day trips from london for families
Destination & countries, Europe, Travelling with kids, United Kingdom

Day Trips From London For Families | Parenthood4ever

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As my family has recently moved to the UK, we have decided to spend some time exploring this beautiful country organizing day trips from London with a toddler. Turned out apart from a huge amount of things to do in London, there is plenty to see outside of it too. I was so impressed by a variety of day trips from London for families that include beaches, national and adventure parks, farms, gorgeous towns, and cities.

The majority of the sights can be reached within a couple of hours and are easily accessible by public transport. The best solution, if you don’t have a car, is to arrange day trips from London by train. The most popular destinations, such as Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor, etc. offer day trips from London which is extremely convenient for tourists who have one day extra to explore the best parts of England.

Check our guides to the best parts of England here:

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In our case, we thought of weekend road trips from London touring around the southwest of England in Berkshire, Wiltshire, and Somerset counties where are located the most magnificent sights and monuments of England and the whole world.

Below is the itinerary of the day trip from London that we suggest based on our experience and the distance covered. You are welcome to choose the places you are most interested in for children’s day out, and make your own itinerary depending on time and transport availability.

Take a look at our camping adventure in Cornwall and road trip to Dorset. Explore more of the best parts of England!

Day Trips from London for Families

Windsor Castle

One of the best day trips from London by train is, of course, visiting Windsor Castle. What trip to the UK can happen without visiting Windsor Castle anyway? Especially knowing that it is located only 30 km away from London and is easily accessible by local transport.

You just need to take the train from Paddington Station towards Hereford and ride one stop to Slough that will take you 15 minutes total. Swap trains and take one more stop to Windsor and Elton Central. Alternatively, drive half an hour by car, but keep in mind that the parking fees are shamefully expensive in this town. We prefer to use the AppyParking app, as it tells us where we can park for free or where we have available parking space.

Windsor town is situated in Berkshire county and it is a rather small town, but quite luxury-looking. The best day trip from London is guaranteed if you are short on time.

We arrived at 11 am and were lucky to enjoy the guardian march. The traditional military parade and Changing the Guard happens up the high street and into the castle to the Lower Ward.

PRO TIP: If you stand near the clock at the square facing the Windsor castle, you have reached the best visible spot.

It is better to queue up earlier because, trust me, by 11 am this place gets massively overcrowded. We also recommend checking on the British Army website to see the event details, as they are the ones who schedule it. Also, what we didn’t know is that you can watch the full ceremony inside the castle if you have an admission ticket.

One important thing we realized about arranging day trips from London with kids is to always check availability beforehand. Any popular places or free places to visit usually require booking online or reserving a time slot, otherwise you are deemed to bear the queues for two hours minimum. Windsor Castle is not an exception. If you get a stamp at the entrance, you will also have a free entrance for the whole year.

Windsor Castle is considered to be the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It has been the family home to British kings, queens, and 39 monarchs for over 1,000 years. And it is one of the most favorite places for the Queen to visit over the weekend. 

It is very lavish inside. Be prepared for at least a three-to-four-hour walk to see everything, including the park. St. George’s Chapel is one of the oldest and finest chapels in England. It has been the location of many royal weddings including Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle. The Chapel doesn’t operate on Sundays and closes at 16:15 every other day.

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One of the most impressive things in the castle is Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. We could stay there for the whole day exploring all the rooms in the house. They were fully furnished, included a library with tiny books, a wine cellar, and a garden. We have never seen anything detailed like this house before. The house even included electricity, working lifts, and water. You can learn more about Windsor Castle here.

ACCOMMODATION: In case if you need to stay overnight, here are the best suggestions for any leisure type and personal taste.

Stonehenge & Avebury Henge

The next stop was Stonehenge – a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire that became a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. We aimed to get there in the afternoon and, of course, it was necessary to book the ticket with reserved time slot online. It took us a 1.5 hs to get there from Windsor Castle and was a perfect time for our little baby to nap in the car. In this case, I would recommend organizing day trips from London by car as it is very convenient when traveling with a baby.

The place has free parking spaces near the site. Feel free to take food with you, as lots of people have a picnic enjoying the view of the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world.

Alternatively, there is a huge café next to the visitor center when you can have meals and hot drinks. There are also lots of sheep walking around. You will need to take a special bus to reach the site. I might say, it takes you less than three minutes to walk around the circle. The stone circle is surrounded with few ropes, so no rock touching is allowed.

More tips and tricks for day trips from London to Stonehenge:

1. It is quite windy at the site as it is an open area, so jackets are a must to bring.

2. You don’t need a lot of time to spend there, so make sure you have planned something else to do the same day.

3. On our way back, we realized there is a free option to visit this site by walking a few km from the visitor center.

Lots of people and especially locals suggest visiting Avebury Stone Site. It is 38 km away from Stonehenge, takes the same time to reach from London and it is absolutely free. The stone circle might not look as sophisticated as, but saving £20 on admission fee speaks for itself. In addition, it has a 17th-century stables housing museum.

ACCOMMODATION: Depending on your budget, the Mill House or Fairlawn House are your best shots with an amazing superb service locating 4 and 2 miles away from the Stonehenge site.

Westbury White Horse View Point

After such a busy day, we have arrived at our Airbnb home. We have made an absolutely amazing choice of staying in Westbury – a small town between Bath and Frome. This way we could reach every place within 15 minutes, even with local transport. The hosts were amazing, and we had a lot of fun spending the night with them and playing in the garden. Besides, they had literally everything for our baby and treat us with the nicest breakfast ever offering five types of cereals and a great variety of tea.

The area is famous for its viewpoints, that is why before going to Bath, we made a quick stop at Westbury White Horse View Point which was on our way. It is a large iron age hill fort and white horse carved into the hillside. We strongly suggest checking at least one viewpoint if you are in the area.

Bath

One of the best trips from London for families is visiting Somerset county. Bath is the largest city in the whole county, and it is well-known for its Roman-built baths.

We have started our day with the famous Sally Lunn’s Eating House 1680 that sells famous Sally Lunn Buns (a semi-sweet bread) up to date. It is also the Bath’s oldest house since 1483. This place became so famous that it makes enormously long queues, so come early. We found this place quite empty at 9 am until we noticed there was a queue spreading long way out of the building on our way back at 10 am.

Day trips from London to Bath are often arranged to see the major tourist attraction – the Roman Baths. It is now a historical complex while before it was a public place used for bathing. There is a nice terrace outside where you can see the Roman baths and a museum with an audio guide explaining everything in detail.

Again, try to book the ticket online when organizing family day trips from London. We were there at 10 am and used to wait in a queue for half an hour to get in which was not that bad. There is a lot of tourists, especially on a weekend, be prepared to bump into people. Buggies are not allowed inside, so the carrier will be the best option.

Next to the Roman Baths, there is a square with street singers and performers and Bath Abbey.

In the afternoon, we took a short walk through the city to Royal Victoria Park where you can enjoy the view of the Royal Crescent which is a Georgian home and heritage museum. But we were more intrigued by the park itself discovering Victoria Falls Adventure Golf. It was our first time playing mini golf and it was a lot of fun!

It is an amazing opportunity to visit Prior Park Landscape Garden. It is 7-minutes’ drive, 15-minutes’ bus ride No. 2 or half-an-hour walk – you choose! It is also opened to the public from 10:00 to 16:30. Owned by National Trust (in case if you are a member) it is a huge garden filled with lakes, bridges, and woodland. It is a very peaceful walk with great views and the possibility to have a picnic sunbathing.

ACCOMMODATION: Bath is full of amazing family holidays, choose the one your family loves the most!

Frome

Frome is another town in Somerset that we wished to visit a lot, mainly for its famous Frome market. However, be careful, the Frome market is opened only on the first Sunday of every month from 10 am to 3 pm. This was one of the reasons we didn’t get to visit it.

Frome town itself is quite beautiful and challenging due to the fact that it was built on uneven high ground. It is half an hour away from Bath and is absolutely worth to visit along with Bath.

Another great reason to visit Frome is to go to Longleat Safari Park. It is No. 1 Safari Park in England and the first drive-through safari park outside Africa built-in 1966. There is a lot to tell about this park, check more information on their official website. This is pretty amazing to see lions, tigers, cheetah, and wild rhinos walking in the wild. Apart from safari, there are lots to do at the main square, walking into the maze, adventure castles, and monkey temples; visiting gorillas, giant crocodiles, and jungle creatures. This activity should definitely be planned for a day, and maybe for two. It was one of the best day trips from north London to us.

ACCOMMODATION: The Lighthouse is an amazing superb hotel for your family. It has a lot of light, spacious, and is located right in between Frome and Longleat which makes it easy to get to Safari Park. The alternative more budget option is Bistro Lotte. A great holiday is guaranteed!

Oxford

On the way back to London, if time allows, why not visit Oxford? Rich in culture and history, this city is not inferior in its beauty. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, and since the 9th century an established town. Nowadays, Oxford is a bustling cosmopolitan town. Still with its ancient University, but home also to a growing hi-tech community. 

An hour and a half away from London (70 km, 45 miles), this town can be explored for the whole weekend. Even if you own a car, it would be one of those day trips from London on a train. For us, it was just a great walk-in town as we had limited time left. If you have one full day or even two, we recommend visiting the following places:

  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History
  • The University of Oxford Shop
  • Oxford Castle
  • Radcliffe Camera
  • Fairytale Farm (for the ones who visit this beautiful town with their little ones, but it is 40-minutes’ drive)
  • Turrill Sculpture Garden

If you are up to discovering more of the amazing places of England, do not stop and go further west to Cornwall, check our full itinerary here. Turn around and go south to visit incredibly bewitching Jurassic Coast or explore Isle of Wight with its sandy beaches and seafront promenades.

ACCOMMODATION: Oxford is known as one of the most tourist destinations. You will be able to find anything from budget apartments options to luxurious hotels, cottages, and even farmhouses.

Enjoy your journey in the best parts of England!

IMPORTANT: We created the Family Store especially for you. By clicking on the image below you can find anything from Newborn’s First Kit, Baby & Family Essentials, Kids Travel to Travel Gear. We hope you will find something valuable for your own adventures!

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5 Comments

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