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Day trips out of London

We are in London for 8 days and want to take some day trips to Oxford, Stone Hing can we do this by public transportation? And what other day trips are easy out of London without a car. We have 8 days in London:-)

Posted by
197 posts

I enjoyed Oxford and Cambridge. Had an enjoyable day in Greenwich, which is close-by. All easily accessible by train. We went to Bath one year, but that visit required an overnight stay.

Posted by
16749 posts

If you're interested in WWII history, the code-breaking center at Bletchley Park is a good day-trip. It's accessible by train plus a very short walk.

Canterbury also makes a nice day-trip. The center of town is cute as the dickens (and gets a lot of tourists, naturally). The cathedral is lovely, and the tourist office does walking tours.

You can check fares and schedules for potential train trips at the website Last-minute ticket purchases in the UK can be extremely costly, so the cost of the tickets might be a decisive factor.

Posted by
2563 posts

You can visit Stonehenge by public transportation if you take an early morning train to Salisbury. A shuttle bus runs from Salisbury to Stonehenge, also stopping at Old Sarum. Once you're at Stonehenge, there's a large visitor centre with indoor and outdoor exhibits, as well as a well-stocked cafeteria and a large gift shop. To get to the henge itself you can ride a free shuttle, or walk, or ride part way and walk the rest.

You will need to book a timed ticket through English Heritage to be sure of admittance on the day you want to go.

Note that the above is regular access outside the ropes, not "inner circle" access. If you want to walk among the stones (N.B. you are still not allowed to touch them at all!) you can book Stone Circle Access, but because this only occurs early in the morning and late in the evening it is not accessible by public transportation.

Posted by
8568 posts

Here are my suggestions all of which can be seen via public transportation:

Oxford, Cambridge, Bletchley Park, Canterbury, Windsor, Hampton Court, Salisbury/Stonehenge, Winchester, and even Bath.

Take a look at London Walks as they offer a few "Days Out" trips to some of the above places. No reservations necessary. Their guides know their stuff. I've taken a few and they are excellent.

Posted by
2938 posts

Remember that auto correct does strange things to people when typing and be kind.

Posted by
4124 posts

Also, consider Winchester, Salisbury, Bath, Blenheim Palace, Stratford Upon Avon and the Cotswolds. Do it on a tour, or take the train.

Posted by
16749 posts

The Cotswolds require a rental car, some sort of tour, or multiple days and a lot of patience, because most of the villages have only bus service (probably infrequent); only Moreton-in-Marsh has a train station. i wouldn't want to try to visit the Cotswolds via a tour from London, because too much time would be spent traveling back and forth; tour buses are slow. There are small-group tours (using vans) departing from Bath or from Moreton-in-Marsh. They give you more time in the Cotswolds, and you don't have to wait around at each stop while 40 people get off the bus and later re-board.

Posted by
3976 posts

You haven’t said what interests you, so people have provided a long list of options of places that interest them, which may or may not be of interest to you. Personally, I wouldn’t be interested in the Cotswolds, Stonehenge or Stratford upon Avon, but others have been there and recommend. I prefer Avebury to Stonehenge for old stones and the New Forest or Rutland for countryside to the Cotswolds. SuA is too full of ye olde this and that and tacky cafes serving substandard food as they know most people (tourists) won’t be back. Bath wouldn’t be top of my list either.

I would suggest Oxford, Cambridge, Canterbury, Kew Gardens, Hampton Court, Greenwich, Brighton, Bletchley Park, Duxford Imperial War Museum near Cambridge, Rye, Portsmouth Harbour if you are interested in WW2, Winchester or any of the castles in Kent if that interests you such as Leeds, Hever or Chiddingstone. Chatham Historic Dockyard in north Kent is a great way to spend a day.

York is possible as a long day trip by train.

Posted by
2938 posts

These are day trips I have taken from London. Some involved more travel than others.
Hampton Court
Bletchley Park
Portsmouth historic Dockyard

I enjoyed them all!

Posted by
2587 posts

Yes, if you are going to be in the Cotswolds for several days a car is the best why to see multiple villages, but it doesn’t require a car. You could easily do a day trip to the Cotswolds without a car.
Take the train from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh, once there you can either take the coach (bus) or cab which would be faster to either Stow-on-the-Wold 4 1/2 miles, Blockley 4 miles, Chipping Campden (8 miles), Bourton-on-the-Water 8 miles. You would be able to visit at least two villages if not three, just depends what you want to see and how long you want to stay in each village.

Posted by
2360 posts

I"m not a fan of the Cotswolds. Cambridge and Salisbury would be my choices.

Posted by
1009 posts

I loved Hampton Court Palace-Henry the VIII's house. It's a simple 45 minute train ride from London.

Posted by
1159 posts

Everyone has now suggested all the day trips you could do in a week. My advice to you now is to get the London Rick Steves guide book if you have not already and read the book as most of the day trips recommended are in his book and will explain in depth what they are, what to see, and how to get there. Also you can watch free YouTube videos on the places you want to go to to see which day trips you want to go to and what you will actually be seeing. Someone suggested London Walks and that would also be a great idea to look at their website for walks in London and day trips.

I have been to London several times and have done some of the day trips, Bath, Windsor Castle, Greenwich, Hampton court and they are wonderful. And all easy to do and get there.

Have a great time.

Posted by
2089 posts

Day trips I have made during my (so far) 3 trips to London:

Guided bus tour that included Windsor, Oxford and Stonehenge--listed in order of enjoyment :)

Guided bus tour to Highclere Castle (huge Downton Abbey fan), including a farm and the village of Bampton.

Bletchley Park on my own via train, really easy and quite a fascinating place to spend 4-5 hrs.

Brighton--on my own via train, I'd always wanted to see it and spent about 8 hrs total.

Greenwich--about 20 minutes outside London and such an easy trip via DLR, return by Thames Clipper--explored the marketplace, Cutty Sark, museums and the Royal Observatory.

Posted by
1062 posts

"Remember that auto correct does strange things to people when typing and be kind."

Well, I wasn't being nasty!!

Posted by
1097 posts

Don't overlook Paris, if you've not been, a little over 2 hours via the Eurostar. Our first trip to Paris was an early Eurostar over and a late train back to London. Tickets go on sale 6 months prior to a travel date and get progressively more expensive as the date draws nigh. Check out and for all you'll need to know about train travel.

Posted by
3133 posts

Winchester, York, Canterbury, Cardiff, Salisbury, Ely, Bath, Blenheim Palace, Windsor — these are a few off the top of my head that I’ve visited as day trips from London by public transport.

I suggest you go to the library or bookstore and look at more than one travel book. Rick Steves limits his recommendations to his personal preferences which is his prerogative of course. That he skips Winchester for example baffles me which is why I encourage you to look at multiple sources for more than one point of view.

Posted by
64 posts

Blenheim Palace, Churchill’s childhood home, was fabulous. And if you’re a Downton Abby fan, Highclere Castle is easy from London. There was a country fair the day we were there. So much fun! Check their website- they frequently have events going on.

Posted by
12090 posts

Cambridge and Windsor for general interests.