Whether you’re craving fresh air, historical interest or a splash in the sea – there are plenty of ways to escape the Big Smoke. Here are seven of the best…

Words Joy Montgomery


1 hour 30 minutes from Waterloo

If you’re craving some greenery then head south to the New Forest. Relish the fresh air, open spaces and roaming ‘wild ponies’ (yes, really) and forget that you’re a mere hour and a half from London.


1 hour 55 minutes from Victoria

Originally a pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages, Canterbury is the must-visit day trip city for history buffs. Gaze heavenward at the soaring vault of the historic Canterbury Cathedral, or simply soak up the atmosphere by wandering around the cobbled streets.    


1 hour from Paddington Station

Home to the prestigious university, Oxford is a vibrant mix of stunning historical architecture and bustling city life. Whether you soak up the culture of the various colleges, museums and libraries, or hit the high street and enjoy the veritable selection of shops, restaurants and cafes – you certainly won’t be left wanting.


1 hour 30 minutes from Victoria

Good ‘ol Brighton is the epitome of the great British seaside town. With its vibrant art scene, quirky shops and bustling bars, it’s perfect for a day trip with friends. You can’t go wrong with fish and chips down by the promenade.   


30 minutes from Paddington

Just west of London, Windsor is the historic market town home to the iconic Windsor Castle. With everything from the famous changing of the guard and LEGOLAND, to the stunning Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park, it’s ideal for a family outing.


45 minutes from London Bridge

Steeped in over 700 years of history, from 1462 to 1539 Hever Castle was the seat of the Boleyn family. Go for the award-winning gardens (if the weather is good then make sure to enjoy a walk around the lake) and, of course, to discover the long and eclectic history of this iconic castle.


45 minutes from King’s Cross

Less than an hour from central London, Cambridge is the second of Britain’s famous university towns. Perfect for a weekend away or a day trip from the big city, Cambridge offers an array of activities and sights for any time of year. For some ideas check out our Cambridge city guide.


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