London is bursting with attractions; it would take a lifetime to see them all.
However, there are lots of other cities and sites of interest that can be visited on a day trip from London.
These are great options if you want to experience somewhere else while on a London trip. You can choose from charismatic cities to ancient castles and are easily accessible by train or coach from various points in the city.
The quaint city of Canterbury is famous for religious reasons. It was one of Europe’s most significant places for Medieval pilgrimages and was made famous by the Martyr Thomas Beckett in 1170. One of the most visited cities in the UK, its attractions include the UNESCO World Heritage Site in its centre which is made up of its ornate Cathedral (housing Beckett’s shrine), St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church.
History comes to life in the Canterbury Tales attraction, which re-enacts Chaucer’s medieval literary masterpiece of the same name. Many of the shops, restaurants and museums in the city centre hark back to a bygone era. There’s plenty of attractions to pass a day in Canterbury – and it can be reached from central London in less than one hour.
If you’re interested in Tudor history, Hever Castle is one of the best spots to visit from London. It was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s most famous wife. Unfortunately, this fame was mainly derived from the fact that he suspected her of adultery and subsequently had her beheaded!
Visitors can enjoy the unique history of the castle, which consists of many rooms set out to look exactly as they did in Tudor times. The beautiful gardens that were created by William Waldorf Astor in 1903 are another highlight. If you’ve got the kids in tow, there’s plenty to keep them occupied here – from a maze to a water maze to a kid’s playground, discovering history has never been so much fun.
The epitome of quaint British seaside, Brighton lacks the heat of Aussie beaches but more than makes up for it in its charm and character. Head to the seaside city to explore its legendary pier. Here you can take your chances on the funfair games, enjoy a stick of rock and maybe go on some of the scarier rides!
Other popular attractions are the Laines, which are full of quirky shops, cafes and restaurants; and the Pavilion which was a seaside pleasure palace, built for King George IV, the design of which was inspired by architecture in India and China.
Hampton Court Palace
Known as Henry VIII’s preferred royal residence, Hampton Court Palace has centuries of history – spanning from its establishment in the Tudor times to its use in the Stuart and Georgian eras.
It was originally intended for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, but Henry VIII took it for himself after he and Wolsey fell out. The Base Court, State Rooms, gardens and Tudor Kitchen are highlights. Visitors can learn all about the Tudor era – a pivotal time in British history – and enjoy architecture typical of the period.
Famed for its prestigious university, Oxford is a wonderful historic town to visit. The world-famous University of Oxford is so large that there are 38 colleges around the city and many of these can be explored – Christ Church is the one used as Hogwarts’ courtyard in Harry Potter!
Other great things to see in Oxford are the museums, which include the Ashmolean which showcases impressive Greek and Roman exhibits. Other attractions include the Covered Market which sells local produce and various historic pubs. Many of these have been significant throughout the centuries. For instance, the 13th Century Turf Tavern and the Eagle and Child, which was the meeting place of a literary group with some notable members, including C.S Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien.
Another university town, Cambridge also has plenty of historic colleges to tour – 31 to be exact. There are towers, chapels and historic libraries to explore across all the colleges.
Other attractions to enjoy in Cambridge include taking a punting tour on the river, various museums, cycling trails and quirky cafes and restaurants in renovated historic buildings. If you’re a Pink Floyd fan, Cambridge was the birthplace of some members, so there are sites related to the band to be explored.
Arguably Britain’s best spa town, Bath has centuries of history – from ancient Roman history – when the first spa was established – to the beautiful Georgian architecture that Bath is famous for today.
Visitors can admire the Crescent and the Circus – which boast some of the finest Georgian architecture in the country and visit the many museums such as the Roman Baths Museum, the Jane Austen Museum and the Museum of East Asian Art. If you fancy taking some time out and completely chilling, book into the Thermae Bath Spa for a pamper session.
Another one of the Queen’s homes, Windsor Castle is an ideal day trip for those interested in British royal history. With over 900 years of history; there’s plenty to learn about at Windsor, which is the world’s oldest and largest inhabited castle.
It was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century and has served as a place of residence for 39 kings and queens of England and Britain. Visitors can see the state apartments, visit Queen Mary’s dolls’ house, admire the grand reception rooms and explore the opulent St George’s Chapel.
Now you’ve got some great ideas for your trip, don’t forget to arrange travel insurance as soon as you’ve made a booking. Get a quote today or call one of our friendly team on 1300 819 888 to discuss your requirements.
Categories: Destinations - Europe