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-   -   If you had to choose only one Day Trip from London? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/if-you-had-to-choose-only-one-day-trip-from-london-645667/)

zkefman Sep 11th, 2006 01:17 AM

If you had to choose only one Day Trip from London?
 
Hello, I am traveling to London in October. I may have a day or two to relax, and I wanted to take a Day Trip from London. (I've been to London several times before but never out of the city) There are however many choices. I was wondering if someone who has possibly visited these places, could suggest a Day Trip if I only could take one full day trip. I found the following options/combinations:
Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge
Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury
Windsor, Bath and Salisbury
Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace
Oxford, Stratford & Warwick Castle
Greenwich, Leeds Castle, Canterbury
Oxford & Cambridge
Thank you, any help is greatly appreciated.

nona1 Sep 11th, 2006 01:24 AM

I take it these are coach tours (albeit one day ones). I think you'd be better off just getting on a train to wherever you want to visit. Some of these days are covering an awful lot of ground and you won't be able to do justice to the places you are seeing.

What are you interested in? A day on the beach? Visiting a castle? Seeing some countryside? Visiting a historic town?


nona1 Sep 11th, 2006 01:28 AM

Windsor, Hampton court, Greenwich, Canterbury are all quick and easy to reach by train (or Thames boat in some cases) so really a waste of time taking a tour. In fact Hampton Court and Greenwich are in London.


zkefman Sep 11th, 2006 01:30 AM

That's correct - couch tours. Just want to take a break - seeing a historic town probably would be number one, though other options sound nice as well.
Thanks.

Carrybean Sep 11th, 2006 04:13 AM

Out of those choices, I'd pick the Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge.

If I were doing it on my own, I'd just take a train to Windsor/Eton or Brighton is fun for a day trip.

janisj Sep 11th, 2006 07:33 AM

I personally wouldn't do any of them. ESPECIALLY not Oxford/Cambridge - they are far apart w/ no convenient road route so you will quite literally spend more time on the coach than seeing sites.

And IF you want to relax -- why are you considering a coach tour? They are not slow and relaxing. They are fast paced and some you list are close to frantic.

I'd take the train somewhere and enjoy a day away from London - not stuck on a coach. (Plus doing it on your own will be a good deal cheaper.)

If a coach tour is still your choice - then the only one that gives near enough time at each place would be Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury

But Oxford, Cambridge, Slaisbury/Stonehenge, Bath, Warwick and Canterbury are each easy days away by train.

Hampton Court Palace, Greenwich and Windsor are really in greater London (windsor isn't but is just a quick train ride away) You can easily do either HCP or Greenwich as a half+ day and have time for something else in London - those really aren't "out of town" trips.

Lori Sep 11th, 2006 07:41 AM

I agree, do not take a bus trip if you want to relax. You can do these trips yourself at your own pace with no trouble at all.

Where you go depends on what you like. If you want to see a palace go to Hampton Court (1/2 hr by train from Waterloo Station, but not out in the country by any means). If you want a Castle go to Windsor, again 1/2 hr by train but hardly countryside.

If you are interested in cathedrals I recomment Canterbury, 90 min. by train from Victoria or Charing Cross) stations.

Salisbury also has a lovely cathedral and it's a nice town to walk around in, again 90 min. by train. Winchester is a great choice too, about 60 min. by train.

You might think about Warwick Castle which is not on your list. Take the train from Marylebone Station. It's about 90 min.

I would stay away from coach tours, they are not relaxing and you won't "see" much at any of the sites if they are combined with several places.

Neopolitan Sep 11th, 2006 07:44 AM

While I'm not much on bus tours, if doing one, I'd certainly choose your first option -- Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge.
And while I'd probably be trying to do that on my own, I'd never try to do all three on my own in own day, so frankly, your idea of a bus tour to jam in three sites in one day is actually a pretty good one. I'm sure you're not looking for detail on any of the three -- you won't get it -- but it is a way to "see" all three.

amarc Sep 11th, 2006 07:46 AM

We were in London 8-11 thru 8-19. I would highly recommend Windsor/Stonehenge/Bath. We did this & enjoyed it the most.

We also did Warwick Castle, Stratford on Avon, & Oxford. Too much to see with not enough time.

Our tours were by bus which were very comfortable & non-stress producing.

MelissaBeckoff Sep 11th, 2006 07:49 AM

We just did a tour that was of Stonehenge and Bath and Lecock.
It was thru Premium tours.
You got to go to stonehenge after it was closed at sunset.Just the people on the coach.You could go right up to the stones.
Bath was very nice as well
melissa

twk Sep 11th, 2006 07:52 AM

I've been looking into this topic myself. I don't really consider Hampton Court to be so far out as to be considered a full day out of London (half day, maybe). I'm planning to go to Oxford (either by train or by a coach service that is called Oxford Tube and runs regularly from Victoria Station), then take a bus or taxi to nearby Woodstock to see Blenheim Palace.

MarthaT Sep 11th, 2006 08:13 AM

I would pick Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge. I have done these twice with Evan Evans tours and I did not feel rushed or stressed.

BabsB Sep 11th, 2006 12:51 PM

We went on a Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge tour and enjoyed it quite a bit. Yes it is true that you don't get all that much time at each location but it was enough for us. Since I was the "official tour guide" for our trip, I enjoyed getting a break for one day. You just show up at the departure point and the guide handles the details from there. Tours are not our normal travel mode but it was great to leave the driving, planning etc. to someone else for the day. My 2cents. Barb

cantstayhome Sep 11th, 2006 01:09 PM

I would pick any of the options that includes Bath, but it depends on your interests. The suggestion just to hop on a train and do it yourself isn't a bad one, either.

Barbara_in_CT Sep 11th, 2006 01:46 PM

I would either take the train to Bath or to York. York is a fair distance but the train ride is relaxing. The Yorkminster is a must, a walk through the Shambles and an hour or two in one of their museums. Finish up with Evensong, pick up a sandwich at the train station and return to London. Cheapday return tickets can be very inexpensive.

alanRow Sep 11th, 2006 02:26 PM

You could make Edinburgh on a day trip either by taking the earliest or latest trains or by using the overnight sleeper services

See www.gner.co.uk www.firstscotrail.co.uk

Birdie Sep 11th, 2006 02:45 PM

I was more impressed with Windsor than thought I would be. It has a good combination of history, art, religion and royal glitz. It was very easy to hop on the train at Waterloo and then a quick walk to the castle. Touring the castle will take up most of your morning. You can then have lunch in the charming town and do the shops if you like.

AisleSeat Sep 11th, 2006 02:48 PM

I would vote for spending the day in Paris via the Chunnel train. A long day, but worth it.

victoria_reynolds Sep 11th, 2006 02:53 PM

Windsor, Bath, Oxford and Hampton Court are all great day trips, but you'd want to pick just one and do it on your own by train. If you want a tour, I recommend the Astral Tours mini-coach tour of the Cotswolds (they also include Stratford on Avon) because the smaller towns are not so accessible by train and the mini-coaches only hold about 12 people. It's still a bus tour though; they get to decide how much time you get for sightseeing, eating lunch, etc.

risab Sep 11th, 2006 05:45 PM

A few years back we vacationed in London for about 10 days.
We did a half day to Hampton Court - took the train from Victoria Station. It was easy and an enjoyable day. Another day we took the train to Bath and spent the entire day. It was an easy train ride. We got into Bath and took the bus tour and then toured the Roman Baths, had some lunch, walked around and took a late afternoon train back to London in time for dinner.
We also did an organized day trip to Oxford, Warwick, and Stratford. That was very touristy- but it was a nice way to see a lot. I preferred the tours on our own because time can be limiting when you are on an organized tour. If you want relaxing I recommend a day at your own pace - afterall, traveling by train will be easy and there are no language issues to deal with.


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