Day Trips From London

Feb 8th, 2005, 08:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Day Trips From London

Our family is planning a trip to London in April for 7 days. My daughter (20) and friend (18) want to spend the majority of time in London at the sights and only want to go into the countryside a few days. What day trips from London would give us the best taste of England, with cottages, castles, gardens, villages, etc. Should we rent a car from London or just take a train and walk around? I was thinking about Bath and the Cotswolds until I read the other posts. Any suggestions? Any help is much appreciated!
Nene is offline  
Feb 8th, 2005, 10:12 PM
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"want to spend the majority of time in London at the sights and only want to go into the countryside a few days"

I am a bit confused. Is your whole trip just 7 days? If so, that IS only a few days. Have any of you been before? If so you will probably want to spend a lot of time in London.

Also, what sounds distasteful about Bath and/or the Cotswolds? Maybe if we know what the objections are, we could give you useful advice for other areas.

But in general, w/ just a week in total don't count on more than one day trip, or possibly two (but that's a stretch). Or you could spend the entire time inside London transport zone 1 and still not come close to scratching the surface.

One area you can get to from London that has a LOT of "cottages, castles, gardens, villages, etc" is Kent/East Sussex south and east of Gatwick airport. In a small area are some of the most beautiful castles and gardens in the whole country. To see much of this region you really do need to rent a car.

If by chance you are flying through Gatwick, you could land, pick up a rental car and drive around Kent/E. Sussex for 2 days and then drop the car and take the train into London for 5 days. But understand this is a very rushed itinerary . . . . .
janis is offline  
Feb 9th, 2005, 12:45 AM
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Nene- We really enjoyed Bath, haven't been to the Cotswolds yet. Also, I know it gets mixed reviews but I loved Stratford Upon Avon. We did escorted tours to both places so we weren't there long. Knowing what I know now I would take the train myself. You could go to Warwick Castle and Stratford in the same day trip by train.
tudorprincess is offline  
Feb 9th, 2005, 01:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Nene, I'd recommend a day trip to Cambridge - 45 minutes from London by train from King's Cross Station. It's particularly beautiful in April with all the spring flowers out in the college gardens (well, those you are allowed to enter!) and alongside the River and I imagine a 20 and 18 year old would find a university town interesting. Cambridge is very walkable and there is tons to see and do. Having said that, I agree that 7 days in London is short for a first trip and you may be better off just spending time visiting some of the "villages" in London - Hampstead and Highgate Village, for example, are lovely. Another option is St Albans - Roman ruins, beautiful gardens, cathedral etc - and only 25 mins by train from the centre of London so you can even do it as a morning or afternoon trip
Lisa123 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2005, 01:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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There are many ways to answer your question. A lot depends on specific interests, number of people, budget etc. If you are not seasoned travelers, taking some sort of tour might make the most sense although that can get pricey for 4+ people. London Walks ( is a well respected company and does "explorer days" that people here say are excellent. Look at what they offer for the time you'll be there.

There are also places like Windsor, Hampton Court and Greenwich that are quite close to London and are easily done on your own. Both Windsor and Hampton Court would give you the castle experience without spending a lot of time traveling. You can even take a boat trip to Hampton Court on the Thames. (people usually do that in one direction and train the other)
mclaurie is offline  
Feb 9th, 2005, 01:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The URL for London Walks is
mclaurie is offline  

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