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Ideas for day trips from London - not the usual - especially castles?

Ideas for day trips from London - not the usual - especially castles?

Nov 1st, 2013, 08:31 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 159
If you like walking, this might be a fun way to spend the day:


DH and I did one of the walks once and it was a unique way to see bits of the countryside, as well as some sights.

If that's too much walking, and you just want to see Hever, you could use the walking directions just to get to the castle, and then turn around a go back. Reading through the walking directions I can see why some people had trouble finding it!
pandaschu is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2013, 05:30 AM
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Thank you so much for all the suggestions. I am seriously researching each one of them.

pandaschu - that is really a wonderfully detailed description of the walk. I had been leaning against Hever but now with that I think it's at the top of my list.

carolyn - I had seen your TR in my initial research before I posted this question - do you think had you not followed that guy you might have had a better experience?

Many of the other suggestions look great - now I'll need a week so I can do them all! Dover Castle looks very interesting - especially the underground WWII hospital. And Bodiam still looks like it might be my favorite but probably too hard to get to by public transportation. I guess I'll put it on my list for the next 'real' trip to England (this trip is just a few day 'add on').

Thank you everyone for all the suggestions and links.
isabel is online now  
Nov 2nd, 2013, 05:40 AM
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We "did" Dover via public transport. I would definitely put it at the top of your list, based on your needs and where you've been already and your interests. Truly great (and we made it to a walk along the Cliffs, too--all on foot, but next time I'd use some taxi help, probably from train station to the castle, or back. It's doable but a long and steep walk.) We also "did" Dover later having a car and it was much easier, but it's definitely a possible day trip.

And if you haven't been to Hampton Court, then I'd definitely put it number 2 on your list.

We also loved Bodiam castle, with a car. There was some sort of train service to a station you can see from the castle, but I don't know if the service is frequent or just a special tourist thing or what. I looked at that after we were there in 2010 just for fun, but I haven't looked at those possibilities lately.

We spent 2 weeks making a lot of day trips via public transport, plus did a few "different" things in London one year; another we spent 2 weeks in the UK with a car with a few days in London without and did a few "different" things. Here are my two trip reports if you want to read (or skim) them. They include our logistics for Dover twice and Bodiam (which we combined with quick stop in Rye and time in Battle but we had a car).


texasbookworm is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2013, 09:06 AM
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I really enjoyed going to Battle, near Hastings - the site of the final battle in the Norman Conquest of England where the Saxon king'a army was defeated and the Norman Conquest was on.

Lovely old abbey and paths going around the original battle seen. Plus a neat old village of the same name.


The Battle train station is a short walk from the Batle battlefield.
PalenQ is online now  
Nov 2nd, 2013, 09:55 AM
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PegS is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2013, 05:05 PM
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Isabel, we had taken a look at the printed signpost to walk to Hever Castle and for some reason found it confusing. After our return, it was perfectly understandable. Yes, most anything would have been better than what we did, but I think the best thing would have been to copy down what the signpost said and follow it turn by turn. I didn't realize that trip report was still available.
carolyn is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 01:20 AM
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I haven't been to most of the suggestions so I can't say what is "best". However, we did visit Dover (though not from London) if that helps.


Be sure to dial up the weather we got when you go.
indy_dad is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 09:13 AM
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Dover can be a great idea - not to see one of the least prettiest cities IME in the U.K. but to see the active harbors but especially Dover Castle, standing proud sentinel above one

You can also walk up a path from the Eastern Docks, as these are called, to the top of the iconic famed White Cliffs of of Europe's most strategic harbors now for eons - walk up to the castle from the boat docks (about a half-mile from the Dover Priory train station -Dover and well see France across the most narrow part of the English Channel - there are still relics from WW2 here - underground bunkers, tunnels, etc.

For a full and great day I would suggest twinning Dover with Canterbury - spending a few hours in that pleasant market town with world-famous Canterbury Cathedral and precincts being reason enough to stop by Canterbury - a short train ride from Dover.

Or pop by nearby Broadstairs or Sandwich or Deal - other other smaller seaside gems. Kent offers so so much to see and do!

Kent if hopping! as they say!
PalenQ is online now  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 09:14 AM
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Last line should have been:

Kent IS Hopping!
PalenQ is online now  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Posted this earlier on the wrong topic.

These gardens should be beautiful in June:

Cathinjoetown is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Hi Isabel,

Didn’t have time to read all above posts, but have you checked out this site?


Suggestions seem quite original to me…
latedaytraveler is offline  
Dec 10th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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Blaise22 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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Hatfield House I enjoyed and it is known for its great formal gardens - a short train ride north of London - in a small town

PalenQ is online now  
Dec 10th, 2014, 02:29 PM
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Nobody has mentioned Sevenoaks easily done by train from Charing Cross and Knole House and its deer park.
It's often refered to as a calendar house as it has 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards.
ESW is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 06:49 AM
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Bookmarking. I want to go to all these places!
nola77382 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 09:31 AM
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I thoroughly enjoyed Sevenoaks' The Knole - easy access from the train station - nicer old pub by park entrance.
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 11th, 2014, 11:59 AM
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If not mentioned Arundel Castle is really nice and close to London by train.

PalenQ is online now  

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