Three easy daytrips from London.
When you make the move to London, it’s easy to forget anything lies beyond the city walls. The hustle and bustle of the cityscape is smothering at times, and can overwhelm even the most slickest of city slickers there are.
If you’re low on funds to commit to flying somewhere, please do consider still escaping the city by jumping on a train/bus to somewhere else and taking a breather. Find somewhere cheap to stay on Airbnb or Booking.com, find a partner in crime (or go solo!), and you’re all set!
Another tip is to pay up for a railcard - if you’re between the ages of 18-25, or 25-30, you can purchase a yearly railcard (around £30) that will give you reduced prices on every train ride. It’s been very beneficial for me and saved me a ridiculous amount of money!
Why visit: The iconic pebble beaches of Brighton are known across the world, but it’s the charming seaside village that steals your heart. Close enough to London for a daytrip, be sure to walk on the Brighton pier and play the old-school arcade games.
How to get there: Catch the train from Victoria directly to Brighton. The journey will take around 1h 20 minutes, costing you £28 for a ticket during peak hour with no railcard.
Where to eat: If you’re after high-end dining, you can’t go past Gingerman (I’d highly recommend the scallops!). If you’re more keen to try local cuisine, you can’t go past Jack and Linda Mills’ Traditional Fish Smokers - freshly caught seafood at extremely reasonable prices. Go for the crab sandwich… you can thank me later! Last suggestion; RedRoaster for brunch. Bloody DELICIOUS! AND I’ve heard they do a spritz bottomless brunch… yes please!
What to do: Walk along the coast and admire the pebble beaches. The water can be freezing, but chuck a wetsuit on if you’re keen for a swim. Visit the Brighton Palace Pier and play the ol’ arcade games. There are also a load of incredible vintage stores in Brighton, so be sure to walk along the streets and find a gem. Last but not least, be sure to visit the British Airways i360 for incredible views of Brighton and beyond!
Why visit: Set in the rolling countryside of southwest England, Bath is a must-see and easy accessible. It’s known for its natural hot springs and 18th century Georgian architecture. The town is absolutely buzzing and always has something to do and see.
How to get there: The journey to Bath is only 90 minutes by train, but you’ll need to pre-book your tickets. I book mine through the app Trainline, which is super easy to use and saves a lot of time. A return ticket starts at £59.50 (though this is with no railcard). Otherwise you can also book a return on the coach for £14.20 (that takes three hours!).
Where to eat: There are so many incredible places in Bath to eat! If you’re looking for somewhere historical, you can’t go past Sally Lunn’s. It’s the oldest remaining house (in-tact) in Bath from 1680, and they sell their special Sally Lunn’s buns with many different toppings - delicious! If you’re looking for somewhere more modern, brunch at the Green Bird Cafe is unreal (and very affordable!).
What to do: Mark the big tourist things off first - the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and the Royal Crescent. They’re all amazing experiences that will knock your socks off, especially when you see the incredible condition some of the baths have been preserved in. Once you’ve done that, just wander through the town! There are so many old shops, and see if you can find the Fudge Factory - easily the best fudge I’ve ever had. On the off chance you’ve hired a car to see Bath, definitely make a stop at the ancient ruins of Stonehenge on your way back to London as well.
ROYAL TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Name: Royal Tunbridge Wells
Why visit: Of all the places to visit in Kent, Royal Tunbridge Wells is my choice. Perfectly positioned between London and the Coast, it’s a great town that was adored by Queen Victoria. There’s so much history to discover, and the escape to fresh air is so bloody nice.
How to get there: You can catch the train directly from Charing Cross to Tunbridge Wells on a swift 50 minute train ride. There are very cheap tickets available during off-peak periods, that you can get for £12.80.
Where to eat: Looking for an incredible cafe that has the perfect balance of healthy/naughty? We visited Basil for afternoon tea and absolutely loved it. Be sure to try their fresh cakes with their famous coffee. If you’re after more of a traditional pub lunch, you can’t go past The Spotted Dog. We had an absolute feast here, and ordered SO much food. The portions are massive and very well-priced. Whatever you do, make sure you order a big slab of their cheesy garlic bread… yes ploise!
What to do: There’s so much to see and do in Kent, but our highlight was visiting Hever Castle. If you’re interested in the Elizabethan era, this was Anne Boleyn's childhood home. If you look ahead, on public holidays and special weekends they actually do real-life jousting! After Hever Castle, wander into town and walk amongst the Pantiles. This is a Georgian colonnade founded in the early 17th century, and is now a popular tourist attraction. The Pantiles includes a delightful array of shops, art galleries and coffee shops - make sure to bring some spending money to buy something beautiful and handmade.
What are your favourite daytrips from London? E x