London is a cosmopolitan, exciting city filled with an endless array of historic sites, monuments and museums. The area around London provides some great day trip possibilities and the chance to get out of the city and see more of the English countryside.
Here are five interesting day trips you can easily take from London England:
Windsor Castle, about 30 minutes from downtown London is the oldest and largest still-occupied castle in the world and the Queen of England’s official residence. The castle can be seen from the plane usually as your flight approaches Heathrow Airport. Windsor is not just a castle but a whole city, filled with museums and historic buildings and sites. The Castle houses the Royal Collection of art masterpieces and they offer many fascinating tours and changing exhibits.
To add to the fun, now you can climb about 200 feet to the top of castle’s Round Tower, high above the Thames, where you can enjoy a view of the Castle and Windsor Great Park, the Thames Valley and even the whole London skyline in the distance.
About 90 minutes from London in Salisbury is Stonehenge, a magnificent ancient circular monument of giant stones. The monument, still a mystery to scientists, is now believed to be a burial site, related to a series of other ancient sites in the area. The stones and circles are lined up with the sun various parts of the year and this was believed to be part of the religion. I’ve just watched this great PBS Nova episode about Stonehenge and recommend watching it if you plan a visit.
Once you get to the Salisbury train station, the site is about 10 miles away and easily reached via local cab or bus. Trains for Salisbury depart London Waterloo Station.
A visit to the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, about 2 hours from London, takes you back in time to the world of William Shakespeare. As the birthplace of Shakespeare, the town is home to the historic Royal Shakespeare Company, there are always many plays and performances to see, as well as historic sites related to the life of Shakespeare.
Train service to Stratford-Upon-Avon is available from London Marleybone or Euston stations.
Hit The Beach
Brighton is the quintessential English seaside resort and a fun way to spend a day, whether it’s summer or winter. An easy hour train ride from London, the town had it’s heyday about 100 years ago, but retains charm and a sense of fun.
This is a true seaside town with piers, amusements and pavilions. This is also a summer resort, so if you make the trip during the summer, its a packed party town. If you visit during the winter, it’s a lot different, but still special. Trains leave from London Victoria Station.
The Chunnel is a tunnel under the English Channel between England and France. The high speed train service running through it now allows you to step onto the Eurostar train in London’s St Pancras Station at 7 AM and walk off the train at Paris’ Gare Du Nord at 10 AM, allowing Paris to now be a day trip from London. Catch the 7 PM train from Paris and be back in London by 10 PM.
Fares start at about $100 roundtrip for the most deeply discounted, advance purchase coach class tickets, to over $300 for a business class walk up fare.