Today I want to bring you my list of the best weekend trips from London. There are a lot of great places to travel in and around Britain. Whether you love city breaks, country escapes, or coastal adventures, there’s a 2-day trip in the UK that will fit your style. If you’re looking for your next weekend getaway from London, my list will help you find the ideal spot for you. I’ve included a map, too.
Weekend Trips from London
My guide to weekend trips from London contains a variety of travel destinations. Whether you love the English countryside or the British seaside, the most exciting cities or the loveliest villages, there’s a short break for you.
From England to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, these trips will take you to the best places to visit in the UK. I’ve included several weekend getaways to Europe as well.
I’ve been to all the places on my list (a lot of them more than once), and I can personally vouch for how great they are. There are a lot more ideas in the book 52 Great British Weekends, too. You can get it on Amazon here.
1. Weekend in Bath
Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in England, which is why it ranks at the top of my list of the best weekend trips from London. Known for its golden stone buildings and deep historical roots, it’s one of the most popular places to visit in the United Kingdom.
The ancient Roman Baths are awe-inspiring, and the city’s Jane Austen connections offer an additional draw. That’s to say nothing of the Royal Crescent and The Circus, where the curves and columns always have me reaching for my camera.
2. Weekend in Kent
Next on my list of the best weekend trips from London is Kent. This county in England’s southeast is brimming with destinations to escape to for a couple days.
From oyster-famous Whitstable to picture-pretty Rochester, hipster Margate, lovely Deal, beachfront Broadstairs, harborside Ramsgate, underrated Folkestone, castle-topped Dover, and cathedral-graced Canterbury, there’s an abundance of places to visit in Kent.
3. Weekend in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is renowned for its beautiful streets, historic castle, and village-like areas. The views from Calton Hill and the Scott Monument are stunning, the restaurants are world-class, and the Royal Mile is steeped in heritage.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in Edinburgh here. I’ve stayed in the city many times and my favorite is the Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh. It’s in a great location right by Edinburgh Castle. You can book a room here.
4. Weekend in The Cotswolds
When it comes to scenery, it’s hard to beat the Cotswolds. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty firmly deserves a place on my list of the best weekend trips from London.
With chocolate-box villages, pastoral landscapes, and pretty towns, it also makes for one of the best romantic weekend getaways from London.
Whether you drive or travel to the Cotswolds without a car, you can do and see a lot in a weekend.
If you’re traveling in a specific season, my spring weekend in the Cotswolds, autumn weekend in the Cotswolds, and winter weekend in the Cotswolds guides can help. My interactive Cotswolds map is a good resource, too.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in the Cotswolds here. There are lots of great places to stay in the area.
5. Weekend in Salcombe
Down in Devon, Salcombe is a great place for a weekend trip from London. With otherworldly scenery, stunning rock formations, and secret coastal coves, this seaside gem is the perfect place to get away from the city.
Salcombe has everything from walking trails to beaches. North Sands beach is home to the famous Winking Prawn restaurant and a historic castle steeped in English Civil War history.
If you like the water, you can take a ferry ride to South Sands beach or go sailing in Salcombe.
If not, there’s plenty to do in town. Shops and boutiques line the high street, and secret stairways lead up and down the hills. The local seafood is delicious, too.
6. Weekend in Brighton
Down on the south coast in East Sussex, Brighton is one of the best weekend trips from London by train.
Along with neighboring Hove, this city is celebrated for its pebble beaches, pleasure pier, Royal Pavilion, and narrow streets packed with restaurants and shops.
Just an hour by train from the UK capital, it’s one of my favorite places to go to the seaside near London.
With 2 days in Brighton you can see everything from the English Channel to the shopping streets and main attractions. You’ll have time to hit the beach and take in the city’s famous nightlife and street art scenes, too.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in Brighton here. I’ve stayed at the Brighton Harbour Hotel and Spa and I love its sea-themed decor and location directly on the waterfront. You can book a room here.
7. Weekend in Southwold
Out in Suffolk, Southwold is another of my favorite weekend trips from London. This coastal town has wide beaches, a fun pleasure pier, and picturesque streets with idyllic cottages.
Southwold has a great mix of waterfront entertainment, retail therapy, and good pubs and restaurants. It’s also famous for its colorful beach huts, which always make for great photo opportunities.
There are so many things to do in Southwold that it’s an ideal place to go for a weekend getaway.
If you want to take this trip, you can book accommodation here. From cottages to hotels, there are a lot of good options.
8. Weekend in West Sussex
Next on my list of weekend trips from London is West Sussex. This county in the south of England is an easy trip from the UK capital and an ideal place to escape to for a couple days.
There are lots of options when it comes to West Sussex weekend breaks. I particularly like the South Downs National Park, the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and Arundel with its stunning castle.
Petworth, a chocolate-box town full of pretty streets and shops, is also great. The town is home to the impressive Petworth House, a 17th-century stately home near London.
Petworth House has an amazing art collection and grounds designed by renowned landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
There are a lot of great West Sussex walks you can do as well. From Knepp Castle Estate to Cissbury Ring and West Chiltington, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
And that’s to say nothing of the wineries, many of which welcome visitors. From Tinwood Estate to Kinsbrook Vineyard, I’ve enjoyed tours and tastings at a number of them.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in West Sussex here. There are lots of great places to stay in the area.
9. Weekend in Brecon Beacons National Park
Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales is another of my favorite weekend trips from London. I’ve traveled here many times, and on each visit I’ve gained a greater appreciation of its wealth of walking paths, stunning waterfalls, and pretty towns and villages.
If you want to take this trip, you can book accommodation here. There’s a variety of options when it comes to places to stay for the weekend.
10. Weekend in Yorkshire
Yorkshire is another fun place to go on a weekend trip from London. Up in the north of England, this region is graced with pretty cities, lovely towns, and dramatic landscapes.
York is the ideal place to visit if you enjoy urban getaways. It has some of the most photogenic streets in Britain, and lots of good shopping to boot. York Minster makes it one of the most important cathedral cities in England, too.
The historic spa town of Harrogate is also a fun place for a weekend in Yorkshire. It’s packed with heritage architecture and pretty parks.
I once combined it with a trip to Leeds, where I had a good time exploring the shopping arcades and going to see a play with friends.
11. Weekend in Hampshire
Hampshire is another of my favorite weekend trips in the UK. This county is packed with everything from pretty villages to scenic countryside, enchanting woodlands, and impressive cities. You can even visit Jane Austen’s house here.
There are lots of places you can go for a weekend in Hampshire. If you love urban escapes, Winchester is a great pick. It’s a stunning cathedral city with beautiful streets.
If villages are your thing, places like East Meon are hard to beat. The colorful thatched-roof cottages here are straight out of a storybook.
12. Weekend in the Wye Valley
On the border of England and Wales, the Wye Valley is another fun weekend trip from London. The first organized tour in Britain took place here, leading to the area being known as the birthplace of British tourism.
This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is packed with beautiful towns and scenic countryside. From shopping for antiques in the market town of Ross-on-Wye to admiring the ruins of Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire, there’s a lot to do here.
If you like the outdoors, Symonds Yat Rock is a great place to walk and take in the panoramas over the River Wye. There are trails through the Forest of Dean from Symonds Yat, too.
If you want to take this trip, you can book accommodation in the Wye Valley here. There are lots of good places to stay.
13. Weekend in St Ives
St Ives is next on my list of weekend trips from London. This pretty town in Cornwall is one of my favorite places to go to the seaside in England. With scenic coastline, excellent food, and postcard-perfect beaches, it’s hard to beat.
St Ives is known for art, too. From Tate St Ives to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, it’s the perfect place to channel your inner art enthusiast. There are lots of local art galleries in town, too.
If you want to take this trip, you can book accommodation in St Ives here. From hotels to cottages, there are lots of great places to stay.
14. Weekend in Rye
Out in East Sussex, Rye comes next on my list of weekend trips from London. This jewel of a town is full of cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, haunted inns, and swoon-worthy cottages. It’s one of the prettiest towns in England.
There are a lot of great things to do in Rye. From climbing the church’s bell tower to visiting the former home of writer Henry James, the town has a lot to offer.
Rye is also a short walk from Camber Castle, a historic fortress with Henry VIII connections. It’s one of the top castles near London. And that’s to say nothing of the town’s proximity to Camber Sands, one of the best beaches in East Sussex.
15. Weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon
A weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon is another great getaway from London. Located in Warwickshire, this town is known for its Shakespeare connections.
Stratford is full of houses The Bard and his family lived in, theaters showing his plays, and historic streets and heritage pubs for drinking and dining.
Spending 2 days in Stratford-upon-Avon will give you ample time to visit all the Shakespeare houses, see a play one evening, and discover the historic streets and pretty riverfront.
If you want to go on this trip, you can book a hotel in Stratford here. There are lots of good places to stay.
16. Weekend in Chester
Up in northwest England, Chester is next on my list of weekend getaways from London. It’s hard to top this city for history and charm. Chester has Roman walls, medieval churches, and a half-timbered high street that makes me swoon.
Add to that lovely side streets, colorful doors, and one of the most impressive cathedrals in the UK, and Chester is stunning everywhere you look. There’s a famous zoo here, too.
If you want to take this city break, you can book a hotel in Chester here. There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation.
17. Weekend in Durham
Durham is next on my list of the best weekend trips from London. This city in the north of England is worth a visit for its eye-catching cathedral, renowned university, castle, cobblestone streets, and riverside scenery.
Brimming with heritage, the side streets around Durham University are ideal places to get a glimpse of Britain’s past. The city has fun cafes and river walks as well.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in Durham here. I’ve stayed at a few places in the city, and my top pick is The Townhouse. I like its themed rooms and historic surroundings. You can book a room here.
18. Weekend in Manchester
Manchester is another of the best weekend getaways from London. That’s not least because it’s one of the UK’s best student cities. With lively restaurants, shops, and streets to discover, it has a fun atmosphere and a great nightlife scene.
There’s heritage as well. The Castlefield area’s 18th-century canal system is just the place to take in Manchester’s textile history.
The Salford Quays dockyards are home to the Daniel Libeskind-designed Imperial War Museum North and The Lowry arts center, too.
19. Weekend in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Up in the north of England, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is another of the top weekend trips from London. Like Manchester, this city is known for its student population and lively nightlife scene.
But that’s not all. Grey Street was once voted the finest street in Britain by BBC Radio 4 listeners, and museums like BALTIC ensure Newcastle has a good mix of art exhibitions throughout the year.
The bridges here are worth seeing, too. They span both the River Tyne and the centuries. Then come Newcastle’s pubs, many of which have heritage interiors and exciting atmospheres.
While here, you can also see the highlights of the local area. Taking a Hadrian’s Wall tour from Newcastle is a great way to get into Britain’s ancient Roman past. Seeing Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North is a must for sculpture lovers, too.
20. Weekend in Eastbourne
Down on the south coast, Eastbourne is another fun weekend trip from London. If you love the English seaside, there are great beaches all around, a fun pleasure pier to explore, and live music right on the waterfront.
A weekend in Eastbourne will give you enough time to discover this resort town and the surrounding area at a leisurely pace.
Places like Beachy Head and its famous lighthouse are worth the short drive or bus ride. And that’s to say nothing of the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters.
21. Weekend in Nottingham
Nottingham may be more famous for Robin Hood than weekend breaks, but it’s still one of my favorite places to spend two days in the UK.
Home of the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham is known for being a student city.
Beyond the universities, there’s a stunning castle, one of the oldest pubs in England, lots of historic streets, good shopping, and a famous statue of Robin Hood.
22. Weekend in Belfast
Belfast is another of the top weekend breaks from London. Famous for everything from the Titanic Quarter to the Peace Wall, there’s a lot to see and do here.
Add to that fun pubs, lively restaurants, and stunning scenery along the Causeway Coastal Route, and Belfast makes for a great weekend escape.
23. Weekend in Birmingham
Up in the Midlands, Birmingham is an underrated weekend trip from London. This city has everything from centuries-old pubs to colorful creative districts.
Birmingham’s contemporary library gets my inner architecture (and book) lover excited, and I love the pre-Raphaelite masterpieces in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
This city first won me over when I visited for the Birmingham Christmas markets. Since then, it’s tempted me back for its heritage buildings, historic shopping arcades, canals, and colorful streets.
If you want to go on this trip, you can book a hotel in Birmingham here. There’s a wide variety of accommodation on offer in the city center.
24. Weekend in Aberdeen
Up in Scotland, Aberdeen is another of my favorite weekend trips in the UK. This port city is an ideal place to visit if you love a mix of urban attractions and coastal castles.
Known as the Granite City for its stone buildings, Aberdeen offers visitors everything from a beautiful university to a charming old fishing village to explore. There’s a colorful street art scene here as well.
Seaside fortresses like Dunnottar Castle are quick and easy train trips from Aberdeen, too. They add a legendary element to a trip to Scotland.
If you want to go on this city break, you can book a hotel in Aberdeen here. There are lots of good places to stay in the city center.
25. Weekend in Derry / Londonderry
Back over in Northern Ireland, Derry / Londonderry is another great weekend trip from London. There are direct flights from the UK capital, so it’s easy to get here for a city break.
Derry / Londonderry is known for its riverfront scenery, lively pubs and restaurants, and panoramic views.
It’s a fun place to do everything from stand-up paddle boarding on the River Foyle to exploring the side streets and hidden courtyards with their independent shops and cafes.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in Derry / Londonderry here. I’ve stayed at the Bishop’s Gate Hotel, and I like the friendly staff, decor, and central location. You can book a room here.
26. Weekend in Norfolk
Norfolk is one of the best weekend trips from London by car. Whether you love stately homes, shopping, beaches, or pubs, there’s something here for you.
From Burnham Market to Wells-next-the-Sea, this area is brimming with great places to stay for a weekend in Norfolk. Add to that pretty cities like Norwich and famous stretches of sand like Holkham Beach, there’s a lot to love about this part of England.
27. Weekend in Cambridge
Cambridge is next on my list of the top weekend trips from London. One of the best university cities in the UK, this place is not only picture-pretty, but also an important center of British heritage and academics.
If you have 48 hours in Cambridge, you can see the city and experience the main things to do. From exploring the colleges to punting on the River Cam and attending evensong at King’s College Chapel, there’s a lot to keep you entertained.
You can also do my self-guided walking tour of Cambridge if you want to see the big attractions and hidden side streets. It will give you a good overview of the city.
You can even take the train or drive from Cambridge to Ely while you’re visiting. This city has a famous cathedral and lots of historic streets to explore.
If this trip sounds good to you, you can book a hotel in Cambridge here. I’ve stayed at the Clayton Hotel and I’m a fan of its contemporary decor and proximity to the train station. You can book a room here.
28. Weekend in Oxford
Cambridge’s rival Oxford is next on my list of weekend getaways from London. Not only is it known for academics, but also architecture.
From Christ Church to St John’s and Magdalen, there are a lot of famous college buildings within the University of Oxford. You can do my self-guided walking tour of Oxford to see the highlights.
And there’s more. The city is full of heritage pubs, museums, and markets. Oxford is also popular for its Harry Potter filming locations and Alice in Wonderland connections.
29. Weekend in Glasgow
Up in Scotland, Glasgow is another of the top weekend trips from London by train. My grandmother grew up here and I’ve been visiting this part of the UK all my life.
This spirited city features an eye-catching mix of historic and contemporary architecture, a delicious food scene, and lively nightlife.
Glasgow is also known for friendly locals, great markets, street art, and world-class museums. It’s a great place to go for weekends in Scotland.
30. Weekend in Bristol
Bristol is another of the best weekend getaways from London. Out in southwest England, Bristol is known for its independent spirit and riverside attractions.
Converted 19th-century riverfront warehouses shelter lively restaurants, shops, and galleries, and Harbourside is home to the contemporary M Shed museum, which explores Bristol’s social and industrial heritage.
Clifton is full of elegant crescents, Georgian townhouses, and the eye-catching Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The city is an easy train ride from London, and with 2 days in Bristol you can see all the highlights.
31. Weekend in Leicester
Leicester comes next on my list of weekend trips from London. This city in the Midlands is has fascinating Richard III connections. The former king died here, and there’s a museum dedicated to him in the city. He’s buried in Leicester Cathedral, too.
Leicester is also known for its Arts and Crafts Movement connections. The Leicester Museum and Art Gallery houses an important collection, and leading figures like architect-designer Ernest Gimson were born in the city.
Furthermore, Leicester has impressive historic architecture to take in. If you look up as you walk around during your weekend in Leicester, it will impress you. There are even ancient Roman ruins here.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in Leicester here. I’ve stayed at St Martins Lodge, which is housed in a renovated Grade II-listed building in the heart of the city center. You can book a room here.
32. Weekend in Paris
Outside the UK, Paris is my top pick for a weekend trip from London. The City of Light makes a great escape from the UK capital, and it’s one of my favorite romantic weekend getaways to Europe.
There’s a lot to do and see in Paris, including famous museums, world-class shopping and dining, great nightlife, and Paris landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. It’s worth spending a weekend in Paris to see the highlights.
33. Weekend in Brussels
Also on the continent, Brussels is one of the easiest weekend trips from London to Europe. I spent a summer living and working here, and I can vouch for its worthiness as a travel destination.
Brussels is known for everything from excellent food and drinks to great museums, vibrant street art, elegant Art Nouveau architecture, and bustling markets. The Grand Place is one of the most awe-inspiring city squares in all of Europe, too.
If you want to spend a weekend in Brussels, you can book a hotel in the city here. I’ve visited many times, and my top pick for a place to stay is the Hilton Brussels Grand Place. You can book a room here.
34. Weekend in Amsterdam
With direct rail services and short flights between London and Holland, Amsterdam is another of the best weekend trips from London. This city in the Netherlands is known for its picturesque canals, unique houses, art museums, and great nightlife scene.
Two days in Amsterdam will give you plenty of time to walk through the streets, browse the markets, go on a canal boat ride, and cycle out to the countryside. If it’s spring, you can visit the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens, too.
35. Weekend in Dublin
Dublin is another of my favorite weekend trips from London. The Irish capital is known for its lively pubs, buzzing riverfront, historic castle and cathedral, and expansive parks.
A weekend in Dublin is enough time to see the highlights and take in treasures like The Library of Trinity College Dublin and the Book of Kells.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in Dublin here. I’ve stayed at a number of hotels here, and The Westin Dublin is my favorite. I love its great location and luxurious atmosphere. You can book a room here.
Map of Weekend Trips from London
Best Weekend Trips from London
I hope you’ve liked my list of weekend trips from London, and that it’s helped you discover new places to travel from the UK capital and beyond.
If you have more time to travel, you can take a look at my blog post about 3-day trips from London for ideas. It includes popular places like the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Isle of Wight. Happy travels!
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