London is a great city and its location has been, since the Romans founded Londinium, essential for trading and travel routes. Only a short day trip away from the Big Smoke, one can find quintessential British towns, medieval stories, spiritual & mystical sites – all within easy reach by train. There is a magical environment in those towns – get your history knowledge up to scratch in Windsor, uncover your spiritual connections in Stonehenge or be amazed by the food & music scene outside London. Adventure can be closer than you think.
Cut through by the river Avon, Bath doesn’t get its name by coincidence. The Romans set up camp here and the well-preserved underground Roman baths dates back from 835 BC. Hang at The Bell Pub for its music and history, The Bath Brew House for its craft beers and at The Coeur de Lion – the smallest pub in Bath. The First Great Western trains to Bath leave from Paddington and take 2 hours.
Considered almost a second home city for many Londoners, Brighton has plenty to offer – full of activities, amazing restaurants and bars, vibrant nightlife and the pebbled shores of England. Have fun at the Brighton Pier for cultural immersion and some candyfloss! Terre à Terre is a nice vegetarian restaurant, with excellent bio-dynamic wines. The Southern train from Victoria Train Station takes 1 hour 30 minutes.
Margate is considered the Shoredtich-by-the sea and an easy train journey from London. The hometown of British artist Tracey Emin, the city is wacky and edgy. Visit the Turner Contemporary for its stunning seaside views and exhibitions. Don’t miss the mysterious Shell Grotto – a pagan cave discovered in 1835 completely mosaic-ed in shells. Take the high-speed train from St Pancras and arrive in 1 hour 30 minutes.
The official home of the Queen, Windsor is a beautiful historical town only 30 minutes from London. The castle is impressive – one can visit the staterooms, the dolls collections and many other interesting curiosities of the British royalty. But please keep the noise down if Her Majesty is having her lunch! The First Great Western train to Windsor leaves from Paddington.
St Albans is a quaint town with traditional markets and Roman ruins – check out the gorgeous ruins of Sopwell Nunnery. The town is only 20 minutes from London and a world away from the fast pace of the city. Have a pint at the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, a pub dating back from the 8th century. The Southeastern train leaves from St Pancras.
This famous university town has great scenery and lovely walks – the university buildings are stunning and one can have a very quaint day here. Rent a bicycle and visit the University Botanical Gardens and grab a pint in one of the many student pubs in town – but please keep to left if cycling! The Greater Anglia fast train leaves from King’s Cross and you reach Cambridge in just over 1 hour.
This mystical area has been a place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages – the Salisbury Cathedral is stunning, and the town is full of history, the famous Magna Carta is kept here and the iconic druid-pagan site of Stonehenge is only 30 min from the city center – with plenty of easy transport options to reach the site. Check the lovely Fishertown Mill for a nice spot for lunch. The South West train from Waterloo takes 1 hour 10 minutes to Salisbury.
The oldest recorded town in Britain, Colchester is only 1 hour from London’s Liverpool Street train station. Make sure to see the architecture and walk around this historical town – with its Celtic, Roman and Saxons influences. We love the Fat Cat Pub in Butt Street – we ain’t joking mate! The Greater Anglia train from Liverpool Street takes 1hour.
Yes you can go to Paris for lunch and return on the same day to London with the Eurostar. One of the most romantic cities in Europe is only a smooth 2 hours 20minutes journey. There is always a last minute or cheaper ticket on offer for that spontaneous get away – go to Paris, walk by the river, have a very French lunch and fall in love. All in one day. The Eurostar leaves from St Pancra’s International.