Even though it is one of the most expensive ways to travel in the UK, the rail network in England, especially in and around London. It is easy to experience the UK whether you live in Britain or if you are visiting for a holiday. The day trips need not be expensive either with many discounts and vouchers available on the internet for cheaper fares. Here are some of my favourite places for day trips by train from London. My top 7 Day Trips From London by Train.
The iconic university town of Oxford, (54 miles Northwest of London), has been a hub of academia since 1167. Besides housing one of the world’s most prestigious universities, the town also has lots of old pubs, historic bookshops, medieval streets and beautiful stone architecture throughout a small and easily walk-able town centre. To get there with a whole day to explore jump on the First Great Western train from London Paddington which takes about an hour to reach Oxford.
Take a trip on the Southern line from London Victoria station to Brighton takes just over an hour or from St Pancras is only 20 minutes, from £12 return. The beautiful little town located in the Hertfordshire countryside was the first major town on the old Roman road of Watling Street for travellers heading north. It is a historic market town and has wonderful markets throughout the year for tourists to visit. If you catch an early train be sure to grab a bite to eat at The Breakfast Club or grab lunch at Lussmann’s for a gorgeous view.
Brighton (52 miles south of London) is one of England’s most charismatic seaside cities, filled with eclectic shops and a vibe at once edgy and sophisticated. Should you decide to turn your day trip into a weekend, Brighton has some of the best clubbing outside of London, as well as the biggest gay scene in the country.
Another of England’s most picturesque cities, Cambridge (55 miles north of London) is of the Roman occupation, which means it’s got heaps and heaps of history. The main draw is the university famous around the world for its academic legends. It has sweeping lawns, turrets, spires and famous sites, like the romantic Bridge of Sighs. The university includes the renowned Cavendish Laboratory, King’s College Chapel, and the Cambridge University Library. The Cambridge skyline is dominated by the last two buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church on Hills Rd, the chimney of Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the far south of the city and St John’s College Chapel tower. To get there take the Great Northern train from King’s Cross and arrive in Cambridge 50 minutes later.
Stratford-on-Avon, the birthplace of the playwright and poet William Shakespeare. He is often regarded as the world’s greatest playwright of all time, receiving about 4.9 million visitors a year from all over the world. Located in south Warwickshire, it lies on the River Avon, 22 miles south east of Birmingham. It is the largest and most populous town in the area and the The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre, one of Britain’s most important cultural venues. Get there from London in two hours and for as little as £12 return. Have a bite at the The Lazy Cow for a great vibe or for a veggie friendly menu, try The Aubergine.
Colchester, England’s oldest city, is located 52 miles north-east of the capital and enjoys a history dating back to the fifth century BC. As the oldest recorded Roman town in Britain, Colchester is claimed to be the oldest town in Britain. Half-timbered houses, a sturdy Norman castle, old Roman walls and a network of walk-able narrow roads attract more than four million visitors each year. Colchester is home to Colchester Castle and Colchester United Football Club. Jump on a Greater Anglia train from London Liverpool Street to Colchester Town which take just over an hour.
Located 115 miles west of London, Bath is a city of historical relevance. History and architecture buffs should put Bath at the top of their England must-see list. It is famous for its Roman Baths and Gregorian architecture in equal parts, and many consider it to be one of the most beautiful towns in the United Kingdom. Bath became a World Heritage Site in 1987 and the city’s theatres, museums and other cultural and sporting venues have helped to make it a major centre for tourism with more than one million visitors each year. The First Great Western trains departing from London Paddington take approximately 90 minutes to reach Bath Spa.
Where are your favourite places to visit by train in the UK? I am off to Bath and Brighton in the next few months so I am excited to see what both cities have to offer.
Comment below and let me know your favourite places!