We have been to London lots of times, so when we last went we decided to do something we had not done before, a day trip outside the city.
There are so many exciting tours and we tried some of them during our week in London.
From London, it is close to some of the UK’s best excursion destinations, whether you want to feel the tranquility of the English countryside or marvel at the opulence of majestic castles. Below we suggest exciting excursions you can easily reach by car, bus or train from London.
If you want to avoid the worry of booking train tickets or renting a car and driving in left-hand traffic, it may be wise to book a day trip with an organizer. Then you get everything fixed at a fixed price, and often a good guide on the purchase. See the links under each site for more information.
Cotswolds and Windsor Castle
Idyllic Cotswold is the very epitome of the cozy English countryside. Here among grazing sheep, picturesque villages, and rolling green hills, life is a little more beautiful, a little more peaceful than in most other places.
The area is on the list of “Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty” and boasts some of the country’s oldest pubs.
Windsor Castle is one of the official residences of the British Royal Family and boasts both being Britain’s largest castle and the castle in the world that has been inhabited for the longest time.
Windsor Castle was built as early as the 1066s by William the Conqueror and today covers a total of five hectares and 1,000 rooms. Windsor Castle is an hour’s drive from central London and is ideal as a half-day excursion.
The Magical Stonehenge
Stonehenge is still a mystery to historians and archaeologists. Who erected this giant monument and for what purpose? The theories are many and different, depending on which guide you choose to join, from the academically correct to the completely fictional.
Note that there are usually a lot of people around the Celtic holidays (spring, autumn, and winter solstices, as well as midsummer).
Explore one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments during a morning or afternoon bus ride to Stonehenge. Travel to Stonehenge from London by air-conditioned bus and enjoy views of the English countryside along the way. The tour is unaccompanied but audio guides are available on arrival.
This cluster of 40-ton stones was constructed over 5,000 years ago on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire in the English countryside. Stonehenge’s function is still hotly debated, but what is known about this UNESCO World Heritage Site is that it has been a place of pagan worship for centuries. Shape your own opinion as you uncover the history behind this extraordinary monument.
A new world-class visitor center is now a short bus ride from the rocks, combining modern audio-visual with exhibitions of antique objects.
I must say that even the journey to the destination was exciting, to get out of London and see the surroundings during the journey. On the other hand, on the way home I was usually so tired that instead of trying to check out the surroundings during the trip, I played a bit on my mobile. Mostly it was dice, card games, or sudoku.
A good piece of advice is to bring water, lots of water if you travel summertime. It gets warm and the price of water bottles at those tourist places is at least double compared to buying it in a shop. Anyway, back to the day tours now.
Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath
A visit to William Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon is well worth a trip. The great playwright’s home is preserved and today serves as a museum. The theater still lives in the old master’s birthplace.
The Royal Shakespeare Company is based in the city and puts on plays all year round. Be sure to book tickets in advance as the most popular sets sell out quickly.
The World Heritage-listed Bath was already founded by the ancient Romans and is one of England’s oldest cities.
The bathing facilities at the area’s hot springs, the city’s many theaters, and museums, as well as the magnificent Royal Crescent, are just some of the reasons why Bath continues to be one of England’s most popular travel destinations.
For more well-being in a historic environment, a detour to Oxford is also recommended. The old university has a lot to offer even for those who do not study.
Here you can wander around universities, libraries, and Gothic cathedrals, take a rowing trip along the Thames in a so-called punt boat, and pretend to be part of “A Lost World” and “Inspector Morse”.