Best Weekend Getaways From London

By Niyati Shinde on Apr 21, 2016
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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
  2. Bath
  3. Brighton
  4. Oxford
  5. Dover
  6. Cambridge
  7. Stratford-Upon-Avon
  8. The Cotswolds
  9. Windsor
  10. Canterbury
  11. Stonehenge
  12. St. Albans
  13. Henley-on-Thames
  14. Whitstable
  15. Lincoln

1. York

York - must experience weekend trip from LondonPC: wikimedia

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

Check availability of best hotels in York.

2. Bath

Bath - historical weekend getawayPC: wikimedia

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

3. Brighton

Brighton - weekend away from London

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

Read about more weekend getaway ideas with families

4. Oxford

Oxford - easy trip from londonPC: wikimedia

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 Picture house

5. Dover

Dover - summer weekend trip from londonPC: wikimedia

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.

6. Cambridge

CambridgePC: wikimedia

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

7. Stratford-Upon-Avon

Stratford-Upon-AvonPC: wikimedia

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

8. The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds - country weekend breaks near londonPC: wikimedia

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

9. Windsor

Windsor - queen's favorite weekend home

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

10. Canterbury

Canterbury - place where londoners go for weekendPC: wikimedia

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

11. Stonehenge


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

12. St. Albans

St. Albans - weekend escape to the historical town

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.
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

13. Henley-on-Thames


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?!

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

14. Whitstable

Whitstable - romantic weekend for the couplesPC: wikimedia

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.

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

15. Lincoln

Lincoln - plan for a long weekend herePC: wikimedia

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 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

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:

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