London is a quick and cheap flight away to most places in Europe. However, don’t skip out on exploring the wonderful cities of England! Within two hours you can reach magnificent destinations, wildly different from the scene in London. Here are some of the day trips I’ve embarked on with travel tips and advice on what to do.
This was my first day trip, away from London. My sister was in town, so we decided to explore this beautiful town and university. We turned up to London Paddington around 9AM and bought a ticket once we arrived. The journey was a lovely glimpse into the English countryside, and only took an hour each way! We were immediately blown away by the classical beauty of the town. Quintessentially medieval buildings tower over Oxford. Vast green spaces are filled with grazing animals and lush foliage. It’s truly a beautiful city, much rawer and natural than London. And very walkable! You don’t need any public transportation and can see the town in its entirety on foot. Once you’re ready for a break, I recommend checking out Café Loco for some delicious food and pastries!
One last day trip with my sister was to Windsor Castle. Only 40 minutes (and one train change) from London will get you to where many royal weddings have been hosted. Most notably, the recent marriage of Harry and Megan! We didn’t pay to enter the castle, but we still enjoyed walking the perimeter and through the romantic small streets of Windsor. If you cross the bridge, you can enter the town of Eton. Here you can wander narrow streets and take a glimpse at the exclusive boarding school that famous figures such as Karl Marx and George Orwell have attended. End your trip at the Duchess of Cambridge pub! We had the best fish n chips here.
A town highly recommended by Brits themselves. My pal Dana and I actually spent the weekend here. However, it could be done as a day trip! A 2-hour journey from Kings Cross takes you to this gothic city surrounded by defensive walls. Outdoor markets, the cathedral, a castle, more pubs than days of the year, ample live music and trendy cafes are all found in York! Check out Brew and Brownie for lunch and Betty’s Tearoom for pastries! If you do find yourself wanting some more time, the hostel Astor York was clean, cheap and a great way to make friends. Right beside it is a dessert delivery service… what can be better than getting cake delivered to your hostel door?
4 friends and I took the bus from the Victoria Coach Station to Brighton for a very cheap price. Two hours later, we made it to “The San Francisco of England”. A gloomy day didn’t take away from the magic of wandering the quirky area of “North Laines” or the bustling pier. This seaside town offers art, food and many outdoor markets. We made an unanimous decision that we had the best sandwiches of our lives at a small café called Giu and Su.
Another beautiful university town, totally different than Oxford. My friend Sherry attends Cambridge and gave me a personal tour! Cambridge has many schools within its campus, all unique and different. We went for the classic Cambridge experience- punting. Since Sherry is a student, we obtained the boat for free but I highly recommend paying the fee to float on a narrow, wooden boat through the streams in Cambridge. The landscape is lush and the city has a classical elegance unmatched by any other town.
My latest trip was a bus trip to Dover! Two friends and I took off from Victoria and spent the day in Dover. Hike around and take in the dramatic view of the white cliffs contrasted by the blue English Channel. Stunning. The main star is the coastline so don’t expect much from the town other than some post-hike fuel.