Advice on day trips from London

Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 03:25 PM
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Advice on day trips from London

The plan is to head back to London in the Spring. We will be taking my sister with us who has never been to London.

I am thinking of one or two days outside London…maybe 2 hours by train at the most. We’re open to any type of destination…maybe small town with some historic sites, gardens and good pubs. Also open to an outdoor-sy type location…something coastal possibly.

i have been to Bath…I liked it but didn’t love it (but not sure why). And, I’ve been to Canterbury which I did really like.

Any thoughts on Cambridge for a day trip? Is there enough to do in Windsor? Oxford vs Cambridge?

none of us would want to spend the whole day in museums. We’d like a mix of things to do/see. Thoughts? Your favorites?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 03:49 PM
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My first choice would be Oxford (or Cambridge - but me personally prefer Oxford)

'Oxbridge' have very similar 'vibes' in the central areas where day trippers would venture . . . gentle rivers with punts, beautiful colleges and college chapels that would be called cathedrals in most places, wonderful museums, easy walkability.

One very good day trip would be train to Ely (about 70 minutes) and visit the cathedral, then train to Cambridge (approx 20 Mins) for the rest of the day, then train back into London. (depending on which train you catch, about 60-90 minutes)

Windsor is good but it's essentially IN London -- not really but it is much closer to LHR than is central London. So if all one is mostly interested in is the Castle, Windsor can really be done as a half or 3/4 day trip from the centre just like Hampton Court Palace. If you have time for one half or 3/4 day trip I'd consider Hampton Court, Windsor, or Greenwich.

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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 03:53 PM
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Janis…you are quick! Thanks for your insight on Oxford.

i should say we did hit HCP on our last trip but would like to go back to Greenwich. It was a short trip mostly to cram in the Painted Hall as a last minute thing.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 03:57 PM
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How about Brighton?

https://heyexplorer.com/what-is-brig...nd-famous-for/
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by denisea View Post
Janis…you are quick! Thanks for your insight on Oxford.
I try to be

Just to clarify -- my 'Oxbridge' description was for both Oxford and Cambridge. Some prefer Cambridge for the Cam, the backs, Kings College Chapel, the Fitzwilliam Museum, etc. etc, . . . and some prefer Oxford for the Cherwell, Christchurch Meadows, Radcliffe Camera, Ashmolean Museum, etc etc.

All in all, for the casual visitor the two cities would be very similar experiences.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 05:01 PM
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Any interest in Stonehenge? If so, I highly recommend trying to book a Stone Circle Experience where you are admitted to wander amongst the stones before or after regular visiting hours. https://bookings.english-heritage.or...673.1659574677
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 05:05 PM
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I liked Oxford more than Cambridge, and would take in Blenheim while there.
Hampton Court.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by KTtravel View Post
Any interest in Stonehenge? If so, I highly recommend trying to book a Stone Circle Experience where you are admitted to wander amongst the stones before or after regular visiting hours. https://bookings.english-heritage.or...673.1659574677

Inner access is awesome -- but the logistics from London is a bit difficult unless one books a very expensive commercial tour leaving London very early AM or returning late PM. For an independent visitor you'd really want to spend the night before in Salisbury for morning access, or stay the night after evening access.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2022, 07:10 PM
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Good point, Janisj.
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 05:13 AM
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You guys are so good.

KT—Stonehenge is of interest but I would definitely prefer a before or after hours experience as you are describing.

great suggestions and info so far and I need to look up Ely as that’s a new one for me.

Brighton —will check the link sent. Thanks …I don’t know much about it but assume we’d want to go on a nice day.

as always, I appreciate the replies and suggestions.
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 06:44 AM
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Brighton Royal Pavilion is one of the most amazing bldgs in England -- but you'd definitely want to visit on a pleasant day for the piers, beach etc.
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 07:22 AM
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Personally, I prefer Cambridge over Oxford, but there's not much in it.

There are trains from London to York that take 2 hours, some a few minutes longer some a few minutes shorter. But once there, there's no shortage of things to see and do.

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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 07:41 AM
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Dover Castle is a nice excursion from London, along with other places in Kent eg Hever Castle. Some great pubs along the coast line. Ramsgate harbour is gorgeous, so is Whitstable, Kingsdowne is very picturesque with seaside pubs & a view to France on a clear day. You can have a really nice day out, not too far from London.



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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 07:56 AM
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I was very impressed with Ely - https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...19/loving-ely/

If you like gardens, definitely consider Kew.

If you're interested in the Tudors consider Hatfield House - according to Google maps it's a half mile walk from the train station.

If you're interested in the Romans, consider St. Albans. Or Chichester or Arundel Castle combined with Fishbourne.
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 02:15 PM
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Hi, if I had to choose between Oxford and Cambridge it would be Cambridge, because there is more of a small-town feel to it. Oxford is a city. There is just as much to do in Cambridge but I find it more charming.

Also outside of London - a day trip out to Richmond, and another day to Hampton Court Palace. They are both sort of London still, but with travelling will take up a good part of the day.

We did Stonehenge and Woodhenge on the way to Bath, driving down from the north. I think we also visited Salisbury (and its cathedral) on that trip, it's close to the 'henges. That was all quite a long time ago now and Salisbury has faded for me, Bath has not.

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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 02:19 PM
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Wow…these are the replies I dream of…

hadn’t really considered York but thanks for that suggestion (as long as the Duke is no where near).

gardyloo…interested in why Cambridge over Oxford for you, if you are open to sharing

Dover…love the comment on great pubs along the coast

loving this! Thanks and more please!
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 03:08 PM
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One thing re Dover -- The castle is one of the most interesting sites in England -- All on on one site you'll find a Roman light house, Medieval castle, victorian barracks, WWII tunnels/communication centre/Hospital. But the city itself is a dump. The castle is high on a bluff up a very steep road so you'd want to take a taxi from/to the station for sure. You really wouldn't want to be wandering around the town - but the castle alone easily fills most of a day.

re the Oxford vs Cambridge Debate - over the 5 years I lived in England and the probably 30-ish people I've taken to one or the other -- its really is 50/50 which one they enjoyed most. It is very subjective -- Sassafrass and I prefer Oxford, Gardyloo and Lavandual prefer Cambridge . . . and we're ALL correct You honestly couldn't go wrong whichever you chose. Oxford is the much larger city -- but that is including the industrial suburbs etc. The central area where the colleges, museums, etc are pretty similar in size and ambience.
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 05:23 PM
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another suggestion is Sissinghurst in Kent -we went to Hever castle the same day
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 05:47 PM
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Stratford Upon Avon?

We were on a tour that took us to Windsor Castle...grounds and inside. This was ages ago but I wonder if there's something available. That same tour included Oxford...Bodleian Library a must.

Looking forward to your TR, denisea!

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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 03:37 AM
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I like Salisbury quite a lot, and not just as a stopover en route to Stonehenge. The Cathedral is one of the most beautiful in England. There is one of the few remaining original copies of the Magna Carta in the Chapter House of the Cathedral. There are some very nice walks you can take in Salisbury, one with a famous view of the Cathedral, with a meadow in the foreground.

Wells is not far from Salisbury, and also has a very beautiful cathedral. It's harder to reach by public transportation, as it has no train station.
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