Planning day trips from London is very easy, as many famous English cities are located within easy reach from London, and Oxford or Cambridge are only a couple of the many places that are within easy reach from London.
In addition to the short distance between London and other famous places, many of the cities that are within easy reach of London are relatively small. This makes it actually possible to see the most important tourist spots in just one day. You can either plan self-guided day trips from London or discover the different guided day trips from London. The guided day trips give you the opportunity of visiting more than just one place in a day.
It only takes one hour by train to get to the beautiful city of Oxford from London, so it´s no surprise that Oxford is one of the most popular choices when it comes to planning day trips from London. Oxford is also quite small, and therefore easily seen in one day.
What to see in Oxford in one day
Oxford is famous for its prestigious University, and visiting some of the colleges that are open to the public is definitely one of the main attractions of this historical city. Some of the most famous places that cannot be missed during a day trip to Oxford are Trinity College, Bodleian Library or the Ashmolean Museum.
You will be able to walk around Oxford cobbled streets and discover the beauty of this city on foot or you can also jump on the hop on hop off bus tour to discover this beautiful city.
How to get to Oxford from London
There easiest way to get to Oxford is by train. There is a train that leaves from London Paddington station (London travel zone 1) to Oxford. You can buy train tickets in advance and see the timetables at Trainline.
Guided tours from London to Oxford
The best thing about the guided day trips from London is that the coach will take you directly to where you need to go, but it is also the best way to see more than just one place in a day, such as seeing Cambridge and Oxford in one day.
Some of the possible guided tours available that combine various places are:
- Oxford and Warner Bros Harry Potter Tour
- Oxford, Stratford and the Cotswolds
- Warwick Castle, Stratford and Oxford
- Oxford, Windsor and Stonehenge
The famous city of Cambridge is also located less than an hour away by train from central London, and as it is a small city it is also one of the most popular options when planning day trips from London.
What to see in Cambridge in a day
In one day you will have time to tour the city of Cambridge as well as visiting some of the University’s colleges that open to the public normally at noon. Some of the key places you can not miss in a visit to Cambridge are the mathematical bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, The Backs, Round Church, King’s College and King’s College Chapel, to name a few.
How to get to Cambridge from London
Getting to Cambridge from London is very easy, as there are direct trains from London King’s Cross as well as from London Liverpool Street Station in central London to Cambridge Station. You can buy train tickets in advance and see the timetables at Trainline. The only drawback is that it can take you about 30 minutes to walk from Cambridge train station to the city centre, or you can jump on the sightseeing bus tour that stops just in front of the train station.
Guided day trips to Cambridge from London
One of the easiest ways to explore Cambridge from London is by going on one the coach tours from London, and the best thing is that you can actually visit two places in one day, for example a guided tour to see Cambridge and Oxford in one day.
Stratford Upon Avon
This is one of our favourite day trips from London, and it´s the one we usually recommend to our family and friends when they come to visit us in London. Stratford Upon Avon is the place where William Shakespeare was born, and it takes about two hours to get there by train from London.
What to see in Stratford Upon Avon in one day
With one day you will have enough time to see the best of Stratford Upon Avon. It is possible to visit the house where William Shakespeare was born, and this is really something that you can not miss if you are considering a day trip to Stratford Upon Avon. In addition to the house in which he was born, you can see another 4 houses.
Stratford Upon Avon is a beautiful small town where you will also have the opportunity to try a typical cream tea or even have afternoon tea in one of the many tea rooms that you will find walking through its streets.
How to get to Stratford Upon Avon from London
From Marylebone train station in central London, there is a train to Stratford Upon Avon that takes about two hours. From Stratford Upon Avon´s train station it´s just a short walk to the centre. You can buy train tickets in advance and see the timetables at Trainline.
It is also possible to visit Stratford Upon Avon with a guided tour from London, and the best thing about this is that you will be able to combine the trip to Stratford Upon Avon with a trip to another city in England, for example:
- Oxford, Warwick Castle and Stratford Upon Avon
- Stonehenge, Bath and Stratford Upon Avon
- Oxford, Stratford and the Cotswolds
Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in England, and it really is one of the most recommended day trips from London that you can think of, even though it is a bit further away than the other cities that we have already mentioned. It would also make a brilliant mini-trip if you are thinking about spending a couple of days somewhere.
What to see in Bath in one day
The Roman Baths is definitely the mos tfamous attraction of Bath, and definitely a place that you will have to visit when visiting Bath. Bath Abbey, which is right next to the famous Roman Baths is another must-see in Bath, but just being able to walk through the city centre and towards the Royal Crescent is one of the highlights of visiting Bath. Don´t forget to visit the Jane Austin Centre!
How to get to Bath from London
From Paddington station there is a train to Bath Spa train station, and it only takes an hour and a half to get there. From Bath Spa Train Station it will only take you a few minutes to get to the city centre if you´re walking. You can buy train tickets in advance and see the timetables at Trainline.
Another option is to get to Bath by coach, with a guided tour, being able to combine the visit to Bath with a visit to somewhere else, such as:
Who has not seen a photo of the mysterious Stonehenge? These famous metamorphic rocks placed in concentric circumferences are located an hour and a half by car from London, and heading their way makes one of the most popular day trips from London.
What to see in Stonehenge
You can see the most famous megalithic archaeological monument in the world and learn all about it in the visitor centre.
How to get to Stonehenge
The truth is that Stonehenge is not the easiest place to get to from London by public transport, but it only takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there by car. The best way to visit Stonehenge in my opinion is by coach, using a guided tour, and to make the most of the day you can actually see Stonehenge on the way to another city, such as:
Located only 40 minutes from London, Windsor town is another favourite day trip from London, a beautiful historic town home to Windsor Castle, a residence of the Royal British family.
What to see in Windsor
Windsor Castle is obviously the biggest attraction in the town of Windsor, but Windsor itself is a pretty little town worth seeing.
“The Long Walk” is one of the key places to see in Windsor, a long avenue from which you will get stunning views of Windsor Castle, and one of the photos you can not leave without taking! In Windsor you will also find Eton College, which is open to the public on Friday afternoons, and Legoland.
Although Windsor is small, there is a hop on hop off bus tour which takes you around Windsor, with stops at both of the Windsor train stations and Eton College. You will also get perfect views of “The Long Walk” from the top deck of the bus.
You can buy entry tickets to Windsor Castle in advance, but don´t forget that you will get free entry to Windsor Castle if you have a London Pass.
How to get to Windsor from London
You can get a train to Eton from Paddington and Waterloo train stations in central London. From either Eton Central or Eton Riverside you will have to walk a few minutes to central Windsor. You can buy train tickets in advance and see the timetables at Trainline.
Guided tours from London to Windsor are also available, and you can either choose from a coach tour to Windsor with food included, or making the most of the day by visiting another place on the same day, such as:
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios
If you are going to be in London for a few days and you are a true Harry Potter fan, visiting Warner Bros Studios in London should definitely be on your list! The Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studios have become one of the most visited attractions in London, and tickets sell out weeks or even months in advance, so make sure to get your tickets as soon as possible if you are planning on visiting.
What to see at the Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros Tour
When you visit the Harry Potter studios, you will go through the original stages that were used to shoot the Harry Potter films, including places like the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s cabin … You will also see a giant model, made at the scale of Hogwarts, an exhibition of the clothes used to shoot the movies, the authentic Hogwarts Express train or you can even try the butter beer in the cafeteria.
How to get to Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are located just outside London. In order to get there, you need to get to Watford Junction (zone 9 of London) via the London overgroundand and then get a shuttle bus from this station to the Warner Bros Studios.
Another option is to buy tickets wto Warner Bros Studios with transfer from London or combine the visit to the Warner Bros Studios with a day trip to Oxford.
If you are visiting London with kids visiting Legoland in Windsor is surely one of the best surprises we can think of. Made with more than 47 million pieces of Lego, it is one of the most famous theme parks for children in the United Kingdom.
How to get to Legoland from London
You can get a train to Eton from Paddington and Waterloo train stations in central London. There is a shuttle bus from both of these stations, Eton Central and Eton Riverside, to Legoland. You can buy train tickets in advance and see the timetables at Trainline.
A good idea is to spend a couple of days in Windsor, one day to see Windsor Castle and explore the city of Windsor, and another day to see Legoland.
Warwick castle is a well preserved medieval castle located in Warwickshire, and it´s a perfect family day trip from London as there is a lot of entertainment available for the whole family.
How to get to Warwick Castle from London
There are regular trains from London Paddington to Warwick Station, and from here you´ll need to walk for about 15 minutes. You can buy train tickets in advance and see the timetables at Trainline. Another option is to go on a coach tour to Warwick Castle.
You can buy entrance tickets to Warwick Castle in advance or buy guided tour tickets, see them all here: Visit Warwick Castle.
More Day trips from London to consider
If you are going to be in London for a few days but want to make the most of your time, you may want to visit one of London´s many beautiful neighbourhoods and places that don´t normally make it to the top 10 London attractions. The best thing about this is that you just need to jump on the tube. If you have an oyster card don´t forget that you can use it to travel within London´s transport zones, and if you have a London Travelcard simply make sure you know what travel zones you´ll be visiting.
Some suggestions are:
- Kingston Upon Thames
- Kew Gardens
- Hampton Court Palace