Visit Outside London by Train

Top 10 Places to Visit Outside London by Train

Ready to explore the suburbs of London? What if we told you your journey to the alluring neighbourhoods of London is by a comfortable train? Imagine getting to watch the lush green landscape of the UK as your train takes you to some of the most beautiful places in the capital’s outskirts.

From the world-renowned university cities of Cambridge and Oxford to the ancient cities of Bath and Salisbury and beyond, all the main destinations near the capital are accessible via train. So, let’s explore the top 10 places to visit outside London by train:

1. Brighton

Brighton
Brighton
  • Accessible From: All London Stations
  • Average Fare: £7.50 per Person

Brighton is full of spacious beaches and a lively atmosphere all over the town. It’s a small neighbourhood with several vibrant activities for solo travellers and families alike. For recreational fun and amusement, visit the “Brighton Palace Pier” on the seaside of the town. If you’re staying with the family, this amusement park is going to be a heaven for kids.

While we talk about amusement parks, don’t forget to visit the “British Airways i360”. It’s one of the highest observation galleries in the UK, only second to London’s “The View From The Shard” viewing gallery. Rise 162 metres into the Brighton’s sky and have 360-degree views of the English Channel from up there.

Getting to Brighton is easy, as the train to Brighton is accessible from all stations in London. The total travel time is around 90 minutes on average from King’s Cross to Brighton Railway Station.

2. Cambridge

Cambridge
Cambridge
  • Accessible From: All London Stations
  • Average Fare: £8.30 per Person (non-stop train from King’s Cross)

Welcome to one of the most prestigious cities in the world, home to the famous University of Cambridge. The city finds its primary claim to fame from the university. However, there are several other hidden gems in the town, most of them having a historical status.

If you want to visit the university’s public access areas, be sure to include Trinity College, the university’s Botanic Garden, and King’s College & Chapel on your list. For a more refreshing and calming experience, explore the rear side of the campus, called “The Backs”. Walk along the smooth trails between the tranquil River Cams and the University of Cambridge.

Other activities to explore in the city include:

  • Fitzwilliam Museum, a famous museum of the neo-classic status
  • Punting at the Riverside

Take a train from any London Station that leaves you at Cambridge Station in just 60 minutes (for non-stop trains).

3. Oxford

Oxford
Oxford
  • Accessible From: All London Stations
  • Average Fare: £5.65 per Person

Another prestigious University City holding as much worth as Cambridge, Oxford has a unique medieval atmosphere, even in the 21st century. The city’s “heritage” (historical buildings, chapels, and museums) has been preserved carefully, giving the entire town a 16th-century charm.

The highlight of the tour certainly is your guided visit to the University of Oxford. Visit the university’s publicly accessible dormitories, churches, colleges, libraries, and galleries. The university offers several guided tours to explore its architecture and legacy. Other areas to explore in the university include the Ashmolean Museum, Bodleian Library, and Radcliffe Camera (the icon of Oxford University).

To get to the city, take a train from any of London’s stations and reach the town in about 50 to 60 minutes, depending on the station you depart from.

4. Bath

Bath
Bath
  • Accessible From: Paddington Station
  • Average Fare: £25.00 per Person

The ancient city of Bath is one of the most beloved historical cities in the entire UK. The whole town has a historical status due to its huge number of attractions dating centuries into the past. The highlight of the city is The Roman Baths, where the 2000-year-old natural spring baths are still functional even today.

Several tour operators offer direct Bath tours from London, which may or may not include the Roman Baths tour. But you can always upgrade your tour experience by adding the Roman Bath visit to the package. Alternatively, you can explore the cobblestoned ancient streets of the city and various historical attractions such as:

  • Pulteney Bridge
  • Royal Crescent Hotel
  • Royal Victoria Park
  • Bath Abbey
  • Jane Austin Centre

The trains regularly depart for Bath City from Paddington or King’s Cross directly to Bath Spa Railway Station. The average travel time from Paddington to Bath Spa is around 80 minutes.

5. Winchester

Winchester
visit Winchester
  • Accessible From: Waterloo and Paddington Stations
  • Average Fare: £46.50 Per Person

Located around 70 miles away from London in Hampshire, Winchester is a famous Church City. It’s another ancient city best known for its iconic Cathedral. The Winchester Cathedral has an interesting “record” on its name. It has a 170.1 m long nave, regarded as the “longest medieval nave” in Europe.

Take the guided group tours and private tours to Winchester Cathedral. Explore the classic medieval architecture of the Cathedral, similar to countless other perpendicular gothic structures in the UK.

To get to Winchester from London, you can take a train from Waterloo Station that takes you to Winchester Railway Station via the South West Main Line. The average travel time via the non-stop train from Waterloo to Winchester is around an hour for £46.40.

6. Windsor

Windsor Castle
visit Windsor
  • Accessible From: All London Stations
  • Average Fare: £9.50 Per Person

The City of Windsor has one singular claim to fame, and that’s enough to cover up a good day tour outside London. It’s the Windsor Castle, known for being the oldest habitable castle in the world. It has over 1000 rooms, and it is also known for its royal status. It’s one of the castles Queen Elizabeth II resided in during her late days.

Windsor is located 20 miles from Central London and is accessible via all main railway stations of the capital. The city is pretty close to London as compared to its other neighbourhoods, so it takes less than an hour to get there. The main things to do in the castle include:

  • Visiting State Apartments
  • Exploring The Moat Room
  • Visiting Royal Collection Exhibition
  • Walking Along the Historical Hallways

While you’re in Windsor, be sure to add St. George’s Chapel to your list. This historic castle is the burial site of Elizabeth II, her husband Pillips, Edward IV, Henry VI, and George V.

7. Canterbury

Canterbury
Canterbury
  • Accessible From: All London Stations
  • Average Fare: £13.50 Per Person

Canterbury is a historic city that is home to the UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s located in Kent, around 60 miles from the capital. The town has three landmarks inscribed in the World Heritage Site. These include:

  • Canterbury Cathedral
  • St. Augustine’s Abbey
  • St. Martin’s Church

You can take guided tours to all three sites. Even if you don’t explore all the landmarks, be sure to visit the Cathedral and public library. Other sites to visit include the lush green Westgate Gardens, which offer free entry to everyone. Relax in the gardens and have a nice seaside view of the city.

To get to Canterbury, take a train from St Pancras International to Canterbury West in just one hour. It’s the quickest route to get to the city. Alternatively, you can choose any other station in the capital, as trains regularly depart from all the stations to Canterbury.

8. Salisbury

visit Salisbury
  • Accessible From: All London Stations
  • Average Fare: £10.50 Per Person

Located around 90 miles from Central London, Salisbury is a significant historic city. The main attraction in Salisbury is its Cathedral, with spectacular architecture. It’s one of the tallest cathedrals in the UK, with its central spire rising 129 metres. However, apart from the Cathedral, the most notable thing to do in Salisbury is to visit Stonehenge.

You can get to Salisbury from London via a direct, non-stop train. From the station, take a bus directly to Stonehenge Visitor Centre. It’s a 30-minute comfortable bus journey and offers a quick and easy transit to Stonehenge without a car.

At Stonehenge, explore the site closely. You can also upgrade your tour by booking a private “Inside the Stone Circle” tour of Stonehenge. Other places to explore near Stonehenge include:

  • Visitor Centre
  • Neolithic Houses
  • The Exhibitions at the Centre

9. St Albans

St Albans
St Albans
  • Accessible From: St. Pancras International
  • Average Fare: £13.00 Per Person

St Albans is best known for its Cathedral, which has relatively modern interior architecture. The Cathedral also features medieval wall paintings. It has a long nave of 84 metres, the longest medieval nave in England.

Other places in St Albans include the Royal Theatre, the Verulamium Park with various lakes, and the Verulamium Museum with some worthwhile artefacts. Both Verulamium Park and Museum offer free entry to all visitors. Located in the city’s centre is the St Albans clock tower, which was built in 1405 and is still functional after six centuries.

St Albans is located 25 miles away from Central London and is accessible via St. Pancras International in just 20 minutes.

Read next: Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Summer in London

10. Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace Festival
Hampton Court Palace Festival
  • Accessible From: Waterloo Station
  • Average Fare: £7.00 Per Person

Located in Richmond, it’s a royal palace on the bank of the Thames. The palace is located only 12 miles away from Central London. The palace has a distinctive Tudor and Baroque architecture, setting it apart from other attractions in Richmond.

Visit the palace to explore its state apartments, kitchens, royal gallery, and gardens. The chapel is also famous for its haunted stories and can be a great Halloween getaway. Apart from the palace, visit other unique landmarks such as:

  • The Great Hall
  • Chapel Royal
  • Clock Court 

To get to the palace, take a train from Waterloo Station to Hampton Court station. The travel time is only 45 minutes.

Conclusion

London is surrounded by countless landmarks on its outskirts, most of which have a historical status. Most of these destinations are accessible from all Railway Stations in London. The trains depart every few minutes, and the tickets can be bought online or at the station. So, plan a weekend around visiting the outskirts of London and explore what hidden gems surround the capital.

FAQs

What are the best day trips from London by train?

Salisbury and Stonehenge, Windsor, Bath, Oxford, and Cambridge are the best destinations to visit on a day trip to London by train. These destinations have unique historical architecture and some recreational spaces to enjoy a fun-filled day.

How long does it take to travel from London to Brighton by train?

Brighton is accessible from all train stations in London. The total travel time is around 90 minutes on average from King’s Cross to Brighton Railway Station, and the average Fare is around £7.50 per Person.

Are there any historical sites near London that you can visit by train?

Almost all destinations near London have a historical significance. The most well-known historical sites to visit via train include Salisbury, Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor.

Can I visit Stonehenge on a day trip from London by train?

You can visit Stonehenge on a day trip by taking a train from St. Pancras International to Salisbury Railway Station. Take a bus from Salisbury station to get to the Stonehenge Visitor Centre in 30 minutes.

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