Europe

Best Weekend Trips to Take From London


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London is one of the most visited cities in the world. With its rich history, diverse culture, and world-class attractions, it’s no wonder that millions of people flock to the city every year. However, sometimes it’s nice to break away from the hustle and bustle of the city and explore somewhere new. Luckily, London has connections to some of the best weekend trips in the UK and Europe.

Below we’ll take a look at the top weekend trips from London, including Bath and Stonehenge, Paris, Oxford and Cotswolds, Brighton, Eastbourne and Seven Sisters Cliffs, Cambridge, Brussels, Canterbury, Cardiff, Amsterdam, Weymouth, Edinburgh, and other weekend trip options from London.


Why take weekend trips from London?

London is an amazing city, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Taking a weekend trip from London allows you to escape the city and explore new destinations. Whether you want to relax on the beach, explore historic towns, or experience a new culture, there is something for all interests. Plus, many of these destinations are just a short train, bus or plane ride away, making them perfect for a weekend getaway.


Transport options for weekend trips from London

One of the great things about London is its excellent transport links. There are several options for your travel, including trains, buses, and planes. If you’re looking for a quick and easy trip, taking the train is often the best option. There are several major train stations in London, including King’s Cross, St Pancras, Victoria, Waterloo and Paddington. Each of these stations offers connections to different parts of the UK and Europe. Alternatively, you can take a short flight from one of London’s airports, such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, London City, or Stansted.


Top weekend trips from London

Bath and Stonehenge

If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend away from the city, Bath and Stonehenge are the perfect destinations. Bath is a picturesque city known for its Roman baths, Georgian architecture, and beautiful countryside. Stonehenge, located just outside of Bath, is a prehistoric monument that is over 5,000 years old. The best way to get to Bath is by train from London. The journey takes just over 1.5 hours from London Paddington.

Once you arrive in Bath, there are plenty of things to see and do. You can visit the Roman Baths, take a stroll around the historic city centre, or enjoy a spa treatment at the Thermae Bath Spa.

Pulteney Bridge in Bath
Bath – Image by team / @mikecleggphoto

Paris

Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world, and it’s just a short train ride from London. The Eurostar train departs from London St Pancras and arrives in Paris in just over 2 hours. Once you arrive in Paris, you can explore some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, then a nice experience is to go for a walk along the Seine River or explore the pretty neighbourhoods of Montmartre and Le Marais. And of course, no trip to Paris is complete without indulging in some delicious French cuisine. Read about unmissable things to do in Paris on a city break.

Boat trips in Paris
Paris – Photo © samot | depositphotos.com

Oxford and Cotswolds

If you’re a fan of history and quaint English villages, Oxford and the Cotswolds are the perfect destinations for a weekend trip from London. Oxford is home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, and its historic city center is filled with beautiful buildings and museums. The Cotswolds, located just a short drive from Oxford, is a region of rolling hills, charming villages, and beautiful countryside.

The best way to get to Oxford from London is by train from Paddington Station. The journey takes around an hour. Once you arrive in Oxford, you can explore the city on foot or by bike. Make sure to visit the Ashmolean Museum, the Botanic Garden, and the Covered Market. To explore the Cotswolds, rent a car or take a guided tour.

Castle Combe, Cotsworlds, UK
Cotswolds – Image by @mikecleggphoto / team

Brighton

Brighton is a vibrant seaside town located just an hour’s train ride from London. The town is known for its quirky streets, colourful beach huts, and the famous Brighton Pier. Once you arrive in Brighton, take a stroll along the beachfront and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

Make sure to visit the Royal Pavilion, which was built for King George IV in the early 19th century. You can also explore the Lanes, a maze of narrow streets filled with independent shops and cafes. And of course, no trip to Brighton is complete without indulging in some fish and chips.

If you’re looking for a music-filled trip then a fun time to visit Brighton is during The Great Escape Festival which happens every year in May. This festival is designed to introduce new and upcoming artists and you’ll find venues all over the city hosting different artists.

Brighton aerial view
Brighton beach – Photo © Duncan Cuthbertson | Dreamstime.com

Eastbourne and Seven Sisters Cliffs

If you’re looking for a more active weekend away, then head to Eastbourne and the Seven Sisters Cliffs. Eastbourne is a traditional seaside town located on the south coast of England. The Seven Sisters Cliffs are a series of chalk cliffs located between Eastbourne and Seaford.

An easy way to get to Eastbourne from London is by train. The journey takes just around 1.5 hours. Once you arrive in Eastbourne, you can explore the town on foot or by bike. Make sure to visit the Victorian pier and the Towner Art Gallery.

To explore the Seven Sisters Cliffs you can do this by hiking or by taking a guided tour.

Birling Gap, Seven Sisters, UK
Seven Sisters Cliffs – Image by team / @mikecleggphoto

Cambridge

Cambridge is a charming university town located just an hour’s train ride from London Liverpool Street Station. The town is known for its historic university buildings, beautiful parks, and the River Cam. Once you arrive in Cambridge, take a stroll around the historic city centre and explore the university buildings.

Make sure to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum, which is home to an impressive collection of art and antiquities. You can also go punting on the River Cam or take a bike ride through the surrounding countryside.

Cambridge river and university
Cambridge – Photo © Nimurltd | Dreamstime.com

Brussels

If you’re looking for a European destination easily reachable from London then Brussels is a good option. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and a great destination for a weekend trip from London. The city is known for its delicious chocolate, waffles, and beer, as well as its beautiful historic centre. The best way to get to Brussels from London is by Eurostar train from St Pancras Station. The journey takes just around 2 hours. Another option is to take a short flight.

Once you arrive in Brussels, make sure to visit the Grand Place, which is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings. You can also visit the Atomium, a unique building that was built for the 1958 World Expo. And of course, no trip to Brussels is complete without indulging in some delicious Belgian chocolate.

Brussels, Belgium
Brussels – Photo © Tomas1111 | Dreamstime.com

Canterbury

Canterbury is a historic city located in the southeast of England. The city is known for its beautiful cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century. The best way to get to Canterbury from London is by train from St Pancras Station. The journey takes just over an hour.

Once you arrive in Canterbury, make sure to visit the cathedral and take a stroll around the historic city centre. You can also go punting on the River Stour or visit the Canterbury Roman Museum. See walking tours to discover Canterbury.

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral – Image via Canva

Cardiff

Cardiff the capital of Wales is a great destination for a weekend trip from London. The city is known for its beautiful castle, vibrant nightlife, and rich history. The best way to get to Cardiff from London is by train from Paddington Station. The journey takes just over 2 hours.

Once you arrive in Cardiff, make sure to visit Cardiff Castle, which is located in the heart of the city. You can also explore the National Museum Cardiff or go shopping in the city centre.

For those after a more active experience then consider visiting the Brecon Beacons (now called its Welsh name Bannau Brycheiniog) nearby.

Cardiff - Wales
Cardiff – Image via Canva

Amsterdam

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a beautiful city known for its canals, museums, and vibrant nightlife. You can get to Amsterdam from London by Eurostar train from St Pancras Station. This will either be direct or first to Brussels and then a connecting train to Amsterdam. Another option is a short flight.

Once you arrive in Amsterdam, make sure to take a canal cruise to see the city from a different perspective. You can also visit the Rijksmuseum, which is home to an impressive collection of Dutch art, or explore the Jordaan neighbourhood, which is known for its trendy cafes and boutiques.

Canals and architecture in Amsterdam at night
Amsterdam Canals – Image by @mikecleggphoto / team

Weymouth

Weymouth is a charming seaside town located on the south coast of England. The town is known for its beautiful beach, which is one of the best in the country. The best way to get to Weymouth from London is by train from Waterloo Station. The journey takes around 3 hours.

Once you arrive in Weymouth, take a stroll along the beachfront and enjoy the seaside atmosphere. You can also visit the Nothe Fort, which is a historic fort that dates back to the 19th century. Be sure to complete your trip to Weymouth by enjoying some delicious fresh seafood.

Chesil Beach, Weymouth
Weymouth beaches

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and a great destination for a weekend trip from London. The city is known for its historic castle, beautiful architecture, and vibrant arts scene. You can get to Edinburgh from London by train from either King’s Cross or London Euston stations. The journey takes 4-5 hours. Alternatively, you could take a short flight.

Once you arrive in Edinburgh, make sure to visit Edinburgh Castle, which is located on a hill in the centre of the city. You can also explore the Royal Mile, which is a historic street that runs through the heart of the city. Complete your trip to Edinburgh by trying some traditional Scottish dishes, such as haggis.

View from Calton Hill, Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland – Image by @mikecleggphoto / team

Other weekend trip options from London

If you’re looking for something a little different, there are plenty of other weekend trip options from London. You could visit the historic city of York, the seaside town of Bournemouth, or the picturesque village of St Ives. Alternatively, you could explore the beautiful countryside of the Lake District or the Cotswolds. Have a read of The Best and Most Beautiful Places to Visit on the English Coast for some more ideas.

For those looking to go even further than the UK then consider the Republic of Ireland (Galway is a great option), or head to another city in Europe. With a huge selection of flight options, you’ll find lots of places you could choose from. A few ideas include Rome, Venice, Vienna, Lisbon and Barcelona.


Accommodation options for weekend trips from London

There are plenty of accommodation options for weekend trips from London, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. If you’re on a budget, consider staying in a hostel or Airbnb. There are plenty of affordable options in most of the destinations that we’ve mentioned.

If you’re looking for something more luxurious, there are often plenty of hotels to choose from.


Planning your weekend trip from London

When planning your weekend trip from London, it’s important to do some research beforehand. Make sure to book your transport and accommodation in advance to avoid any last-minute stress. It’s also a good idea to make a list of things you want to see and do in each destination, so you can make the most of your time.

Once you’ve found your destination you can then research things to do, and also consider booking any tours and activities in advance.


Summary

London has some fantastic connections and this allows for some of the best weekend trips in the UK and Europe. Whether you want to relax on the beach, explore historic towns, or experience a new culture, there is something for everyone. From Bath and Stonehenge to Edinburgh and Amsterdam, these destinations are just a train or plane ride away. So why not take a break from the city and explore somewhere new?

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Author

Written by

Mike Clegg

Mike is a traveller, photographer, WordPress developer and the creator of TravelAndDestinations.com. He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website... [Read full bio]

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Photographs by TAD team, author, via photo agencies, or other providers. Read more about where we source images.

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