London is probably the most well connected city in the UK. With six major airports and a crazy number of train stations, you can get to a new city or even country within a few hours. If you’re visiting London, or even if you’re a local, find out about the gorgeous day trips from London by train in just a few hours.
Where can I go for a day trip outside of London?
London offers a multitude of options for a fantastic day trip- you won’t even have to travel for very long to reach towns that feel a million miles away from hectic London life.
You can go to Brighton, Margate or Whitstable for a trip to the seaside. Or perhaps head to Winchester or Statford upon Avon to get some fresh countryside air.
What are the cheapest day trips from London by train?
The cheapest day trips from London by train come in at under £20 for a return ticket (purchased in advance). But remember, if you purchase a railcard, you can get 1/3 off the cost of your ticket for any day trips from London by train. This makes them considerably cheaper.
The cheapest advance tickets for train day trips from London are Brighton and Cambridge which come in at around £13. If you apply a railcard discount to these fares, they come in at just over £9.
The further in advance that you book your train, the cheaper your train ticket will be.
Prices correct as of May 2020.
What are the best day trips from London by Train?
The best day trips from London are without a doubt those which you can travel to conveniently, quickly, and cheaply. There is no point in taking a day trip from London where the journey itself is going to take up most of your day.
By limiting your train journey to 2 hours or less, you will get the most out of your day trip.
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Day Trips From London By Train In Less Than 1 Hour
You can get to the seaside town of Brighton from London in about an hour. Which is brilliant when you consider that the train journey from East London to West London can take an hour in itself!
It’s one of the best day trips from London.
Brighton is the fun, low-key, seaside destination that you want it to be. You can have fish and chips on the beach, go to one of the many vegan cafes, and wander in the seriously cool ‘lanes.’
The Lanes are one of Brighton’s most unique features, and you can stroll among independent shops, jewellers, and traditional pubs.
Book in advance, and your return train journey will cost you less than £13! Of course, if you have a railcard, the cost is even less.
London to Oxford takes just under an hour, making it the perfect day trip from London by train. This famous city is easy to walk (or cycle!) around in a day, so you needn’t worry about missing out on anything.
Oxford’s main attraction is of course the prestigious university, but there are also tons of shops, sweet little cafes and the Covered Market.
Many Oxford locals travel around the city by bike, so why not try hiring bikes for yourself to see even more of the city?
An advance journey to Oxford from London costs around £28 return. Book as far in advance as possible to secure the best ticket price.
You can reach Winchester by train from London in less than an hour. Winchester rests on the edge of South Downs National Park. This medieval town is a must-visit for those looking for a day trip from London with a short train journey.
Visit Winchester for history- the gothic cathedral is the most iconic landmark in this city, dating back to 642 AD. You can also easily wander out of Winchester to lush rural landscapes- getting the best of both worlds when you visit.
An advance return journey from London to Winchester costs around £30.
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The journey from London to Cambridge takes less than an hour, making it the perfect candidate for a day trip from London by train. By reducing your journey time, you have longer to explore the city.
Cambridge is of course home to the famous Cambridge University, which you can visit for free. Cambridge has many waterways, and a particularly popular tourist attraction is to go punting on the water. You can even take a guided punting tour if you’d like to learn more about this historic city. You certainly won’t be lacking in things to do in Cambridge!
An advance return ticked from London to Cambridge costs around £13, making it one of the cheapest options for a day trip by train from London.
Day Trips From London By Train In Less Than 2 Hours
Another seaside town, just a train ride away from London is quirky Margate. The journey from London to Margate is around 90 minutes.
Famed for its sandy beach and vintage shops, Margate is a must-see if you want a day trip to the beach.
Margate has seen a gradual regeneration of the town, and you can now visit cute cafes, and Dreamland- a venue holding roller discos and more!
Book in advance, and your return train journey will cost you around £25. Again, if you have a railcard, you’ll save 1/3 off this fare, making it just £17.50.
Whitstable is another seaside day trip from London by train that takes less than 90 minutes. Located on the north coast of Kent, it’s another must-see for anyone seeking a change of scenery.
This picture perfect town is a beautiful escape from busy London life. Slow down and try delicious fresh seafood dishes, art galleries and pebble beaches.
When you book in advance, a train journey to Whitstable from London costs around £25 return.
A day trip from London by train to Bristol will take less than 90 minutes. Bristol has lots of different neighbourhoods, meaning that there is something for everyone in this city.
From the famous street art, to poetry reading and thriving arts scene- you could find yourself wanting to stay for longer than a day.
An advance return journey from London to Bristol costs around £33.
The Cotswolds are another famous English location, and the good news is that it takes less than two hours to get to Cheltenham by train. Cheltenham sits right on the border of the Cotswolds, and you could easily travel onwards from here to various popular villages in the Cotswolds.
An advance return journey from London to Cheltenham costs around £43.
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A day trip from London to Bath takes less than 90 minutes. Bath is very well known for the Roman baths which you can still visit today. Although you can’t take a dip in the Roman baths, you can head to nearby Thermae Bath Spa with relaxation spaces and a rooftop pool.
Bath also boasts an array of museums, galleries and tours. Perhaps the most famous of which is the Jane Austen tour which details her life over the years that she lived in this city.
An advance return ticket from London to Bath costs around £50.
Stratford upon Avon
If you’re a fan of English Literature, you won’t want to miss out on a day trip from London to Stratford upon Avon. The journey takes almost two hours, still leaving you with a long day out to explore this Shakespearean town.
Stratford upon Avon is William Shakespeare’s birthplace which brings visitors flocking to this town each year. But that’s not all you can see in this famous medieval town. There is also the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Anne Hathaway’s House, and the MAD museum.
An advance return ticket from London to Stratford upon Avon costs around £32.
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Hopefully you have now found your perfect day trip from London. Remember these top tips when you are planning your trip:
- Remember to book your tickets as far in advance as possible to get the best prices. If you can book 3 months in advance, you will be able to save money on your trip.
- Purchase a railcard to get a significant discount on your trip, and all future train journeys. Including 1/3 discount on off peak tube travel in London!
- Research your location to make sure that you can see everything you want to in a day- there’s nothing worse than wishing you had stayed the night!