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Kay Busch

Vermont

Quaint day trips outside of London

What are some good day trips outside of London during the summer? I've been to Windsor and Oxford and loved them…. so, something along those lines but more of a quaint town that's not over touristy. I'm traveling with my friend. We like window shopping, hiking, museums/castles, we are pretty openminded. We love good food and company/meeting locals.

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  • Desiree Furness

    top answer by

    Everyone will say Brighton but I hated Brighton, probably because of the high expectations set beforehand by everyone (London by the sea) and because I had already been to Eastbourne, which was so much better than Brighton and seemingly forgotten by the locals.

    Eastbourne has Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters (white cliffs, gorgeous) trails located right in town. There's a lovely pebble beach and pier and boardwalk too. It's a bit sleepy but excellent for hiking and crowd-less seashore.

    Bath is quaint and makes for a lovely day trip, especially for Jane Austen fans.

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  • Kristi Dabertin

    answered by

    The easiest to get to is Hampton Court Palace, 1/2 hour outside of London by train. This is the palace built by Cardinal Wolsey and then "gifted" to King Henry VIII when Henry developed a little palace envy. Another place that is very close to London is Eltham Palace, the interior of which was redecorated in the Art Deco style. If you get to either of these by train, print out a 2 for 1 coupon from the Days Out website. A little further out, and not very well known, is the beautiful Arundel Castle, about 90 minutes outside of London by train. Set in a lovely little town, it's well off the beaten path. York is about 2 hours outside London by train, while there is no castle to visit, there is the York Minster, the city walls, the Shambles, one of my favorite daytrips from London. Bath is certainly touristy but that shouldn't stop you from considering it, if you are fans of Jane Austen, it's almost a must. You can have a lovely cream tea at the Pump Room, visit the Roman Baths, walk in the footsteps of Jane Austen. Hever Castle is also a bit off the beaten path, it was Anne Boleyn's childhood home, then given to Henry's 4th wife, Anne of Cleves and eventually ending up in the hands of the Astor family. I haven't been to Leeds Castle in quite a few years but that's another one to look at.

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    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      Awesome answer! I've never been to London but when I do go, I will definitely plan on setting aside some time to take these day trips :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Erin Carrico

    answered by

    I really enjoyed Bath. I loved walked through the Roman Baths, extremely fascinating. The town is very visitor friendly. Lots of great little shops. I found several boutique with blankets, scarfs and sweater made locally. It made for a nice day trip outside of the city.

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    • Nacho B.

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      The Roman Baths are very well prepared as a tourist attraction, with lots of info. I recommend the audio guide. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Oliver Bronsky

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    If you liked Oxford you will love Cambridge. It's just about an hour up north from London by train. If the weather is nice you should definitely go Punting on the River Cam. Afterwards take a stroll trough the University Of Cambridge Tired of walking? Enjoy a great art house flick at the Arts PicturehousePunting on the River Camimage from news2.onlinenigeria.comUniversity Of Cambridge

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered by

    It's pushing it to call this a day trip, but do NOT miss Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Gardens. It's not even an hour out of the city and super easy to get to by train and it's one of the most amazing things I think I've ever seen in my life. The grounds in and of themselves are breathtaking--add to that some of the most astonishing Victorian architecture you've ever seen in your life plus some of the most incredible flora and fauna (hello, below?!?) you've ever seen and you'll be hard pressed to find a more beautiful place. I ended up here when my passport was stolen and I had to stay in town four extra days and it almost made me glad it happened (almost). My only complaint is that you can't bring seeds back into the States from the U.K. and it was actually painful to visit the gift shop and have to look at all these incredible seeds knowing I couldn't have any of them. Seriously, though, don't miss it!Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Gardensimage from blog.hodomania.com

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  • Joy Mitchell

    answered by

    If you want quaint and local, the village of Shere in Surrey makes a great day trip. It's tiny, picturesque, and what you'd imagine a quaint English countryside village to look like. The White Horse pub is a local staple, as it was built in the 1400s, and it's a great place to try a shandy. And if you've ever seen "The Holiday," the movie was filmed in Shere.

    Birmingham would also make a good day trip. It's not quaint, but it's a good city to get away from the crowds of London and check out a concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall.

    I'll also second Bath. The Roman Baths are definitely cool to visit, if you're into history.

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    • Kay B.

      Kay B.

      Thanks so much! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Shelly Owens

    answered by

    Hi Kay:

    One of my favorite places that's a train ride from London is Bath. I can't promise it won't be touristy but it's well worth it. After visiting the Roman Baths, it's a great place to walk around and enjoy the shops and restaurants. The locals are friendly and the homes and gardens are beautiful. I think it's even worth it to have a bite to eat or tea at the Pump Room. Have fun!

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  • Ken Seah

    answered by

    You gotta go to Bath, such a beautiful city just 2 hours away from London by public transport. For shopping go to Bicester Village at Bicester

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  • Thomas De Moor

    answered by

    Hey Kay,

    If you enjoyed Oxford, you'll definitely love Cambridge, which I found even more impressive than Oxford. You should definitely try out the river punting if you go there!

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  • Lissa Poirot

    answered by

    Lots of great answers! Oxford, Bath, Hampton Court Palace Hotel... good choices! (I'd say skip Brighton (England) - it's over-rated.) However, missing from all the answers is Salisbury (England), which has a gorgeous Salisbury Cathedral that houses an original Magna Carta. En route, you can stop and visit Stonehenge, and if you want to explore on to the coast, visit Portsmouth. It has cool nautical and British Naval history.

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  • Simon @ What Now Travel

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    Check out the Cotswolds. It's a 1 hour 30 min train journey from Paddington to Kemble, and even quicker if you sleep. From there, you can get to Cirencester, an old Roman town with an amphitheatre and a big church that rivals Salisbury Cathedral. From Cirencester you can get to Bibury by bus or car, or if you're feeling extravagant, maybe hire a horse and cart to fit in with the surroundings?! Cirencester was a Roman market town and not much as changed since (apart from the people and the gadgets they've brought with them); there is still a market and the town is full of small boutique country shops. Both Cirencester and Bibury are conveniently located near many hiking routes, many of which go through farms, go past derelict buildings and past cows...BiburyCirencester

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  • Joel Murray

    answered by

    Give Lincoln a try. It's a similar historic city to Oxford/Windsor but less known so won't be as touristy. Lots of lovely little boutiques to shop in and the stunning Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle to explore for your history fix.

    Plus there's a great modern vibe in the lower part of the city for a great night out, like the Brayford Waterfront. Check out Visit Lincoln for more ideas.

    It's a bit further out than Oxford but just two hours by train from London and definitely something unique to call home about!Lincoln Cathedral

    Lincoln Castle

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  • Tom Jones

    answered by

    Leeds Castle is a great day trip from London. It's not actually in Leeds and is probably a 1.5hr drive from London. You could also try Bath for the Roman Baths and cathedral or Cambridge. Canterbury is also a great option for the history and cathedral. Have Fun!

    http://www.leeds-castle.com/home

    http://visitbath.co.uk/

    http://www.canterbury.co.uk/

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  • Elizabeth MacLeod

    answered by

    Canterbury is so worth the trip and take the guided tour of the cathedral - you won't regret it. Also, Dover or Leeds Castle . All one day do-able, but Hampton Court Palace and Bath are the top of the list (for me) :)

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  • Sean Kelly

    answered by

    Hello Kay,

    I would like to echo Ricky Abbott's suggestion of the Cotswold's towns.

    Formerly the sheep rearing center of England, it was left behind by the industrial revolution. What remains is a series of wonderfully preserved English villages. They are a beautiful collection of stately houses, modest thatched roof homes, small businesses, a number of small museums and delightful walking trails.

    From London, rail service brings you to Moreton-in-Marsh in under an hour and forty five minutes. From there, bus (coach) service can connect you to many of the other nearby villages, including Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stratford-upon-Avon and Chipping Campden. Information about local bus service can be found at

    Each town has it's own unique atmosphere and attractions.

    • Moreton-in-Marsh boasts the largest open-air market in the Cotswolds.
    • Chipping Campden is home to the wonderfully preserved High Street, and the remains of it's 14th century market.
    • Burton-on-the-Water incredibly picturesque; with it's canals. It's also home to a delightful automobile museum.
    • Stratford-on-Avon is well known as the home of William Shakespeare, and, depending on the day, can get quite touristy.

    Of course, if you're driving all the Cotswold is open to you.

    Since you've mentioned hiking, you'll be interested in knowing that the Cotswolds is home to an extensive series of walking trails. Enjoyable in their own right, these trails also bring you to any number of smaller villages, some not served by public transport. Amongst my favorites are Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter, Blockley and Burton-on-the-Hill.

    One of the nicest things about the Cotswolds is that interacting with the locals is simple. Just go into any pub, sit down and say hello (although the Black Bear Inn, in Moreton-in-Marsh is my favorite).

    You can find tons of information, including attractions, maps, dining options, and other stuff at,

    http://www.cotswolds.info/

    Detailed, local bus information can be found at,

    http://www.the-cotswolds.org/top/english/transport/publictransport.php

    One thing to know, however, is that if you do visit over the bank holiday weekend things can get a bit crowded. This is specially true of lodging. If you decide to stay in the Cotslwolds over the bank holiday, and don't already have a reservation, it can get tricky. I'm not saying it's impossible! I'm just saying it isn't easy. It is worth it, though!

    Happy Travels!


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  • Åvant Gården

    answered by

    I visited 12 cities in November throughout England and Cambridge (England) was absolutely one of the highlights. I even scheduled an extra night there at the end of my trip instead of staying in London because it was so accessible from there. Another highlight of my trip was renting a bike in London on a Sunday when there wasn't so much traffic. It only cost £2 for a 24 hour period and it's an excellent way to cover a lot of territory!

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  • Ricky Abbott

    answered by

    Definitely give Cotswolds a trip, it's beautiful, especially over the bank holiday weekend. If you are interested, there's an article on my site here and if you click explore this region it'll show you the best local places to go.

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  • Harriet Lynas

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    How about Oxford and go punting on the river?

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