Why not take a day trip from London and explore the beauty of its surroundings? From charming seaside towns to historic castles and vibrant cities, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.
In this post, I’ll look at some of the best day trips from London that tourists should try.
Whether you want a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of city life or an adventure packed with activities, I’ve got something for everyone
Let’s begin our journey.
- 1. Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford Tour
- 2. Harry Potter Studios ⚡️
- 3. Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds
- 4. The best of Kent – Canterbury Cathedral & Dover
- 5. Trip to the famous White Cliffs of Dover
- 6. Downtown Abbey Day Trip from London
- 7. Half-day trip from London to Stonehenge
- 8. The Seven Sisters in Sussex
- 9. Day trip to Paris with lunch at the Eiffel Tower 🇫🇷
- 10. Shakespeare’s Stratford & Cotswolds
- 11. Visit Bicester Village for Luxury Shopping 👛
- 12. The Beatles trip to Liverpool 🎸
- 13. Best of Cambridge
- 14. Bath, Avebury & Lacock Village
- 15. Lake District – England’s most beautiful nature?
- 16. Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge
- 17. Edinburgh by train 🏴
- 18. Isle of Wight 🏝️
1. Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford Tour
Visit the picture-perfect town of Windsor and explore the world-famous Stonehenge and Oxford on an action-packed day trip from London.
Experience the beautiful English countryside, get to know the history behind some of England’s most famous landmarks, and even have time for shopping or sightseeing.
The tour starts with a visit to Windsor, a charming market town full of character home to the world’s largest inhabited castle – Windsor Castle. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the city and learn about its 600-year-old history.
Visit sites like St George’s Chapel, see where Her Majesty The Queen lives during weekends, or relax in one of the many quaint cafes and pubs that line the streets.
From there, continue onto Stonehenge – an ancient monument built about 5,000 years ago that still fascinates visitors today. Listen as your guide explains how it was constructed and learn about their theories regarding its purpose.
Next is Oxford – one of Britain’s oldest cities renowned for being a centre of education with beautiful University College buildings at each turn. Take a leisurely walk around this city filled with architectural wonders before returning to London.
On this unforgettable full-day tour from London, you will discover some of England’s most iconic historical sites in style.
With plenty of free time to explore on your own, shop or take photos along the way – you’ll be sure to get plenty out of your journey.
2. Harry Potter Studios ⚡️
If you’re looking for a fun-filled day trip from London, then the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter (Harry Potter World) could be just the ticket.
Located in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, this unique experience is guaranteed to transport you into the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
First off, you’ll get to explore the very sets and props used in the movies themselves. Take a walk down Diagon Alley, or observe real-life Quidditch matches.
You’ll learn all about how these iconic scenes were created with state-of-the-art special effects techniques, as well as hearing some behind-the-scenes secrets from the cast and crew members who worked on them.
The tour also features an impressive collection of detailed costumes and props straight out of Hogwarts – including Harry’s wand! If you’re a fan of the franchise, then this is a must-see experience – it’s like taking a step inside JK Rowling’s magical universe.
There are also plenty of interactive activities available at the Harry Potter World.
Visitors can try their hand at creating illusions with Animatronics Modeling or witness famous broomstick trickery for themselves by taking part in an exclusive action workshop.
For those seeking an even more immersive experience, there are also options to explore one of four film locations with exclusive access either through a guided tour or a self-exploration route.
Plus, there’s plenty more to see and do – making your visit to Harry Potter Studio Tour educational and entertaining.
Read more about the trip to Harry Potter Studios here.
Please read our complete guide to the Harry Potter World in London.
3. Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds
Explore the beautiful Cotswolds and visit the historic Blenheim Palace on a full day excursion from London.
Enjoy a delicious pub lunch in one of the region’s quaint villages before taking a tour of Blenheim and its grounds.
Your journey will start with an early morning coach ride to the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
You can admire stunning English countryside scenery as you pass through quaint villages with charming thatched cottages and rolling hills.
Next, you’ll be invited to experience a traditional pub lunch at one of the Cotswolds’ iconic pubs. Take some time to sample a pint or two from the local brewery and soak up some of the region’s unique atmosphere.
Afterwards, it’s time for your visit to Blenheim Palace – home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Stroll around the magnificent Baroque palace surrounded by 2,000 acres of landscaped parkland where deer roam freely!
Get ready for a big dose of history as your expert guide takes you through its impressive state rooms, ballroom and chapel – each painted in exquisite 18th century ornamentation.
Whether it’s culture you crave or simple relaxation – there’s something for everyone during this amazing full day excursion.
4. The best of Kent – Canterbury Cathedral & Dover
See the best of Kent on a day trip from London to Leeds castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover.
Enjoy an exclusive private showing of Leeds Castle before heading to Canterbury Cathedral for a guided tour and some free time exploring.
Finish the day with a visit to Dover and take in some of England’s most stunning coastal views.
Start your journey with a visit to Leeds Castle in Kent (not in the actual city of Leeds in Yorkshire) which has been used as a palace, stronghold and home throughout its 900-year history.
With its 500 acres of beautiful parkland, lake and gardens it is one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain.
Get ready for an exclusive private viewing of the castle before being dropped off at lunchtime.
Next is Canterbury Cathedral – perhaps one of England’s best known landmarks due to its mention in Chaucer’s Tales Of The Canterbury Pilgrims.
Take a guided tour of this stunning Norman cathedral and marvel at its architecture, stained glass windows and crypt.
You will then have enough free time to explore on your own or take part in special activities like ringing the bells.
Finish the day off with a scenic drive along the coast stopping by Dover for amazing views over the English Channel.
Don’t forget your camera – you won’t want to miss out on capturing these incredible vistas.
On this full day tour from London you’ll get to experience some of England’s most iconic landmarks while soaking up true culture and history in style!
After your day trip from London, check out my extensive guide on the best things to do in London.
5. Trip to the famous White Cliffs of Dover
Discover the stunning White Cliffs of Dover and explore its historical city centre on a day trip from London.
See the iconic cliffs, visit Canterbury – one of England’s oldest cities, walk along the picturesque beach and enjoy a two-course lunch in a traditional pub.
Begin your tour with a 3-hour coach ride to Dover, where you can admire the spectacular views of the English countryside as you head down south.
On arrival in Dover, prepare for an awe-inspiring view from the cliffs.
Capture some fantastic photos of this striking landscape before taking some time to explore the area.
Continue onto Canterbury, where you can wander around its cobblestoned streets full of independent stores, cafes and restaurants.
Plus, no tour to Canterbury would be complete without visiting its famous cathedral – considered one of England’s finest Norman structures and takes you back over 1,400 years in history.
After a busy morning exploring, stop for a delicious two-course lunch at a traditional pub nearby – perfect for recharging your batteries before heading to neighbouring Whitstable.
Stop by this famous seaside town with picturesque beaches and a colourful harbour where you can take some more beautiful photos while having free time to explore independently or relax on the beach before starting your journey back to London.
Enjoy a memorable day out discovering England’s south coast, including its breathtaking White Cliffs of Dover – an experience not to be missed.
6. Downtown Abbey Day Trip from London
Enjoy a day out of London with a visit to the real-life set of the world-famous drama series Downton Abbey.
Follow in the footsteps of the Crawley family and explore village life on a full-day tour from London.
Visit Highclere Castle – home to the Crawleys, learn more about their story through an experienced guide and wander around the quaint village of Bampton.
Depart from central London and take an hour-long journey to the actual location of Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle.
Enjoy beautiful views over this Victorian mansion and learn more about its history during your guided tour inside.
Feel like Lord Grantham as you pass by period furniture, grand paintings and stately rooms!
Continue your tour with a visit to Bampton village – nearby Hills & Holes, which was used for filming scenes for Downton Abbey.
Take a stroll along its streets admiring traditional cottages and churches, explore St Mary’s Church where Lady Mary’s wedding took place – recreated at Ely Cathedral in season 3 – or sit back, relax and enjoy some free time exploring independently before beginning your journey back to London.
This 8-hour coach trip is perfect for all fans of the popular show Downton Abbey who have ever dreamt of visiting its iconic sets.
See why it is one television’s most successful shows while taking memorable photos along the way!
Read more about the Downtown Abbey day trip from London here.
7. Half-day trip from London to Stonehenge
Step back in time and embark on a 4-hour journey from London to Stonehenge – one of the world’s oldest and most mysterious monuments.
Experience the mystic atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage site, admire its unique stone circles and enjoy an audio guide as you make your way around the site.
Plus, with your entrance ticket included, you can save time at the gate.
Begin your tour with a comfortable coach ride out of London towards the Wiltshire countryside.
Admire stunning views over rolling hills and farming land as you reach Stonehenge – one of England’s top attractions.
On arrival, explore below and above ground while listening to interesting comments on an audio guide.
Discover why it was built and its significance through time thanks to intriguing facts about life in prehistoric times.
Listen to fun stories about the druids and try to guess who left their mark at Stonehenge taking some fantastic photos along the way.
Afterwards, head back to London with plenty of unforgettable memories from this historical monument that dates back more than 5 millennia ago.
8. The Seven Sisters in Sussex
Enjoy a full-day tour filled with breathtaking views and coastal delights.
Explore nature’s beauty of the South Downs National Park and Seven Sisters Country Park on a comfortable coach from London.
Admire white cliffs, rolling hills, lush woodlands, quirky villages and pristine beaches – ideal for fabulous photos.
Depart London and let yourself relax in an air conditioned coach as you make your way to the beautiful countryside of Sussex.
Get ready to admire amazing views over South Downs National Park’s rolling hills while learning interesting facts about the area from audio guide commentary.
Pass through picturesque villages such as Alfriston or Seaford with their charming churches, traditional pubs and tea rooms – ideal for free time to explore independently.
You can continue towards Beachy Head – a stunning chalk headland boasting spectacular views over the Channel Sea.
Make sure not to miss Birling Gap – an old smuggling village – where you can enjoy a delicious picnic lunch before heading towards Seven Sisters County Park.
On arrival, take a stroll along clifftops admiring its distinctive rugged beauty before returning back to London filled with memorable moments from this amazing tour.
9. Day trip to Paris with lunch at the Eiffel Tower 🇫🇷
Yes, you can go from London to Paris on a day trip 😀
Experience the magic of Paris in one day with an exclusive tour that includes a delicious 3-course champagne lunch at the Eiffel Tower.
Embark on a luxurious train ride from London and enjoy air-conditioned comfort as you make your way to the City of Lights.
Enjoy yourself while listening to audio guide commentary on Paris’ rich history, culture and architecture as you travel.
On arrival, admire breathtaking views over this iconic city from the top of Montparnasse Tower before soaking up La Ville Lumière’s beauty with a guided walking tour that stops at all the must-see sights such as Palais Garnier Opera House or Notre Dame Cathedral.
Indulge in gourmet cuisine like a true Parisian with a 3-course lunch accompanied by Champagne at the famous Jules Verne Restaurant atop the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Spend some free time admiring 360° views over Paris before heading back to London, saying au revoir until next time.
If you want to know more about Paris, I’ve also got another travel blog called Destination Well Known, where I’ve written about the best things to do in Paris.
10. Shakespeare’s Stratford & Cotswolds
Escape the hustle and bustle of London for a day and experience a journey full of fascinating sights, hidden corners and delicious food.
Board an air-conditioned coach from London and enjoy comfort as you make your way to Stratford-upon-Avon – the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
Let yourself get lost in this incredible town’s charming streets while learning interesting facts about William Shakespeare’s life from audio guide commentary.
Visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – the childhood home of William Shakespeare’s wife – before indulging in a delicious lunch at The Fleece Inn.
Continue on your way through the beautiful Cotswolds countryside with its rolling hills, typical villages and lively market towns such as Stow-on-the-Wold or Warwick – perfect for some free time exploring independently.
Finally, discover one of England’s most beautiful country houses – Charlecote Park that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Return back to London after an amazing day filled with unforgettable moments.
11. Visit Bicester Village for Luxury Shopping 👛
Get ready to experience a day of shopping luxury.
Travel from London by train to one of the world’s leading shopping destinations — Bicester Village.
Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed by a village ambassador to get you acquainted with this incredible shopping haven full of designer boutiques and outlet stores offering up to 60% discount prices on European and American fashion brands.
Enjoy free time exploring the chic shop-lined streets, wander through the alleys and find yourself among the most sought-after luxury labels such as Prada and Chloé or perhaps a timeless souvenir like charming English tableware.
Let yourself be spoiled with refreshing snacks, coffee & more at one of the many cafes within Bicester Village before taking a break in its beautiful gardens full of colourful blooming flowers.
At the end of your shopping spree, return back to London by train after an unforgettable experience perfect for any fashionista.
12. The Beatles trip to Liverpool 🎸
Step into The Beatles’ shoes and discover Liverpool’s iconic sights on a day trip from London.
Travel to this city in style while listening to some of The Beatles’ greatest hits — the perfect way to inspire you for your tour.
Start off your day at The Beatles Story Museum located in the very heart of Liverpool where an audio guide narrated by John Lennon’s sister Julia will take you through over nine interactive galleries full of fascinating memorabilia.
Then, have a speedboat ride across the River Mersey, just like the one that The Beatles took when they landed back in 1964.
Walk through Mathew Street along cobbled streets filled with history and vibrant music venues before visiting Penny Lane — home of Saint Barnabas Church, The Shelter Hall and Lennon’s childhood abode known as Mendips.
I’ve been to Liverpool quite a few times and visited to Beatles Story Museum as well and I’ve got to say that it’s one of the best things to do in England as a music fan.
See more about the Beatles day trip from London to Liverpool here.
13. Best of Cambridge
Get ready to explore one of the world’s most famous university towns known for its stunning architecture, proud history, and vibrant culture.
Find yourself wandering through King’s College Chapel where you’ll admire over 500 years of history in its stunning interiors.
Make sure to stop by Fitzwilliam Museum, the second-largest museum in England, where you can enjoy sculptures from ancient Egypt or masterpieces from Monet.
Take a peaceful stroll along the Cam River or relax in one of its many beautiful parks like Christ College Meadow.
Learn about Cambridge’s rich history with visits to punting boats along the water gardens; taste traditional English scones at afternoon tea in one of Cambridge’s iconic colleges; immerse yourself in Cambridgeshire culture with a visit to spectacular Great St Mary’s Church – there is something for everyone.
At the end of your day, return to London feeling refreshed and energized.
14. Bath, Avebury & Lacock Village
Get ready to explore some of the most picturesque sights in England on a full-day tour from London.
Take a journey back in time while visiting medieval stone circles, elegant manor houses and quaint villages.
Your first stop is the beautiful Bath, with its impressive architecture and hot springs, which were used by the Romans two thousand years ago.
Then you’ll visit Avebury Stone Circle – the largest megalithic stone circle in Britain – where you’ll marvel at its ancient mystery.
You’ll also see Lacock Village, with its unique cobbled streets and traditional cottages.
Don’t forget to admire the historical Lacock Abbey, which has been featured as part of Hogwarts school in Harry Potter movies.
On your last stop of the day, experience a taste of relaxing English countryside life at the 13th-century Stourhead House and Gardens.
After a day of exploring these iconic landscapes and breathtaking views, jump back into your comfortable coach for an enjoyable ride back to London.
15. Lake District – England’s most beautiful nature?
Enjoy a full-day trip to some of the most magnificent natural landscapes of Great Britain, packed with wonderful experiences.
Marvel at idyllic lakes, emerald valleys and spectacular mountains on your journey to a land known as Wordsworth’s poetic playground.
Take in the breathtaking views of the beautiful Ullswater lake, the second largest lake in England, and stroll through lush green forests.
Visit charming villages where you’ll get to taste traditional English scones during afternoon tea before heading back to London.
On this tour, you’ll also get an exclusive visit to one of the finest gardens in England – Holehird Gardens – and take a ride on Windermere by steamboat for a unique perspective on this incredible landscape.
Get ready for a day filled with exciting activities, beautiful sights and delightful afternoon tea treats.
Read more about the Lake District 1-day trip from London here.
16. Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge
Take a journey to one of the most intriguing places in Britain on a full-day trip from London.
Discover mysterious Glastonbury, famous for its legend of King Arthur and the Holy Grail and renowned for its world-renowned music festivals.
You’ll also visit Cheddar Gorge – an impressive natural ravine carved by glacial meltwater with towering limestone cliffs and amazing views of the Mendip Hills.
Explore its stunning scenery, including Gough’s Cave which is one of England’s longest caves, and marvel at the Iron Age fort located on the crest of the Gorge.
During your tour, you’ll get an exclusive visit to St Margaret’s Chapel – one of England’s oldest chapels dating back to 1135 – and an opportunity to learn about the Glastonbury Thorn tree, said to have bloomed each Christmas by miracle.
Get ready for an unforgettable day filled with magic, history and beautiful landscapes.
17. Edinburgh by train 🏴
I mentioned earlier that it’s possible to go to Paris on a 1-day trip from London, but how about the Scottish capital of Edinburgh?
Take a direct train ride from London to Edinburgh, which is a fantastic experience in itself.
Once you arrive, explore this breathtaking capital city with its elegant Georgian terraces, hidden back streets and magnificent architecture.
Visit Edinburgh Castle – a symbol of power for more than 1000 years – marvel at the stunning views from Calton Hill or stroll through Princes Street Gardens.
Get exclusive access to areas not normally open to the public on your tour, including the romantic Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens or Mary Kings Close – an underground network of alleyways dating back to medieval times.
Get ready for a day full of culture, history, art and spectacular views in Scotland.
I used to live in Edinburgh, so I’d actually recommend that you spend a couple more days in Scotland as it’s honestly one of the best cities in Europe.
On my other travel blog, I’ve written a complete guide to the best things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland.
18. Isle of Wight 🏝️
Enjoy a memorable day trip from London to the Isle of Wight – one of the loveliest islands in the UK.
On your journey, you’ll cross the Solent and admire spectacular coastal views.
Once you arrive, explore its stunning natural beauty and fascinating history.
Visit Osborne House, former residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, see their private beach or visit Carisbrooke Castle – home to Charles I when he was held prisoner by Parliament.
You’ll also get an opportunity to take a guided tour around Newport’s old town and discover its hidden treasures, such as St Thomas’ Church, where Queen Victoria worshipped during her visits to the island – or even ride one of the island’s vintage steam trains.
Get ready for a delightful day full of amazing landscapes, centuries-old monuments and unique activities.
Going on a day trip from London gives you the perfect opportunity to discover new places and create lasting memories. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure or something in between, there’s something for everyone.
I hope this guide has helped give you insight into the best day trips from London.
The best day trips from London depend on what you’re looking for, but some of the top picks include Brighton, Canterbury, Oxford and Cambridge. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you will want to visit the Harry Potter World.
The most popular destinations are within a few hours’ drive from London, but you can go on day trips to the Lake District, Liverpool, Edinburgh and even Paris, France.
Depending on how much you plan on doing during your day trip from London (number of attractions visited, amount of transportation required etc.) it could be cost-effective compared to staying in the city due to the reduced accommodation costs among other things – however, this will depend upon your individual needs and budget.
There are plenty of hidden gems around London that make great additions to any day trip itinerary, such as Woburn Safari Park just outside Milton Keynes or Cotswold villages like Bibury in Gloucestershire that has been featured in movies like Bridget Jones’ Diary and TV shows like Midsomer Murders.