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HomeUK Travel29 of the very best day journeys from London with youngsters

29 of the very best day journeys from London with youngsters

There’s a lot to discover in London itself that you might simply fill a lifetime uncovering all town’s secrets and techniques – however there’s no denying that it additionally makes an ideal base to discover, with an entire string of unbelievable day journeys from London with youngsters.

View of platforms at Kings Cross station in London, looking down at the trains under the curved glass roof - my top day trips from London with kids, all of which can be done by train
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Whether or not you reside within the metropolis and are in search of concepts of household days out close to London, otherwise you’re visiting the capital and making an attempt to pack in a bit extra of the UK on the similar time, I’ve picked 29 days out for teenagers close to London to encourage you.

I’ve tried to make these as lifelike as potential – for instance, you might technically go to York as a day journey from London, with trains taking round two hours every manner, but it surely’s a protracted day and also you’d nonetheless barely have probability to see all of the unbelievable sights in York with youngsters. Identical goes for Birmingham, which is nearer however equally deserving of greater than a day.

For sure, I haven’t included each potential place you might go to on day journeys from London with youngsters both – I’ve centered on locations quite than particular sights, however there are theme parks like Legoland Windsor, Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park, in addition to different sights the place you might simply spend the day.

I’ve additionally disregarded Hampton Court docket Palace – it’s someplace I’d extremely advocate as a day trip, and also you do need to make a journey from central London to get there, but it surely’s nonetheless formally a part of town!

TOP TIP: Should you’re travelling by prepare, do issue within the time wanted to get from wherever you’re staying to the station you depart from: crossing London can simply add one other half-hour or extra to your journey

Windsor, Berkshire

There’s nowhere fairly like Windsor Fort – one among my prime UK castles to go to with youngsters. In any case, how typically do you get to peek inside a ‘working’ palace?

A view of the Union flag flying in front of Windsor Castle - hopping on to the  Windsor bus tour with kids

One in every of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite properties, the royal household nonetheless usually spends time at Windsor, and you may see the Altering of the Guard right here, eye up a really spectacular doll’s home, see the tombs of royalty together with Henry VIII in St George’s chapel on the citadel, in addition to getting a glance indoors on the state residences.

E book tickets to Windsor Fort right here

In fact, there’s extra to Windsor than the citadel alone. Whereas the hop-on hop-off bus tour of Windsor is at present not working – beforehand you might uncover the origins of Eton, with some Shakespeare thrown in – you may nonetheless stroll the historic streets and sort out the well-named Lengthy Stroll by means of Windsor Nice Park.

Or try the Treasure Map Trails of Windsor and Eton for a enjoyable strategy to discover with youngsters, recognizing among the quirky sights of the historic cities – get 10% off utilizing code MUMMYTRAVELS.

For extra issues to do in Windsor with youngsters, try my prime picks

Winchester, Hampshire

England’s first capital, Winchester is the proper place to step again in historical past – and there’s hundreds for teenagers to get pleasure from as effectively.

The statue of King Alfred in Winchester - exploring Winchester with kids on a day trip from London

Together with the well-known cathedral, which my daughter first visited as a toddler (try the Christmas market in December too), you may see the medieval spherical desk on show within the thirteenth century Nice Corridor, uncover town’s long gone in its museums and wander the traditional streets.

For extra fashionable enjoyable, the Winchester Science Centre reopened in 2020 after a multimillion pound overhall, and you might simply spend an entire day there.

For extra concepts of issues to do in Winchester with youngsters, try my prime picks

The New Forest, Hampshire

The New Forest Nationwide Park in Hampshire is the proper family-friendly day journey from London for households who get pleasure from woodland walks and energetic adventures, together with the prospect to identify the wild ponies which stay there.

Standing by one of the New Forest ponies while holding my toddler - a great family-friendly day out from London

You possibly can take a scenic stroll or rent bikes to discover the traditional woodland, then hop right into a kayak for a visit alongside the river to see the gorgeous nationwide park from a distinct vantage level. 

Should you’re visiting with toddlers and youthful youngsters, there are additionally a number of farms the place you may meet the animals and, in fact, the thrilling Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World – toddler and preschooler heaven!

Among the finest instances to go to the New Forest with youngsters is in the course of the early autumn months when the leaves are beginning to change color and the cooler climate means much less probability of sunburn throughout your out of doors adventures – though in case you’re visiting on a sunny day, head to Buckler’s Exhausting for an ice cream by the waterfront.

For extra concepts of issues to do in Winchester with youngsters, try my prime picks, together with extra issues to do in Hampshire with youngsters

  • The best strategy to attain the New Forest and discover is by automotive. However there are additionally varied stations if you wish to take the prepare to the New Forest from London: top-of-the-line stations to go in direction of is Brockenhurst, which takes round 90 minutes from Waterloo.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

There may be nowhere on the planet fairly like Stonehenge – this superb creation nonetheless has the facility to fascinate and spark your curiosity at any age.

Whereas it’s not a brief go to (round 2 1/2 hours every manner by automotive), it’s effectively definitely worth the effort to have a look at what might be the world’s most well-known prehistoric monument.

Try my submit on a go to to Stonehenge after lockdown

View of Stonehenge Neolithic stone circle in Wiltshire, UK - a family visit to Stonehenge after lockdown

On the entrance, there’s a small museum and recreated Neolithic homes to discover – the exhibition specifically is unmissable, not least for the prospect to face in a recreation of the stones on the solstice, in addition to offering some background.

Then common buses can shuttle you right down to the henge itself (useful in case you’re visiting with youthful youngsters or older relations), and even higher, stroll the paths by means of the fields for the total expertise, seeing the well-known stone circle all of the sudden showing on the horizon.

There’s extra info in case you obtain the free app earlier than you go to (or utilizing the location’s free WiFi), as an alternative of an audio information, however the influence of seeing Stonehenge in actual life, marvelling on the measurement of the stones, the precision of the design, isn’t lower than jaw-dropping.

  • You will get a wide range of excursions from London to Stonehenge, together with half-day choices which offer you a few hours on the stones themselves in case you don’t need to drive.
    In any other case, direct trains to Salisbury take 90 minutes from Waterloo and you may both take a taxi straight or a 30-minute bus journey every manner with the Stonehenge tour bus (bus solely tickets value £12.50).

Salisbury, Wiltshire

One other fabulous metropolis to go to with youngsters on a day journey from London in case you’re focused on historical past – Salisbury cathedral is the best-known attraction, residence to one of many copies of Magna Carta, in addition to the world’s oldest mechanical clock.

View of Salisbury cathedral in the UK against a blue sky - ideas for a visit to Salisbury with kids

However that’s solely the beginning of the issues to do in Salisbury with youngsters – half the pleasure is wandering the historic streets, the place you may nonetheless see medieval buildings in addition to the cathedral itself.

As soon as a Saxon city, then residence to a Norman citadel, you may nonetheless see the ruins of this and an Iron Age fort simply exterior the present metropolis at Outdated Sarum.

Salisbury can also be an ideal choice to group with a go to to Stonehenge – though making an attempt to pack each right into a day journey from London with youngsters can be distinctly bold by public transport.

For extra concepts of issues to do in Salisbury with youngsters, try my prime picks

  • Trains to Salisbury from Waterloo take round 80-90 minutes direct, or round two hours by automotive.

Tub, Somerset

Fairly Tub is one among my favorite cities in England, and fast trains imply it’s simply potential for day journeys from London with youngsters (though you’ll in all probability be tempted to remain longer exploring this fabulous Unesco World Heritage Website).

View of Bath Abbey in Somerset through the ornate arch on York Street - climbing the tower is one of my recommended things to do in Bath with kids once they're old enough

Town is good whether or not your youngsters are fascinated by Roman locations, love the writing of Jane Austen and Regency class, or for the combination of metropolis sights and close by countryside.

I’ve picked out my prime issues to do in Tub with youngsters right here for extra inspiration: you shouldn’t miss the Roman baths themselves and a stroll round absorbing the beautiful structure with its honey-coloured stone, together with the Royal Crescent, in addition to a wander to Pulteney bridge.

There’s additionally the Trend Museum, Jane Austen Centre, American Museum and extra, or the beautiful Tub skyline stroll – to not point out a Tub bun earlier than you permit.

Should you’re spending longer within the space than a day journey, verify out my prime issues to do in Somerset with youngsters


On a equally quick prepare path to close by Tub, vibrant Bristol is a superb place to go to with youngsters – you’ll discover nice avenue artwork, the SS Nice Britain and Clifton Suspension bridge, museums and animal sights.

My daughter touches the Bristol Gromit statue, set on a viewpoint with the Clifton Suspension Bridge in the background - following the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail in Bristol, our review

The interactive science centre, We The Curious, is one among my daughter’s all-time favourites – we go to every time we’re in Bristol and the toughest factor is tempting her again out once more.

Visiting the SS Nice Britain and the Being Brunel exhibition, celebrating the achievements and lifetime of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is equally unmissable.

Town can also be residence to an aquarium (plus the unbelievable zoo simply exterior town centre), the free M Shed museum concerning the metropolis, and the whole lot avenue artwork from Banksy to classes in creating your personal works, with an ideal self-guided tour or Banksy-themed exploration recreation that can assist you uncover them.

For extra issues to do in Bristol with youngsters, try my prime picks

  • Trains to Bristol Temple Meads from London (the very best station for town, quite than Bristol Parkway) take round 90 minutes direct, or round two hours by automotive.

Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Should you’re in search of day journeys from London with youngsters that don’t embrace a protracted journey, fairly Henley-on-Thames is only a quick prepare experience or drive from the capital.

A view of the bridge over the Thames at Henley in Oxfordshire - one of my top day trips from London with kids

Set on the Thames within the Oxfordshire countryside close to the Chilterns, Henley is greatest recognized for its annual boating regatta – however when that isn’t on, top-of-the-line issues to do is rent a ship for the day to hit the river your self.

Seize a picnic, and spend the day on a self-drive electrical boat, exploring the river Thames and recognizing the luxurious properties and historic buildings that line the banks. 

For one thing extra adventurous, you can too rent kayaks and canoes that are appropriate for youngsters 5+.

Plus, don’t miss a go to to the surprisingly kid-friendly Henley River and Rowing Museum – I visited when my daughter was simply two and she or he liked the Wind within the Willows themed displays, however there’s lots for all ages.

  • It takes between 45 minutes to an hour to achieve Henley by prepare from Paddington – there aren’t any direct prepare routes, so that you do have to alter alongside the way in which – or round an hour by automotive.


Even after a number of years dwelling within the metropolis, I’d nonetheless discover myself stopping to stare at simply how beautiful Oxford is – that beautiful honey-coloured stone, the outdated faculty buildings, the gorgeous riverside, the botanic gardens.

The bridge of sighs in Oxford, against a blue sky with the honey-coloured buildings of the city behind - one of my top day trips from London with kids

For youngsters who love studying, yow will discover the whole lot from the doorway to Narnia to Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter – don’t miss the Oxford Story Museum to step inside tales, nice for youthful guests in addition to eager readers.

Or try a Harry Potter tour – this one consists of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein in addition to the Bodleian library, whereas this one mixes Oxford historical past with Wizarding World trivia.

Try my evaluation of a Harry Potter strolling tour of Oxford with youngsters

The Oxford Pure Historical past Museum is one other of my daughter’s favourites – with loads of probabilities to get arms on, and the College Parks close by – whereas there’s an enormous quantity to find on the Ashmolean Museum with youngsters. Neither has an entry cost, in order that they’re additionally nice in case you’re in search of free issues to do.

Town is greatest explored on foot (or bike!) however the hop-on hop-off bus tour is a enjoyable choice with youthful youngsters or for a fast overview of a few of Oxford’s highlights. And on a sunny day, there’s nothing higher than hiring a punt and cruising alongside the river.

For one more enjoyable strategy to discover, try the Treasure Map Trails assortment, together with two treasure hunts for Oxford – and get 10% off utilizing code MUMMYTRAVELS

  • Trains to Oxford from Paddington station take from round 45 minutes, or round 75 minutes by automotive. You may also take a coach from London Victoria to Oxford (together with the Oxford Tube) which takes round 1 hour 40 minutes.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

The one non-royal nation home in all of England to carry the title of palace, Blenheim Palace is round 20 minutes from Oxford, at Woodstock within the Oxfordshire countryside.

Exterior of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, seen across a statue in the gardens under a blue sky - one of the best day trips from London with kids

Well-known for being the birthplace and residential of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, it’s additionally an extremely child-friendly day trip from London, together with an ideal audio tour of the grand palace itself.

Try my evaluation of a day trip at Blenheim Palace with youngsters for extra of the location’s household sights

Within the 2,000-acre property, you’ll discover immersive household exhibitions on the palace’s historical past, in addition to sprawling gardens that characteristic a youngsters’s play space, a two-mile hedge maze, a miniature prepare, butterfly home and pony path for little ones, to not point out particular occasions all year long.

Go to within the run-up to Christmas, and there’s an illuminated path too.

  • It takes round 1h 20 minutes to get to Blenheim Palace from London by automotive, though there are additionally a wide range of excursions to Blenheim Palace in case you don’t need to drive. Alternatively, the best strategy to get there by public transport is to take the prepare to Oxford after which a bus on to Woodstock, which takes an extra 30-40 minutes.


The Cotswolds are really the postcard-perfect picture of England. Scattered throughout a number of counties, principally Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, the gathering of fairly villages is thought for its quaint thatch-roofed cottages and historic stone bridges, surrounded by the rolling inexperienced hills of the English countryside.

Street lined with honey coloured stone cottages under a blue sky in the Gloucestershire village of Icomb in the Cotswolds, one of the best days trips from London with kids

As the most important Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence (AONB) in England, the Cotswolds are best to discover by automotive, however you might simply go to two to a few villages on a day journey from London.

Bourton-on-the-Water is without doubt one of the most kid-friendly villages within the Cotswolds, with a shallow river working straight by means of the center that youngsters can splash in with an ice-cream in hand whereas mother and father calm down on the riverbank.

There’s additionally a mannequin village, hedge maze and Birdland Park and Gardens – which has one of many largest collections of unique birds within the UK, and close by Cotswold Farm Park.

A number of the different prime villages to go to within the Cotswolds with youngsters embrace Decrease and Higher Slaughter, in addition to the gorgeous Fort Combe and Moreton-in-Marsh.

For extra concepts of issues to do within the Cotswolds with youngsters, try my prime picks

  • It takes round two hours to drive from London to Bourton-on-the-Water. Should you don’t need to drive, there are direct trains to Moreton-in-Marsh from London Paddington, and buses to close by villages, though you’ll be extra restricted in your exploring. You may also be part of a tour from London to the Cotswolds, though these don’t are typically appropriate for youthful youngsters.

Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire

This fascinating historic city is greatest recognized for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and also you’ll discover loads of sights linked to the well-known playwright as you discover.

The historic timbered house that is William Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon - a fascinating day out from London with kids

Go to the home that Shakespeare grew up in, the place you’ll be greeted by tour guides in genuine Tudor costume who convey the expertise alive and are nice at participating youngsters of all ages. With older youngsters, you may watch a efficiency on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre too, in fact.

There’s additionally a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Stratford-upon-Avon, which hyperlinks a number of of the city’s highlights, or you might expertise a Tudor lesson in Shakespeare’s schoolroom, the place the younger William was educated.

Mary Arden’s farm – the house of Shakespeare’s mom – is one other enjoyable family-friendly attraction, with its many livestock, folks wearing genuine Tudor outfits and conventional crafts and actions which youngsters can strive for themselves, together with archery and falconry.

Away from the city’s Shakespeare connection, you may see mechanical artwork on the uncommon MAD museum, spend a while at Stratford’s Butterfly Farm and take a soothing boat journey alongside the River Avon.

The Stratford Treasure Map Path is one other enjoyable strategy to discover Stratford-on-Avon with youngsters, discovering among the quirky sights alongside the way in which – there’s additionally 10% off utilizing code MUMMYTRAVELS

  • It takes round 2 hours half-hour by prepare to Stratford-upon-Avon from London Marylebone, or just below two hours to drive. You may also e-book a tour to Stratford-upon-Avon from London, corresponding to this feature which additionally consists of Oxford, though this a protracted and busy day so not one for youthful youngsters.

In case you have longer to spend exploring England, it’s straightforward to mix Stratford-upon-Avon with a go to to Warwick and Warwick Fort

Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Buckinghamshire

This little museum in Nice Missenden, Buckinghamshire, is unbeatable for followers of Roald Dahl – he lived within the village itself, and it’s straightforward to see how the world impressed a few of his books.

A view of the Roald Dahl museum in Great Missenden, bunting flying against the blue sky - one of the many easy days out from London with kids

However even with out wandering round Nice Missenden itself, the Roald Dahl Museum is a unbelievable mixture of details concerning the writer, areas to encourage youngsters to get inventive, and details about his books and their origins.

If you wish to curl up in a nook along with your favorite story, you may, whereas there are storytelling classes and crafts actions that are enjoyable for younger youngsters.

Learn my full evaluation of a go to to the Roald Dahl Museum with youngsters

  • Trains to Nice Missenden run from London Marylebone twice an hour, taking 45 minutes, and it’s solely a brief stroll from the museum. There isn’t any parking on the museum and restricted parking within the village in case you’re driving.

Warner Bros Studio Tour, Herfordshire

One of the in style day journeys from London with youngsters, the Warner Bros Studio tour is heaven for Harry Potter followers (small and huge!) Not removed from town in Hertfordshire, the Harry Potter Studio tour can also be one of many closest London day journeys in my record.

The shops of Diagon Alley at the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tour - if you're visiting Harry Potter locations in London, you can't miss this

Having visited the Leavesden studios a number of instances – it’s one among my prime days out for Harry Potter followers and prime Harry Potter areas in London – you might very simply spend all day there in case you needed.

For extra recommendations on visiting the Harry Potter Studios, try my submit

In addition to the prospect to see props from the films in all their spectacular element, you might pose with a broomstick towards a inexperienced display screen, watch animatronic creatures from the wizarding world – and see how they have been designed.

There’s additionally a mannequin of Privet Drive and the Hogwarts Categorical, an opportunity to wander by means of Diagon Alley, a fire-breathing dragon in Gringotts and the one place you may see Hogwarts.

St Albans, Hertfordshire

The historic metropolis is one other very straightforward day journey from London with youngsters, and it’s an ideal choice if your loved ones loves historical past – together with a historic avenue market, with some nice meals stalls.

The ruins of the Roman amphitheatre at Verulamium Park, St Albans - a great day out from London with kids who love history

The positioning of one among England’s most necessary Roman settlements, Verulamium, it was additionally the house of the nation’s first Saint, Alban – you may nonetheless go to the Norman cathedral – and the scene of the primary battle within the Conflict of the Roses so there’s lots to find.

Step additional again in time to seek out Romans on the 100 acres of Verulamium Park: this stands on the previous Roman metropolis with among the historic partitions nonetheless seen, together with the Hypocaust mosaic. Close by are the stays of the Roman Theatre.

Head to Verulamium Museum too to seek out extra of the objects excavated from the location, plus a hoard of golden cash, some spectacular mosaics, and household actions in case you’re visiting with youngsters.

The St Albans treasure hunt from Treasure Map Trails is one other nice strategy to discover – get 10% off utilizing code MUMMYTRAVELS.

Paradise Wildlife Park, Hertfordshire

In case your youngsters love animals, a household day trip at Paradise Wildlife Park is a superb choice with over 800 unique wild animals housed on the zoo.

Two red pandas asleep in a tree at the Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire - one of the best days out from London with kids who love animals

It’s the one one within the UK which is residence to 5 completely different large cat species, plus a giant assortment of small monkeys and an enormous anaconda. If that’s not sufficient, the World of Dinosaurs attraction has 30 life-size animatronic dinosaurs so as to add some further thrills to your day.

Throw in particular occasions, talks, feeding instances, exhibits, particular animal experiences, slightly prepare and even the prospect to play safari golf and it’s not arduous to fill a full day right here.

  • It takes round an hour to drive to Paradise Wildlife Park from London. Should you’re travelling by public transport, the best choice is to go to London Liverpool Avenue to catch one of many trains to Broxbourne. These take round half-hour and the prepare station is round 5 minutes away from Paradise Wildlife Park by taxi (there is no such thing as a longer a minibus working to the park).

Woburn Safari Park, Bedfordshire

The closest safari park to London, Woburn Safari Park makes a unbelievable day trip from London with youngsters. In addition to the prospect to drive by means of to see among the greater animals, there’s additionally a bit to stroll round, very best for teenagers to stretch their legs.

Monkey sitting on the bonnet of a car at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire - one of the best day trips from London with kids for animal lovers

As a bonus, there are some very memorable VIP experiences too in case you’re forking out – beforehand there was the prospect to get near smaller animals, together with meerkats and lemurs, from round age 5. At the moment, you may select 30-minute guided excursions to see large cats, rhino or giraffe.

Try my evaluation of the VIP experiences at Woburn Safari Park

It’s residence to the whole lot from elephants and bears to lions and tigers, right down to monkeys, penguins and sea lions, to call just some. There are additionally play areas, each indoor and out, a mini prepare to experience and swan and dragon boats on the lake.

  • Woburn Safari Park is round one hour’s drive from London – and you need to drive. Not solely wouldn’t it be a protracted journey to strive on public transport, you need to drive to the doorway, after which clearly you may’t stroll across the safari park, so that you do want your personal automobile for at the present time journey.


The second of England’s most prestigious college cities, Cambridge can also be an ideal vacation spot for a kid-friendly day trip from London – get your bearings with a hop-on hop-off bus tour across the metropolis.

View across the river to Kings College in Cambridge - a beautiful day trip from London with kids

House to a number of nice museums, together with dinosaurs on the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, youngsters may also love visiting the close by College Museum of Zoology and the Cambridge Science Centre. The Science Centre usually runs enjoyable workshops and classes for teenagers so make sure to verify the schedule earlier than your go to.

And there are some unbelievable concepts for household actions on the Fitzwilliam Museum for even the youngest guests: this free artwork gallery is without doubt one of the most family-friendly within the UK.

On a sunny day, punting alongside the River Cam, admiring town’s many spectacular college buildings, is an absolute should, and save a while for a stroll across the Botanic Gardens too. The Treasure Map Trails are one other enjoyable strategy to discover town with youngsters, attempting to find a few of Cambridge’s quirky sights and statues – get 10% off utilizing code MUMMYTRAVELS.

For extra issues to do in Cambridge with youngsters, try my prime picks

  • Trains to Cambridge take as little as 50 minutes from London and you may journey from Kings Cross or Liverpool Avenue direct. It takes round 90 minutes to drive, though like Oxford, Cambridge is significantly better explored on foot, so it’s value contemplating parking exterior town on the park & experience.

Should you’re staying in Cambridge for longer, it’s straightforward to mix with a visit to Ely with youngsters in addition to discovering among the greatest issues to do in Suffolk with youngsters as effectively

Norwich, Norfolk

This typically neglected metropolis in East Anglia, a go to to Norwich is unbelievable with youngsters – I’ve visited a number of instances with my daughter, and there’s an ideal mixture of sights, historical past and picturesque streets to wander round.

My daughter walks along a cobbled street in Tombland in Norfolk, past a series of old buildings on a Norwich Treasure Trail, one of the most fun things to do in Norfolk with kids

The truth is Norwich is without doubt one of the greatest cities I’ve come throughout for placing up indicators about its historical past, so you may uncover the origins of bizarre names, learn how outdated buildings are and study just a few native tales as you wander across the county city of Norfolk.

Discover a few of my favorite spots and concepts for spend someday in Norwich with youngsters right here

Don’t miss an opportunity to look inside the cathedral, with its labyrinth and cathedral cat, whereas you can too discover contained in the citadel the place the metropolis’s museum is ready. There are museums galore, together with the Museum of Norwich on the Bridewell inside a former jail, and the medieval Stranger’s Corridor.

Stroll by means of Tombland and right down to the Quayside, the place the sculptures commemorate the folks and trades which as soon as helped make it England’s second metropolis, in addition to wandering round Norwich Lanes, filled with cafes and little retailers. Wherever you wander, you’ll discover loads of avenue artwork too.

  • Trains to Norwich take slightly below two hours from London Liverpool Avenue – you can too journey from Kings Cross but it surely takes barely longer and you want to change trains in Ely. It takes the same period of time to do the identical journey by automotive.

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

For a barely completely different place to strive, in case you’re in search of day journeys from London with youngsters, Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk is lower than two hours away, with its magnificent cathedral, ruins of the outdated abbey and hyperlinks to Charles Dickens – for starters.

Norman Tower and St Edmundsbury cathedral in Bury St Edmunds - one of the many things to do in Suffolk with kids

The writer made a number of visits to the city, staying at The Angel teaching inn – you may nonetheless see a blue plaque commemorating it on the entrance of the constructing.

Reverse, the gorgeous Abbey Gardens have their imposing outdated gatehouse in addition to pillars, arches and even outdated graves from the medieval abbey which was one of many richest and strongest within the nation. Wander inside the gorgeous cathedral of St Edmundsbury too, with a Discovery Detective path for teenagers to observe.

There are some surprising sights as effectively: within the close by church of St Mary, you may spot the grave of Mary Tudor – sister of Henry VIII, Queen of France and later Duchess of Suffolk, whereas Moyse’s Corridor Museum, voted Suffolk’s most family-friendly museum, has shows on homicide and witchcraft, in addition to on the historical past of Bury St Edmunds.

Colchester, Essex

Calling itself Britain’s oldest metropolis, Colchester is one other nice choice in case you’re in search of history-packed day journeys from London with youngsters – particularly if yours love the Romans.

View of Colchester castle, home to the town's museum - one of my top things to do with kids in Colchester

Then known as Camelodunum, it was one of the vital necessary Roman websites, with a part of the traditional wall nonetheless remaining, together with the ruins of the one Roman circus within the nation.

You may also see a part of the large Temple of Claudius, destroyed within the revolt by Boudica and the Iceni, within the shadow of the citadel – the Norman fortress now homes a unbelievable museum, with displays from excavations within the space, AR recreations of life within the citadel, hyperlinks to the Witchfinder Basic and extra. Excellent for retaining the entire household entertained.

For extra concepts of issues to do in Colchester with youngsters, try this submit

Take a wander across the fairly citadel park too, in addition to exploring a few of Colchester’s different museums and wandering the outdated streets. There’s additionally an ideal zoo simply exterior Colchester itself.

  • Trains to Colchester take simply over an hour from London; select a route from Liverpool Avenue to Colchester City station, which is lower than 10 minutes stroll to the citadel (or you may journey to Colchester Station, which is faster however barely additional exterior the centre. It takes round 90 minutes to drive.

Southend-on-Sea, Essex

Southend-on-Sea is a traditional British seaside vacation spot on the Essex coast that makes for a enjoyable kid-friendly day journey from London. 

Southend-on-Sea seafront with the longest pleasure pier in the world - one of the best day trips from London with kids if you want to be beside the seaside

In addition to the massive pebble seashore for teenagers to get pleasure from, you’ll additionally discover loads of family-friendly sights, together with a number of gaming arcades, the Journey Island amusement park and the Sealife Journey aquarium.

The city can also be famously residence to the longest pleasure pier on the planet, which incorporates a loopy golf course, museum and a number of other small retailers and cafes. You possibly can both stroll half-hour to achieve the tip of the pier (informed you it was lengthy!) or leap on the electrical railway. 

Should you’re pondering this could solely be in your record for a go to in summer time, Southend-on-Sea is definitely a beautiful year-round London day journey with youngsters – all through October and November annually, the city places on a tremendous free fireworks show each Saturday night from a barge out within the water, accompanied by stay music and festivities alongside the seafront.

  • Trains to Southend-on-Sea take round an hour, and you’ve got a selection of two completely different routes – from Fenchurch Avenue to Southend Central, which is barely nearer the seaside, or Liverpool Avenue to Southend Victoria, which is barely sooner. It additionally takes round an hour to drive from London to Southend-on-Sea.

Mersea Island, Essex

For a barely extra low-key and chilled-out day journey to the seaside from London, head to the small estuary island of Mersea in Essex.

A view along brightly coloured beach huts on West Mersea beach, Essex on a sunny day - a great day trip from London with kids if you're looking for time at the beach

Spend an idyllic day on Mersea Island having fun with the peaceable sandy seashores, making an attempt your hand at catch-and-release crabbing, hiring a paddleboard or kayak from Mersea Island Watersports and heading out onto the water, and snapping just a few photographs of the colorful seashore homes that line Victoria Esplanade.

And if the queue isn’t too lengthy, make sure to cease for lunch at The Firm Shed which has a popularity for serving the tastiest fish and seafood on the island, and youngsters are welcome.

  • If you wish to journey by prepare to Mersea Island, the closest station is Colchester, round an hour from London. You possibly can take bus 67 to West Mersea from there, which takes round 45 minutes – or a taxi experience is round 20 minutes. To drive from London, it takes round 1 hour 45 minutes.

North Kent seashores

For one more selection of seashores near London, head to the North Kent coast, the place you’ll discover a string of beautiful spots by the ocean and a string of potential day journeys with youngsters.

The view of the pier at Herne Bay in Kent on a summer day, with the funfair and classic carousel and people paddling - a great place for a day trip from London with kids

Whitstable is one among my favourites: in addition to the shingle seashore, there’s an ideal cycle monitor to discover slightly additional and a well-deserved popularity for nice fish and oysters.

One in every of my favorite issues is the road artwork in Whitstable although, with works to identify all around the city. Gasoline up with some candy treats from the retailers alongside Harbour Avenue first (with lots to tempt grown-ups in addition to youngsters)

For a standard seaside really feel, select close by Herne Bay. Wander alongside the pier, try the helter skelter and seize fish and chips to eat by the waves, earlier than strolling additional alongside the seashore to identify the seashore huts.

Should you’re ready to journey a bit additional, Broadstairs has a number of beautiful seashores, fabulous ice cream at Morelli’s and a few nice locations to eat alongside the seafront.

For extra of the very best seashores in Kent with youngsters, try my prime picks

  • Trains to Whitstable from London take round 75-90 minutes from St Pancras and Victoria, in addition to Cannon Avenue, whereas the identical trains to Herne Bay take 5-10 minutes longer. Driving to Whitstable and Herne Bay from London takes round 90 minutes. The quick prepare to Broadstairs from St Pancras takes round 75 minutes, or it’s an additional half-hour to drive.

For extra concepts of issues to do in Kent with youngsters, try my choose of the very best

Margate, Kent

The seaside city of Margate on the Kent coast is one other nice day journey from London for teenagers who get pleasure from being by the water.

Traditional fairground ride at Dreamland Margate in Kent - one of the best Kent days out with kids

This conventional British seaside city has an elegant fashionable twist, so when you’ll discover fish and chips overlooking the sandy seashore, you can too discover a city centre crammed with cool classic retailers and hipster cafes serving cold-brew espresso.

For a enjoyable kid-friendly day trip in Margate, don’t miss a go to to Dreamland, the thrilling 100-year-old amusement park which is residence to the UK’s oldest wood curler coaster.

You may also discover Iron Age stays contained in the Margate caves and go to the ornate Shell Grotto – an uncommon collection of passageways mysteriously coated in tens of millions of shells.

  • Trains to Margate from London take round 90 minutes from St Pancras, or barely longer from Victoria. It takes round 1 hour 45 minutes to drive to Margate.

Canterbury, Kent

As soon as an necessary pilgrimage website, commemorated in Chaucer’s well-known Canterbury Tales, the charming metropolis of Canterbury in Kent continues to be a well-liked place to go to from London for the day with youngsters.

Medieval half-timber houses and Stour river in Canterbury, Kent - one of my top places if you're wondering where to go in Kent with kids

Older youngsters will get pleasure from exploring the spectacular Canterbury cathedral, wandering the traditional Medieval partitions, and visiting the fascinating Canterbury Roman Museum, one among my favorite Roman locations within the UK.

Youthful youngsters are certain to like embarking on the Canterbury Spy Mission Path as a enjoyable strategy to discover town’s historic streets, or you may get one other view by heading to the water, and punting on the river.

  • Select a quick prepare to Canterbury from London St Pancras and you may get to town in an hour. There’s one other route from Victoria to Canterbury East station, in addition to to Canterbury West from Charing Cross, however you’ll want to permit at the very least one other half-hour. Each stations are round 10 minutes stroll from the cathedral. It takes round 75-90 minutes to drive to Canterbury from London.

Dover Fort, Kent

Should you’re trying to go to one of many UK’s historic castles on a day journey from London with youngsters, you’re spoiled for selection, with an entire string of unbelievable castles in Kent alone. However one of the vital spectacular, which can also be one of many best to go to is Dover Fort.

View of Dover castle in Kent against a blue sky with white clouds, flags flying from the towers - one of the best day trips from London with kids who love history

Relationship again over 900 years, the inside is embellished as it might have been again when a few of England’s Norman kings (and queens), and their Plantagenet successors, would have visited – full with roaring fires within the coronary heart on chilly days.

When you’ve explored the large preserve and the citadel grounds, there are medieval tunnels in addition to more moderen historical past within the Second World Conflict tunnels, plus some fabulous views out throughout the English Channel and to the White Cliffs of Dover.

Learn my evaluation of a day trip at Dover Fort with youngsters

  • Trains to Dover Priory station run from a number of stations in London – the route from London St Pancras is quickest, with trains taking simply over an hour. You may also journey from London Bridge, which takes round 1hour 40 minutes, or Victoria, which takes slightly below two hours. It’s simply over a mile on foot from the station (permit round half-hour) though there are a number of bus routes to take you all or a part of the way in which. It takes round two hours by automotive.

Need to go to extra castles in Kent?

Should you’re hoping to go to one other citadel, Hever Fort and Leeds Fort are each unbelievable household days out however much less accessible by public transport.

A view of Hever Castle, Kent from the grounds against a blue sky - one of the best castles in Kent with kids and a great day out from London with kids

Hever Fort is simply a mile from Hever station, with direct trains from London Bridge taking round 45 minutes – these depart as soon as per hour, and you’ll have to stroll as there aren’t any taxis at this small station. Alternatively you may take the prepare to Edenbridge and get a taxi from there.

To go to Leeds Fort, there are direct trains from Victoria to Bearsted station however you’ll want a taxi for the three-mile journey from there (except you need to take two buses and stroll). In both case, it’s value reserving upfront (and making certain you’ve a plan for the return journey).

Brighton, East Sussex

One in every of my favorite UK cities, Brighton can also be one of many best day journeys from London with youngsters if you wish to hit the seashore.

Stripy deckchairs on Brighton beach, with the pier in the background - one of my own favourite day trips from London with kids

The seashore itself is shingly and pebbles quite than sand, however there are some nice household sights within the metropolis, together with Sea Life Brighton, the world’s oldest aquarium, a string of quirky museums and a few unbeatable views from the Brighton i360 commentary tower.

Try my prime issues to do in Brighton with youngsters for extra concepts

Don’t miss the long-lasting Royal Pavilion too, with a path for youthful youngsters to observe, and loads of opulent royal dwelling to make your jaw drop. Teenagers will love wandering the Lanes with their classic retailers and retro homewares, or testing the stalls on the Open Market.

  • Trains to Brighton from London Victoria take round an hour – you can too journey from Blackfriars and London Bridge, which takes one other 5-10 minutes. It takes round 1h 45 minutes to drive to Brighton: parking is usually at a premium so be ready for top fees or to discover a house exterior the centre.

Sussex seashores

Should you’re in search of sandy seashores close to London, the Sussex coast is without doubt one of the closest stretches to the capital for a paddle and an opportunity to construct a sandcastle.

My daughter scrambles up the sand dunes at Camber Sands in Sussex - one of the best day trips from London with kids if you're looking for sandy beaches

There’s a good selection of days out from London with youngsters as effectively, from Camber Sands to Littlehampton and West Wittering.

Each Camber Sands and West Wittering are backed by dunes, with tide swimming pools when the tide is out: each also can get very busy on sunny summer time days!

Or Littlehampton has some extra conventional seaside enjoyable at its jap finish, with sand when the tide is out and the UK’s longest bench, whereas the western finish is extra unspoiled with dunes to discover.

  • Trains to Littlehampton from London take from round 90 minutes, and it’s a 15 minute stroll right down to the beachfront, or it takes slightly below two hours to drive, with parking simply off the seashore. The others are more durable to achieve by prepare: the closest station to Camber Sands is fairly Rye, round three miles away, which takes simply over an hour by prepare, or it’s round two hours by automotive. Realistically, a day journey to West Wittering is simply sensible by automotive however prebooking a parking house on the seashore automotive park is strongly suggested.

*First printed 2021, final up to date 2023*


The best day trips from London with kids - 29 great family days out from London, with ideas for the best beaches near London, great UK city breaks near London with kids and some of the country's top historic sites, landmarks and family attractions

Disclosure: This submit accommodates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee

Photographs: Dreamland courtesy Go to Kent/Kallaway PR, principal picture/Salisbury/Tub/Henley/Oxford/Blenheim/Cotswolds/ Stratford/StAlbans/Cambridge/Bury St Edmunds/Southend/Mersea/Canterbury/Brighton courtesy of Depositphotos, all others copyright MummyTravels


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