15 Fabulous Weekend Getaways From London

''When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”- Samuel Johnson

We will take the liberty of saying that Dr. Johnson was so wrong! Although one can never end a love affair with the beautiful city of London, one does need to get away once in a while. While there are many things to do in London, there are plenty of stunning sights and gorgeous locales near London as well than one can explore. Wondering where a weekend away from London will take you to? We've got you covered. Here's a list of top 15 weekend getaways from London:

1. York:

York - must experience weekend trip from London

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A world apart from the bustling metropolis of London, York is a quaint walled city in England. Steeped in a history dating back to the Roman times and boasting of magnificent architecture, this city also has a romantic vibe to it.

Distance from London: approximately 202 miles

Best time to visit: Between March to June

What to see:

- National Railway Museum

- Jorvik Viking Centre

- York Museum Gardens

- York Castle

What to do:

- Explore York’s gruesome past at the York Dungeon

- Experience divinity and serenity at York Minster

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2. Bath:

Bath - historical weekend getaway

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A unique and charming place to visit over a weekend, Bath has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Picturesque and hauntingly beautiful, the city is the only place in UK where you can bathe in natural hot springs. If you are looking for a spa getaway, this is the place to be!

Distance from London: approximately 116 miles

Best time to visit: Between June to February

What to see:

- Roman Baths

- Holburne Museum

- Fashion Museum

- Royal Victoria Park

What to do:

- Bathe in naturally hot spa water at a Roman style bath

- If you are a bibliophile, you’ll love exploring the Jane Austen Centre

- Make unique glass objects at the Bath Aqua Theatre of Glass

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3. Brighton:

Brighton - weekend away from London

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A lovely weekend getaway near London, Brighton is situated at an hour’s drive from the city and has been welcoming visitors to its sandy beaches since time immemorial! Colourful and creative, this seaside resort town has a lot of points of interest and activities to undertake making it an ideal destination for a family vacation .  

Distance from London: approximately 67 miles

Best time to visit: Between April to September

What to see:

- Royal Pavilion

- Brighton Pier

- Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

- Stanmer Park

- Preston Manor

What to do:

- Hop on the Brighton Wheel and witness panoramic views of the city

- Shop till you drop at ‘The Lanes’

- Catch an entertaining show in action at the Theatre Royal

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Read about more weekend getaway ideas with families

4. Oxford:

Oxford

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The oldest university in England, Oxford is grand, stunning and mesmerizing. A must visit for architecture buffs and photography enthusiasts, bibliophiles too will enjoy visiting this city in southern England due to the presence of many libraries.

Distance from London: approximately 57 miles

Best time to visit: All year round!

What to see:

- Pitt Rivers Museum

- Oxford University Museum of Natural History

- Oxford Botanic Garden

- Oxford Castle

What to do:

- Book worms will enjoy visiting the Bodleian Library

- Take a walk on the alleys of Oxford and be amazed by the architectural grandeur

- Watch an indie movie at the Phoenix Picturehouse

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5. Dover:

Dover - short trip from London

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Situated along the coast, the delightful town of Dover looks right out of a fairytale- what with a magnificent castle overlooking it. A major ferry port, many tourists flock to Dover to see the spectacular White Chalk Cliffs.  

Distance from London: approximately 77 miles

Best time to visit: Between June to February

What to see:

- Dover Castle

- Dover Museum

What to do:

- Explore the White Cliffs of Dover

- Picnic at the Samphire Hoe

- Check out the magnificent fortifications- Dover Western Heights

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6. Cambridge:

Cambridge

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Another impressive university town in England, Cambridge’s ancient streets of knowledge are filled with extravagant architecture. Situated on the River Cam, Cambridge is one of the ideal weekend getaways from London.

Distance from London: approximately 66 miles

Best time to visit: Between March to November. Access to the colleges is restricted during examination time. Best to avoid the 6 weeks from early May until mid-June.

What to see:

- King’s College Chapel

- Mathematical Bridge in Queen’s College

- Fitzwilliam Museum

- Cambridge University Botanic Garden

What to do:

- Go punting in a boat on the river

- Catch a view of the river from King's College Bridge

- Capture the beauty of the Anglesey Abbey country house in your camera

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7. Stratford-Upon-Avon:

Stratford-Upon-Avon

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A must visit for the lovers of literature; Stratford-Upon-Avon is a medieval market town having the distinction of being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Steeped in culture and history, head over to this town to get a taste of ‘Olde’ England.

Distance from London: approximately 102 miles

Best time to visit: Between February to September

What to see:

- Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

- Hall’s Croft

- Stratford Butterfly Farm

- Holy Trinity Church

What to do:

- Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace

- Catch an exhilarating show at the Royal Shakespeare Company

- Hire a bicycle and explore this lovely small town in Europe at your own pace

- Row down the River Avon

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8. The Cotswolds:

The Cotswolds

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One of the things to do outside London is explore the rural area of Cotswolds. Full of lyrical landscapes and storybook villages, Cotswolds boasts of thatched roof cottages, winding roads and friendly denizens. Overflowing with charm, this area is a must visit for people who are in search of an escape from the hustle and bustle of London.

Distance from London: approximately 88 miles

Best time to visit: Between March end to May and September to mid- November

What to see:

- Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens

- The Cotswold Distillery

- Hidcote Manor Garden

- Broadway Tower

- Cotswold Falconry Centre

What to do:

- Explore the towns of Upper and Lower Slaughter and Bibury

- Check out the astounding array of wildlife at the WWT Slimbridge Wetlands Centre

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9. Windsor:

Windsor

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Famous for the Windsor Castle, a residence of the British Royal Family, the town of Windsor is located on the River Thames. Need a reason to visit this regal place over the weekend? Rumour has it that the Windsor Castle is the Queen's favourite weekend home!

Distance from London: approximately 23 miles

Best time to visit: Between May to October

What to see:

- Legoland Windsor Resort

- Savill Garden

- Dorney Court

What to do:

- Take a tour of the lavish and striking Windsor Castle

- Take a walk or bicycle across the verdant Windsor Great Park

- Catch an exciting race in action at the Windsor Racecourse

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10. Canterbury:

Canterbury

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Home to a magnificent cathedral, the historic city of Canterbury is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most visited cities in England, Canterbury is has a variety of places to explore and things to do that will leave you spoilt for choice.

Distance from London: approximately 62 miles

Best time to visit: Between September to November

What to see:

- Canterbury Heritage Museum

- St Augustine's Abbey

- Beaney House of Art and Knowledge

- Canterbury Castle

What to do:

- Experience tranquillity at the Canterbury Cathedral

- Catch a show of the Canterbury Tales

- Witness the vibrancy of the Canterbury Festival

Wondering how to plan a memorable trip across all of UK? Hope our journey planning guide on United Kingdon Tourism helps.

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11. Stonehenge:

Stonehenge

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Stonehenge probably needs no introduction! A prehistoric monument, Stonehenge’s ring of standing stones has been intriguing visitors since many years. Believed to be constructed between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, the Stonehenge stones along with the nearby area are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While visiting the Stonehenge, do check out the nearby Avebury Complex, situated around 25 miles away.   

Distance from London: approximately 88 miles

Best time to visit: Between April to early July and October to mid November

What to see:

- The Stone Circle

- The Neolithic Houses

- Stonehenge Exhibition

What to do:

- Explore the mysteries of this historical landmark

- Experience ‘Standing in the Stones’

- Have a picnic on the ancient landscape

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12. St. Albans:

St. Albans

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On your weekend away from London, you can explore the pretty city of St. Albans which is made up of all things Roman. A cathedral city in England, the historical St. Albans boasts of intriguing Roman remains and stunning architecture. And yet, the city is also a buzzing metropolis, what juxtaposition.

Distance from London: approximately 25 miles

Best time to visit: Between March to December

What to see:

- St. Albans Cathedral

- Verulamium Museum

- Roman Theatre

- Redbournbury Mill

What to do:

- Shop at the St. Albans Traditional Street Market

- Hire a bicycle and explore the town at your own pace

- Explore the Heartwood Forest

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13. Henley-on-Thames:

Henley-on-Thames

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Famous worldwide for its annual rowing regatta, postcard perfect Henley-on-Thames is a market town located around an hour’s drive from London. Recently voted as one of the best places to live in the English countryside by The Times, the town is also a regular winner of the RHS Britain in Bloom medals. Do you need more reasons to visit Henley-on-Thames during your weekend away from London?!

Distance from London: approximately 38 miles

Best time to visit: Between March to November

What to see:

- River and Rowing Museum

- Greys Court

- Stonor Park

What to do:

- Take a boat ride or go rowing

- Walk along the Thames Path

- Watch a performance at the Kenton Theatre

- Go on an excursion of Temple Island

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14. Whitstable:

Whitstable

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If you are craving seafood, pack your bags and head over to the seaside town of Whitstable. Having a rich maritime history, a bohemian charm and giving out strong arts and culture vibes, Whitstable's claim to fame is its oysters! Infact, if you are visiting in July, you have to witness the annual Oyster Festival.

Distance from London: approximately 62 miles

Best time to visit: Between February to July

What to see:

- Whitstable Museum and Gallery

- Duncan Down

- Whitstable Town Centre

- Whitstable Castle and Gardens

What to do:

- Go fishing at the Whitstable Harbour

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15. Lincoln:

Lincoln

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An ideal destination for a weekend break from London, Lincoln offers it all- an experience rich in history, a great arts and culture scene, shopping experiences at independent boutiques, restaurants and cafes serving delectable food and comfortable accommodations. What else would you need on your short trip from London?!

Distance from London: approximately 143 miles

Best time to visit: Between March to November

What to see:

- Ellis Mill

- Cogglesford Watermill

- Lincoln Castle

- Museum of Lincolnshire Life

What to do:

- Take a tour of the Doddington Hall and Gardens

- Explore the Lincoln Arboretum

- Shop at Bailgate

- Go on a ‘Hidden Lincoln’ tour

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All set to have memorable weekend trips from London? Hope you have a fantastic time exploring these places. Do let us know how your experience was by commenting below.

Intend on exploring more of London? You might find this useful:

- Best Cheap Eat Outs In London

- 10 Ways To Save Money While Travelling In London

- Things To Do In London On Christmas and New Year

- Best Ice Skating Rinks In London

- Best Hidden Bars In London

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NIYATI SHINDE NIYATI SHINDE

Traveler, writer, reader, bathroom singer, trekker, dreamer, a superhero in the making! Trying to be a good Samaritan because we need more of those. Afraid of roller coasters and flying insects! Living life, one mistake at a time.

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