Living in London means that you have it all on your doorstep: beautiful historical sites, modern museums and monuments, great shopping and nightlife, and glorious country parks. However, sometimes to clamour and chaos of the capital becomes a bit too much to bear, particularly during the peak tourist seasons.
For those who are seeking a small escape from city life, browse these exceptional destinations for a long weekend away from London, all of which are within easy reach of England’s capital.
If beach time is what you’re after, there are many options to choose between, including the beautiful and tranquil bays around Kent or even further afield North Cornwall. The most unique destination close to the capital, however, has to be Brighton which is just 1.5 hours away by train from major London stations.
Brighton has the feel of a traditional English spa town but with an artistic twist. Wander the spectacular Victorian pier for fairground attractions, arcades, and of course fish and chips, and visit the eye-catching Royal Pavilion that was built in the 18th century.
Explore the winding lanes lined with vintage shops and quirky cafés specialising in healthy cuisine. Laugh the night away at one of the intimate comedy clubs or watch local bands play live music. A fun-filled escape for all!
For a more relaxing getaway, head up to the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with picturesque walking trails, quaint villages oozing local charm, and historic cities overflowing with heritage sites.
Bath is one such city, known throughout Europe as a fantastic spa destination.
The Cotswolds, with its pretty views, intimate picnic spots, and host of laidback things to do, is particularly good for London couples seeking a romantic getaway.
Head straight up the country from Kings Cross and you will reach York, one of the most historic places in the UK. Made mighty by the Vikings at the latter end of the 1st millennium AD, York has a rich heritage reaching back centuries which can be explored at Jorvik Viking Centre, the stunning architectural masterpiece of York Minster, and when walking the fortified city walls.
For leisure time, visitors are spoiled for choice. From Michelin-star restaurants and iconic cafés such as Betty’s, delicious local cuisine abounds, and there is a quirky bar or gastro pub around every corner. Those who aren’t afraid of a scare will enjoy a night-time ghost walk of York or a visit to the exceptional York Dungeon.
Finally, the pretty riverside town of Cambridge is a great long weekend destination for Londoners. Take time to explore the various colleges of the town’s renowned university which is unquestionably one of the most beautiful and historic institutions in the world.
Go for a stroll along the river where you will see students rowing in strict teams or couples being punted along in a gondola. You could even plan your trip to coincide with the Cambridge Folk Festival.
A long weekend in Cambridge promises to be a peaceful one and a memorable one for history buffs in particular.