The Best Weekend Trips From London
Take a look at our guide to the best breaks from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Dr Samuel Johnson said that when a man is tired of London, he’s tired of life. Well, we here at Plum Guide have to disagree. Sometimes all you need is to get away from the clamour and bustle for a few days to reset before return feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. So that's exactly why we've put together this list of the best weekend trips from London. Between smaller city breaks and countryside retreats, you can rest assured that you’ll have a truly smashing time no matter where you choose to venture.
Ah, the dreaming spires of Oxford. Here, you can either relive your university days or spend the weekend feeling bitter that your application was rejected. Luckily, you don’t need an Oxford degree to have a good time in this city. Check out the Botanical Gardens, hire a punt to go down the river and see what’s being exhibited at the Ashmolean museum, before grabbing a drink at one of Oxford’s many cosy pubs - our favourite is The Bear Inn, which has been pulling pints since 1242.
Sometimes, you need the cleansing power of the sea. If you’re looking for weekend trips from London, the pretty seaside town of Southwold will deliver. The sandy beach here is lined with candy-coloured beach huts, and a charmingly busy pier and bustling harbour completes this idyllic coastside paradise. Your kids will
tolerate looking at love Southwold’s working lighthouse, and you can pretend to enjoy enthusiastically slurp down a dozen of the native oysters this part of the country is famous for. You can live your ultimate Sense and Sensibility fantasy in this nearby accommodation, a majestic house for you, your family and friends. With acres of manicured lawns, interiors fit for royalty and a swimming pool, this house will make your Suffolk dreams come true.
For a gentile weekend trip from London, Bath is the perfect choice. Thanks to the short train journey, it also makes for a great day trip from London too. For all you Jane Austen fans out there, you’d better pack your bonnet because Bath is your Disneyland. A city small enough to be peaceful but buzzy enough to be interesting, the architecture and winding cobbled streets will immediately let you know that you’re not in London anymore. You can tour the baths (think twice before taking the waters, however, as they smell and taste strongly sulphuric, no matter the benefits they’re supposed to have), admire the cathedral and sit down for a bun at Sally Lunn. And of course, visit the Jane Austen museum. For a cosy pad to hunker down in, this former toll house directly on the River Avon looks as though it came straight out of a fairytale. River views out of every window and thoughtful interior design means your stay will be flawless and you’ll be chomping at the bit to return - not to stir the pot, but Bath does have wonderful Christmas markets that we’re sure you’d love.
When you think of wide-open skies and huge beaches, it’s Devon that’s on your mind. Land of cream teas and fossils, England’s West Country might not be as exotic as other locales but that doesn’t mean it’s less beautiful. The spot to head to if you’re looking for a weekend trip from London that really takes you away from the city, you could spend your time in Devon trekking across Dartmoor on the scent of a Sherlock Holmes-esque mystery (don’t forget your deerstalker), learning to surf or walking the many coastal paths that wind the county. In terms of where you’re staying, this stately home comes with a grand piano, so you’ll finally be able to make use of those childhood piano lessons you never practised for and impress your friends with your rendition of Greensleeves. A Regency dining table that seats 18 will also definitely come in handy.
Darling, you simply must head to The Cotswolds this year. Home to more than 800 miles of ‘wolds’, or rolling hills, as well as innumerable charming, honey-coloured stone villages with some of the best pubs in the country, this area is the favourite of many of the great and good. You could well see politicians, media moguls and musicians as you pick up your morning paper and pint of milk - just remember not to stare too hard. With beautiful gardens, cheese a-plenty and spots such as Soho Farmhouse and Daylesford village on your doorstep, you can rest assured that this is exactly the type of weekend trip from London that someone like you should be on.
It might be another country, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend the weekend there. Just a quick flight (or a romantic overnight train) away from London are impressive mountains, accents that could melt butter and cooked breakfasts that could knock you sideways. Your kids will love exploring the lochs and enjoying the wondrous nature. There’s also the plus of being able to stay in a literal castle. Grand interiors, four poster beds and copper bathtubs makes this house in North Berwick well worth the journey from England.