11 best day trips from London by train

From countryside villages and picturesque coastal towns to iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Venture out of London to uncover more exciting UK destinations.
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A train travels across a bridge surrounded by greenery.
Take a scenic trip out of London on a Belmond British Pullman. Image courtesy of Red Letter Days

There are plenty of fun locations that you can easily reach by train from London. 

Marvel at the beautiful architecture of Oxford, a city renowned for its world-class arts, culture, and historical attractions. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade in the seaside resort of Brighton, trying your luck in the penny arcades and enjoying an ice cream on the beach. Alternatively, travel back in time with a visit to Warwick Castle, where you will encounter ancient artifacts, live shows, and re-enactments.

Discover your next favourite holiday destination with one of these fantastic day trips from London by train.

Popular day trips from London by train

1. Day Trip to Windsor by Rail includes entry to Windsor Castle

Visit Windsor Castle on a day trip from London. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Take a short train ride from Paddington Station to the royal town of Windsor. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in one of the many pretty cafes, take a scenic boat ride along the river and visit the magnificent Windsor Castle.

 

One of the sovereigns' favourite residences, Windsor Castle, is home to many historic treasures and royal artefacts. Explore the lavish State Apartments, see the delightful Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and pay your respects in St George’s Chapel.

2. Day Trip to Bath by Rail with Entry to Roman Baths or Hop-On Hop-Off tour

Discover the Roman Baths, the remains of one of the greatest spas of the ancient world. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Hop aboard your train at Paddington Station and make your way to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath. The only UK city to hold such a status, Bath boasts breathtaking architecture and many historic sites including the famous Roman Baths. Journey to the past as you explore the excellently preserved Bath House, Sacred Spring and Roman Temple. All before spotting more sights on a guided Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour.

3. Day Trip to Oxford by Rail with Open Top Bus Tour

Christ Church Meadow, Oxford. © Unsplash/Tetiana Shyshkina

Once you’ve collected your ticket from the Golden Tours representative on Baker Street, catch your train to the captivating city of Oxford. A living museum thanks to its centuries-old buildings, wander the University grounds, tick off its many interesting museums and scale Oxford Castle to see the iconic view of the city’s rooftops and spires.

 

Make the most of your visit by getting around the city on the guided hop-on hop-off bus tour but be sure to also have a go at punting down the river Thames.  

4. Bicester Village Shopping By Rail

Gain access to fantastic savings and exclusive offers at Bicester Village with a VIP Pass. Image courtesy of Mastercard.
If you’re someone who loves to shop til’ they drop, a trip to Bicester Village by rail is a must-do day out. Just a short one-hour journey from Marylebone station it’ll be no time at all before you’re picking up designer bargains at the many luxury outlets that include brands such as Alexander McQueen, Coach, Mulberry, Armani and many more. Stop for refreshments at one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants and look out for exciting pop-ups and art exhibitions.

Family day trips from London by train

5. Day Trip to Warwick By Rail

Warwick Castle. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Grab your ticket from the Golden Tours representative on Baker Street and head to Warwick Castle for a fun family day trip from London. Go on a medieval adventure at one of England’s most iconic historic attractions. Join an immersive tour of the castle, watch live performances and thrilling reenactments and get lost in time in the Horrible Histories Maze.

6. Day Trip to Cardiff with Entry to Cardiff Castle

Explore the charming Cardiff Bay. © Unsplash/Andrew Masters
Hop on your train from Paddington Station to begin your adventure in the friendly Welsh capital of Cardiff. The perfect destination for people of all ages, visitors can enjoy everything from history and sport to theatre and shopping. During your visit you’ll explore the imposing Cardiff Castle. Sitting in the heart of the city, it is home to more than 2,000 years of history and hosts many family-friendly events throughout the year.

7. Day Trip to Edinburgh with Bus Tour and Edinburgh Castle Entry

Visit Edinburgh on a day trip from London. ©Kate Bielinski/Unsplash.
Venture to the historic city of Edinburgh by train from King’s Cross London. For those travelling with kids you can entertain them with the many green spaces, interesting museums and, of course, a visit to Edinburgh Castle. Sat atop an extinct volcano, the fortress is one of Europe’s oldest with a rich history as a royal residence, military garrison and prison. Get around the city on your hop-on hop-off bus tour, ticking off multiple sights from the comfort of your seat.

Seaside day trips from London by train

8. Day trip by rail by Brighton and Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Brighton Pier in the sunshine. © Unsplash/Orry Verducci
Head to the coastal town of Brighton from London St Pancras for a fun day out at the seaside. To help you get your bearings in this vibrant destination this trip includes a hop-on hop-off bus ride, allowing you to see as many of the sights as possible. Be sure to take a stroll along the beach, taking to the water for a swim on warmer days and tucking into a classic fish and chips dinner.

Countryside day trips from London by train

9. Day Trip to Stratford-upon-Avon by Rail

Anne Hathaway's cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon. Image courtesy of Getty Images.
After collecting your tickets from the Golden Tours representative on Baker Street catch your train to the medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Most famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, explore a town that would have been familiar to the celebrated playwright. Be sure to visit Anne Hathaway Cottage, the place where Shakespeare courted his bride to be, and take a scenic tour along the canal.

Luxury day trips from London by train

10. Garden of England Five Course Lunch Journey for Two on Belmond's British Pullman *

Enjoy the Golden Age of Travel Aboard Belmond British Pullman for Two. Image courtesy of Red Letter Days.
Get ready for a train journey like no other on the Belmond British Pullman. With its stylish carriages and impeccably dressed stewards, you’ll go on a scenic trip while enjoying a five-course lunch crafted by Head Chef Jon Freeman. Sip on a refreshing glass of champagne and savour his creations as you take in views of the pretty English countryside.  The train will depart from London Victoria station with the return journey taking around five hours.

11. Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two on Belmond's British Pullman *

Join a delightful afternoon tea aboard Belmond British Pullman. Image courtesy of Red Letter Days.
A luxury day trip with a twist, combine a journey on the Belmond British Pullman with a traditional afternoon tea experience. Transported back to the year 1933, as you take your seat in the glamorous Art-Deco carriage, you’ll tuck into an exquisite array of sweet and savoury treats including finger sandwiches, indulgent pastries and delightful cakes. 

Day trips from London to other countries by train

From wandering the picturesque canals and bridges of Amsterdam to savouring sweet waffles and quality craft beers in Brussels. There are many exciting overseas destinations you can reach by train from London thanks to the excellent Eurostar transport links from St Pancras International Railway Station.

Paris is one of the most popular day trips from London by train, taking just two hours and 15 minutes (approximately) to reach the French capital. See the city at your leisure with a river cruise, bus tour and travel card, or opt for an escorted day trip to see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and a Seine cruise.

Get around the UK with a BritRail Pass

To really make the most of your time exploring destinations outside of London purchase an electronic BritRail Pass that grants you unlimited travel across the UK.

Discover even more ways to enjoy unforgettable days out from London. Whether that’s buying London tickets to top attractions in other iconic destinations or booking a guided tour from this fantastic list of the top days out from London.