Escape the capital’s hustle and bustle and discover these English gems on a day trip from London.
Brighton, East Sussex
Shingle beaches and amusement arcades. Brighton gives a real taste of English seaside ‘jollies’. But Brighton is not just a place of bygone holidays, it boasts fantastic modern and vintage shopping and has been crowned the UK’s LGBT capital. Head to the iconic Brighton Pier and try out the rides (if you dare!), get lost in the hundreds of independent shops throughout The Lanes and don’t miss Chocccywoccydoodah for a sweet treat in the afternoon.
Eclectic shopping and eating in Brighton’s Lanes.
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire
A mere 40-minute train from Marylebone station, this quaint village in the scenic Chiltern hills awaits you. There are plenty of circular walks in the surrounding forests that will leave you hungry for posh pub grub at the Nag’s Head. Once home to Britain’s national treasure, Roald Dahl, you can see the library where Matilda read or the inspiration for the
Beautiful country lanes in Great Missenden.
Shake away your city worries and feel life’s pace slow right down on the charming Suffolk coastline. Spot the 12 ft. scallop that watches over the waves before grabbing some fish and chips at the infamous Aldeburgh Fish and Chips Shop. The family-run restaurant has been drawing in queues for 50 years - worth the wait! Brace yourself for the cold and brave a swim in the North Sea, or (the warmer option) wander for a couple of miles along the beach to Thorpeness and see the dreamlike edifice that is the House in the Clouds or
The Benjamin Britten Memorial on Aldeburgh beach.
This university town, steeped in history, has educated poets, politicians, scientists and explorers for centuries. Wander musingly around its stunning colleges (Balliol, Exeter, St John’s not to be missed). The quirky Pitt Rivers Museum bears witness to artifacts from the university’s rich past as a place of discovery and research. Stop for lunch at the laid-back Handlebar Cafe and Kitchen. Finally, end the afternoon right in Oxford’s oldest pub, the Bear Inn.
Fairytale setting: Exeter College, Oxford.
Epping Forest, Essex
Nature lovers marvel at the roving expanse of woodland on the outskirts of London. Accessible by tube (Epping, Central line), there is no reason not to go. King Harold is buried at nearby Waltham Abbey and Queen Elizabeth I’s hunting lodge is nestled in the forest too at Barn Hoppitt. Some of the surrounding trees date even further back than her reign (1558!). Amble through the forest and see history and nature merge within the beautiful landscapes.
From metropolis to meander, Epping Forest.
Famed for its seafood since the Romans ruled Britain, Whitstable remains a haven for oysters (they have a whole festival to celebrate!) and shellfish. Stroll along the seafront and pop into Frank on Harbour Street to see the best of British artisan gifts. With striking views of the Thames estuary, The Lobster Shack is blissful in summer and as cozy as its log burner in winter.
Whitstable sea forts.
Bath and Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Get a taste of Britain through the ages as you see sites prehistoric, Roman, Georgian and more. Stonehenge is one of the UK’s greatest mysteries - the stone monument was created over 4000 years ago and experts still don’t know how the 25-ton slabs got there. Not far off in the rolling Wiltshire hills, Bath has been a spa town for millennia and at one point was the most fashionable town for Britain’s elite. There are plenty of organizations offering round trips from London for Bath and Stonehenge, some include Windsor castle too.
The Roman Baths in the center of the so-named city, Bath.
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