden” with “The Butterfly House” where you will be able to see butterfly species from all around the world.

Blenheim Palace also showcases a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life of Winston Churchill as well as offers several curated tours, eg. en garden walk presenting the former British prime minister’s favourite places. Special events like organ recitals also take place at the Blenheim Palace, so make sure to check the events calendar, also if you want to learn more about the temporary modern and contemporary art exhibitions that are presented in Blenheim Palace. 

A tour to the Blenheim Palace is one of the easily-arranged day trips from London by coach. We suggest taking a bus from London Victoria Coach station (Buckingham Palace Road) to Gloucester Green in Oxford. This journey takes roughly 1 hour 40 minutes. From Gloucester Green bus station to the gates of Blenheim Palace, you can take the S3 bus that runs every 30 minutes.

Similarly to the entrance policy of Leeds Castle, when buying a ticket to Blenheim Palace, you may enjoy a re-entry for another 12 months from the date of the ticket purchase, in case you want to visit the castle and come back for a special event another day.

Day Trip from London to Blenheim Palace

Oxford, United Kingdom - Blenheim Palace

Day trip from London to Windsor Castle

The Windsor Castle is a royal palace in the town of Windsor in Berkshire County. The British Queen Elisabeth II chooses to spend most of her private weekends there (if you see a flag flying from the Castle’s Round Tower, it shows that the queen is in residence). The Windsor Castle is the oldest and, with its 13 acres, also the largest, occupied royal residence in the world.

The Castle is especially well known for its stunning architecture; the castle is a combination of different building and decoration styles. You will find classical and gothic elements but many rococo (eg. in the State Apartments) details too. The whole complex does not only include the palace but also features picturesque terraces, a fortification, the famous chapel of St. George and a garden complex. The Castle is also surrounded by a vast parkland.

We recommend looking into different ticketing solutions for your visit to Windsor Castle. A singe-entry adult ticket is 22.50 GBP per person (approx. 27,5 USD), but for 32 GBP (roughly 39 USD) you can purchase a family ticket that allows two adults and 3 children under the age of 17 enter the castle together. 

The tickets for the castle as well as train tickets can be booked online, prior to your visit. Taking Great Western Railway from London, you must disembark at either Windsor and Eton Central or Windsor and Eton Riverside. Both stations are located within a few minutes’ walk from Windsor Castle and other tourist attractions of the little town that you may want to explore after your visit to the royal castle.

Day trip from London to Windsor Castle

Windsor, UK Group of buildings including Private Apartment, State Apartment, and South Wing with King Charles II Statue at The Upper Ward and The Quadrangle of Windsor Castle, a royal residence at Windsor in county of Berkshire, England, UK

Day trip from London to Paris

One of the best European day trips from London is a getaway to the French capital! Cross the English channel and explore Paris with its abundant cultural program including museums like the Louvre Museum, the contemporary art centre Palais de Tokyo or classical venues like Grand and Petit Palais. Take time to meander around Montmartre, pay a visit to the Sacré Coeur Chapel – the view from the stairs leading to the chapel is absolutely breathtaking! 

There are direct train connections between London and Paris, to get a cheaper price you may choose a connection with an interchange, but keep in mind that the travelling time becomes significantly longer (2 hours 30 minutes with direct train, and around 4 hours with interchanges). Try booking your train ticket in advance, a single one-way trip can be bought for 41 EURO (around 46 USD). 

If you want to make sure to see all the major Parisian attractions in one day and want to secure a comfortable journey, you can also book a full-day guided tour from London to Paris. You might still cross the English Channel by train, but you will be accompanied by a guide, and in Paris, you will onboard a coach that will take you to the most important Parisian sites. Most of the guided tours allow time for shopping too, so even when joining a curated trip, you can still be sure to have time to explore on your own.

Day trip from London to Paris

Paris, France - Louvre Paris Museum at night in Paris, France

Recommended day trips from London

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The Best Day trips from London

The Best Day trips from London

The Best Day trips from London

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious!With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!