London is one of our favorite cities to visit. But, if you have extra time in England, you really should consider spending some of it exploring the myriad of smaller English towns that lie just outside of the big city’s limits. To get a more authentic feel for England or to experience something novel, check out these top 8 underrated London destinations that make for a perfect day trip!
A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else.-Unknown
1. Roald Dahl Museum, Great Missenden
30 miles north of London (travel time: approximately 60-90 minutes)
Whether you’re traveling with kids or on your own, your inner child won’t be disappointed with a visit to the Roald Dahl Museum. It’s a quick and easy trip from London and you’ll be pleased with the fond memories a trip to this museum will conjure.
75 miles south of London (travel time: approximately 90-120 minutes)
Margate is one of England’s oldest seaside towns and it’s a beautiful place to spend a day or two. Catch a glimpse of England’s famous white cliffs at the shoreline, laugh the day away at Dreamland amusement park or explore the Shell grotto: a unique network of tunnels lined with seashells.
160 miles north of London (travel time: approximately 3 hours)
This beautiful area holds appeal for just about everyone. Amble through beautiful gardens, soak up the sights of rolling hills, explore numerous museums or partake in the vibrant nightlife.
4. Epping Forest, London
20 miles north of the city proper (travel time: approximately 45-60 minutes)
This magical forest will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to a whole new world. Only an hour’s drive from the city, you’ll feel as though you’ve just stepped into a fairytale forest, completely free of the loud hustle and bustle of London.
40 miles south of London (travel time: approximately 60 minutes)
This county encompasses some amazing sights: tour old castles in Rochester and Eynsford. Explore Darwin’s old home of Down House or marvel at the countryside view at Winston Churchill’s old home in Chartwell.
6. Warner Brother’s Studio Tour, Leavesden in Hertfordshire
15 miles from London (travel time: approximately 20 minutes)
Harry Potter fans can’t miss a trip to the Warner Brother’s studio where the most iconic scenes from the movie were filmed. Make your dreams come true by trying on the sorting hat or exploring Dumbledore’s office!
7. St Albans, Hertfordshire
25 miles south of London (travel time: approximately 60 minutes)
The cathedral here is worth the visit as it’s the oldest one in the country. If that isn’t enough to incite your interest, enjoy a stroll through the old market town where you can chat up the friendly locals and shop to your heart’s content.
20 miles west of London (travel time: approximately 60 minutes)
Although not the most novel of day-trips, Windsor has a broad appeal to a variety of travelers. There’s a marvelous castle, it’s easy to get to, and there is, of course, your pick of great pubs.