Are you visiting London and you want to see something less typical? Here are some of my favorite day trips from London.
We all have the image of Britain in our head: red buses, black taxis, Big Ben, etc. However, you don’t have to venture very far out of the capital to realize that every town, hamlet, nook and cranny of the country has its own unique identity that is truly individual from the London stereotypes. There are so many fantastic day trips available only a short distance from center that will more than show you the many colors of British culture. Here are just five that are easily accessible and well worth your time.
For literature lovers, the home of Chaucer’s legendary Canterbury Tales is only a short hour and half drive away from the capital. You can indulge in an interactive tour that boasts medieval sights, sounds and smells to transport you back into a by-gone era. Tickets for the tours can also be pre-booked online. You can also enjoy Canterbury by simply wandering around its picturesque streets, with their authentic Roman city walls and cobbled areas, or by visiting the iconic medieval Cathedral built in 597 AD.
The New Forest
The New Forest is any nature lovers dream come true. Only a short two hours away by car from the bustling metropolis of central London, this untouched pasture and woodland is a welcome break from the traffic and pollution. There are endless areas to explore and a museum to learn all about the history of this magical area. Take a wander through the Furzey gardens to see if you can find the fairies that have been reported, or set off in search of the many wild horses that roam the area.
Heading out West, you eventually come to the world famous Stonehenge. This ancient wonder is supposedly the work of Druids, who transported the heavy rocks across the country before creating this mysterious formation. No one knows for sure the meaning of the stones or their placement, but they have been attracting visitors for hundreds of years. If you visit during the summer solstice, the whole site is open to the public, and you’ll find hippies, revelers and druids dancing and drumming between the masses of rock.
The White Cliffs Of Dover
On the South Coast, just a short bus ride away from London, are the spectacular White Cliffs of Dover. Made famous by Vera Lynn in her WWII song of the same name, these cliffs have been the last sight many travelers see of England before crossing the narrow strait to France. Their signature white face is due to the chalk content of the rocks. There are plenty of hikes all along the coastline that give you spectacular views, along with charming lighthouses and deep underground shelters to visit. On a clear day, you can even see France across the Channel!
Bath & North East Somerset
If you’re willing to hop on a train or head straight down the M4, at the opposite end of the South of England lies a county with its own completely unique charm. The city of Bath was a Roman settlement made famous for its natural hot springs, and the Georgian Architecture and renowned Bath stone makes this area one of the most picturesque to explore in the whole country. The surrounding villages provide an equally quaint experience. The beige stonework makes for postcard views wherever you go, and there are numerous country walks that showcase the very best of the area.
For those with the time to get out of the city, day trips from London are the perfect way to see the unique and varied character that every corner of this small island has. These are a few of the many places you can visit that are just a short drive from the capital, but there are so many more places to experience. If you know of any more day trips that you think should be included on this list or have experience of those already mentioned, then be sure to leave a comment below and continue the discussion!