Looking for an adventure outside of London? Look no further than these day trips from London! From the seaside charm of Brighton to the chocolatey goodness of Cadbury World, these beautiful cities offer something for everyone. In case you're looking to learn more about history, we crafted a little guide dedicated to historic towns around London. Consider this our way to illustrate how special this part of Europe is with centuries old treasures including Unesco World Heritage Sites such as Stonehenge, or countryside destinations such as the Cotswolds, Canterbury, or Stratford Upon Avon.
Brighton and Cadbury World are two of the most popular day trip destinations from London. Brighton is famous for its beaches and shoreline but also as one of the most liberal and sustainable cities in the U.K. On the other hand, Cadbury World is a chocolate lover's paradise in Bournville, Birmingham, just two hours away from London by car.
In this guide, we'll take a closer look at what these day trip destinations have to offer, including must-see sights, activities, and the best ways to get there. Whether you prefer a day on a sandy beach or having a nice fish and chips, we've got you covered.
Don't worry about lugging around heavy bags - find luggage storage options throughout the cities so you can travel freely and fully enjoy your day trip. Pack your bags, book luggage storage for a day in London, and get ready to discover the fun side of Britain!
Welcome to the wonderfully free and inclusive city of Brighton! Brighton is known for its beaches and shoreline, but it’s also known as one of the most liberal and sustainable cities in the U.K. It is home to the largest Pride festival in the country. Brighton is also known for its beaches.
Many Londoners flock to the beaches for a seaside escape, and during the winter, the shoreline can be seen used as a walking trail. Brighton is the perfect escape if you’re looking to enjoy some rays and attracts people seeking to belong and to be their truest selves.
Here are some must-do things and must-see sights in Brighton:
This historic landmark offers a lively atmosphere with thrilling rides, traditional arcade games, and delectable treats. Stroll along the pier, feel the refreshing sea breeze, and immerse yourself by trying to beat the very rigged claw machine.
This gem of architecture is a true testament to the city's unique history. Marvel at the intricate Indo-Saracenic design, wander through the opulent rooms and discover the captivating stories behind this former royal residence.
For breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the coastline, head to the Observation Tower. Take the glass elevator to the top and be rewarded with a stunning vista that stretches as far as the eye can see. Capture memorable photos, soak in the beauty of the surroundings, and appreciate the charm of Brighton from above.
This remarkable structure is the first in the U.K. to be built almost entirely from recycled materials. Discover how ecology and creativity intersect as you explore the different facets of this eco-friendly marvel.
Discover unique independent coffee shops, boutique stores, and hidden gems that showcase the city's thriving creative scene. Immerse yourself in the local culture, support local businesses, and find treasures to take home as mementos of your visit.
Hop aboard this charming vintage train and journey along the coastline, taking in the scenic views and relishing the nostalgic atmosphere. It's a delightful way to explore the city!
Fun Fact: The city hosted the 1974 Eurovision song contest that launched ABBA to fame with the hit single “Waterloo”
Brighton Palace Pier
In Brighton, you'll find a city that offers beautiful beaches and vibrant attractions and embraces inclusiveness, ecology and a sense of community. Enjoy the sun's warmth, the locals' welcoming spirit, and the freedom to be yourself in this wonderfully diverse and vibrant city.
Easiest way to get there: Train from London Victoria Station (approx. 1 hour)
Ideal moment to visit: Pride month, of course, and Summer months (June to August) for sunny beach days and a vibrant atmosphere
This chocolate lover's paradise is located in Bournville, Birmingham, about 2 hours away from London by car, making it just far enough for a day trip. The Cadbury experience catered to those of all ages since chocolate has no age limitations. Discover and learn about the history of one of the world’s most beloved chocolate brands. Take a day trip to Cadbury to make all of your chocolate dreams come true.
Here are some must-do things and must-see sights in Cadbury World:
Prepare to have your senses delighted in the 4D chocolate adventure. Immerse yourself in a sensorial experience that will transport you into a world of chocolatey wonder. Feel the excitement as you join Freddo and his friends on a thrilling quest filled with surprises, special effects, and plenty of chocolate.
Immerse yourself in the chocolate-making process as you learn about the manufacturing techniques, from cocoa beans to mouthwatering chocolate bars. Discover the secrets behind the iconic Cadbury recipes and marvel at the creativity and innovation that goes into crafting these delectable treats.
No visit to Cadbury World is complete without indulging in the ultimate chocolate-tasting experience. Sample a variety of delectable Cadbury treats, from classic favorites to new and exciting flavors.
Before you leave, don't forget to stop by the Cadbury World Shop, where you can stock up on your favorite Cadbury goodies to enjoy at home. Treat yourself or find the perfect gift for the chocolate lovers in your life.
Cadbury Chocolate Bars
Please note that anytime entrance tickets to Cadbury World are £26.00 per person, and it is recommended to purchase them in advance before your visit to ensure availability.
So, whether you're a die-hard chocoholic or simply looking for a delightful day of family fun, Cadbury World is the ultimate destination to make all your chocolate dreams come true.
Easiest way to get there: The easiest way to reach Cadbury World from London is by car. The journey takes approximately 2 hours.
You can also consider taking a train from London Euston Station to Birmingham New Street Station and then either a taxi or local transportation to Cadbury World.
Ideal moment to visit: Cadbury World can be visited year-round. Check online for the exact date and hours. If you prefer a quieter day, avoid weekends and holidays.
Prepare to be enchanted by "The Making of Harry Potter" studio tour, an absolute must for any fan of the series. Step into a realm beyond imagination as you venture behind the scenes, exploring the authentic sets that brought the magic to life. From the breathtaking Great Hall to the bustling streets of Diagon Alley, you'll be fully immersed in a captivating universe. The lot offers way more than a tour— it’s the experience of a lifetime, and it’s the perfect day trip from London.
Here are some things you have to check out at the Harry Potter Studios:
Explore the extraordinary sets at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter. Step onto the iconic Great Hall, wander through the magical Diagon Alley and discover the enchanting Gryffindor common room. From the intricately designed classrooms to the whimsical Weasley's kitchen, each set showcases the meticulous craftsmanship that brought the wizarding world to life. Other sets to discover include the Forbidden Forest, Grigotts Wizarding Bank, and Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse!
Admire the iconic robes of Hogwarts' houses, the elegant gowns of the Yule Ball, and the whimsical attire of magical creatures. Get up close to the original props and accessories. You won’t be able to try them on, but you can always get a dupe at the gift shop!
Did you get traditional afternoon tea here? Well, now you do. Indulge in the very British tradition of afternoon tea, an experience steeped in elegance and delectable treats. The afternoon tea caters to many dietary restrictions and absolutely worth checking out during your day trip.
Booking tickets online before is necessary for this attraction because it does fill up. You can purchase your tickets here.
Whether you’re an avid Potter Head or admire a well-thought-out universe with top-tier movie magic, make sure to check out the Warner Bros Studio Tour.
Easiest way to get there: Train from London Paddington Station to Watford Junction. Upon arrival at Watford Junction, a shuttle bus service will take you directly to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. The journey is about 1 hour.
Ideal moment to visit: Studio is open year-round- for fewer crowds, consider visiting during weekdays and in the morning hours.
Step into the world of Jane Austen, one of the most beloved and influential authors in English literature, on take a day trip to key locations associated with her life and works. Delve into the charming settings that inspired her novels and gain insights into her life, society, and the Regency era!
We start this tour off in Bath, a city steeped in history and known for its captivating Roman Baths. Marvel at the well-preserved ancient baths where the Romans once indulged in luxurious leisure. As you explore the city, it's easy to envision Austen's characters promenading along the elegant streets.
Up next, we have the delightful university town of Cambridge. Wander through the stunning grounds of King's College, where the magnificent King's College Chapel stands. You’ll certainly be reminiscent of Austen’s era as you catch a glimpse into the past.
Continue your journey to the quaint market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the legendary playwright William Shakespeare! Explore the charming streets, visit Shakespeare's birthplace, and immerse yourself in the rich literary history that influenced Austen's writing.
A visit to Chawton is a must since it’s where Austen spent a significant part of her life. Explore the Jane Austen's House Museum, a treasure trove of Austen memorabilia, manuscripts, and personal belongings.
Admire the grandeur of this royal residence, which Austen herself visited in her lifetime. Explore the beautiful gardens, and soak in the regal atmosphere that Austen's characters may have once experienced.
There are various routes involved but all of the location are easily accessible by train.
Located in the picturesque county of Kent, Margate is rich in history, artistic allure, and nostalgic charm. Margate offers a delightful mix of attractions that cater to all interests and ages!
The Shell Grotto is a unique underground cavern adorned with intricate shell mosaics. Plenty of gadgets and gizmos here- but all in the form of shells.
Immerse yourself in the world of contemporary art at the renowned Turner Contemporary Gallery. This cutting-edge institution showcases a diverse range of exhibitions and installations by both established and emerging artists.
This a unique and refreshing attraction that captures the essence of old-fashioned seaside charm. Take a dip in the expansive tidal pool, complete with retro-changing huts, wooden promenades, and panoramic views of the sea. Fun fact: Walpole Bay Tidal Pool is the largest saltwater pool in the U.K.
Here is where we find the thrill. Welcome to Dreamland, the iconic amusement park of Margate. Enjoy a thrilling ride on the park's roller coasters, try your luck at classic fairground games, or take in the lively atmosphere and vibrant retro aesthetics that transport you to a bygone era.
Explore the town's eclectic mix of boutiques, independent stores, and antique markets. Check out stores like Peony Village and Handsome Freaks for some vintage goodies. A cool eco-friendly store also rewards you for picking up rubbish from the beach. This a great way to help the environment and snag some discounts simultaneously!
Margate is the perfect escape if you want to unwind but still have fun. The cozy town will allow for a much-needed recharge with the option for adventure! Immerse yourself in this captivating town's coastal beauty, artistic expression, and nostalgic delights. Margate truly exemplifies the essence of a quintessential British seaside destination with a unique and fun twist.
Easiest way to get there: Take a direct train from London St Pancras International or London Victoria Station to Margate. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes
Ideal moment to visit: Summer months are the busiest but the town is great and open to visit year-round.
Southend-on-Sea is a popular coastal town located in Essex, England. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and various attractions, Southend-on-Sea offers something for everyone. From amusement parks for the kids to laidback beaches for the adults. This town officially gained city status in 2021— making it a very new city. The popularity of the new city is steadily growing, making it a great destination to visit soon if you’d like to avoid large crowds.
Fun fact, this is the longest pleasure pier in the world! It’s so long they even have a little shuttle bus to take you from one side to the next. The pier is a total of 2.1 km (1.3 miles). So stroll around and explore the shops- there’s plenty to see!
Adventure Island is a family-friendly amusement park located right on the seafront. The perfect place to visit if you’re looking for some thrill. The park is filled with exhilarating rides, games, and attractions! It’s sure to bring a smile to those of all ages.
Uncover a fascinating underwater world and get up close with an incredible variety of sea creatures, including sharks, turtles, penguins, and more! Visit the Sea Life Adventure Aquarium to experience interactive exhibits and educational presentations, making it an ideal destination for both adventure and learning.
This next one is for nature enthusiasts. Say hello to the Southend Cliff Gardens. These gardens are located atop the cliffs overlooking the sea. It offers the perfect escape— smell the fresh flowers and take in the breathtaking views of the coastline.
The Cliffs Pavilion and the Palace Theatre host diverse performances, from plays and musicals to concerts and comedy shows. Before you visit, check out what’s playing; you might find something new to discover!
The town center is home to an eclectic mix of street stores, independent boutiques, and quaint markets. Indulge yourself in some shopping- there’s a reason it’s called retail therapy!
Whether you're seeking a fun-filled day at the seaside, an adventure-packed family outing, or a leisurely exploration of nature and culture, Southend-on-Sea in Essex promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit. The town offers the coasts and cliffs with a dash of thrill if you’re also looking for that!
Easiest way to get there: Trains to Southend Central Station and Southend Victoria Station frequently depart from London Liverpool Street Station. The journey takes approximately 50-60 minutes.
Ideal moment to visit: Most popular during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm, and the beaches are at their best for sunbathing and enjoying water sports.
For more fun getaways, check out the rest of our day trip series, you'll find ton of information about what to do on the seaside trips close to London. And since the possibilities are endless while in the area, we also have a guide to explore the wild side London's surroundings!
What if you could enjoy every minute in the city without the burden of your bags?