Day trips from London

Old Dec 5th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Day trips from London

I'll be spending 12-14 days in London next summer. I'd like to make some day trips from there. Any suggestions?
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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My family will be going to London in May for the first time. We are going to go to Stonehenge and possibly the surrounding area such as Salisbury.
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 08:33 AM
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These are the places I have considered for daytrips:

Oxford
Warwick Castle
Salisbury
Bath
Stonehenge
Stratford Upon Avon
Canterbury & Dover
Cambridge
Brighton

I am leaning toward doing a bus tour to Stonehenge & Bath, and going by myself to Oxford.

I would really like to do Hay-on-Wye but that appears to be too far for a day trip.

Keith
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 08:38 AM
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Once upon a time i took the train to Brighton, wandered around the town for a ferw hours, had a good time and found it intereting, and then took the train back to London.

All in all, good value, in many senses of the word.

BAK
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 08:51 AM
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Stonehenge is a must-see, totally awesome. You can include visiting Salisbury in the same day trip since that's where the nearest train station to Stonehenge is (take a local bus out to the site). Also I second the recommedations for Brighton (don't miss the Royal Pavilion), Canterbury and Oxford. Outside Oxford in the village of Woodstock (another bus trip) is Blenheim Palace, one of the most magnificent palaces in Britain and the birthplace of Winston Churhill.

There's also Windsor and Hampton Court both a short train or bus ride out of town. I also thoroughly enjoyed visiting Battle and Hastings though you'd have to be pretty musc of a history buff to appreciate them.
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 08:57 AM
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You can do Paris in a day, thanks to the Eurostar. There's other posts on this site about what you can do and see in Paris. I would highly recommend it.

As for England, I recommend Dover, Stonehenge, and Brighton/Portsmouth.
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 09:07 AM
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I lived in London over 30 years ago and I still remember my day visit to Canterbury--it was truly my favorite. Oxford and that area was good too. Last year I took the trip to Bath/Lacock and Stonehenge. Enjoyable, but really would have preferred more of just the Costwolds. However, most of these trips are quite good, esp. if you're lucky enough to get a real good guide. That makes a difference. But my first vote is definitely Canterbury.
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 09:11 AM
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I'd suggest Windsor, Hampton Court, and the Isle of Wight. Each is worth a full day of wandering and exploring, although Hampton Court could be squeezed to half a day. The Isle of Wight with its seaside villages is simply charming and could easily be an overnight stay. Good luck.
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 10:40 AM
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Thanks so much for your suggestions...I was worried that a two week stay in London would be too long.
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 11:07 AM
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I know Cambridge has been mentioned, but since it didn't get a second I have it to say that it's top of my list for a day trip, although it can get horribly packed in summer so best to go mid-week
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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Cambridge and Oxford offer very similar attractions. Cambridge is a bit closer to London, and tends to get the nod from guide books.

I selected Oxford because of the literary connections near to my heart: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis & Lewis Carol. Not to mention Inspector Morse and the Harry Potter sets.

Keith
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 12:54 PM
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I did a summer program at the University of Kent in Canterbury and I second Holldoll as Canterbury and Kent are a nice day trip. You can see the White Cliffs of Dover, the Canterbury Cathedral, drive to coastline to an ancient abbey where the pilgrims marked the wood. When we first went, the guide said that the abbey was partially destroyed in the war. We thought WWII, but no, it was 1066 and William the Conquerer. Canterbury is a lovely little town and the countryside has interesting places to stop and visit.
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Old Dec 5th, 2003, 01:45 PM
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As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite day trips is to Portsmouth. But I am interested in the sailing warships. You can tour the HMS Victory there. You can also view the restoration of the HMS Mary Rose, a flagship from Henry the VIII. Can also tour the first metal warship to be built.
If you are into castles, in addition to the ones already mentioned, there is a fantastic castle at Caerphilly Wales, & can be combined with Cardiff, about 2 hours by train from London. Or Chepstow castle in Wales. Also, by taking an overnight train to Edinburgh, you can tour the Royal Mile for the day (Edinburgh Castle & Holyrood Palace) & return to London by about 9pm.
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Old Dec 12th, 2003, 02:47 PM
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Stonehenge is a must. Salisburry (which is where you will go to get to stonehenge.. you buy a bus ticket out there at the train station) is great too... make sure to spend some time at the cathedral, they have a copy of the magna carta, and the steeple on the church is the tallest in England (some pretty big things for such a small town). Cambridge in my opinion was better than oxford (and i had heard that from many others as well). Leed's castle in Kent is one of my favorite castles. Dover is great. Brighton i'll just say that it is interesting, not a place i'd go back to, and in my opinion would be kind of difficult to do as a day trip. Bath is a must. If you go to Stratford be sure to take a bus tour (16 pounds) to the Cotswolds, they are unlike anything else you will see. As far as doing the bus thing... take the train and then get on a guided bus tour once your there... Guide Friday bus tours give you the option of hopping on and off all around the cities. Overall it sounds like you have a lot planned. Believe me 2 weeks is not long enough. You might want to look into some guidebooks and cut out a few of the places you are looking at. There is more in London than one can imagine... plays, london tower, shopping in picadilly circus, london eye, Westminister cathedral, St. Paul's cathedral, Harrods (one has to see it to believe it). I'd pick out maybe 3 of the side trips, go to Paris for a few days, and hang out in london the rest of the time.
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Old Dec 12th, 2003, 04:24 PM
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What interests do you have?

I suggest you spend $15 for a copy of Daytrips London by Earl Steinbicker: contains how to get there by car or train and how long it takes, self directed walking tours, where you can eat, descriptions of worthwhile sights, best time to visit.

Brighton is an easy daytrip, 90 minutes by train, and I'd add Rochester and Winchester as potentials. Since you'll be there in the summer, a day at the races could be very rewarding.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 09:25 AM
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We spent nine days in London in early June 2003 with two teenagers and took a couple of daytrips:
* Hampton Court - take the train to Richmond and stop there for a pub-lunch and a walk. Continue on to Hampton Court via boat and then take the train back to London.
* Bath - take a walking tour!
* Kew Gardens - a surprisingly fun and easy half-daytrip - we took the train there, boat back at sunset - we did this on our last afternoon and it was relaxing, fun and a beautiful experience. In addition to the Palm houses, there is a little tram-tour, and on a nice day, it is very pretty.
* If you are with children, take a half-day in Greenwich - it was fun and easy. We took the boat there, and the "light railway" back.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 09:42 AM
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My favorite day trips so far have included Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace- both very easy and convenient to do by bus(I believe I took the Green line bus) I enjopyed a day trip to Bath, it was a great little city and very enjoyable. It was unique and enjoyed seeing the ancient Baths, the Royal Crescent, wandering around the town and having a lovely lunch. Oxford was worth the visit, and the Cotswolds and Warwick Castel were also very enjoyable. The worst trip for me was Stratford-on-Avon which for me was a waste of time and very tacky. Of course it would have different meaning for someone who was a strong fan of Shakespear.
Brighten was OK- but Bath, Windsor, Hamptonm Court Palace were to me far more interesting and worthwhile as priorities.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 09:50 AM
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All suggestions that were made here are great. I would highly suggest Canterbury, Stonehenge, and Salsbury (which is close to Stonehenge). Another option is Greenwich. Which technically isn't a day trip since it's relatively close to London but a great sight none-the-less. I was in London for 7 days and took a boat up to Greenwich...that place is beautiful. The Queen's house, the painted hall of the Royal Naval Acadamy and of course the Royal Observatory built by Christopher Wren.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 09:56 AM
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I am surprised to read so many posts on thoses that liked visiting Stonehedge. I have heard from so many that it was a very big disappointment, but different people like different things!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 10:12 AM
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I would suggest a visit to Stonehenge if you haven't gone before. I don't think I would ever go back but I was glad I had gone.
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