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Day trips within an hour of Central London
Published: 28 Jun 18
London is one of the busiest cities in the world, and sometimes it can be hard to catch your breath amid the chaos. Luckily, there are plenty of interesting destinations within easy reach of London so you can escape for a day. Check out our tips for days out all less than an hour’s train ride from the capital.
Brighton – 55-minute train from Victoria to Brighton
Voted one of the UK’s most popular seaside destinations, Brighton beach is only a 10-minute walk from the station. Here you’ll find the famous Brighton pier, kitted out with arcades, fish and chip shops and fairground rides. Alternatively, venture away from the seafront and take a trip down the cobbled lanes, where you’ll discover more than 400 quirky independent shops.
Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre – 30-minute train from Euston to Hemel Hempstead
Who says you can’t ski in England? The UK’s largest indoor ski centre has a 160m slope maintained with the perfect snow surface for you to ski or snowboard down. Don’t worry if you’re not a pro, as they also offer lessons to get you up to speed. A themed lodge bar and kitchen reinforces the alpine experience, offering slope-side views and après-ski treats.
Chislehurst Caves – 25-minute train from London Bridge to Chislehurst
Who’d of thought you’d find a 22-mile labyrinth of underground tunnels less than half an hour away from central London? These man-made caves date back to the early thirteenth century and were turned into the largest underground air-raid shelter in the country during World War II. They were also transformed into a music venue in the 1960’s, hosting performances from major names including Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie. Take a tour and you might even hear some ghost stories whilst you’re deep in the caves.
Bekonscot Model Village – 45-minute train from Marylebone to Beaconsfield
A model sized 1930’s version of Britain sits in the heart of Bekonscot. We know what you’re thinking, what’s so interesting about that? But the oldest model village in the world really does keep visitors hooked for hours. With more than 200 miniature buildings, 10 trains running along 450m of railway tracks and beautifully kept gardens, you’ll soon become fascinated by little Britain. It expands every year, with recent additions including a racecourse, coalmine, fairground, castles and a boating lake.
Thorpe Park – 50-minute train from Waterloo to Staines
Fan of an adrenaline rush? Thorpe Park has some of the highest, fastest and steepest rides in the UK, ready for you to test your nerves. With an express bus from Staines station to the theme park, the journey from the capital couldn’t be any easier. And for those who aren’t a fan of freefalls and 5 loop-the-loops in a row, there are plenty of easy going rides and attractions to have a more lowkey day at the park.
Mayfield Lavender Fields – 20-minute train from London Bridge to Purley, then the 116 bus
Hidden away on the North Surrey Downs, Epsom, you’ll find 25 acres of bright purple blossoms at Mayfield Lavender Farm. Open from late Spring until Autumn, the luminous fields pose for the perfect photo opportunity, where the owners even hold their own annual photo competitions. This is a perfect day out on a sunny day, and we’re sure you’ll be able to find a nice country pub to accompany the scenery with a hearty lunch.
Hampton Court Palace – 40-minute train from Waterloo to Hampton Court
Set in the gorgeous Herefordshire countryside, Hampton Court Palace is open to visitors to enjoy the beautiful greenery and tour Henry VIII’s favourite royal residence. With over 60 acres of magnificent gardens, including a maze, Tudor kitchens and haunted galleries, this historical fortress is worth the visit at less than an hour’s journey from central London.
Make sure you also check out our guides on the best art galleries to visit in London, and our favourite ways to spend your lunch break in the capital.