As one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, London is an incredible place to visit. But there’s plenty to see and do beyond the English capital. From hidden gems in cozy towns to historic highlights, discover the best weekend getaways from London. And remember: Don’t forget to bring your umbrella.

1. Make your way to Stonehenge

A view of Stonehenge nearing sunset

Head to one of the ancient wonders of the world, Stonehenge, enjoying the stunning English landscapes along the way. Stonehenge was built in several stages more than 5,000 years ago on Salisbury Plain in the Wiltshire countryside. 

This impressive cluster of 40-ton rocks remains shrouded in mystery, still causing debate about its meaning and initial function. But it is always better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times. Visit Stonehenge yourself to see if you can uncover the mystery of this prehistoric monument.

2. Feel the spirit of Downton Abbey

Taking a walking tour in Downton Abbey

Become Lord or Lady Grantham for the day and explore the world of the hit TV hit series. Get a unique experience and learn details about Downton Abbey production, series actors, and the fascinating history of the filming locations. 

The lovely Downton village Bampton and the grounds of Grantham family home, Highclere castle, will take you 100 years back in time and allow you to step into the filming process.

3. Discover the Cotswolds

Traditional stone cottages in Cotswolds

Looking to really feel a smidge of English charm? Head west from London to discover the hidden corners of the beautiful Cotswolds. Explore picturesque landscapes of the unspoiled villages and small towns. Take a relaxing walk around beautiful gardens and historic buildings of honey-colored stone, or ride a bike, winding your way through incredible views of the countryside.

4. Wander around Bath

The traditional bath houses in Bath, England.

Less than 2 hours away from London, the city of Bath is an ideal destination for travelers of all ages. Breathtaking views and spectacular architecture of this Georgian town are perfect for roaming around and spending pleasant time with family or friends. Relax and head to the famous Roman Baths afterwards, which have supplied water for more than 2,000 years. Afterward, get a cup of tasty tea or coffee in one of the many cozy restaurants to soak up the local atmosphere and charm..  

5. Enjoy White Cliffs of Dover 

A view of the white cliffs at Dover, UK

One of England’s most stunning natural sites, the White Cliffs of Dover is guaranteed to take anybody’s breath away. Take a day trip to the channel port in Kent to see the unique variety of flora and fauna that can be found only here. Ramble around and find the best spot for a view of the soft white chalks and clear water of the English Channel.  

6. Discover Stratford-upon-Avon

Picking flowers in front of traditional homes in Stratford-upon-Avon

“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” The birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon, is a perfect choice both for Shakespeare fans and those who want to unwind. 

Located on the banks of the River Avon, this small town is just two hours away from London. Dive into the world of Shakespeare and his wife, visit their family houses, take a stroll along the canal and, of course, enjoy the picturesque charm of Stratford-upon-Avon.

7. Visit Waddesdon Manor

The 16th century French château Waddesdon Manor is a perfect place for a weekend getaway from London. Belonging to the wealthy Rothschild family, this place is widely known for its beautiful outdoor areas. 

Hilltop gardens impress with incredible views, which stretch far away for miles. To round off your trip on a high note, have a glass of wine from the famous Rothschild vineyards after exploring the estate’s gorgeous interiors

8. Journey to Isle of Wight

Strolling down to the beach on the Isle of White

England’s largest island has everything to make a getaway from London unforgettable. The incredible landscapes and beaches of the Isle of Wight are perfect for a day or weekend trip at any time of the year.

Ideal for a visit with family or friends, this place has something to offer for everybody. Discover the countryside, lovely villages, beautiful cliffs, and more to truly escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

 9. Explore Cambridge and Oxford

Taking a walking tour of Oxford University

Both Cambridge and Oxford universities are famous for their rich histories and impressive campus areas. Whether you want to experience a student’s life in its full swing or view some of England’s most iconic architecture, a trip to either university town is guaranteed to fit the bill. 

10. Travel to Windsor Castle

Beefeaters in front of Windsor Castle

Escape the bustle of London and head west for a morning trip to the incredible Windsor Castle. Learn more about the royal family while visiting an official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Learn about the 900-year long history of the residence, and take your time to enjoy the gorgeous interiors and roam the grounds.