5 Day Trips From London To Explore

Folkestone Harbour

I want to go on holiday! – I can hear you think it. 
We all need a bit of relaxation, vacation, or in this case.. a staycation.

A day trip would be a good start.

I have been living in London for the past 10 years and am lucky enough to have the option of escaping the big metropolitan to other rural areas of the country any chance I get.

📢 Listen up friends: there’s more to England than just London! 😱

I always look for the most unique and interesting places where I can learn about the local culture and stories. I find it so diverse and between us? It is the best way to learn about the history of the world 🤓

Lockdown rules are slowly easing out in England after many months of what feels like forever. You have the opportunity to go on a staycation, skip the airport queues and go exploring in a wider range around you. 

What better time do we have to explore the country than the present? And a present it definitely is! 🎁 England has so much to offer and thankfully, not out of reach for us who reside it. 

Whether you’re a local or planning to visit sometime in the future when possible, this post is for you.

So sit back and relax, grab a cup of tea (“when in England..”) and enjoy the list I made for you:

I present to you 5 day trips to explore from London💁

❗ Please remember wherever you decide to go, to be respectful and keep to the government rules: keep your distance from people and wear face cover and gloves where necessary.

For the hike lovers: Dover

Dover is a small town on the east coast of England and part of Kent region. It’s also a massive ferry port facing France across the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel.

For a small town, Dover has quite a few things going for it! They have the beach, town center, gardens and history spots such as the Dover Castle and The Grand Shaft – both worth a visit for sure 👌

Though, there is a reason I keep coming back to Dover and it’s because of it’s beautiful chalk-colored White Cliffs – I wrote a whole post about them!

I have never felt as calm, relaxed and joyful as I did when I reached the top of the White Cliffs of Dover. It definitely helped being there for the first time during the warm June spell. The sun was shining, the landscape was far and wide and I could feel the most gentle breeze I’ve ever felt in the UK. The hike is easy enough for people of all ages and some areas are accessible by car. I have seen dogs, elderly and families with strollers all hike on top of the Cliffs. At the top, you are rewarded with a beautiful, functioning lighthouse where you can have afternoon tea.

Though we stayed there for a couple of days, Dover is a great spot for a Day Trip, a short train ride away from London.

We stayed at the Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa, right next to the beach front. As far as I know it is the only spa hotel in Dover.

From London to Dover:
By car: around 2 hours
By train: between 1hr to 2 hrs depending on train
The White Cliffs of Dover from Above
The White Cliffs of Dover from Above
Plenty of space for families
Plenty of space for families

For the history lovers: Folkestone

Another perfect sport for a day trip! It’s been a long while that I wanted to write extensively about our trip to Folkestone. It’s a small port town situated in a valley between two cliffs on the English Channel, south-east England. The place has great historical importance, playing an important role in both WWI and WWII.

There are a handful of historical landmarks you can go to while visiting Folkestone such as Battle of Britain Memorial, Royal Military Canal, Abbot’s Cliff sound mirror, Step Short Memorial Arch and more. You’ll see the remembrance poppy seed flower decorating the town.

Folkestone is surrounded by beautiful scenery including a beach, cliffs, gardens and parks. One of the most unique things about it is the Leas Lift, an outdoor lift installed in 1885 that acts as a railway carrying passengers from the seafront level to the passenger walk, much higher up.

Folkestone is very close to her sister Dover, making it incredibly easy to visit both in a short period of time. If you can, I recommend giving each place 2 days. If you’re brave enough, you can hike from one to the other in under 3 hours (nonstop)! 💪

We really enjoyed staying at The View Hotel in Folkestone, it’s close to the waterfront with a great view and beautiful, modern design of the hotel.

From London to Folkestone:
By car: around 2 hours
By train: between 1hr to 1.5 hrs depending on train

Folkestone Harbour
Folkestone Harbour
The famous poppy seed flower of remembrance
The famous poppy seed flower of remembrance

For the art lovers: Bristol

The furthest away from London on this list but in no means the least popular, Bristol is easily one of my favorite places in the UK. I call it little London: because it has all the goodness of London, but in a smaller, more curated way. Bristol is known for its arts and lifestyle. It has given us treasures like Sir Allen Lane, co-founder of the great Penguin Books and Aardman Animations that created classics like Wallace and Gromit. You can find the city decorated with graffiti, as you would expect from the residence of street artist Banksy.

But Bristol is more than cultural personalities. It is the largest city in the south west of England and is a multicultural university city with over 400 parks and gardens. 

It is friendly to all beliefs and faiths, a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ and very vegan friendly – it was even named the world’s vegan capital in 2018 by foodie website Chef’s Pencil. The openness Bristol has to offer along with its art and culture atmosphere is what drives so many people to visit. 

My favorite thing to do in Bristol is to stroll along the harbour, starting at the iconic Cascade steps that have water running through them towards the Avon river. If the weather is nice I highly recommend going on a boat ride. It’s that freedom sensation I love to feel with the breeze in my hair and seeing the city in a different way. I found it is much nicer than going on a boat ride in the middle of the London Thames. 

If you are feeling hungry, Cosy Club is the place for you! My favorite place to sit / eat / chill in Bristol, it is a big place open from morning time for breakfast until the small hours of the night  when it turns into a club. And let me tell you: we’ve been there for both! Best thing about it? They have an excellent vegan menu that includes breakfast, snacks, tapas and mains. Yum! 😋

If you are traveling with a car, you can drive to the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and enjoy the picturesque viewing point of Avon Gorge.

From London to Bristol:
By car: around 2.5 hours
By train: around 1.5 hours depending on train

The iconic Cascade steps
The iconic Cascade steps
Boat ride view to Bristol harbour
Boat ride view to Bristol harbour

For the beach lovers: Brighton

Brighton is a seaside location easy to get to from London which makes it the perfect day trip destination. Simply hop on the Thameslink train (that has many stations across London)  and in just under 1.5 hours you can have a great day trip!

Similar to Bristol and its community vibe, you get a bonus of the beautiful beaches. The fun-filled, iconic Brighton Pier has an amusement park on it. Brighton is very easy to walk around, within a short stroll from the train station you easily can reach what the city has to offer. That’s when you will begin to realise how welcoming and friendly everyone is – after all, it is one of the leading cities in the UK to host LGBTQ+ Pride! 🌈

Pride is not the only thing Brighton boasts as the best in. You know me well enough now to know that I give you great advice when it comes to vegan hotspots 😋. Believe me when I tell you that Brighton-pioneered Purezza will be the best pizza you will ever experience, even for non-vegans! My husband could vouch for that, the first time Will had Purezza’s pizza he was still a meat eater 😱now turned into a longlife fan, like me. They have since opened up a branch in London and another one coming soon to Bristol (yay!) which goes to show their incredible success. On top of that, they won top prize at the World Pizza Championships, being the first ever vegan pizza to win this prestigious award!

From London to Brighton:
By car: around 2 hours
By train: around 1hr depending on train

Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier
Brighton beach
Brighton beach

For the English town lovers: Oxford

Changing it up from my other recommendations in the list, if you’re less into the beach and more into the streets, Oxford is the only place that is completely landlocked. It makes for a great day trip as an absolutely beautiful university city in Oxfordshire, England. It is of course the home for the famous University of Oxford, however there is so much more to see in this picturesque English town. I love to walk around the streets of Oxford and get lost looking at the surrounding beautiful English architecture of the buildings. 

My favorite spots in Oxford are Hertford Bridge also known as Bridge of Sighs situated in between two parts of Hertford College and can be viewed from the street. My other favorite sport there is Radcliffe Camera, a Science library belonging to University of Oxford and Oxford Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden is stunning and full of life. It reminds me of The Secret Garden Novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a book I remember reading when I was young. 

From London to Oxford:
By car: around 1.5 hours
By train: between 50mins to 1hr depending on train

Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs
Radcliffe Camera building
The Radcliffe Camera building

4 thoughts on “5 Day Trips From London To Explore

Leave a Reply