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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. Find about the most interesting day trips from London!

Vicky Del Moral

Vicky Del Moral

11 min read

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, go and discover the wonders that await you just a few hours away from the city.

1. Excursions to Stonehenge

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 over 5,000 years old is something that really impressed me and has been impossible to forget because of the mysterious stories surrounding its construction.

For this excursion to Stonehenge you will need a full day since its total duration is 7 hours (it is almost 2 hours away from London), with 3 hours to visit the monument, its museum and its visitor center, where a replica of a stone age settlement is exhibited. The visit includes an audio guide and a round-trip bus from London.

Why I like this tour

To this day, it remains incomprehensible how in an era with almost no engineering knowledge or tools these 30 stone blocks of over 13 feet and 25 tons could be erected to form a circle almost 100 feet 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 is a place you should not miss.

In this organized tour, you can come and go on the same day with total comfort and without the hassle of public transport schedules. For me, it is such a unique experience, which makes you forget the traffic and chaos of the big city and makes your trip to London much more complete.

What is included in the Stonehenge tour?

  • 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 travelers on the tour

Stonehenge Tour Itinerary

  • Starting point - London Bridge Street and Harrington Gardens in Kensington
  • Start time - 7:00 am
  • Stonehenge visit
  • Return - Return to original starting point.

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2. Stonehenge and Salisbury Excursions

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 see 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 throughout the world.

The total duration of this day trip to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral is 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 get the most out of your day out of London. Stonehenge is a place not to be missed for its impressive significance and landscape, but Salisbury certainly is one of the places with most charm in the country (and its cathedral is simply amazing). To be able to visit both places in one day and in total comfort, to me that's a perfect combination.

What is included in the Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral tour?

  • Bottled water
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Toilet available on board
  • Stroller accessible
  • There will be a maximum of 50 travelers on the tour

Itinerary of the Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral tour.

  • Departure time - 7:30 a.m.
  • Starting points - London Bridge Street and Harrington Gardens, Kensington.
  • Stonehenge - (3 hours including entrance fee)
  • Salisbury Cathedral and Magna Carta - (2 hours incl. entrance)
  • Return - Return 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 the more places the better rather than spending your whole time in just a couple of them and you have a free day to spend outside London, the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford excursion is a good idea for its convenience and for the variety and spectacular monuments included.

Windsor

This excursion to Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford begins in Windsor, a magnificent medieval town just 45 minutes from London and featuring its famous Castle, home to 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, while you're there I recommend taking 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 were married and which houses the tombs of prominent monarchs.

Stonehenge

Then you can view from the outside and take photos or access, with the option of admission included, the interesting 5,000+ year old megalithic complex of 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 like 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 optimizes to the maximum the time of the day and takes you on a journey through the history of England, from the millenary Stonehenge to the current Oxford University, passing through the living history of its Royalty in Windsor. On this tour, without a doubt, the contrasts, the wonderful landscapes, and the deep-rooted culture of the university world in England reign supreme. Plus, fun for all ages is guaranteed.

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

  • Air-conditioned coach transfer
  • Professional tour guide
  • Guided tour in Oxford with headphones
  • Possibility to enter the interior of Windsor Castle
  • Possibility to enter Stonehenge
  • Accessible for strollers
  • There will be a maximum of 50 travelers on the tour

Itinerary of the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford tour

  • Starting 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 hour 30 minutes duration with the possibility of entry included
  • Stonehenge - 1 hour duration with the possibility of entry included
  • Oxford University - 1 hour with no admission included
  • Return - Return to the original starting point.

Compare the best excursions from London

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 Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath excursion, very similar to the previous one in itinerary and duration, but visiting Bath instead of Oxford and letting you 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 your tour in the medieval town of Windsor, where you will see the majestic 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 her interior visit to the medieval gothic-style chapel of St. George.

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 famous Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

It also excels in Gothic architecture with the Bath Abbey, an Anglican parish church that in its beginnings in the seventh century was a Benedictine monastery. In addition, you'll 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 is included in the tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath?

  • Panoramic tour of the Georgian Bath
  • Professional guide / Audio guide in several languages
  • Transport by luxury air-conditioned 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
  • There will be a maximum of 50 passengers on the tour

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

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

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

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

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5. Excursions 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 rolling 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'll visit the birthplace of one of the world's greatest literary figures, William Shakespeare, in Stratford-upon-Avon. You can visit the writer's house and then stroll 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 scenery 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 tour for you. It takes you deep into the photogenic England countryside and the most romantic villages in the country, so get ready for a real day in the countryside and the great outdoors.

What is included in the tour to Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-on-Avon, and Warwick Castle from London

  • Professional guide
  • Entrance to Warwick Castle
  • Headphones
  • A 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

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

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6. Excursions to Oxford and Cambridge

Landscapes of Cambridge
Landscapes of Cambridge

Getting lost in the cobbled streets, parks, and canals of these cities is like traveling back in time. This day trip to Oxford and Cambridge will allow you to see in person 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 the 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 people such as Lewis Carroll, Bill Clinton or David Cameron studied.

Cambridge

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

What is included in the Oxford and Cambridge tour 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
  • Start time - 8:30 a.m.
  • University of Oxford
  • Christ Church
  • King's College Chapel
  • Bodleian Library
  • University of Cambridge and its bookshop
  • Return - Back to the original starting point

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Other activities in London you may be interested in

If you have not yet decided on a particular excursion or simply prefer to organize your time in the capital, here are some articles and guides that 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 or Madame Tussauds Tickets.

If you prefer to visit as many attractions as possible, I recommend you to make the most of your trip by buying a tourist card (in this article about London Pass I guide you through 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: Hop on Hop off Bus Tours.