Day Trips From London – A Summer Guide

Day Trips From London - A Summer Guide

London’s huge span and long history has helped it grow into a diverse and culturally rich city that’s highly popular for holidaymakers. The 32 boroughs, 8 royal parks and nearly 2 thousand years of history all help establish Montcalm luxury hotels as the ideal choice for those looking for a city break that will enrich and entertain. But with its high energy and non-stop pace, even holidaymakers might want a break from the English capital.

London’s past and present may tell us a lot about how England came to be, but to really experience British culture, one must visit its other towns, cities and counties as well. Guests of London hotel special offers needn’t travel far to get a taste of England, in fact they can be out of the city and in a completely unique part of the country within 2 hours, sometimes even one. Afterall, England isn’t exactly massive!

Whether you’re looking for an escape from city life for the day or you just want to learn more about the country you’re visiting, guests of Central London hotels are well placed for day trips out of the city. This blog will explore some of the best excursions that you can enjoy in just a day. From beach towns and country escapes to cities with a vacation appeal all their own, these are the best day trips from London less than 2 hours out of the city. 


This market town in West Sussex dates back to the 11th century and has retained many of its mediaeval features, including a beautiful castle that proves a popular tourist attraction thanks to how well it’s been conserved. Surrounded by tributaries and flood plains from the River Arun, the scenic town often performs mediaeval reenactments such as jousting and archery on specific weekends in the summer, elevating it from just a castle and museum city and into an immersive exploration of English history. 


Brighton has long held the nickname “London by the sea” thanks to its wealth of shopping and entertainment opportunities. Though this south coast town is only an hour from Victoria and London Bridge Station and shares many qualities with the English Capital, it still stands on its own two feet as a unique city that’s worth visiting. First off is the 18th century Royal Pavilion, a gaudy, Asian temple inspired palace built by the eccentric Prince Regent, who was one of the main reasons Brighton became so fashionable a pleasure beach. 

The Pavilion and its gorgeous interior isn’t all that makes Brighton such a great day trip, the Palace Pier Amusement is a real laugh for families, whilst the seafront and beach is a prime summer swimming spot for overheated Londoners. Just come prepared for pebbles though.


Another London adjacent city, the harbour town history of this western city is just an hour and a half’s train journey from London and provides a wealth of stylish shopping and historic museums and experiences. Part of the draw to Bristol is its creative energy and student population, definitely not one to miss for music lovers. 

Box Hill

This millennias-old glacial formation consists of steep valleys and walking trails just outside the quaint village of Westhumble in Surrey. Explore old military outposts and garrisons alongside steep, sweat inducing hiking trails that reward with refreshing views over the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 


Whilst many guests of 2 night London hotel deals will be familiar with the south and the west, the east of England can often be overlooked. It’s only an hour and a half away though, and Cambridge, on the way into Suffolk, is a perfect place to start. This Oxbridge harbouring city and its mediaeval gothic lanes are home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world which you can tour as well.


The Cotswolds are an area in the west of England that leak into Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire are full of limestone built villages and bucolic walking trails. The streams, meadows and cottages of the Cotswolds make for a truly English pastoral experience and a great antidote to London.


Another coastal town with historic resonance, Hastings is home to the ruins of one of William the Conqueror’s first fortresses in England and was the staging ground for one of the most defining battles in the country’s history. If 11th century warfare isn’t your thing then never fear, the pleasure beach and bougie lanes of Hastings make for great window shopping and dining, all just an hour and a half out of London Bridge.


Lewes is easy to reach from Victoria Station in just 45 minutes and is another historic town with a castle you can visit and a priory dating to the 11th century. Nestled in the Ouse Valley of the South Downs, there are plenty of riverside hikes surrounding this idyllic town whilst the pubs and restaurants of Lewes also draw in large weekend crowds. 


Margate on the Kentish Coast is an hour and a half from London and famous for its Turner art gallery that faces out to the sea. Free to visit the contemporary art exhibited here reflects the town’s links to JMW Turner, who lived in this now trendy town for 20 years between 1827 and 47. For the kids, Dreamland amusement park is a classic English wonderland of arcades and historic roller coasters as well. 


We’re not done with the East of England quite yet. The capital city of Norfolk, Norwich allegedly has a “pub for every day of the year” which, considering its compact size is quite an achievement. Easy to reach from Liverpool Street Station in just 90 minutes, Norwich’s cobbled lanes are home to independent fashion boutiques and an historic market square.


Oxford and Cambridge often vie for pole position as the most famous University city, but Oxford takes the biscuit when it comes to immersive museums and galleries. The Ashmolean is of particular note, holding many relics from the past with historic importance whilst the bars, cafes and shops that line the street are often blue plaqued for their links to famous figures who attended the university.