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6 Best Day Trips from London

London has a lot to offer, but its surroundings are also worth spending at least one day of your trip to enjoy them.

Vicky Del Moral

Vicky Del Moral

10 min read

6 Best Day Trips from London

Stonehenge | © Sung Shin

If during your visit to London you have enough time or you have already visited the British capital on previous occasions, discover the wonders that await you a few hours away from the city.

1. Stonehenge Excursions

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

I will never forget when my parents, during a stay in England, took me to see Stonehenge. I was quite small, but seeing this immense stone monument more than 5,000 years old is something that really impresses and is not forgotten because of the mysterious stories surrounding its construction.

To make this excursion to Stonehenge you should schedule a full day since its total duration is 7 hours (it is almost 2 hours away), with 3 hours to visit the monument, its museum and its visitor center, where they exhibit a replica of a stone age settlement. The visit includes an audio guide in 9 languages, including Spanish, and a return bus ride from London.

Why I like this tour

To this day, it remains incomprehensible how, in an era with little knowledge or engineering tools, these 30 stone blocks of more than 4 meters and 25 tons could be erected to form a circle of 30 meters in diameter. It is understood that it had a funerary use and was related to the movement of the sun during the solstices. That is why Stonehenge is a World Heritage Site and a place you should not miss.

In this organized tour, you can come and go in the same day with total comfort and without having to be aware of public transport schedules. For me, it is a super different day, which makes you forget the traffic and chaos of the big city and makes your trip to London much more complete.

What does the Stonehenge tour include?

  • Entrance to the Stonehenge Visitor Center and Stonehenge Circle
  • Bottled water
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Toilet available on board
  • Audio guide
  • Stroller accessible
  • Maximum of 50 passengers on the tour

Stonehenge tour itinerary

  • Departure point - London Bridge Street and Harrington Gardens, Kensington
  • Departure time - 7:00 am
  • Stonehenge
  • Return - Back to original starting point.

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2. Stonehenge and Salisbury tours

Salisbury Cathedral inside
Salisbury Cathedral inside

If you have time and want to make the most of a day trip out of London, a very good option is to go back hundreds of years in time to visit the impressive and mysterious megalithic complex of Stonehenge and the beautiful gothic cathedral of Salisbury, more than 700 years old.

Salisbury is a place of great importance because it also houses the best existing copy of the Magna Carta, which, signed in 1215 by King John, influenced the Constitution of the United States and still provides the basis for common law around the world.

The total duration of this day trip to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedralis 12 hours, with about three hours set aside to see each of these monuments, which are located about two hours from London.

Why I like this tour

This is an excursion that allows you to make the most of your day out of London. Stonehenge seems to me a must-see for its impressive significance and landscape, but Salisbury certainly seemed to me one of the most charming places in the country (and its cathedral is simply breathtaking). To be able to visit both sites in one day and with total comfort, seems to me a perfect combination.

What is included in the Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral tour?

  • Bottled water
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Toilet available on board
  • Stroller accessible
  • Tour will have a maximum of 50 passengers

Stonehenge Tour Itinerary and Salisbury Cathedral

  • Departure time - 7:30 am
  • Starting points - London Bridge Street and Harrington Gardens, Kensington.
  • Stonehenge - (3 hours including entrance)
  • Salisbury Cathedral and Magna Carta - (2 hours incl. entrance)
  • Return - Back to original starting point.

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3. Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford tours

All Saints College building in Oxford
All Saints College building in Oxford

If you are one of those who prefer to see more sites rather than spending more time in each of them and you have a free day to spend outside London, the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford tour is a good idea for its convenience and the variety and spectacular monuments included.

Windsor

The visit of this excursion to Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford begins in Windsor, a magnificent medieval town just 45 minutes from London and starring its famous Castle, home of the British royal family for over 900 years and one of the best preserved in the world.

When booking this tour you can choose to include the entrance to Windsor Castle or go at your own pace and see the beautiful streets and surroundings of the building. However, since you are there I recommend you to take the option with entrance and enjoy wonders such as the Royal Apartments, adorned with paintings by Van Dyck and Rubens, and St. George's Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married and which houses the tombs of prominent monarchs.

Stonehenge

Afterwards you can view from the outside and take photos or access, with the option of admission included, the interesting megalithic complex of more than 5,000 years old Stonehenge.

Oxford

You will continue your journey to Oxford, almost two hours from London and famous for housing the oldest and most prestigious university in Great Britain. There you can take a walking tour of its picturesque cobblestone streets with a professional guide who will take you to places such as the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest in Europe, and the Sheldonian Theatre.

Oxford will also delight the little ones, when they discover how the most important of its 40 colleges, Christ Church College, was the setting for the Harry Potter movies and that several of the city's locations are evoked in the book "Alice in Wonderland".

Why I like this tour

This tour maximizes the time of the day and takes you on a journey through the history of England, from the ancient Stonehenge to the current University of Oxford, through the living history of its royalty in Windsor. On this tour, without a doubt, contrasts, wonderful landscapes and the deep-rooted culture of the university world in England reign. In addition, fun for all ages is guaranteed.

What is included in the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford tour?

  • Air-conditioned bus transfer
  • Professional tour guide
  • Guided tour in Oxford with headphones
  • Possibility to enter inside Windsor Castle
  • Possibility to enter Stonehenge
  • Accessible for strollers
  • Tour will have a maximum of 50 travelers

Itinerary of the tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford

  • Departure point - Victoria Coach Station, at gates 1 to 5, 164 Buckingham Palace Road
  • Departure time - 8:00 am (boarding at 7:30 am)
  • Windsor Castle - 1:30 duration with possibility of entry included
  • Stonehenge - 1 hour with possibility of entry included
  • Oxford University - 1 hour not including entrance fee
  • Return - Return to original point of departure

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4. Excursions to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle

Another option to take advantage of a day out of London and see amazing places less than 2 hours from the capital is the excursion to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath, very similar to the previous one in operation and duration, but visiting Bath instead of Oxford and being able to choose between the tour that includes tickets to two of these monuments or the one that gives you the possibility to access all of them.

Windsor

You will start the tour in the medieval town of Windsor, where you can see the majesty of its castle, one of the oldest in the world. You may even get lucky and see the royal standard flying from the mast of the castle's Round Tower, which means that Queen Elizabeth II herself is inside. Don't miss a visit inside the medieval gothic St. George's Chapel.

Salisbury

You will then continue west of London to Salisbury, home of the most popular megalithic monument on the planet, Stonehenge. Its spectacular nature and the mystery surrounding the history of its construction will captivate you.

Bath

Your adventure will end with a visit to one of Britain's most beautiful cities. Bath is famous for its elegant Georgian architecture, as exemplified by its Royal Crescent, a row of 30 semi-detached houses dating from 1774 and arranged in a crescent shape, and the famous Pulteney Bridge, one of only four in the world with stores on both sides and along its length, like the well-known Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

It also excels in Gothic architecture with Bath Abbey, an Anglican parish church that in its beginnings in the seventh century was a Benedictine monastery. In addition, you will have the opportunity to explore another World Heritage Site with the best-preserved Roman spa in the ancient world, the Roman Baths of Bath, where the city's unique hot springs are born.

Why I like this tour

Like the previous one, this tour makes the most of the time and takes you to several key points of the country, highlighting as a great difference its passage through Bath. I recommend this option if, like me, you are more into classical history, as you will visit a city founded by the Romans twenty centuries ago and with many reminiscences of their culture.

What does the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath tour include?

  • Scenic Georgian Bath Tour
  • Professional guide / Audio guide in several languages
  • Transport by air-conditioned luxury coach with Wi-Fi
  • Possibility of entry to the interior of Windsor Castle
  • Possibility of entrance to Stonehenge
  • Possibility of entrance to the Roman Baths
  • Tour will have a maximum of 50 passengers

What is not included in the tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath?

  • Arrival from and to the hotel
  • Food and beverages, unless otherwise specified

Itinerary of the tour from London to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath

  • Departure point - Victoria Coach Station, at gates 1-5, 164 Buckingham Palace Road, London
  • Departure time - 8:00 AM (boarding at 7:30)
  • Windsor Castle (1 hour)
  • Stonehenge (1 hour)
  • Bath (1 hour)
  • Return - Vauxhall Bridge Road, London

Compare the best tours from London

5. Tours to the English countryside from London: Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

The day trip to Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle is one of the most complete and one that I recommend if you are looking for some tranquility and nature after a few intense days in central London, as it includes some of the most beautiful places in the English countryside.

Warwick Castle

During your day you will enjoy a visit to a medieval castle, Warwick Castle, built on 26 hectares of hills and manicured gardens on the banks of the River Avon. There you can learn about its history through a multi-sensory attraction and live performances of medieval sports, such as jousting and archery tournaments, and explore the castle's opulent decor, such as its 17th-century Great Hall.

Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds

You will visit the birthplace of one of the world's greatest literary figures in Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, whose house you can visit, and then walk the cobblestone streets of another cradle of learning as the world's second oldest university, Oxford.

You will end your adventure not before admiring the landscapes of the Cotswolds, a natural hilly area that will show you the most bucolic England.

Why I like this tour

If you are looking to literally escape from the noise and concrete of the city, this is the excursion for you. It takes you deep into the photogenic English countryside and the country's most romantic villages, so get ready for a real day in the countryside and the great outdoors.

What does the tour to Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Castle from London include?

  • Professional guide
  • Entrance to Warwick Castle
  • Headphones
  • Guided walking tour of Oxford
  • Wi-Fi on the bus
  • Comfortable air-conditioned vehicle

Tour itinerary to Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Castle from London

  • Departure point - Victoria Station Bus Station
  • Departure time - 8:30 am
  • Oxford University
  • Warwick Castle (1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Return - Vauxhall Bridge Road, London

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6. Excursions to Oxford and Cambridge

Cambridge Scenery
Cambridge Scenery

Getting lost in the cobblestone streets, parks and canals of these cities is like traveling back in time. This day trip to Oxford and Cambridge allows you to see firsthand the magnificent buildings that house two of the world's longest-running and most notable universities.

Oxford

Oxford is also known for its distinctive architecture, comprising notable examples of every architectural period since Saxon times. There you can enjoy a visit to one of the oldest libraries in Europe, the Bodleian Library, and its most famous college, Christ Church, where some of the scenes of the famous Harry Potter saga were filmed and where famous historical figures such as Lewis Carroll, Bill Clinton or David Cameron studied.

Cambridge

Newton, Stephen Hawking or Sylvia Plath are the names of other distinguished students of the University of Cambridge, a beautiful city that you will visit along the excursion, as well as its impressive library, the Cavendish Laboratory and the King's College Chapel.

What is included in the excursion to Oxford and Cambridge from London?

  • Walking tour of Oxford and Cambridge
  • Visit to Christ Church College
  • Lunch
  • Visit to King's College
  • Professional guide
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach

Itinerary of the excursion to Oxford and Cambridge from London

  • Starting point - Fountain Square, Colonnade Walk, Buckingham Palace Rd, Victoria, London
  • Departure time - 8:30 am
  • University of Oxford
  • Christ Church
  • King's College Chapel
  • Bodleian Library
  • Cambridge University and its bookshop
  • Return - Back to original starting point

Compare the best tours from London

Other activities in London that may interest you

If you have not yet decided on a particular tour or simply prefer to organize your time in the capital, here are some articles and guides that I have been writing and can help you decide which attractions, tours or places you most want to visit. I hope you find them useful! You can start with London Tours and also read about London Eye Tickets: how to buy, prices and schedules or London Madame Tussauds Tickets: how to buy and what to see.

If you prefer to visit as many attractions as possible, I recommend you to make your trip more efficient by buying a tourist card (in this article about London Pass I advise you which are the best ones) or to book a ticket for the tourist bus, a fast and comfortable way to move around the city. Read more information in this article: London Hop on Hop off Bus Tours.