101 Damn Good Day Trips From London For A Cheeky Winter Escape

Not for long, you realise. London has too much of a hold over us to leave for long. But these cracking day trips from London will give you a quick escape, see some more of the English countryside, and refresh your zest for our beloved capital. Whether you’re exploring windswept beaches or checking out some of the prettiest villages in the UK, there’s something for everyone this Winter. Let’s dive in!

*Please note that due to it being the Winter period – some of the below may be closed. Please check each individual website for further details. 

City day trips from London

Did you know there were other cities apart from London? Here are the ones you should explore – just remember to come back to London once you’re done, yeah?

1. Admire the dreaming spires of Oxford.

2. Explore Cardiff, another top UK capital.

3. Go punting in Cambridge.

4. Dip into the Roman baths in Bath.

5. Follow Chaucer’s pilgrims to Canterbury.

6. Visit Cadbury World, the most delicious place in Birmingham (and maybe the world).

7. Catch some Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon.

8. Have a right royal day out in Windsor.

9. Spend the day in the arcades and on the rides of Brighton pier.

10. Hop a train to see the remarkable St Albans Cathedral.

11. Experience the urban cool of Bristol.

12. Marvel at King Arthur’s round table in Winchester.

Historical places near London

These day trips from London will give you a glimpse into England’s past, whether that be at ancient monuments or at the pub…

13. Delve into 300 years’ worth of history at Blenheim Palace.

14. Crack codes at Bletchley Park.

15. Divine the mysteries of Stonehenge.

16. Wander around Avebury, the UK’s other famous stone circle.

17. Enter the Battle of Hastings at Battle Abbey.

18. Drink at The Royal Standard of England, the oldest pub in Britain (see more of the UK’s oldest pubs here).

Nature day trips from London

Experience fresh air and stunning scenery on these day trips from London. You’ll even have time to explore some of the UK’s breathtaking national parks, some of which lie tantalisingly close to the capital!

19. Ramble your way through The Cotswolds

20. Cycle along the South Downs Way.

21. North Wessex Downs

22. High Weald

23. Make friends with the butterflies at Holtspur Bottom Reserve.

24. Chiltern Hills

25. Swinley Forest

26. Catch an explosion of colour at RHS Wisley.

27. Kent Downs

28. Burnham Beeches

29. Try not to get lost in the magnificent Chislehurst Caves.

30. The New Forest

31. Surrey Hills

32. Elmley National Nature Reserve

Foodie day trips from London

The tastiest day trips around necessitate stuffing your face with high-quality cuisine, and then spending the rest of the day in a highly satisfactory food coma. Now that’s something we can definitely get on board with…

33. Eat your fill at The Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal’s revered restaurant.

34. Dine at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the idyllic hideaway of Raymond Blanc.

35. Sample fine dining at The Latymer in Pennyhill Park.

36. Try The Hand and Flowers, a two-star Michelin pub run by Tom Kerridge.

Pretty places near London

Fill your Instagram feed with beauty on these drop dead gorgeous day trips to picture perfect spots.

37. Snap pictures of the medieval town of Lavenham, one of the prettiest villages near London. It’s also home to Harry Potter’s house, which is available on Airbnb!

38. Amble through Castle Combe, star of many a film and TV show.

39. Wander through the charming village of Arundel – voted the most relaxing place in England!

40. Have a gander at Cookham, where Wind in the Willows was penned.

41. Ramble through picturesque Hambleden.

42. Visit Chichester and head to the well-renowned theatre.

43. Explore Shere, a favourite filming location.

44. See East Bergholt, set amidst the landscape which inspired John Constable.

No need to storm the gates on day trips to these gorgeous castles, because they’re inviting you in. But will you be the king of the castle, or just a dirty rascal with these London day trips listed below?

45. Step inside the real-life Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle.

46. Follow in Anne Boleyn’s footsteps at Hever Castle.

47. Framlingham Castle (of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on the Hill‘ fame)

48. Leeds Castle, which confusingly is in Kent, not Leeds.

49. Warwick Castle, home to an awesome Medieval trebuchet that they’re more than happy to use.

50. Hadleigh Castle.

51. See the former prison of Charles I at Carisbrooke Castle.

52. Dover Castle.

Literary day trips from London

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a literary day trip will refresh your love for London, so go forth and wander the hallowed halls where literature’s greatest works were penned.

53. Take a tour of Jane Austen’s house in Chawton.

54. Explore Bateman’s, the former home of Rudyard Kipling.

55. See Roald Dahl’s inspiration in Great Missenden.

56. Head on a Dickensian tour of Rochester.

57. Follow the footsteps of Virginia Woolf around Monk’s House.

These ultra-luxe houses are just life goals, and if you’re a National Trust member, you’ll get in for free.

58. Explore Hughenden, the former home of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

59. Fall in love with the chateaurrific Waddesdon Manor.

60. Check out the artwork of Petworth House.

61. Meander round the botanical gardens at Wakehurst.

62. See Chartwell, the family home of Winston Churchill.

63. Get house envy at the stunning Ightham Mote.

64. Wander amongst the flowers of Cliveden.

65. Spend the day at picturesque Mottisfont.

66. Admire the amazing views from Leith Hill Tower (on clear days you can even see the London skyline).

67. Visit Runnymede, the site where the Magna Carta was sealed.

68. Walk amongst the bluebells of Winkworth Arboretum.

69. Be enchanted by Sissinghurst Castle Garden.

Seaside day trips from London

There are some fantastic beaches near London, but if you don’t fancy sandy toes, you can still head to the coast to explore some beautiful seaside towns. Who doesn’t love an empty beach during the Winter months too?

70. Gaze out to sea from Beachy Head, one of the UK’s most beautiful spots.

The sun setting over the waters of the English Channel by Beachy Head in Eastbourne
Photo: SuxxesPhoto, Shutterstock

71. Walk the sandy beach of Great Yarmouth.

72. Feel the wind in your hair at Broadstairs.

73. Eat seafood as fresh as you can get it in Whitstable.

74. Get a taste of ‘Shoreditch-on-Sea’ in Margate.

75. Ride the pier railway line in Southend.

76. Watch the waves break on Hastings seafront.

77. Get away from the crowds on the Isle of Wight.

78. Explore Mersea Island, but don’t get cut off by the tide!

More amazing day trips near London

Still looking for places to visit near London? Here’s the best of the rest, with something to suit all tastes on your next jaunt from the capital.

79. Rent a sweet party house for an epic blowout.

80. Feel like a giant in Bekonscot Model Village, the world’s oldest such place.

81. Take to the skies in a microlight flight across Kent.

82. See lions, tigers, and cheetahs at the The Big Cat Sanctuary.

83. Get high with a rope course challenge.

84. Witness an exhilarating race at the Brands Hatch circuit.

85. Hit the slopes at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

86. Row like an Olympian on Dorney Lake.

87. Get up close to wild animals at Woburn Safari Park.

88. Take the steam train along the Watercress Line.

89. Explore the New Forest on horseback.

Life’s a rollercoaster on these action-packed day trips – don’t forget your souvenir photos!

*Please note that these may be closed over the Winter period. Please check individual websites for further details. 

90. Thorpe Park

91. Legoland

92. Paulton’s Park

93. Chessington World of Adventures

94. Drayton Manor

95. Alton Towers

96. New Forest Water Park

Sporty day trips from London

Day trips from London that are sure to get your pulse racing, even if you’re not stepping onto the field of play…

*Please note that most of these sporting events will take place over the Spring and Summer periods. Please check each one for individual dates. 

97. Be bowled over by Wormsley, the most beautiful cricket ground in England. (April-September)

98. Don your finest hat for Ascot (June)

99. Make a splash at Henley’s Royal Regatta (July)

100. Visit Cowdray Park to enjoy the highlight of the polo calendar, the Gold Cup. (July)

101. Start your engines for the Goodwood Festival of Speed (June/July)

So there you have it – 101 epic day trips from London that you can enjoy this Winter. All we can say is – what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy some more of Blighty! But don’t forget to return is all we ask of you…

Also published on Medium.