Day trips outside London?

Old Jan 29th, 2001, 10:24 AM
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Day trips outside London?

We (two adults and two teenagers) are going to London in June for five days. Astral Tours seems to have a nice package for day trips (small groups) that seem appealing. Has anyone taken one of their tours? Are there others you'd recommend? We'd like to take three day trips going in different directions out of the city. Thanks
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 10:30 AM
Brian Kilgore
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For wandering around on your own, it's hard to beat taking the train to Brighton, and visiting the community, the tiny streets, and the pier. It's nto a place for swimming, but it's old Britain, still alive.

Old Jan 29th, 2001, 10:43 AM
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Cambridge, Bath/Stonehenge and Windsor Castle/Hampton Court.
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 10:54 AM
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There are so many places to go and the best part is you can get to them by youself - no tours (no groups, no schedules to keep, etc.). Hampton Court is just outside London on the Thames, easily accesible from Waterloo Station in about 30 min. Warwick Castle is a lovely 1 1/2 hr train ride direct from Marylebone Station, Bath is about 2 hous from Paddington Station. The list is endless: Cambridge, Canterbury, Oxford, Windsor, Salisbury, Winchester, and on and on. Even York is do-able in one day, via high speed train from Kings Cross Station (takes 2 hours to go 214 miles). While it is possible you do not want to plan these yourself (hence the tour question) it is very very simple to get to any of these places via the train and not have to contend with a tour's schedule. Everyplace has a web site now and there is so much info out there it is really easy to plan. Another thought is Greenwich - take the boat down the Thames and enjoy Greenwich and Greenwich Park for the day.
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 10:57 AM
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Assuming you have already explored much of London, for daytrips I'd recommend
Hampton Court, Bath, Windsor Castle,Oxford or Cambridge, and York.
You can't go wrong with any of those destinations, except for crowds sometimes.
I will add that any of the above can also easily be reached via public transportation. Windsor Castle and Hampton Court are easy self-guided visits, unless your tour guide is going to provide additional expertise.
Old Jan 29th, 2001, 11:01 AM
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Winchester, Chichester or Portsmouth must be candidates for your south west direction
Old Jan 30th, 2001, 06:21 AM
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A terrific resource is the book Britain by Britrail, author is Ferguson. It will list day trips, rr stations, siteseeing, etc., times for departure etc. Some are a bit long, so ignore those. Tallyho.
Old Jan 30th, 2001, 06:40 AM
David White
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I have to ask: have you already been to London before and is that why you want to use 3 of your 5 days for trips outside the city? Also, if the 5 days includes your arrival and departure days, then your actual time in the city will be even more limited.

If not, then 5 days is just about what you will need to explore the highlights of London, with maybe time for one daytrip. In this case, I would stick close to London and suggest Windsor/Eton, Hampton Court, or Greenwich as possiblities. All are within 30 minutes by rail from downtown London.

If you've already "done" London, then there are many day trips you could consider, as others have indicated.
Bath is a great small city to walk around and its just over an hour by rail. Be sure to see the Roman bath exhibit. York is a walled medieval city, 2 hours north by train (which puts it at the outer limit of a day trip). The York Minster is one of the premier cathedrals in the UK and the city is very walkable. Warwick Castle is a popular choice. A trip through the Cotswolds region will show you picture-postcard cottages and rural landscape. Salisbury is the place to go if you want a side-trip to see Stonehenge.

Hope this helps.


David White

Old Jan 30th, 2001, 07:11 AM
Steve James
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Hello Jeanie,

For coach tours with guide (I think), try:-
Old Jan 30th, 2001, 10:51 AM
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Kew Gardens, tea in the Orangery. Dinner in town. Easy trip, not expensive, take the train. If you like plants - and June should be great.
Old Jan 30th, 2001, 12:59 PM
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A second or third, whatever, to Brian's Brighton recommendation. Don't miss the Royal Pavilion, which your kids will really enjoy. Disney didn't invent over-the-top.
Old Jan 30th, 2001, 06:10 PM
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Many, many thanks to those of you who replied to my query. Yes, we have been to London before so were hoping to expand our horizons a bit. And I'm encouraged by all the advice to do it on our own! We're adventurous, so we'll probably do just that. Again, thanks for the insights.

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