Best London Day Escapes
With spring in full swing, it’s time to get outdoors and escape the normal rush of the city. London might be full of great parks, museums and sights, but sometimes getting out of the central haze to breathe clean air is just what you need to recharge and refresh. You don’t have to travel far to get that—these six destinations are practically on your doorstep.
While still near to central London, these places have the revitalising power of the more distant countryside. Best of all? They’ll take thirty minutes, tops, on the train from zone 1.
Greenwich – The birthplace of global time is a fantastic day escape, from its lovely 18th century village, to the waterfront, to the park. Go to the Maritime Museum to learn about London’s seafaring past. And climb the hill around sunset for one of the city’s best views. If you squint, you can see Big Ben and the BT Tower!
Richmond –Another fantastic vista can be found on the heights of Richmond Park, where the protected view of St Paul’s Cathedral means you can see it all the way from the lookout. You’ll need the help of the telescope planted there, but it will be worth it. After that, go on the lookout for the deer that live there, and then go for a wander along the leafy Thames.
These places are still accessible by TFL, though transit time will be closer to an hour.
Hiking in the Chilterns – the woods past northwest London comprise some of the loveliest patches English countryside near the city. Take the Metropolitan Line to Amersham or Chesham station to start. Make sure to look up a few guided routes before going, as this won’t be readily apparent at the station (a great guide can be found here). Once you’re on your way, though, you’ll weave through fields, forests, and gorgeous historical towns.
Morden Hall Park – Although infamous as the stop many northern line commuters wake up to after a long night out, Morden Hall Park (just five minutes from the station) is one of the larger, better parks in and around London. In addition to the lush natural reserves, there are a couple really interesting historical buildings scattered throughout the park, including an old snuff factory now transformed into an art gallery.
The Proper Day Trip:
You’ll need to use the national rail to get to these destinations, so it will take more time and money, but they’re totally worth it.
Windsor – A little past Richmond lies one of Britain’s most regal residences, the castle town of Windsor. Here you can explore the castle (when royalty’s not in) and the wealth of boutique shops and fancy restaurants. Across the river lies Eton, home to Britain’s most prestigious boy’s school. This little corner of England is the height of aristocracy.
Brighton –England’s most popular seaside destination, as you might’ve guessed, is the ideal getaway on a sweltering day. Go for a swim, a wander along its rocky shores, or play games at the arcade on the boardwalk. The fantastical India-inspired Royal Pavilion is sure to inspire, and meanwhile the nest of bohemian joints in the Lanes are worth hours of exploring. Not to mention, our newest aparthotel will open there this summer – make sure to check it out!
Spring in England is the perfect time to explore the country to the fullest – London day escapes are necessary. If you’ve got more time, why not see Bath or York, or even see the London canals at their best?