5 Day Trip Ideas From London
London could take a full year to explore — at least that’s what it took us to do it professionally — but that doesn’t mean that in between your exploration you shouldn’t squeeze in another beautiful city.
If you are planning a trip to London this Autumn, we have some recommended cities for you to visit. Historical cities, university cities and overall pretty in the broad meaning of the word. These picture-perfect locations might seem like they’ve been snatched from a fairytale, but they are actually less than 2 hours away. You’ll be sipping a cup of tea in no time at all.
Escape London for the day and treat yourself to a well-earned weekend away.
For more inspiration, get your Architectour Guide of London
Oxford is one of the most inspiring places in the UK as it was the birthplace of the first university in the English-speaking world: University of Oxford (1096). The academic background of Oxford has left a permanent architectural footprint in it: a city whose unique purpose is to teach and provide with knowledge. In addition, it influenced other academic facilities such as Hogwarts, which was not only partly modelled after Oxford, but also filmed in some of its oldest areas like Christ Church College.
Architectour Tip: Don’t miss the stunning views of the city from The Varsity Club.
How to get there from London: By train via Paddington (1 h 5 min) and by car (1 h 30 min)
Equally beautiful and solemn is Cambridge, another university city founded slightly later in the early 13th century. The pretty cobblestone streets, stone façades and the manicured shrubbery within each college are alluring all year round. However, during the Autumn season, when reds, pale yellows and soft oranges combine with the fresh and cooler air is when Cambridge is the quaintest, as the academic semester is in full action. You’ll be able to feel this energising atmosphere at the Cambridge University Library, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world.
Architectour Tip: Don’t miss the apple tree where it is believed that Newton began thinking about his gravity theory.
How to get there from London: By train via King’s Cross (55 min), by car (1 h 25 min)
Soon after Londinium was established circa AD 43, Bath became another popular Roman settlement. The city became a spa around AD 60 when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon. Since then, this picturesque city has attracted visitors for its healing powers and beauty. Bath has inspired many creatives such as Jane Austen, who lived here for some years, and John Wood the Elder, who designed the Circus, a groundbreaking housing typology.
Architectour Tip: Uranus was discovered in Bath, you can see the house where it happened at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy 🔭
How to get there from London: By train via Paddington (1 h 30 min), by car (2 h 15 min)
Bristol, a vibrant industrial city, holds many surprises for the avid traveller. Its past not only includes factories but a rich history of culture, architecture and adventure. Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World. In fact, John Cabot became the first European since the Vikings to land in North America. He departed from a ship out of Bristol in 1497. In addition, the vibe is young as the city has two universities: the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England.
Architectour Tip: Banksy, the mysterious but world-famous artist, was born in Bristol and you can see many of his art pieces here.
How to get there from London: By train via Paddington (1 h 40 min), by car (2 h 15 min)
Windsor, the legendary town where Kings and Queens lived, has played a crucial role in British history. It’s shocking to see a recent picture of Harry and Megan walking outside Windsor Castle and then seeing the same view in an old painting. Centuries of history are impregnated in Windsor, which is surprisingly small and doable in a day. You won’t regret this visit!
Architectour Tip: Some places such as Frogmore House and Gardens are only open on Sundays so probably that’s the best day to visit.
How to get there from London: By train via Paddington (40 min), by car (50 min)