Planning a trip to London and are thinking about side trips? Keep scrolling for my list of the best day trips from London by train worth adding to your London itinerary!
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Visiting London on vacation and want to maximize your time by taking day trips from London by train?
You absolutely can! London is the most well-connected city in the UK and you have an endless list of options.
There are cool historic cities, seaside towns, world-class attractions, and even other countries that make easy day trips from London by train.
No need to lose your cool in horrendous London traffic or pay high congestion charges by renting a car!
There are lots of short trips from London by train that will help you make the most of your time in the UK without hauling your luggage everywhere too.
Let’s dive into this detailed list of the best London day trips by train to inspire you and break down all the key info you need to plan an awesome adventure!
Don’t have time to read a bunch of London blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting London with kids.
Popular London Tours/Activities
- London Eye (this is a relaxing adventure where you can see a birdseye view of London)
- Double-Decker Bus Tour (this one has a 2-hour guided tour option)
- Harry Potter Walking Tour (this one is especially for families)
- WB Studios in London (this is a MUST-DO for any Harry Potter fan)
- Afternoon Tea (this one takes place on a vintage double-decker bus)
- Flytographer Photo Shoot (this is an easy and affordable London photography option)
Kid-Friendly London Hotels
- Crowne Plaza London Kings Cross (this is right by Kings Cross Station, which is really convenient)
- The Clermont London (this is an easy walk to the London Eye and Buckingham Palace)
- Georgian House Hotel (this is perfect for Harry Potter fans)
Want an epic London guide book? This is my favorite London itinerary and guide!
Day Trip to Cambridge from London
Famous for its prestigious universities and historic cobblestone streets, a day trip to Cambridge from London by train is a great choice.
You get to explore a smaller, walkable English city where you can sail along the river and check out the majestic King’s College Chapel.
How To Get from London to Cambridge by Train
There are three main options to travel from London to Cambridge by train depending on where you’re based in England’s capital.
From London Bridge station, take a direct Thameslink service to Cambridge. This journey is under 90 minutes and there are around 34 services a day. Tickets start from £20.40.
From Liverpool Street station, take a direct Greater Anglia service to Cambridge. This train journey is just over one hour and there are over 60 services a day. Tickets start from £22.20.
From King’s Cross, hop on a direct Great Northern service to Cambridge. The length of this journey is less than an hour and they run every 30 minutes. Tickets for this service start from £11.10 if you book far in advance.
Day Trips from London to Paris
Your mind will be blown at how easy it is to take day trips from London to France by train! No wasting time with airport transfers and long lines at the gate.
If you don’t have room in your travel schedule to stay in France for a couple of days then the fact that you can take day trips from London to Paris will give you a small taster of Parisian life.
You’ll have just enough time to stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, see the Eiffel Tower, and be scowled at by a French waiter before heading back to London in time for dinner.
How To Get from London to Paris by Train
Eurostar trains are services between London and other countries across the English Channel. These services depart from St Pancras in London and arrive in Gare du Nord in Paris.
Book your tickets in advance for the best prices and to avoid disappointment! Arrive at the station early to allow for security checks.
There are around 16 services a day and tickets start from €38.50. The length of this train journey is around two hours and 30 minutes.
Day Trip to Margate from London
Looking for the best family day trips from London by train? Margate in Kent is a fantastic choice for two reasons.
First, it has a fantastic beach which automatically makes it one of the best day trips from London for kids and one of the top beach day trips from London by train. Second, Dreamland Margate is the cutest retro amusement park you’ve ever seen!
Other day trips from London for kids will find this seaside resort town tough to beat.
How To Get from London to Margate by Train
From St Pancras, get on the direct South Eastern train service to Margate station. This journey is around 90 minutes and they run every 40 minutes. Ticket prices start at £10.40.
Day Trips from London to Brighton
But if you would like more suggestions for great seaside day trips from London by train then Brighton is a no-brainer.
It has a huge beach and an iconic Victorian pier which make day trips from London to Brighton so popular. It’s a diverse and welcoming city with lots of huge festivals like Brighton Fringe, Brighton Pride, and more.
How To Get from London to Brighton by Train
There are two easy options for taking day trips from London to Brighton by train, depending on which London station is more conveniently-located.
From Victoria Station, hop on the direct Gatwick Express service to Brighton station which will take less than 60 minutes. These trains run every 30 minutes and ticket prices start from around £10.
From London Bridge, get a direct Thameslink train to Brighton every 20 minutes for a journey that takes just over one hour. Ticket prices start from £5.50.
Day Trip to Edinburgh from London
Most Londoners wouldn’t dream of taking day trips from London to Scotland by train. They’d rather much rather fly!
But taking a one-day trip from London by train to Edinburgh should give you more time on the ground exploring as much as possible.
Edinburgh is the easiest city in Scotland to visit on London day trips by train. You can visit Edinburgh Castle, climb Calton Hill, and walk along the historic Royal Mile and Victoria Street which will make you feel like an extra in Harry Potter.
How To Get from London to Edinburgh by Train
Book your train tickets in advance on any train journey over 90 minutes which allows you to reserve seats.
On busy services in the UK, you aren’t guaranteed a seat and when traveling to and from Edinburgh, you’ll want one when taking day trips from London by train to Scotland.
You should also book in advance to guarantee a seat on the first and last services of the day to maximize your time in Scotland.
From King’s Cross, take a direct LNER (London North Eastern Railway) service to Edinburgh Waverley station. This journey takes around four hours and 40 minutes, with trains leaving every 30 minutes. Ticket prices start from £40.20 but can be much higher.
Day Trips from London to Bath
Bath is a former Roman spa town and where Jane Austen set many of her works, so no wonder it’s one of the best day trips from London by train.
Don’t forget to check out the stunning Georgian houses on Royal Crescent, Bath Abbey, and the amazingly preserved Roman Baths.
How To Get from London to Bath by Train
From London Paddington Railway Station, hop on a direct GWR (Great Western Railway) service to Bath Spa station. It will take less than 90 minutes and these services depart every 30 minutes. Tickets start at £21.50.
Day Trip to Oxford from London
Visiting the City of Spires is ideal if you’re looking for easy train trips from London. The University of Oxford’s many colleges are open for visitors and you can give punting on the River Cherwell a try too.
Be warned, it’s more difficult than it looks!
How To Get from London to Oxford by Train
From London Paddington Railway Station, take a direct GWR service to Oxford station which departs every 30 minutes. The length of this journey is less than an hour. Ticket prices start from £5.40.
Day Trips from London to Harry Potter Studios
One of the best day trips from London with kids has to be visiting the Harry Potter Studios. Not only is it so easy to reach, but it’s so much fun!
You can visit the sets of the Harry Potter movies including The Great Hall and the dormitories.
There are also costumes, props, and tons of other interactive activities that will easily take up a good chunk of your day. It’s mostly indoors, so it’s one of the best day trips from London by train in winter too.
How To Get from London to Harry Potter Studios by Train
From London Euston station, take a direct West Midlands Trains service to Watford Junction Railway Station. This journey only takes about 15 minutes and this service runs up to seven times per hour. Ticket prices start from £11.50.
Regular shuttle buses run from Watford Junction to the Studios every 30 minutes from 9:20 am for ticket holders. The bus journey is only 15 minutes so it could not be easier!
Day Trip to Stonehenge from London
Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an outstanding example of a prehistoric monument. Luckily, the stone circle is easy to visit on a day trip from London too.
There’s also a visitor’s center and lots to see in the nearby city of Salisbury so it’s a fun day out as well as a tick off your bucket list.
How To Get from London to Stonehenge by Train
From Waterloo Station, get a direct South Western Railway train to Salisbury. These trains leave every 60 minutes and the length of this journey is less than 90 minutes. While ticket prices start at £15, prices around £35-55 are much more common.
Once at Salisbury, get on a bus run by The Stonehenge Tour. You will need to book tickets for the bus which includes access to Stonehenge and the Visitor’s Center too. Check their timetables as they differ in winter and summer.
The Stonehenge Tour bus takes 30 minutes and all-inclusive tickets start from £22.50, which includes a return journey.
Day Trips from London to Brussels
Is taking a day trip to Paris from London not adventurous enough? Many locals take train holidays from London to Brussels so there’s no reason why you can’t hop over on a day trip.
Take a walking tour through Grand Place and eat as much Belgian chocolate, fries, and waffles as you can! Sample some Belgian beer too but not so much that you forget to show up for your train back to London.
How To Get from London to Brussels by Train
From St Pancras station, get a Eurostar train to Brussel-Zuid/Midi station which takes only two hours. There are only three trains per day, so book in advance to avoid disappointment. Tickets start from €58.
Day Trip to Windsor from London
Traveling to Windsor is one of the best cheap day trips from London by train. It’s less than 25 miles outside of central London and you’ll probably spend all day at Windsor Castle anyway!
This castle is one of the official residences of the British Royal Family and it’s where Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie held both of their weddings.
Remember, if the Royal Standard flag is flying then the King is in residence. If it’s the British flag, he’s elsewhere.
How To Get from London to Windsor by Train
From Waterloo Station, hop on a direct South Western Railway service to Windsor & Eton Riverside station. These services leave every 30 minutes and take less than an hour. Ticket prices start from £10.
London Day Trips FAQs
There are many popular day trip destinations from London, including Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor Castle.
The transportation options for day trips from London depend on the destination. Some options include taking a train, bus, or booking a tour.
The travel time for day trips from London varies depending on the destination. Some destinations, like Windsor Castle, are only a short train ride away, while others, like Bath, may take several hours.
Many day trip destinations from London are family-friendly, such as Legoland Windsor, Harry Potter Studio Tour, and Warwick Castle. There’s also the Chester Zoo, which was named one of the top zoos in Europe by Forbes Magazine!
Some day trip destinations from London, such as the Cotswolds and the Isle of Wight, offer different experiences depending on the season. It’s important to research and plan accordingly.
Day Trips from London by Train Wrap-Up
Climbing aboard one of these day trips out of London by train will allow you to see more of what England (or Scotland, Belgium, or France!) has to offer.
Book your ticket in advance to secure a good price and you’re almost guaranteed to have an easy, amazing experience that you never would have had if you didn’t consider days out from London by train.