Cheerio, and welcome to the busy streets of London! In a city as centrally located as the UK capital, there can be a million things to do and see — and that’s not limited to urban jungle outings. If you’ve already swung by Buckingham Palace and seen the city from the top, consider a break from the hustle and bustle on a day trip. Read on for 9 of the very best day trips you can take from London.
Leave London behind and visit the world’s most famous stone circle.

1. Discover the past at Stonehenge

One of the best-known wonders of the ancient world, Stonehenge is a sight you definitely can’t miss. Once the home of pagan rituals dating back to around 3000 BC, Stonehenge is now an incredible open-air museum and offers a well-preserved glimpse into the past. Take a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and see the stone circle in person before heading on to Bath and Lacock on this 10-hour day trip.

2. Get back to nature in the New Forest

If you want to experience the true English countryside, grab your tweed jacket and smoking pipe and head to the New Forest. Only 90 minutes by train or 2 hours by car, this natural reserve is the place to see famous ponies, free-ranging Highland cattle, and pigs making the most of fall’s acorn drop. Pro tip: pack a picnic and wander down a dappled lane to enjoy your taste of countryside living.

3. Enter the wizarding world at Harry Potter Studios

For a magical tour outside of London, look no further than the Harry Potter Studio & Oxford day trip. You won’t travel by portkey (sorry), but your bus will take you outside the city in no time flat. Once you’re on location, your guide will give you the inside scoop on how the films were made while you explore the elaborate sets (and costumes!) of the world’s most famous school of wizardry. While there aren’t any potions classes on the schedule, the incredible architecture and beautiful gardens ensure the trip is worthwhile.

Wander along the Cliffs of Dover and soak up spectacular coastal views.

4. See the Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury

Any place with a song named after it has got to be worth a visit. Featuring an 800-year-old castle perched precariously over chalk cliff faces, Dover is a very Kodak-friendly spot. The sights, local cafe culture, and markets make this seaside destination just perfect for a day trip. Soak up coastal views (and sea spray) before heading to historic Canterbury for a walking tour with a local guide. By the time you’re done admiring the city’s ancient buildings and charming streets, your bus will be ready to whisk you back to London.

5. Swing by the Cotswolds

Spread out over 6 counties, the Cotswolds are home to rolling plains, charming cottages, and a limestone castle or two. This day trip departs London in style (read: luxury Mercedes mini-bus) and takes you to the heart of the traditional rural landscape. Stroll among charming old buildings and age-old colleges, marvel at masterpieces of art and antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, and try not to dream about moving here permanently (we dare you). For travelers looking for a quick trip with premium views, tons of nature, and a heavy dose of history, there’s nothing quite like the Cotswolds.

6. Soak up the waterfront in Whitstable

In the mood for a waterfront slightly more refreshing than the Thames? Head to Whitstable, just over an hour by train from London’s Victoria Station and around 1 hour and 40 minutes by car. With clean beaches and gentle surf, the real highlight is the Old Neptune — or “Neppy” as it’s known locally. This classic English pub takes ocean views to the next level by being located directly on the sands of the main beach.

Explore Cambridge’s cobbled lanes and local shops.

7. Admire architecture in Cambridge

If you appreciate the difference between Gothic and Romantic architecture, then a day trip out to Cambridge should be in the cards. As a city with well-preserved historical buildings, there’s a huge range of original architectural masterpieces. From King’s College Chapel to the stone archways of the student halls, the most incredible aspect is that these buildings remain fully functional and are filled daily with students and residents.

8. Let loose in Brighton

Home to one of the UK’s biggest pride celebrations, Brighton was once a sleepy seaside resort on the English Channel. These days, the five-mile stretch of pebbled beaches and chalk shorelines are known for their musical culture and dynamic nightlife. This day trip will have you beach adjacent an hour.

9. Explore England’s only desert in Dungeness

Noted most famously as Britain’s only desert and one of Europe’s largest expanses of pebble beaches, Dungeness can seem a little post-apocalyptic at first glance. Abandoned buildings and boats are swallowed by rocks and the plant life shows no signs of the local population. However, the haunting natural beauty of the landscape makes for an unforgettable sight and is well worth the 2-hour drive down from London.

Take a day trip from London

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