The 5 Best Tours and Excursions from London

Stratford-upon-Avon is Shakespeares birthplace and easily accessible from London
Stratford-upon-Avon is Shakespeare's birthplace and easily accessible from London | © Gregory Wrona / Alamy Stock Photo
Chloe Byrne

There’s another world outside the busy bubble of London. A trip outside the city perimeter promises acres of unspoilt landscape, dotted with picturesque villages and craggy coastal peaks, all with their own unique story. Delve into the rich history of England to discover prehistoric relics casting shadows on the grassy countryside, medieval cities stamped with grand cathedrals and the birthplaces of famous figures. With return transport included, these dynamic tours may just tempt you away for the day.

1. Downton Abbey, Blenheim Palace and Cotswolds Day Trip From London


Dive into the frills-and-lace world of aristocratic Downton Abbey and discover where Winston Churchill took his first breath on this Cotswolds day trip. Travelling by air-conditioned coach, your first stop will be UNESCO-listed Blenheim Palace. Equipped with an audio-commentary headset, you’ll stroll through the tapestry-adorned walls to find the angelic James Thornhill ceiling mural of Churchill’s birthplace. From there, your guide will take you through the rolling hills and storybook market towns of the Cotswolds – stopping at an enchanting village or two along the way – and on to the fiction-famous Bampton, aka Downton Abbey, to see where the popular show’s weddings, dramas and dalliances took place.

2. Stonehenge and Bath Day Trip From London


This trip showcases the enduring elements of eras gone by. As you venture into the English countryside, your guide will fill you in on facts about the country’s prehistoric roots before arriving at the iconic Neolithic monument, Stonehenge. Take your time as you amble up winding pathways to the weather-beaten stone circle and learn the story behind its Bronze Age. Then it’s on to the city of Bath, where you’ll be free to explore its Roman baths and Georgian architecture. You can also upgrade your experience to include a visit to the Jane Austen Visitor Centre, which chronicles the life of the beloved Pride and Prejudice (1813) novelist.

3. Full-Day Tour of the White Cliffs of Sussex From London


Hop on a train to Brighton to witness the natural beauty of the White Cliffs of Sussex in a small group. A deluxe minivan will be your carriage for a scenic drive to Devil’s Dyke National Trust, with your guide providing tall tales of its mythical legend along the way. From there, you’ll stop at the family-owned Middle Farm for lunch and a complimentary tea or coffee from the barn-style tea rooms, before heading to the summit of Beachy Head. Your day out will conclude with the chance to see the rugged chalk-carved cliffs of Seven Sisters.

4. Canterbury and Dover Tour


Winding through the green-cloaked fields of the Kent countryside, this guided tour will whisk you away from the loud metropolis of London to the picturesque port of Dover. Stand on its historic shores and take in striking views of the famous White Cliffs before climbing up to explore the battle-worn hilltop castle and its labyrinth of war tunnels. After lunch, the second half of your trip will be spent behind Canterbury’s ancient walls, giving you chance to explore its frozen-in-time medieval centre. After touring the Gothic cathedral, you can venture to other historic sites like the nature-tangled ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey.

5. Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon and Cotswolds Tour From London


Shakespeare’s tale-weaving legacy ripples throughout the world. It’s no surprise people are so keen to discover his personal story – with the literary figure’s humble beginnings rooted in the foundations of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Your guide will take you to the playwright’s birthplace and wife Anne Hathaway’s idyllic cottage, conjuring up a sense of what their childhoods may have been like. Tuck into a packed lunch and then you’ll be off to the Cotswolds, passing through fairytale-like villages such as Bibury, Burford and Bourton-on-the-Water along the way.

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