The Best Day Trips From London For Summer Adventures

My Sunday Photo Brighton Pier

Summer in London is a magical time, with warm weather and long days that invite exploration beyond the city’s bustling streets. If you’re looking for the perfect day trip to escape the urban heat and discover new places, you’re in luck. Here are some of the best day trips from London that offer a mix of relaxation, adventure, and historical charm. Don’t forget to bring your spray sunscreen – it can get quite warm!

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, known for its picturesque villages and rolling hills, is a perfect summer getaway. Just a couple of hours from London, this area is famous for its charming honey-coloured stone cottages, winding country lanes, and lush landscapes.

Start your day in the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, often referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” due to its lovely low bridges and riverside setting. Stroll along the River Windrush, visit the Model Village, and explore the Cotswold Motoring Museum. For lunch, enjoy a traditional pub meal in one of the many quaint inns that dot the area.

In the afternoon, head to the historic town of Stow-on-the-Wold. This market town boasts a rich history, with its ancient marketplace and mediaeval buildings. Visit the St Edward’s Church, famous for its enchanting, Tolkien-esque door flanked by ancient yew trees.

For a touch of nature, hike the Cotswold Way National Trail. This long-distance footpath offers stunning views of the countryside and takes you through some of the most scenic spots in the region. 


A trip to Cambridge, home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, is a journey into history and academia. Just an hour by train from London, Cambridge offers a delightful mix of stunning architecture, lush green spaces, and a lively cultural scene.

Begin your visit with a tour of the University of Cambridge. Explore its iconic colleges, such as King’s College and Trinity College, and marvel at their magnificent chapels, libraries, and courtyards. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum, which houses an impressive collection of art and antiquities.

Punting on the River Cam is a quintessential Cambridge experience. Hire a punt or join a guided tour to glide past the beautiful backs of the colleges, where you can enjoy views of the immaculate lawns and historic bridges.


Brighton, often referred to as “London by the sea,” is a vibrant and eclectic seaside city that makes for an ideal summer day trip. Just an hour’s train ride from London, Brighton offers a blend of beachside relaxation, cultural attractions, and lively entertainment.

Start your day on Brighton Beach, where you can soak up the sun, swim in the sea, or simply relax on the iconic pebble shore. The Brighton Palace Pier is a must-visit, offering classic seaside amusements, rides, and stunning views of the coastline. Don’t forget to bring your spray sunscreen – it can get quite warm! 

For a dose of history and architecture, visit the Royal Pavilion. This exotic palace, with its Indian-inspired domes and oriental interiors, was built for King George IV and is one of Brighton’s most famous landmarks. 

Brighton’s vibrant North Laine district is perfect for shopping and dining. This bohemian area is packed with independent boutiques, vintage shops, and quirky cafes. 

In the afternoon, take a walk along the Undercliff Walk, a scenic path that runs from Brighton Marina to the nearby village of Rottingdean. This walk offers gorgeous views of the chalk cliffs and the English Channel, providing a perfect end to your day trip from London.


Bath, a city famed for its Roman-built baths and Georgian architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that makes for a fascinating day trip from London. Just a 90-minute train ride away, Bath offers a wealth of history, culture, and relaxation.

Begin your visit with the Roman Baths, one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world. Explore the ancient bathing complex, marvel at the intricate mosaics, and learn about the history of this remarkable site through interactive exhibits and audio guides.

Next, head to the stunning Bath Abbey, a magnificent Gothic church with a rich history dating back to the 7th century. Climb the abbey tower for panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside.

The Royal Crescent and the Circus are two of Bath’s most iconic architectural landmarks. Take a leisurely walk around these areas and imagine life in Bath during the 18th century.

For a touch of modern relaxation, visit the Thermae Bath Spa. This contemporary spa offers a range of treatments and features a rooftop pool with spectacular views of the city. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

The New Forest

The New Forest, a vast area of ancient woodlands, heathlands, and picturesque villages, offers a perfect escape into nature. Located about two hours from London, this national park is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike.

Start your day with a visit to the village of Lyndhurst, the unofficial capital of the New Forest. Here, you can explore the New Forest Heritage Centre, which provides insights into the history, wildlife, and traditions of the area. Enjoy a traditional English breakfast at one of the local cafes before setting off on your adventure.

The New Forest is a haven for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders. Rent a bike or go for a leisurely walk through the ancient woodlands, where you can spot wild ponies, deer, and a variety of bird species.

For a family-friendly activity, visit the New Forest Wildlife Park. This park is home to a range of native and endangered species, including otters, wolves, and lynx. It’s a great way to learn about wildlife conservation and see these animals up close.

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