7 easy day trips out of London

Typical. You spent all that time dreaming of your young London experience and, as of about 12 months in, you’re passing up Friday night drinks so that you can get up early on Saturdays and head out in the search for fresh air.

Look, it happens. It doesn’t mean you love the city any less, it’s just you have to get out sometimes; to remember what it felt like before a train ride was just a commute, to go to a green area that isn’t man-made, to sit down and drink coffee rather than grab it and go.

Being from the countryside originally, this is something I “need” to do about once every month or six weeks. And after two years in the city, here are some of my favourite U.K. day trips and weekends away:

Margate
Travel time from King’s Cross International: 1 hour 30 minutes

The most recent of our mini escapes – the main incentive being the promise of coastal air after a smoggy end to the week in the city.

Turns out this place is kind of quirky; a sleepy Sunday seaside town that’s also home to Dreamland, an inexplicable ode to a toffee lolly carved into stone, and – from what we saw – a whole lot of commissioned street art. After a walk along the beach we stopped off at the Turner gallery of contemporary art, and tried to look pensive watching a video of three dancers spasming. To no music. On repeat. Yep, quirky.

Anyway, we then spent an hour drifting through the old town with its vintage shops and old book stores, before a spot of lunch at the Greedy Cow and (GLEE) the first gelato of the year.


St Alban’s
Travel time from Kentish Town, London: 40 minutes

A city that’s easy on the eyes and an ideal shopping destination if Oxford Street sends you into a spin. The grounds of the cathedral are particularly lovely around Christmas thanks to the festive markets, and with plenty of perfect cafes (we ate at Canteen) and proper pubs, even staying indoors is time well spent.

Cambridge
Travel time from London King’s Cross: 1 hr 10 mins
Because who doesn’t like to dress nice and pretend they’re a student here? 

Brighton
Travel time from London Victoria: 1 hr 20 mins

A spontaneous weekend away with a friend. I like that you can choose whether you want a city vibe or quieter time; we stayed in an Air BnB slightly further out from the pier and the Lanes and got the best of both worlds.

Whitstable
Travel time from London King’s Cross International: 1 hr 15 mins

A well spent weekend away with work friends – great for a mix of old and new on the highstreet, a run along the coastline, trying oysters, and chips on the beach.

Weymouth
Travel time from London Waterloo: 3 hrs 40 mins
Definitely a weekend trip rather than one you’d do in one day, but it’s worth it – air doesn’t come fresher than on the coast. Breathe it all in.

And, of course, Bath
Travel time from London Paddington: 1 hr 30 minutes

Still my favourite city – for cobbled streets, Georgian buildings, underground bars, and walks by the weir.

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