Hello! Most tourists coming to the country of England only visit its busiest city, London, using time as an excuse for not visiting the rest of the country. Well, what those tourists don’t know is that it is easy to get a taste of the rest of England without going too far from its capital. There are many English (as well as possibly a French?!) towns just a few hours away from London. Here are some of my favourite London day trips!
About an hour and a half away from London you will find the charming town of Oxford. It’s known as being the home of Oxford University, one of the best universities in the world, but there is much more to Oxford then just the university. Some of the most popular places in the city include High Street, a great place to shop; the Bridge of Sighs, a very well-known bridge famous for its architectural style; Bodleian Library, which holds every book ever published in England; and finally, some of the colleges that make up Oxford University.
I would recommend, if your schedule allows it, an entire day as well as night in Oxford. If you don’t have enough time in your agenda for a whole day, half a day would work just fine. When I visited Oxford with my family, I had less than half a day there, and I was able to hit most of the city’s main sights without feeling too rushed. I do wish I had more time there though… I guess that calls for another trip to England!
A mere two and a half hour drive, or around a two hour train ride away from London, you will find Bath! Bath is probably my favourite city in England. It’s calm, not too overwhelming, yet it can always keep you entertained. The main attractions of Bath include the Royal Crescent, a row of beautiful homes great for a photo; the Circus, another group of stunning homes; the Pultney Bridge, a shop-lined bridge awarded as a World Heritage Site; and finally, the Roman Baths, which have been built and rebuilt over the last 2,000 years!
The most famous attraction in Bath is the breathtaking Roman Baths. These public baths, built by Romans in the first century, were only rediscovered by the English in the late 18th century. Since then they have gained popularity, drawing over a million tourists a year. The history as well as the science behind the baths and the hot springs located in one of them is very interesting.
This whimsical English town can definitely be enjoyed in a day, but I would highly recommend staying longer. You can visit all of the major tourist attractions in a day, but if you’d really like to get a feel for the city at least an overnight stay would be acceptable. My family stayed overnight in Bath at the George Inn, which was built in the over 700 years ago.
One of the seven wonders of the medieval world, Stonehenge is a must-visit spot in England. Stonehenge is an hour’s drive from Bath, and a two hour drive from London. The area surrounding the actual monument is actually quite nice – there you will find a cafeteria, gift shop, and a museum-like building near the parking lot. You do have to pay a £15 pound fee (about $18USD, $25CAD) to get up close to the stones, but for me it was a cool experience and I would say it was worth it.
If you’re planning to visit Stonehenge, I would recommend visiting Bath as well. Stonehenge is two hours away from London, and it honestly isn’t worth the time… by itself. If you add it with Bath, it’s a much better deal! If you’re planning on visiting, make sure to check its hours ahead of time. My family got to Stonehenge 10 minutes after it closed, and we had to come back the following day.
Most of you are probably a bit shocked by this last one. Yes, thanks to the Eurostar train, it’s possible to go from London to Paris in two hours. Without question, a day isn’t at all enough time to spend in Paris, as there is an unending list of places to visit and things to do in the city. But, if it is your only chance to see France’s capital city, then go for it! Allez-y!
Hope you enjoyed this post. Have you ever visited any of these cities on this list? If not, which city would you most like to visit? Leave a comment letting me know.
Thanks for reading.