When the weather’s good, there’s no better place to be than the British countryside. -Ross Kemp
So you’re in London or planning on visiting. I think we can all agree on one thing: you can visit the city and only the city, and would not get bored. Nonetheless, a trip to England will always be incomplete without the countryside experience.
On my recent trip to England, I decided to explore the popular venues outside of London, while keeping my hotel reservation in the city for the entire trip—because lets face it— packing and unpacking, or staying at different hotel rooms every two days gets tiresome after a while.
So this is what I did, and recommend for anyone in search of a journey as complete through England as they can during their visit: take day trips! This way you get to spend half days or complete days, marvelling and getting to know England.
This construction is possibly the most famous prehistoric monument in the world. No one has ever uncovered the real reason behind its construction 5,000 years ago, but there sure are many theories. I think the mystery makes this place even more exciting!
2. LEEDS CASTLE
Out of any other day trip, a visit to Leeds Castle makes for a lovely escape from the buzz of the city. I recommend to visit first thing in the morning to grant a calm experience away from the crowds. Nonetheless, the estate and castle will steel your heart either way. Stroll around the garden to get that perfect shot of the castle, and then make sure to wander around the castle’s halls and rooms to get inspired with its history and former habitants: six medieval queens.
Not only is Bath Jane Austen’s home, but it also houses Roman Baths worthy of a visit (featured in the photo above!) This city is just about 2 hours and 30 minutes away from London by car, and although this may seem like a long drive for some, there are some stops along the way like a visit to Windsor or Oxford that can surely break up the time on your way over to Bath. In place like this you get to explore, wander, and admire it’s lovely architecture and charm.
Canterbury is also a nice stop along the way location in England. You can enjoy its cathedral’s incredible architecture, walk around its streets for some shopping or lunch, and stop to admire Saint Augustine’s Abbey, a lovely location where you can spend up to 1 hour and 30 minutes approximately.
5. DOWNTON ABBEY
Downton Abbey was such a dream! If you follow me along on Instagram or read my Blog, you’ll know I’m a huge fan which made this day trip a whole lot more enjoyable. I do think a visit to Downton can be attractive even for those who don’t watch the series, the estate is beautiful and immense, and Highclere Castle (the real Downton Abbey) is a true gem on the inside.
If you’d like to read more about this day trip, check out the blog post I made exclusively for it here!
Dover is famous for its white cliffs; you can spot them while you’re around. My favorite part of this day trip was the stop we made up in the mountain to witness the beach from up above. It was foggy and chilly, despite it being July but it all made the scene a whole lot more surreal. Doesn’t it look magical?
Stratford-upon-Avon is a quaint market town located in Warwickshire—about a 2 hour drive away from London—famous for one particular house. Although the fuzz is not much about the house itself, but about its former owner: a man named William Shakespeare.
This market town’s who saw this talented English boy grow back in his day, and because he had such an influence on the English language a visit is mandatory. You can walk around his birthplace, and see the way he lived together with his family. You can also shop for incredible souvenirs in the gift shop. If you want any recommendations and want to skip the typical picks, purchase the Dictionary of Idioms and their Origins by Linda & Roger Flavell.
A great way to visit any of these if it’s your first time, is by booking a guided tour. All of these were possible thanks to London Toolkit Tours, except for the Downton Abbey visit, which I booked with Brit Movie Tours. (links below)
The London Toolkit also offers a tour to Downton, although that was fully booked with them when I purchased my day tours.
TOURS OFFICIAL WEBSITES
Have you visited any other locations that could be in this list? Share on the comments!