The best day-trips from London?
With the lovely summer weather finally here, I’m determined to make the most of it and see more of the UK on weekends. It’s far too easy to jump on an EasyJet flight and ignore what’s on our doorstep.
Has anyone been on a great day-trip recently – an unusual National Trust property, interesting town or secluded beach?
There’s ten ideas in this article from Martin Dunford:
All of them can be reached in around 30 minutes…
If you like a little eeriness with your sunshine, I’d recommend Canvey Island or Dungeness. Weird and weirder (in a really good way), though I visited both of them in wintertime – maybe they’re less unsettling when there are actually other people about.
I’d highly recommend a trip to the Oxfordshire County Show on July 13th. In a time when a lot of the traditional agricultural shows are falling by the wayside, this is an event that really celebrates agriculture and country life, within easy reach of London. As well as the obligatory judging of livestock and best-victoria-sponge-or-giant-marrow competitions, there are equestrian events, loads of shopping, crafts and fantastic local food to buy for later or eat on the spot. If you want a real slice of English tradition, this is for you. And, in my opinion, you can’t argue with an event that includes a competition for the cow with the best udders…
You can reach Thame via junction 6, 7 or 8 of the M40 or take the 50-minute train ride from Marylebone to Haddenham & Thame Parkway, where it’s a short cab ride to the showground.
I’d suggest going to Cambridge. It’s a lovely city and perfect for a day trip. The city centre is very small and is largely pedestrianised so it’s perfect just to stroll around before popping into one or two of the colleges. Then you can take a punt out on the River Cam (either with a guide or, if you’re feeling brave, by yourself) – avoid Scudamore’s punting and rent from Trinity College, who are cheaper and have much better knowledge. Finish off the day with a climb up to St Mary’s tower for a bird’s eye view of the city.
There are trains every half an hour from King’s Cross (45 mins) to Cambridge, and every hour or so from Liverpool Street (1hr 15 mins).
The lovely summer weather is still here (just about)! So how about Essex by bike? It’s an easy 1hr train journey from Liverpool St to Colchester and from there, you could cycle to Mersea Island for a seaside stroll and some seriously tasty seafood. I did this last weekend and it was great fun. The ride itself was okay – not quite as bucolic and full of butterflies and birdsong as I’d imagined, but reasonably short at just over an hour, across fairly flat and pretty countryside and tiring enough to build up a good appetite for a seafood feast at The Company Shed. The green-lipped mussels were good and wow, that salmon!
If the bike bit is off-putting, I hear there’s a bus service from Colchester too though not sure how regular it is. Make sure you put your name on The Shed’s waiting list as soon as you arrive and you should bring your own booze, bread and butter. And don’t forget your puncture repair kit, just in case…