When the hustle and bustle of central London becomes too much, a day-trip to the outskirts and beyond can be just the thing to perk up your spirits. Whether you’re looking for a bit of history or you want a great day out for the kids, this selection gives you a little bit of everything.
Fun in the sun
The Brighton Pier hosts a collection of the best seaside entertainment in Britain, ranging from traditional seaside stalls and a world-famous fish and chip restaurant to thrill rides, food kiosks, bars and even its own radio station.
The Savill Garden
The 35 acres of interconnecting gardens and woodland makes The Savill Garden Britain’s finest ornamental garden. Every garden provides a unique set of attractions throughout the seasons.
If you’re looking for a piece of mysterious history then this is the place to go. People are still not sure why these stones were transported over 200 miles to be placed in a circle and theories range from sacred rituals to astronomical observation.
For rainy days
Coventry Transport Museum and Coventry Music Museum
The Coventry Transport Museum boasts the largest collection of British vehicles in the world. You can see the cars driven by past generations, view record-breaking motorcycles and feel what it’s like to drive a supersonic car in the 4D land speed record simulator.
While you’re in town, you can also visit a “small museum with a big heart” and hear some great tunes, check out the Coventry Music Museum for a melodic trip through history.
Xscape, Milton Keynes
This entertainment destination offers a combination of extreme sports and leisure activities for both young and old. They offer everything from indoor snow slopes and indoor skydiving, to rock climbing, a cinema, bars, restaurants and various retail outlets. Xscape lets you play, eat, drink and shop, day and night.
Royal Air Force Museum
The Colindale site of the RAF Museum is only about 30 minutes from Central London. On display is a selection of modern and historic aircrafts. Entry is free and includes interactive activities such as a 3D cinema and a sound and light show.
Steeped in history, Oxford is a town built around one of the most prestigious universities in Britain and the world. You can visit various famous colleges, including Christ Church where scenes from the Harry Potter movies were shot.
Make sure to stop off and have a drink at The Eagle and Child, where the past clientele are more popular than the food. The pub was a popular stop for authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.
Cambridge boasts a rich history: This is the town where atoms were first split, DNA was modelled and electrons discovered. Walk along King’s Parade, where you can see King’s College Chapel – an incredible example of Gothic architecture with over 2,000 tons of fan vaulting.
If you’re feeling energetic you can rent a flat-bottomed boat and take it up and down the Cam River. Otherwise, stop off at one of the many popular pubs, such as The Free Press, which housed a historic printing press before it was renovated.
For the kids
LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort
This LEGO® theme park offers over 55 interactive rides, building workshops and live shows within 150 acres of parkland. This is an ideal getaway to keep the kids occupied during the summer vacation with water rides, LEGO® Driving School, Boating School and Fire Academy. It’s truly a child’s plastic-brick-paradise.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Warner Brothers Studios have created one of the most iconic film series of our time in Leavesden Hertfordshire – Harry Potter. You’ll enjoy the Studio Tour as much your kids.
Step inside the Great Hall, walk along Diagon Alley, enjoy a Butterbeer and ride a broomstick as you explore the magical stories. You’ll also get access to a backlot filled with the original sets, special effects, costumes and animatronic creatures used in the movies.
Winchester Science Centre
The Winchester Science Centre is a hands-on, interactive science and technology centre with the largest stand-alone planetarium in the UK.
General entry gets you access to two floors of hands-on exhibits and there are often free events. Entry to the planetarium is charged separately.