Travelling to London soon? As the capital and biggest city in the United Kingdom (UK), London is undoubtedly an amazing place with rich history, world-class museums, great architecture and shopping available at every turn. To better enjoy every bit of what London has to offer during your next visit, we guarantee that you’ll discover even more wonders when you travel out of central London on day trips. 

Here are some of the best day trips from London to go on to best explore and experience the nearby cities. These recommendations are about two hours away from central London by train or car, allowing you to maximise your explorations of these historic towns.


1. Soak in Roman history and sights in Bath, UK


Travel: 1h 30min train ride from London to Bath ~GBP25 (S$40.34)

Founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD, the city of Bath is famous for its Roman and Georgian architecture that stands to date. Built of oolitic limestone from the mines under Combe Down, Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset, England.


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Having developed into an elegant spa city that is now also famed for its literature and art, the Roman Baths located in the centre of the City of Bath is a must-visit spot.


Whilst in Bath, you have to make a trip down to the beautifully preserved Roman Baths when you are here! This magnificent temple and bathing complex houses natural spring water from the River Avon and was used by Romans to cleanse and purify themselves. However, you will not be able to take a dip in the Roman Baths during your visit as the water quality has deteriorated over time, making it unsuitable for anyone to enter the water. For the history geeks; the hoard of 17,500 Roman coins spanning the period 30 BC to 274 AD found in the foundations of the Gainsborough Bath Spa in 2007 is on permanent public display in an interactive exhibit right here at the Roman Baths. 

If you’re planning a trip down, this famous destination among tourists and school groups can get very crowded, especially in the peak summer months. Pro-tip to beat the queue: make a trip down in the morning when they open or book your tickets in advance online. Be sure to check out their audio tours if you wish to listen to commentaries about the rich history of the Roman Baths. 

Be sure to check the opening hours on The Roman Baths website, as they differ with the seasons.


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A beautiful 18th CE bridge built in the Palladian style, the Pulteney Bridge overlooking River Avon will instantly catch your eye.


Another one of the city’s famous Georgian architectures not to be missed when you are in Bath would be the famous Pulteney Bridge. This bridge is named after Frances Pulteney, the wife of one of the largest landowners in Bath in the 18th century. This very bridge is also the one featured in Les Miserables – in Javert’s suicide scene that sent him into the River Seine. 

If you are looking for a place to snap some aesthetic travel photos on your mobile phone or digital camera for memories, this destination should be at the top of your list! Take some time to explore the area as well as the variety of restaurants, coffee shops and gift shops there.


2. Explore quaint Cambridge


Travel: 50-80min train ride from London ~GBP20 (S$32.27)

Cambridge is a relatively small city northeast of London where one can take a relaxing day trip to explore the different sights. If you are looking for a place to take a break from the bustling city life, this compact place is perfect as it can be explored mostly on foot or on a bicycle.


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Glide up and down the River Cam in a punt so that you can take in the view of all the riverside colleges and sights.


Whilst strolling along River Cam, which runs through the heart of Cambridge, take in the greenery, sights and sounds of the city. Punting down the river is another unique experience not to be missed in Cambridge. Though it might seem like it, punting is not the same as canoeing or kayaking. Instead of a paddle, punting makes use of a long pole to drag your punt across the riverbed. Yes, it can be a great arm workout but it is also a fun experience to try out with your travel companions. Sail through the ‘backs’ of the famous Cambridge colleges, admire sublime bridges and even take a peek into private gardens.

Pro-tip: Booking online in advance is recommended as you can score significant discounts compared to on-the-day rates for shared or private tickets purchased at the departure point.


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The Mediaeval buildings of Cambridge University is another spot to visit when you go on a day trip from London to Cambridge.


When you are in Cambridge, you certainly would want to pay a visit to Cambridge University, one of the top global universities in the world. Not only home to the brightest students, Cambridge University is also a popular filming location for some of the most popular movies, like Pirates of the Caribbean. On your day road trip to Cambridge University, do not forget to drop by Jack’s Gelato for a sweet treat! Jack’s Gelato is a fan favourite and well-known amongst all Cambridge students, being a great pick-me-up after a long day of lectures. There are new flavours every day but be sure to try out its staple honeycomb flavoured gelato. Enjoy the gelato from about GBP5 (S$8.07) for 2 scoops.


3. Visit the magical Oxford


Travel: ~1h train ride from London ~GBP30 (S$48.41)

Home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is another city west of central London filled with beautiful historic buildings that have starred in many films and television series.


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Discover, marvel, and explore the most prestigious, and possibly the best school in the UK, the University of Oxford, on your day trip from London.


Visit the most prestigious school in the UK, the University of Oxford, via a guided tour. Exploring the school grounds without a guide might leave you walking around in circles as the buildings can look similar for someone not familiar with the place. It might be a bit hard to identify and get around the architecture on the huge campus if you do decide to explore free and easy. As such, it is definitely recommended to follow a guide around to better understand the rich history behind the school and its buildings! It is indeed an amazing sight and a great place for photos in every corner.


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Christ Church Great Hall, also known as Hogwarts’ dining hall, is another spot to visit in Oxford if you are a Harry Potter fan!


Besides the university, Oxford is also known for some iconic filming locations. Go on a trip down memory lane with a Harry Potter filming locations tour for GBP6 (S$9.68) where you will see Hogwart’s dining hall, Hogwart’s infirmary room, and other spots filmed right in Oxford itself! Explore these iconic locations on a guided or self-guided tour to breathe in the magic. Do note that certain locations like Duke Humfrey’s Library can only be accessed via tour.



For the ones that desire a good drink, sip on award-winning spirits at The Oxford Artisan Distillery. Take a deeper look into the fine processes of making these award-winning spirits including vodka, gin and Rye whiskey. To avoid disappointment, do remember to plan beforehand and make a booking before going down as there are limited time slots and availability for each tour.


4. Brighten up in Brighton


Famous for its location where it overlooks the stunning seaside and the well-known Palace Pier, Brighton is a hot spot not just amongst tourists, but popular with celebrities as well. Actors and musicians such as Adele and Nick Cave have owned homes in Brighton and have spoken highly of this city. Brighton is about a 2hr drive away from London, perfect for a road trip out of London.



Standing tall at 162m, capture the perfect view of Brighton from the British Airways i360 observation tower. Located on the seafront of Brighton, you can glide up 138m in this glass pod to enjoy a 360-degree view of both the city and the seaside. Apart from taking a jaw-dropping OOTD from up here, you can also enjoy Sussex’s finest sparkling wine, Nyetimber, along with the view. For the more thrill-seeking individuals, sign yourselves up for the thrilling new Walk 360 sky walk experience where you can climb out of the attraction’s glass viewing pod and onto the roof to take a good look at Brighton beach!


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Brighton Palace Pier which sits right at the edge of Brighton is full of places to grab something to eat and also features amusement arcades and fairground rides.


For families and the younger ones, do stop by the theme park at the end of the Brighton Palace Pier. Intended as a replacement for the Chain Pier which collapsed in 1896 due to a storm, Brighton Palace Pier has been frequently visited as a theatre and entertainment venue. Revamped in 1986, it was designed to include an amusement park with fairground rides and roller coasters. Perfect for families, this is the place to visit if you are looking for somewhere to spend a whole afternoon out and keep your kids and yourselves entertained. 

Wristbands for rides are GBP30 (S$48.41) for those 1.2m or above in height or GBP18 (S$29.04) for those below 1.2m, with access to the soft play areas. 

Pro-tip: purchase tickets online to get the wristbands at a lower price.


5. Travel back in time at Canterbury


Travel: ~1h 30min train ride from London ~GBP20 (S$32.27)

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK for its rich cultural history, you need to visit Canterbury for its indescribable charm of centuries-old historic sites and structures. It is the place where thousands of pilgrims journeyed to during the Middle Ages to pray and seek help from the shrine of Thomas Becket – one of the most prominent figures of his time as he was the Archbishop of Canterbury.



To fully enjoy the history that Canterbury has to offer, you have to visit Canterbury Cathedral, England’s most important cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Christian institutes in England. Despite being almost burnt down in 1174, it was rebuilt after that and even survived World War 2 bombings. Being a significant place in English history, this is also the very place where Thomas Becket was assassinated on 29 December 1170. Even without knowing the many stories behind this cathedral, it still stands as a majestic masterpiece of architecture that includes a Romanesque crypt and stunning mediaeval stained glass windows.



Canterbury also houses one of England’s oldest parks, Westgate Gardens, a place to take an afternoon stroll or chat over tea. Located immediately beside the West Gate Towers at the west of High Street, the gardens are open from dawn till dusk daily. Look out for the 200-year-old Oriental Plane tree that is featured in the Queen’s Green Canopy, a unique tree-planting celebrating her Platinum Jubilee in 2022. For those who are interested, chauffeured punting options are available down the Great Stour river.



These are just a few day trip options that you can explore if you are looking for an escape from the bustling city life in London. If you have time to spare on your trip, spend a few days at each of the different cities to really experience all that they have to offer. London is undoubtedly a popular destination amongst travellers, but there is a lot more to experience and see in the UK!



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Best time to visit
The best time to visit London is March through May — temperatures are comfortably mild and the various city’s parks will be blooming with greenery. If crowds or warm weather simply are not your thing, avoid visiting London during summer (June to September). Drop by instead during the autumn months of September and October, when it’s chilly enough without being freezing cold.

Getting around in London and visiting the cities outside of it is an affordable affair, with the London Underground system and bus routes that will take you anywhere you need to go around the city.

Britain’s currency is the British pound sterling (GBP, £).

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