A student’s guide to the best day trips to take from London

London is great for so many reasons – it’s home to some of the best restaurants, landmarks and events in the world and the energy is unmatched, right? But sometimes, even the most dedicated of city dwellers need a break from hustle and bustle. It’s a hard life.

Luckily, London’s location makes it the ideal starting point for a tonne of different day trips. Whether you’re all about the wellness life, are history obsessed or believe you belong solely on a beach, there’s a day trip from London to suit every taste.

Ready to stack your calendar with the best day trips to take from London? Keep scrolling for all the details.

Here are the best day trips to take from London.


Step back in time and explore the scenic city of Oxford – picture it like a place where history meets Hogwarts vibes and every street feels like a scene straight out of a movie.

But hey, forget what you might have heard about Oxford being all about old buildings and fancy libraries (although book lovers, you’ll simply want to spend the whole day in places like the Bodleian Library). Channel your inner Indiana Jones at the Ashmolean Museum, hop on a punting boat for a scenic ride along the River Cherwell and when you’re ready to chill, there’s a tonne of spots where you can sit down for some classic British pub grub.


Another university town steeped in history and charm, Cambridge is just a short train ride away from London.

Start your day with a leisurely wander through the iconic colleges. From the majestic King’s College Chapel to the peaceful gardens of Trinity College, there’s no shortage of stunning sights to take in. And don’t forget to snap a pic at the famous Mathematical Bridge – it’s practically a tradition. The Fitzwilliam Museum is also one to add to your ‘must-visit’ list and if you’re vibing with the water, punting along the River Cam offers a unique way of seeing more of the city from a different perspective.


For a dose of seaside fun, head to the lively coastal city of Brighton – and don’t worry, you won’t feel too homesick for London as it’s recently been dubbed ‘London on the sea’.

It’s easy to spend a day here no matter what the time of year or temperature is. You could spend it soaking up the sun on the pebbly beach and – if you dare – heading for a dip in the sea. We’d also really recommend exploring the quirky shops, boutiques and cafes of the North Laine district because you are absolutely sure to find a hidden gem or three (although we cannot be held responsible for your spending!). The city can’t be left without heading to the iconic pier where you can find retro arcade games to play, sweet treats to try and some of the best views of the beach (especially at sunrise or sunset).


Travel back in time to the Roman era with a day trip to the beautiful city of Bath. Catch a train from London Paddington station and take in the views of the North Wessex Downs National Landscape on the way.

In just over one hour you could be immersed in the history of the ancient Roman Baths, exploring the grand Georgian architecture of the Royal Crescent and the Circus, or indulging in some well-deserved relaxation at the Thermae Bath Spa – the only place in England where you can bathe in natural thermal hot springs.

Even Bath’s shopping areas are soaked in history and you’ll find tonnes of independent retailers in the tangle of narrow cobblestone streets that make this city so unique. Grab a famous Bath Bun (a sweet treat topped with crushed caraway seed comfits) from Bath Bun Tea Shoppe or Hands Tearoom, or take Afternoon Tea at Sally Lunn’s – the oldest house in Bath – where you’ll get a lesson in ‘bun etiquette’ before you order.


If you love the pomp and pageantry of Britain’s history, a day trip to Windsor is all you’ll need to grab a taste of the action.

Just a stone’s throw from London, you’ll find the magnificent Windsor Castle – the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world – which was once home to Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Take a tour around the lavish State Apartments which are used by the Royal Family to this day. Covered in gilding and dripping with chandeliers, these rooms are a must-visit for any history buff. And of course, don’t miss the Changing of the Guard which happens every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11am.


This mediaeval town in England’s beautiful West Midlands is known as the birthplace of The Bard, William Shakespeare so fans of literature and history won’t want to miss out on a visit to this charming town.

Apart from walking around everybody’s favourite playwright’s family home, no visit to Stratford-upon-Avon is complete without exploring Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (no, not that one!) or the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, home of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company which regularly performs his plays and other works. You’ll be reciting Hamlet’s soliloquy in perfect iambic pentameter before you can say, “To be, or not to be…”


If you’re in need of a little Vitamin Sea, Kent’s beautiful coastline is where you want to head. Once a tiny fishing village, Margate now sees plenty of visitors escaping the city for their essential dose of sun and sand.

Just under two hours from London by train, you’ll be able to take a stroll along the sandy beaches before taking in some culture at the iconic Turner Contemporary art gallery. For some incredible Instagrammable pics discover the mysterious Shell Grotto. The walls of this subterranean cave are studded with over 4.6 million shells – and nobody knows why. And of course, don’t forget to pick up some traditional fish and chips before heading back to London.

No matter where your interests lie, there’s a day trip from London waiting to be explored. So pack your bags, hop on a train, and embark on your next adventure from the heart of the capital.

Before you go…

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