Whilst London has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, there are plenty of other spots to visit in the UK. With the November lockdown imminent, this week is a better time than ever to visit some of those outer London tourist hotspots. Whether as part of a wider London holiday at the Chilworth London Paddington or if you’re a local looking to visit somewhere new, you’ll only have a limited amount of time to get exploring those pastures new.
From cities to countryside retreats, these day trip destinations take no more than 2 hours to reach from London. Whether you’re interested in retail and shopping, art or nature, these are some of the best spots in the UK that you can visit before lockdown is reintroduced nationwide.
Just an hours train journey from the UK capital, Brighton is often referred to as the “London of the South.” This is unsurprising, with it’s thriving arts and culture, beautiful architecture and booming nightlife, Brighton attracts many Londoners for weekend party trips and romantic getaways.
Lewes is a beautiful, medieval town in the South Downs and just an hours train journey from London Victoria. Home to the largest bonfire night in the country, this Ouse Valley nestled town is home to beautiful rivers, walking trails and traditional English pubs, perfect for those making the most of their London hotel special offers who want to explore a little further afield.
Famous for being the preparatory area for the history-changing Battle of Hastings in 1066, this coastal town in Sussex is now home to an up and coming arts scene and some of the best views of the South Coast from atop its Norman castle-clad hill. Hastings is easily reachable from London’s Charing Cross in just an hour and a half.
Another south coast Sussex gem, Eastbourne is as traditional an Englsih coastal town as you’ll ever get. Full to the brim with bed and breakfasts and it’s very own leisure pier, Eastbourne promises Victorian nostalgia at its finest. Make sure not to miss the nearby Beachy Head, a stunning range of cliff faces and tributary marked hiking trails just a few minutes walk outside of the town centre.
It is often joked by Londoners and other cities that Margate is where Londoners go to settle down. Whilst this might be a lighthearted dig at the liberal, often bougie inhabitants of Margate, the reality is that it is indeed a lovely place to relax and wind down. Just an hour and 20 minutes from Stratford Station, Margate is home to the famous Turner Gallery and is well worth a visit just for that.
Overlooking the South Downs National Park, Worthing is a small town 10 miles to the west of Brighton. This historic town is home to a lovely pebbled Georgian era leisure beach and an art deco pier that houses its own theatre.
Just an hour and a half’s train journey from London Liverpool Street station, Norwich is home to the Norman era Norwich Castle as well as a pub for every day of the year. We don’t expect you to visit all of these pubs during a day trip, and the city has plenty of other eateries, independent shopping and arts venues to sink your teeth into during a day visit. Furthermore, the Norfolk Broads are just an extra 20-minute train journey away, giving you even more of a chance to explore this often overlooked area of England.
Oxford is just a 55-minute train journey from Paddington station and is one of the most popular tourist destinations outside of London. This is mostly thanks to its ancient university, which now hosts world-class museums such as the Ashmolean and walking tours of the grand gothic college halls.
For the East Anglian day tripper, Cambridge is another locale that’s located under an hour from London and offers beautiful tours of the world-famous medieval university located there. Alongside river punting on the Cam and beautiful cathedrals, Cambridge is a must for guests at London spa weekend specials who want a calming day trip in a historic English town.
North Kent’s Whistable is just an hour and 15 minutes from Kings Cross St Pancras and well worth the journey for its seafood savvy high streets, beautiful Kentish beaches and Second World War sea forts. Microbreweries are a key staple to Whitstable as well, making this harbour town a perfect place for a slightly more upmarket pub crawl.
An hour and 10 minutes from Kings Cross St Pancras, Rye is a scenic Kentish town that is home to antique book shops and quaint connoisseurs of Italian cuisines and bakeries. With artisan bakeries dotting its pretty streets, Rye is the perfect town to pick up a gift for your loved ones back home.
With its castle dating back to the Norman invasion, Arundel is a medieval town nestled along the banks of the River Arun deep in West Sussex. With its hilly terrain providing stunning views over the Downs, Arundel Castle and Museum are a great family day out.
If you’re worried about COVID rates in London and paying extra attention to The Chilworth precautionary measures, then a visit to the South Downs National Park of Sussex promises a socially distanced breath of fresh air. With plenty of space to explore and many beauty spots to choose from, the hilly greenery of the South Downs is a serene expanse of walking trails and hang gliding spots.
This area of outstanding natural beauty spans across parts of Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Somerset and many of its Cotswold stone made villages are easily reachable from London’s Paddington Station. With hilly walking trails and quaint villages to explore, this is truly a far cry from the hustle and bustle of London. Whether you visit the Cirencester market town, the former Benedictine Monastery Tewkesbury Abbey or the stunning English gardens of Sudeley Castle, the Cotswolds are the epitome of English nature and prim tweeness.