As beautiful as London is there are so surround cities offer some of the best day trips from London.
In this post, I am going to inspire your UK wanderlust for other cities across Britain that make up some of the best day trips from London.
This is only a short list, in my recent post I also shared 30 of some of the coolest weekend getaways in the UK.
From Portsmouth to Bournemouth and other gems in between like the Cotswolds, Wales, Newcastle and places like Bristol, Bath, Oxford and Cambridge which are just stones through away.
So if you have a couple of days in London, then check out my one day London itinerary then add in a day trip from London to any of the cities and places below.
10 Of The Best Day Trips From London & Day Tours From London
In addition to the below, you can also do a day trip to Durdle Door from London, although I would highly recommend staying in Dorset for at least a weekend if you can.
I have a couple of post on the blog on visiting the beautiful Jurassic coast in England. Day trips from London are a perfect combination to making the most of your time.
If you only have 2 or 3 days in London, you can do a 2-day itinerary for London and then do a day trip from London and choice from the following cities.
Below I have linked to tours you can easily do with a guide as well as tips on how to do the trip on your own, but note that in most cases its cheaper to do the tour as transportation is sorted for you as well as a guide taking you along the historical and most charming areas of the cities.
You can check prices for train tickets across the UK via National Rail and Eurostar for trains to Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels from London.
See the royal castle in Windsor, explore the Roman spa town of Bath, and admire the UNESCO-listed landmark of Stonehenge, with plenty of free time for sightseeing and souvenir shopping with this full-day tour from London.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: You can take a coach from Victoria Station to Bath start from £7 and trains from London to Bath are around £35 one-way or £61 return ticket.
Note that this is only one way and doesn’t include trips to Stonehenge or Windsor. It works out cheaper to do the tour covering Windsor, Stonehenge, and Bath than to do to it yourself when the tour is only £77.
Visit Oxford – a city that tops the list of day trip destinations out of London- on an easy excursion from the capital that includes pre-booked round-trip train tickets, a guide, and even a walking tour when you get there.
You can return to London whenever you like as your train ticket includes a flexible return journey.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: A self-guided tour with just train tickets alone from London to Oxford cost £66 without including any cost of underground tickets to get to the rail station(trains to Oxford leave from Paddington Station).
The guided tour which includes pick-up from your hotels only costs £39 and includes a 5 hour guided tour of Oxford.
Kick off your visit with a guided sightseeing tour and a view of the city from the Tower of Saint Mary the Great, then head off on your own to explore further.
Tour the prestigious university colleges and Botanic Garden, visit the Fitzwilliam Museum or sample regional specialties at the Cambridge Market, before traveling back to London.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: Train tickets from London to Cambridge costs around £37 whereas a guided tour to explore of more of England on a day trip to Cambridge only costs £57 and includes pickup and drop-off.
Spend the morning in Cardiff, where your Welsh guide will take you on a sightseeing tour of attractions like Cardiff Castle, the National Museum and Cardiff Bay.
After enjoying free time in the capital, pay a visit to the 13th-century Caerphilly Castle (entry included), before traveling back to London.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: Trains from London to Cardiff cost £81 alone vs a guided tour of Cardiff day touring some of the top sights in Wales only costing £57.
The tour also includes all entrance fees and transportation included making it a better option than a self guided.
Discover another side of England’s beauty and history with this splendid tour. With a local guiding you, visit Windsor Castle, the Riverfront, and the Old Town, or maybe head out to Runnymede, the famous meadow where King John sealed the Magna Carta (an ancient political document).
You could also visit Windsor Great Park or even Legoland, a big hit if you’re with kids.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: Castle tickets and train tickets combined costs around £50-60 but while guided tours offering a guide through the castle and town of Windsor cost a little more they offer a lot more value as in, you get more of the history of the city.
There are also combined tours of Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford for only £60.
See the very best of Paris on a full-day trip from London by high-speed train, and enjoy a mix of guided tours and time to explore on your own. Spend the afternoon by yourself, with plenty of time to shop Parisian boutiques, visit museums, or sample classic French cuisine in the City of Light.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: For the price of the tour vs doing it yourself you get a lot more for your money with a tour as the train tickets from London to Paris are included as well river cruise compared to how much it would cost to plan everything yourself.
Tickets on the EuroStar alone can sometimes cost £200+.
Explore Lake District on this guided day trip from London, with round-trip rail tickets included. On arrival, explore this epic region by minivan, visiting Lake Windermere, Hawkshead and Tarn Hows.
In summer, enjoy an added visit to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s former farmhouse; a scenic lake cruise, and tea at the famous Lindeth Howe hotel. In winter, meanwhile, add a visit to Rydal Mount, once home to poet William Wordsworth, including afternoon tea.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: The self-guide tour and plan for this trip alone, return train tickets alone would cost £110 without the tour, afternoon tea, scenic drive exploring Hawkshead village and Lake Windermere.
For additional £100 you get pick-up, private tours and food included without worrying abour the logistics of the trip to and from London.
Journey to England’s south-eastern coast on this full-day small-group tour of Dover and Canterbury from London, including round-trip private transfers.
Drive through the scenic Kent countryside to the historic port of Dover, overlooked by the dramatic White Cliffs of Dover and tour the medieval Dover Castle.
After lunch, head to Canterbury to visit the UNESCO-listed Canterbury Cathedral, the seat of the Church of England, then use your free time to explore attractions like St Martin’s Church, St Augustine’s Abbey or The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: To do the trip on a self-guided day trip from London to Canterbury, the train tickets alone without any tour of Canterbury are £43 for a return ticket alone.
The guided tour costs £81 for a comprehensive tour of Canterbury and Dover by bus/coach and includes entrance fees to attractions as well as pick-up and drop off.
Enjoy a full-day trip to Blenheim Palace, the Cotswolds and Downton Abbey village from London, led by an expert guide Explore Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the birthplace of Sir William.
Lastly, explore the pretty village of Bampton to see some of the locations where the much-loved TV series, ‘Downton Abbey’, was filmed, and enjoy time for lunch here before returning to London.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: If you have have been to Oxford you would know that Blenheim Palace is not near Oxford station and would require a drive.
The tour at £85 works out cheap as it includes transportation as well as a trip to the Cotswolds without having to worry about transportation between attractions.
Majority of Oxfordshire requires you to have a car to be able to navigate between some of the sights this tour explores.
The wild landscapes and soaring sea cliffs of the Isle of Wight lie just off the south coast of England, around 2 hours from London.
On this day trip, explore the island on a custom-made tour, accompanied by a private guide, and visit the lavish Osborne House, a former residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Also included is pickup and round-trip transport from London.
Guided Tour vs Self-guided: Getting to Isle of Wight from London involves a train to Portsmouth and then a ferry from Portsmouth to this beautiful part of England.
The trains alone without ferry or entrance tickets to attractions costs £44 but adds up the more you start looking at ferry and how to get to Osbourne House once on the island.
Again tours offer a great option if you want to take out the hustle of having to do the research yourself and navigating the island to and from sights to check out and then back to London.
If you have longer, I would highly recommend checking out Spitbank Fort on the Solent which is easily accessible from Portsmouth.
Tips On Transportation In London To Other Cities In The UK
As I mentioned above, many of the tours above offer a great value as you get a guide with the tours and transportation is included.
If you want to do the day trips from London on your own then you will need to figure out how to get to the British Rail station for the trains.
There are 10 major trains stations with providing great access to cities outside of London. Paddington Station services routes to Wales and the West of England.
Kings Cross Station serves routes to Scotland, NE England and Yorkshire districts.
Euston serves NW England and Scotland, Waterloo serves routes to South and SW England, cities like Portsmouth, Southampton.
So have you been on any of the above day trips from London?
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Many I had no idea just how many amazing day trips from London one can take. I love that picture of you at Durdle. Clearly I need to revisit London. So many amazing ideas for weekend trips from London
Wow! I’m half way through in your list. I’ve done 5 of these 10.
I really feel bad that I missed Isle of Wight when I was in England.
I did Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor as 3 different day trips. Also went to that area again for Longleat!
National Express Coaches is such a blessing, isn’t it?!
I’ve never seen the show Downton Abbey Village, but would really like to see the place where it was filmed. I’d also never think of doing a day trip to Paris, but I guess it’s really possible. Isle of Wight is somewhere I’d like to visit too one day, it look pretty.
Despite visiting Europe on multiple occasions, I’ve always skipped the UK because of its weather (I hear it’s quite cloudy), but this doesn’t seem to be the case at all! I didn’t know there were so many trips you can take from London and the Royal Pavilion looks absolutely beautiful! Will definitely have to add this to a future itinerary!
I’ve been to London so many times but unfortunately have never had a chance to venture out from there. The Lake District is at the top of my list – I had no idea you could do a day trip there from London though! Will try to plan for more time in London next time I go so I can check out some of these day trips.
This is a great list of day trips from London. Few of them are common and must-do’s. However, I am little confused with the sixth option. Is there a different city called Paris or is it the same Paris of France? Is it possible that you can visit it in a day trip from London?
This is such a comprehensive list and packed of sweet info! Admittedly, I’m not much of a city person – and I’m in London quite often but never really venture out whenever I’m in town. I’m very much looking forward to using your guide once I’m back in London town! Thanks for sharing!
I would love to do every one of these side trips but especially the Cotswolds! It looks like a fairy tale. It sounds like a got a lot of value by taking guided trips rather than self guided. I usually try to do everything myself, but maybe it’s time to rethink that!
This is a great list of places to visit from London. The Cotswolds are a great way to get a feel for cute rural English villages. Getting Paris in as a day trip might be a bit of a whistlestop tour! Still, the train is all part of the fun I guess.
Wow! I had no idea that you can take these day trips from London. For me, London was itself my destination so, the idea of visiting other places was remote. Will definitely consider this during our future trips. Thank you for sharing.