Staying in London can be great fun. Of course you know that if you happen to live there, but it’s also an amazing place for tourists to spend a vacation. There’s just so much to see and do that you can find something different to do everyday for years. That said, London can also be exhausting, much like any big city. Crowds of people, traffic, and the general buzz can all wear you out. Whether you’re staying in London for a week or you’re taking up residence for the long term, it’s always helpful to have a few out of town escapes in mind.
The following are five suggested destinations for quick and satisfying day trips that can get you away from the city and help you to see some of the other magnificent destinations in the UK.
If you’re looking for a relaxing day of sightseeing and you don’t mind being on your feet for a little while drive the hour and a half northwest to Oxford. It goes without saying that this is the home of arguably the world’s most famous university. You can rent a bicycle to explore the school, take a guided tour of university buildings, and visit various museums. You can also enjoy some great shopping and gorgeous food. even if London itself tends to be better recognized for famous shopping destinations. Oxford has the ability to make you feel relaxed and energized at the same time, which can be the perfect thing for a day trip in the midst of a busy vacation.
This is not a specific town or destination but rather an entire region of England to the west of London. It’s a large area, and during peak hours there can be considerable traffic but it is worth the wait. If you get the chance, you should find a tour, whether by bus, bicycle, or simply venturing off on your own with a car Or it is the perfect place to talk a long walk, with a stop off at a pub for lunch. The Cotswolds are essentially what many people’s idyllic vision of England looks like with rolling green hills, quaint villages, little creeks, and flocks of livestock. It’s a beautiful area to explore.
Bristol is just a short drive to the west of London, and in some respects makes for an ideal getaway. You don’t have to go as far as the coast, and yet it almost feels like a seaside town. It’s picturesque, relaxed, and known for boating on the River Avon (as well as for the striking bridge that crosses the Avon Gorge). I’d recommend a day out on the water followed by a night in town, where despite the UK’s thorough embrace of online gaming, you can enjoy some fun in-house casino fun before hitting up a wine bar or a show. Boating, sightseeing, casino gaming, drinking and spectating—it can all be had in a matter of hours in Bristol, and yet it’s all away from the hustle of the bigger city.
Who wouldn’t want to see the royal residence? It’s only about a half hour trip outside of London, and it’s a beautiful area. Windsor Castle retains an ancient, hardened look despite its flawlessly updated and manicured grounds, but seeing the castle isn’t the only perk of a day trip to the area. For adults there are some nearby resort amenities that can make for some perfect relaxation, or just take a picnic into the Park and watch the world go by. And if you happen to be travelling with children who need a break from London, there’s LEGOLAND, which has over 55 interactive rides and attractions.
This is the place to go if you happen to be looking to tour England as a history buff. Most of the country is teeming with history, but you can’t find a much better destination than Salisbury for it. The town itself is lovely and makes for a nice retreat, but the real objective of visiting is to see the Magna Carta in the Cathedral. And as a bonus, you can swing by Stonehenge (just a short distance to the north) before heading back to London!
Photos courtesy of shutterstock
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