The world is a mosaic of beautiful places where exciting experiences await for us. When planning breaks and holidays, we often find ourselves on scanning and searching for the cheapest deals to get to the furthest places. But there are a lot of great places close to home, offering days out at little expense (and hardly any annual leave used!). Having lived in London my whole life, it has been easy to become consumed by this busy, vibrant city.
Equally, being in a city means regular getaways are needed. This year, I have actively been exploring more of this country I call home by taking day trips from London. To my surprise, there is always something new to be found not too far from home.
Here are 5 places I have loved so far.
Well known for its world renowned university, Oxford is a great city to explore on foot with breathtaking architecture and cobbled streets, transporting you to the medieval times. Maybe hire a punt and row down the river IsIs, formed from the River Thames as it enters into the town, to explore the beauty of Oxford. Explore the grounds of Oxford Castle – which operated as a prison until 1996! My personal favourite part of the day was climbing the Carfax Tower, the remains of a 12th-century church, to get an amazing view of the whole of Oxford.
How to get there: Be in the centre of Oxford in just one hour with a direct train from Marylebone station for less than £20 return.
Visiting Bath has been one of my favourite day trips from London so far. Wandering the streets of Bath you can find an array of independent cafes, shops selling unique handmade items and ice-cream parlours. Many buildings are lined with the famous Bath stone which lights up golden in the sun. One of the main attractions in this town is the magnificent Roman Baths, dating back to 70AD, and home to natural hot springs. If that was not enough, the Alexandra park is a beautiful 11-acre landscape open to the public and a perfect place to sit down and enjoy a coffee and blissful silence.
How to get there: Be exploring this Roman city within 2 hours and 30 minutes with a train direct from Paddington Station, costing around £30 return.
Another university town that is packed with great history and architecture, Cambridge is another must on the day trips from London. The Cambridge University Botanical Gardens was a great find on my last visit, with more than 8000 different plant species are displayed in 40 acres gorgeous land. Just exploring this alone could take the day! Taking a stroll around the 30 different colleges of the university brings you some eye-catching architecture and takes you back to 1200’s when the university was first established. Of course, No visit to Cambridge is complete without taking a punt (or having someone do it for you!) through the river Cam.
How to get there: Get onto a Greater Anglia train from Liverpool street station and be in Cambridge within 1 hour 30 minutes for just £14 return.
If you are like me, a day trips from London must always have beautiful, awe-inspiring landscapes with no skyscrapers in site! The Cotswolds are idyllic, covering over 800miles, with rolling hills, small country lanes and aesthetically pleasing villages. This is the perfect place to come for those who love to hike, with many trails ranging from easy to hard. Mountain biking is also another great activity to do out in The Cotswolds. For me, simply sitting on a bench with nothing but greenery as far as my eye could see was the perfect way to spend a day away from home.
How to get there: A train from Paddington station will transport you to Moreton-in-marsh Station at the heart of this beautiful getaway in 1 hour and 30minutes for just £20 return.
A post on day trips from London could not be complete without mentioning a seaside town! Brighton is a much-loved location by locals and those travelling from afar for its expansive beach and a great pier. The Royal Pavilion brings a lavish Indian exterior and a Chinese inspired interior to the heart of this ancient fishing town. For lovers of antiques and all things unique, Brighton has a range of boutiques selling all things vintage. Another must while visiting is to get yourself on the British airways i360, the vertical cable car that glides you up 450ft slowly into the skies to take in the eye catching sight of Brighton and the South Coast.
How to get there: Straight from Victoria, a southern train will have you at this sandy sanctuary in 1 hour 30 minutes for as little as £17 return.
If you are visiting these places by train, which is the most economical and faster way, you should also make sure you take advantage of the 2for1 deal they offer on attractions in some locations. The DaysOutguide.co.uk is a great way to explore the country and also same some money. All you need is to print the voucher and show your train ticket.