6 London Summer Day Trips To Satisfy Your Wanderlust

6 London Summer Day Trips To Satisfy Your Wanderlust

Situated amidst diverse landscapes and historic towns, London is the perfect starting point for any European holiday. But while you may have a mile-long list of places to visit in London, if you’re spending a lot of time in Old Blighty, there’s nothing better than a day trip to one of the amazing surrounding areas when that summer wanderlust hits.

Let’s talk about six captivating destinations reachable within a day from the English capital, each offering unique experiences to satisfy your wanderlust and create unforgettable memories.

1. York

Just two hours by train from London, York beckons with its rich history and distinct character. If you’re just stopping off in York on your way somewhere else, check out the options for left luggage York offers so you can sightsee without lugging your bags around.

You can’t miss the imposing York Minster, one of Europe’s largest and most ornate cathedrals. A leisurely walk along the remarkably preserved York city walls offers panoramic city views and a dose of medieval history. 

The Shambles is another great spot to hit. It’s a quaint, narrow street that transports you back to the Elizabethan era and is thought to be one of the inspirations for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. 

2. Brighton

Brighton, an hour away from London, offers a quintessential British seaside experience. Your first stop should be the iconic Brighton Pier, buzzing with fairground attractions and food stalls. Nearby, the Brighton Palace Pier presents a visual treat with its ornate architecture. 

For history enthusiasts, the Royal Pavilion, an extravagant seaside palace built for King George IV, is a must-visit. Aside from the history and seaside charm Brighton has to offer, it’s also known for being extremely LGBT+ friendly and offers a wide range of bars and hosts many events to reflect this spirit.

3. Oxford

Steeped in intellectual history and architectural splendor, Oxford is an ideal day trip destination from London. Home to the renowned University of Oxford, the city teems with ancient buildings worth exploring, particularly Christ Church, which served as a filming location for Harry Potter.

Enjoy a leisurely walk through the University of Oxford Botanic Garden or go punting on the Cherwell River for a quintessential Oxford experience. With its picturesque streets, historic pubs, and bustling outdoor markets, Oxford provides an intriguing blend of scholarly ambiance and vibrant city life.

4. Bath

If you’re a Jane Austen fan or just adore the lovely, languid aesthetic of Regency films or novels, Bath is the UNESCO World Heritage City of your dreams. Not only does it boast some remarkably well-preserved Roman baths (hence the name!), but the city as a whole will make you feel like you’re stepping back in time … or at least onto the set of Downton Abbey.

Don’t miss the iconic Bath Abbey, known for its stunning stained glass windows and intricate stone carvings. For a change of pace, take a relaxing stroll along the River Avon or through the picturesque Royal Victoria Park. Bath’s combination of Roman and Georgian heritage and its charming countryside setting makes it an excellent summer day trip from London.

5. Cambridge

If you’ve already been to Oxford and loved it but want to see somewhere new, Cambridge is ideal. Another historic university town within easy reach of London, Cambridge is home to the University of Cambridge and boasts all of the stunning architecture you loved about Oxford and then some. When the weather is nice, there’s nothing better than taking a serene punt down the River Cam for a different perspective on these ancient buildings. 

The Cambridge University Botanic Garden, with its beautiful displays of plants and serene landscapes, offers an idyllic setting for relaxation. Be sure to explore the quaint streets and independent boutiques in the city center, and if you have time, pay a visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum. 

6. Windsor

A visit to Windsor provides a glimpse of regal opulence just outside of London. Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, is an unmissable sight, with its magnificent state rooms and St. George’s Chapel. And if you’re a fan of the royal family or the Netflix show The Crown, Windsor is a royal-centric spot you can’t miss.

Consider a stroll through the charming Windsor Great Park and, if time allows, a tour of Eton College, one of the UK’s most prestigious schools. The town’s quaint streets, lined with shops, cafes, and traditional pubs, make Windsor the perfect place to spend a summer day.


From the historic lanes of York to the royal aura of Windsor, these day trips present a slice of Britain’s diverse heritage and charm, not to mention a seriously impressive dive into the UK’s fascinating history.

As extensions of your London summer adventure, these journeys promise enriching experiences and countless stories to bring home. Step out and seize these opportunities to broaden your travel horizons.

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