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Short drives outside of London?

I will be meeting my parents in London and we wanted to take a day trip somewhere outside of the city. Any suggestions on great places to visit for a day?

9 Answers

top answer by
Molly from United Kingdom

Hi Melissa,

It depends on how far out of London you want to go! One of my favourite places is Suffolk - most tourists miss it in favour of Norfolk or Cambridge, but it's beautiful and just 1.5 hrs by car (an hour on the train from Liverpool Street Station). Bury St. Edmunds is a pretty town, and has a lot of history - the Abbey is the burial place of St Edmund (841-869). Sudbury (England) is also a lovely market town - lots of nice pubs for lunch, and the water meadows are a lovely place for a walk. 

Dedham (England) is also popular. Lots of craft shops, very English tea rooms, a couple of old-fashioned pubs and more walks along the meadows. 

Nearer to London, Hampton Court Palace is a good day out, as is Leeds Castle in Kent and Kew Gardens near Richmond. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bury St. Edmunds (city)
  2. Sudbury (England) (city)
  3. Dedham (England) (city)
  4. Hampton Court Palace (attraction)
  5. Leeds Castle (attraction)
  6. Kew Gardens (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Julie from Singapore

Hi Melissa,

My favorite area just outside of London isWest Berkshire. Absolutely beautiful countryside, lovely pubs, and of course Windsor Castle. As someone else mentioned, you can get to Windsor easily by train, but if you are up for a drive I would recommend hiring a car and exploring all the quaint villages in the area. 

The town of Henley-on-Thames is famous for the annual regatta but it is a lovely place all year round. It is right on the Thames as the name suggests and you can find shops and pubs galore. A couple of pubs off the beaten path that I can't recommend enough are The Olde Bell in Hurley (very near Henley) and The Swan at Streatley. The Swan has dining right on the Thames near a lock and is a beautiful setting for lunch or a drink. The Olde Bell is a short walk from the Thames and has a fantastic restaurant and bar. 

Berkshire is so picturesque with old pubs, tiny country lanes, and gorgeous landscapes. Not to be missed! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. West Berkshire (attraction)
  2. Windsor Castle (attraction)
  3. Henley-on-Thames (city)
  4. The Olde Bell (restaurant)
  5. The Swan at Streatley (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Linda from Nashville

Go to the Cotswold District.. Oxford.. Cambridge (England).. these are all wonderful cities not far from the centre of London and so much to see.. I almost forgot, Bath  You can take trains to all these destinations or drive.  Have the best time.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cotswold District (attraction)
  2. Oxford (attraction)
  3. Cambridge (England) (city)
  4. Bath (city)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Greer from Tonbridge, Kent

What is a 'short drive'? Within 2 hours you could end up in a number of places. Oxford for its college architecture or Hastings (England) for quintessential seaside fun and great vintage shops. Trains from London are pretty good too, so they wouldn't necessarily have to drive either. Could also go to Bath for its fabulous Roman Baths.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Oxford (attraction)
  2. Hastings (England) (city)
  3. Bath (city)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Dabs from Chicago

Are you sure you want to drive?  London is so well connected by trains that most places are better reached by public transport.  It's generally faster and certainly easier than trying to figure out how to drive on the wrong side of the road.

Whatever you decide, some of my favorite daytrips are Windsor Castle or Hampton Court, definitely train for either of those, only 1/2 hour or so by train.  Further afield, Bath is a wonderful place to spend a day, between the Roman Baths, the Pump Room for tea, the free walk through town or a Jane Austen walk and the Bath Abbey, you could easily spend a whole day.  Yorkabout 2 hours outside London by train, is another place you could spend an entire day.

Off the beaten path, if you like art deco, you might enjoy Eltham Palace and Gardens, another good train trip about 20 minutes or so from London.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Windsor Castle (attraction)
  2. Bath (city)
  3. York (city)
  4. Eltham Palace and Gardens (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Shrirang from Pune

There are many:

  1. London-Dover-London
  2. London- Southampton-Isle of Wight-London
  3. Shakespeare county
  4. London - Bournemouth/Portsmouth - London
  5. London - Bath - Stonehenge - London
  6. London - Glasgow - London
  7. London - Wales - London


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Dover (attraction)
  3. Southampton (hotel)
  4. Isle of Wight (attraction)
  5. Bournemouth (city)
  6. Portsmouth (city)
  7. Bath (city)
  8. Stonehenge (attraction)
  9. Glasgow (city)
  10. Wales (attraction)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by

There are so many great day trips from London such as Brighton (England) which has a great pier and Royal Pavilion or Stonehengeand the noelithic standing stones of Avebury which are on the way to the Victorian spa town of Bath. Or visit the beautiful university towns of Oxford or go punting in Cambridge (England) or down to Portsmouth for a full day in Portsmouth Historical Dockyard.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brighton (England) (city)
  2. Stonehenge (attraction)
  3. Avebury (attraction)
  4. Bath (city)
  5. Oxford (attraction)
  6. Cambridge (England) (city)
  7. Portsmouth (city)
  8. Portsmouth Historical Dockyard (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Edward from London

All depends on where in London you are staying and meeting. The last thing you want to do is try and cross the city or hack round the m25. Basically head for your nearest edge of m25. The exception to that is the Thames estuary. If your north east, head north. South East head south. There's nothing good right along the estuary. 

Where are you going to be and I'll try and suggest some thing. Also, look on English heritage and national trust websites. See what thighs are in driving distance. 

3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Trish from London

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Cotswolds (region)
2 thankscomments (1)

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