6 Best Day Trips From London

England isn't just London and there's a lot more to see than just the capital.

6 Best Day Trips from London
England isn’t just London and there’s a lot more to see than just the capital. Here are 6 of the best day trips from London. Getty Images / iStock / Andy Roland

The pleasures of the English countryside and seaside are just a hop, skip and a jump away from London. Or a pleasant train ride that will whisk you out of the British capital away from the bustle of this city of eight million people. A very small percentage of foreign tourists go beyond London. You won't regret getting out of town for the day.

View a Google Maps list of some of the best day trips from London.

Bath

A ninety-minute ride on the train for a bath? Yes, please. The town of Bath, a first-century Roman settlement where they built baths to keep the soldiers clean, thanks to the natural spring waters here, Bath is an atmospheric town in Somerset. Visit the Roman waterworks, as well as the Gothic abbey, and wander the cobblestoned streets and the verdant parks before making the 115-mile journey back to London.

Brighton

Once a fishing village until the aristocracy cast their gaze upon this seaside spot in the 18th century, Brighton today is a fun beach town with a wee proclivity for partying. But it's not all just pounding pints. You get can lost in the labyrinth of narrow lanes—part of the original fishing village—or gawk at the Orientalist-designed Royal Pavilion, created by John Nash who built Buckingham Palace.

Cambridge

Oxford schmoxord! Cambridge, just a 45-minute train ride from London's King's Cross station, is a handsome university town with a lot to offer. Walk amongst the various colleges, most clad in neo-classical and Gothic architecture, or stroll around dinosaur skeletons at the Sedgwick Museums of Earth Sciences. At very least, take in one of the prettiest university campuses on earth, have a pub lunch, and then take a quick nap on the train back to London.

Canterbury

About an hour from London by train, the town of Canterbury will stoke your imagination with its history. You don't have to be a pilgrim to come here—as many have over the centuries—but you can still get absorbed into Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was martyred in 1170, plus there are a handful of other centuries-old churches in which to wander. There are also Roman and medieval-era walls and city gates and a museum dedicated to Roman Canterbury that should take up a big slice of the day before hopping on the train back to bustling London.

Chester

A two-hour train ride from London Euston station, Chester is worth the journey as it's twee, oh-so-English ambiance will charm any and everyone. The walled center is a great place to get lost, popping into pubs for a pint and then wandering atop the city walls, originally built by the Romans 2,000 years ago. There are also remnants of a Roman amphitheater and an impressive, 1,000-year-old Gothic cathedral. You might not have come all this way to go to a zoo, but the one in Chester is renowned.

Stonehenge

This one is kind of a no-brainer. In September 2014 on his way back from a NATO summit, then-President Barack Obama wanted to make a quick pitstop before heading back to Washington, DC: Stonehenge. And it's understandable why. This unique spot is shrouded in mystery and there's nothing else like it on the planet. You can only walk amongst the stones with a special reservation made a few months in advance but just being near them is worth the two-hour journey by train from London.

6 Best Day Trips From London | Culture