Day Trips from London: Escape the City

Want to see more of England than just London? Here’s a list of our favourite day trips from the capital.

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Hills in the British countryside

Oh, London. You are so lovely with your impressive architecture, second-to-none street style, world foods and sprawling cultural institutions. But you are also, at times, and we mean this in the nicest way, utterly mental. Whether you’re there for a holiday or are blessed to be spending eye-watering amounts of money in order to call it home, it is important to get out of the capital every now and again. Whether you’d like a brand new destination or an old favourite, a small town break or countryside haven we here at Plum Guide have got a delightful selection of day trips from London to allow you to reset and on return, see the glory of one of the best cities in the world.

Bath

Gorgeous yellow stone, delectable Georgian architecture, quaint streets and a stinky very famous bath, this small city is a typical English beauty. Just an hour and a half from Paddington and you’ll have the wonder that is Bath at your fingertips. It is very walkable, don’t be lazy and you’ll see much in a day. Obviously, go see what the fuss is with the old bath made by some guy called Roman, take a turn around the Royal Crescent and delight in the Abbey and the Assembly Rooms. The botanical gardens will soothe your weary London soul as will the Skyline Walk on the outskirts of the centre with its impeccable views. As we said, don’t be lazy. Fancy staying a few nights? Our wonderful homes like The Magnetic are ready and waiting for you.

The Magnetic, Plum Guide home in Bath

Paris

That’s right, Paris. It is 2020 and you can actually get to another country and back in a day. The world, eh? Go from dodging litter on the streets of the Big Smoke to eating an overpriced almond croissant underneath the Eiffel Tower (and other painfully stereotypical activities) in less than 3 hours. Spend the day wandering around Montmarte, climbing the steps of the Notre Dame and hopping around the Louvre like you’re Jay-z and Beyoncé. This is one of the more tiring (and memorable) day trips from London, so factor in some downtown where you can stuff your face with Breton galettes and drink a lot of red wine. Fancy staying a little longer than just a day? Our homes like Maillol & Rodin are ready and waiting for you.

Maillol & Rodin, Plum Guide home in Paris

Windsor

If it is good enough for our Liz the Royal Family, it is good enough for us. A day trip to Windsor is an easy hop from your beautiful London apartment, just an hour on the train and you’re amongst its pageantry and history. If the Royal Standard is flying above the castle, your chances of clapping eyes on the Queen are distinctly heightened (but still unlikely). Take a boat tour along the River Thames or wander The Savill or Valley Gardens. Whatever dining scene you prefer Windsor has plenty of options to please the palate from the seriously swanky French restaurant The Waterside Inn to the eclectic Windsor Independent Food Market.

Bray, Berkshire

There are four restaurants in Britain with the coveted three-Michelin star accolade. Two of them are in the village of Bray in Berkshire, home to 5000 residents. It says something doesn’t it? Find Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and Michel Roux's Waterside Inn pride of place, if you’re less enamoured with nitro-scrambled egg and bacon ice cream then countryside pubs and sandwiches on the river bank are just as good. When walking around you can pretend you’re in an episode of Midsommer Murders, hopefully without the errant axe-wielding neighbour. As day trips from London go, it’s a good one. And if you fancy extending your stay, choose from one of our lovely homes like Timber & Brick.

Timber & Brick, Plum Guide home in Berkshire, UK

Stratford Upon Avon

‘Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday humor, and like enough to consent.’ This is what you will be saying the whole time in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and no you don’t have to thank us for the Shakespeare quote. Once you’ve got over the connection with the Bard himself, this Cotswolds haven will delight with its medieval architecture and picturesque streets. If you’re feeling energetic rent a rowing boat on the Avon and try not to reenact the scene from our other great writer - Bridget Jones. An evening spent at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre won’t disappoint. This is a great option for a cultural weekend trip away from London.

Stonehenge

Don your best wafty attire, find your incense stick and unearth the peace sign dreamcatcher from the attic, it’s time to go to Wiltshire's Stonehenge. Boring, hippy tropes aside (forgive us), a visit to this famous landmark and World Heritage Site is guaranteed to wash that London right out of your hair (sister). Take the three-mile route around the stone circle and if you’re not inclined to sense the spiritual and holy you can at least be impressed by the sheer sight and weight of those big old stones. Impress your day-trip companion by commenting on the uniqueness of the post and lintel construction method used to erect the stones, its the only example of its type in Britain (you’re welcome).

Lewes

Higgeldy-piggedly beauty and old-world charm in the depths of Sussex, Lewes has been Instagram ready for many years. Wonky streets, charmingly named independent shops and more tearooms per headcount than anywhere else in the UK (disclaimer: not strictly true but you get the picture). The main attraction is Lewes Castle, even if you’re not into Norman history it’s worth the trip to the top of the battlements for the views of the rolling South Downs alone. Breathe deep when you arrive in Lewes, the air is scientifically 579% better for you than Soho (maybe).

York

Yorkshire. Also known as the land of smiles. Not really, literally no one has ever called it that. Yes, it is a little further than your typical day trips from London but it’s do-able and your efforts will be rewarded with the mighty York Minster, some cracking museums and a chance to see Northerners up close. Turns out, they’re just like everyone else. Take some time wandering the oh so quaint Shambles, York’s Diagon Alley (it was used as inspiration for the Harry Potter books). Walk the castle walls and pretend you are fighting off marauding Scots.

Which one of these day trips from London do you feel like? Whichever takes your fancy, the first thing you need to do is plan your trip to the capital by browsing our collection of serviced apartments in London. Each and every award-winning home on our site has been meticulously vetted by our home critics, so you can (quite literally) rest assured when you stay with us. Want to keep reading our journal instead? Take a look at the best ways to celebrate a birthday in London or our guide to sightseeing in London.

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