London is an exciting city for adults and children alike and there are certainly plenty of great things to see and do to keep you busy for days on end in the vibrant capital city of the UK. Indeed, you could spend weeks (maybe even months!) in the city and still not manage to see everything that the city has to offer!
You may find, however, that being in such a big and busy city can be a bit overwhelming for kids, and it might be nice to take a couple of trips out of the city and explore some other parts of the country. Excellent public transportation makes getting to other places really easy, and there are several great day trips that you and your family can comfortably take from London, knowing that you’ll be returning to your bed in the city come evening time.
There are several excellent beaches that can be reached within a couple of hours of the city, perfect for a relaxing few hours You can read more about nice beaches in the south of England here.
Some other top day trips to take from London include:
A picturesque city just 80 kilometres outside of London, Cambridge is most well-known for its famous university. Easy to reach by road and rail, there are many things for kids and adults to enjoy in this historic and interesting city. Often said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the whole world, your family can enjoy fabulous views with a boat ride along the river. Kids may also enjoy a walk alongside the water’s edge. As well as gazing in awe at the impressive medieval buildings children will also likely enjoy the various museums, many of which have interactive exhibits that are perfect for young and inquisitive minds. There are several indoor and outdoor play areas, with some favourites including Cheeky Monkeys Play Barn and Funky Fun House. In warmer weather the pools, some with water slides and other activities, are great fun. The kids can up close to a range of different farmyard and small animals at Wimpole Home Farm, and if larger and more exotic animals are more their thing they are sure to love Linton Zoo. Different wildlife parks are ideal for nature lovers.
A stunning cathedral city, Winchester is located around 110 kilometres from London and there are regular bus and train services that connect the two cities. A historic city, today it is a calm and interesting place that is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Kids are likely to be impressed by the large Gothic cathedral, and there is a special tour map available that makes a visit more educational and fun for younger visitors. A self-guided trail is also a fantastic way to take in most of the other city sights. There are plenty of museums and play areas and older kids might like swinging through the tree tops on the exciting Go Ape course. The Rapids offers awesome watery fun and there is also an artificial ski slope in the city. The Winchester Science Centre is often very popular with families and there are many creatures and nice picnic areas within the pretty Marwell Wildlife. Other top attractions include Winchester Castle, Lakeside Country Park, Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway, and Mottisfont Abbey.
Another famous university city, did you know that the city’s university is the oldest in the UK? 80 kilometres away from London there are plenty of things for kids to do and see. The university buildings are elegant and impressive and they may even inspire young minds to learn and study hard at school! A cruise along the river is a terrific way to see a different side to the city and the Ashmolean allows families to take a step back in time and explore various different time periods. The Story Museum is a wonderful place for kids and is sure to rouse their curiosity ad pique their interest. There are several other museums and art galleries scattered around the city that cater to different interests and cover an array of themes. Indoor and outdoor play areas mean that kids can run and play whatever the weather and Bernwood Butterfly Trail is usually very popular.
One of the UK’s oldest tourist resorts, Bath has been attracting visitors for a long time. Famous in the past for its spas and mineral waters, a visit to the old Roman Bath House is really interesting. Gorgeous architecture will please the adults, whilst activities for children in Bath include the Bath Abbey Vaults Museum, which can be climbed for incredible views out over the city and beyond, Royal Victoria Park, boat trips along the River Avon, Bath City Farm, Strawberry Line Mini Railway, and a multitude of playground and play centres. The spectacular Cotswolds are close to the city. Bath is 185 kilometres outside of London, and, whilst it can be reached by road, the best way to get to and from the city in a day is by rail – the journey between the two cities will take around an hour and a half each way.
The New Forest is an excellent place for kids to spend time n nature, and they may also like to ride one of the New Forest ponies. Dover, with its iconic gleaming white cliffs is another great place for a family day out, and other good excursions from London for families include Canterbury, Salisbury, and Gloucester.