Weekend Trips in the UK – 20 of the best weekend breaks from London

As much as there is to do in London itself, it’s always nice to escape the city every now and again. There’s plenty to see and do around the UK away from the tourist hotspot which is the capital. So whether you’re after a trip to the beach, exploring historic market towns or hiking in the countryside, here are a selection of great weekend trips in the UK from London…

UK Weekend Trips from London – THE COAST:

Coastal weekend Trips in the UK - the coast - two boats by the ocean

A trip to the ocean is always a good idea, right?

It’s a good job the UK is a relatively small island and trips to many stretches of the British coastline are just a short journey from the capital.

 

Brighton

By Jessica from Sneaky Detour.

Coastal weekend Trips in the UK, Brighton pier with people on beach and ocean in bakcground

Being just an hour’s train ride from London Victoria, Brighton is a great way to spend a fun weekend away from London’s big smoke! Jump off the train and breathe in that fresh sea breeze. Brighton has an alternative vibe, delicious food, great nightlife and plenty of things to do on a UK weekend away.

So here is what your weekend away could look like; Head down to the seafront and walk along the ocean towards the famous Brighton pier. Then test your luck in the great arcade, play the carnival games and bring out your inner child on the rides. Next to the pier lies Sea Life, the world’s oldest aquarium which is a great family activity. Take a stroll through Brighton’s colourful lanes and stop at the many cafes, bars and bookshops.

Brighton is also surrounded by the South Downs which offer many beautiful walks over rolling green hills with the blue ocean in the background.

Brighton is such a beautiful town to simply walk around and explore. Walk through the gardens of the Royal Pavilion, a beautiful palace-style building that looks like it belongs in Aladdin.

As the afternoon kicks in grab some fish and chips and a few drinks and sit on the beach and watch the sunset over the ocean. Even in winter, this is great to do – just bring your big jacket!

Brighton has hundreds of quality restaurants and is also known for its nightlife, being the LGBQT+ capital of the UK.

How to get from London to Brighton:

Jump on the train at London Victoria or London Blackfriars and you’ll arrive at the coastal city of Brighton in just one hour.

Where to stay on a weekend break to Brighton:

The Charm Brighton Boutique Hotel is a perfect hotel for your weekend away in a central waterfront location.

 

Whitstable

By Caroline from CK Travels.

Coastal weekend Trips in the UK, Whitstable colourful beach huts lining the beach

Whitstable is a charming fishing and harbour town on the north coast of Kent, just south east of London.

The town of Whitstable is fairly small and its train station is just a short walk to all the main sights. Take a coastal walk along the huge stretches of beaches, all lined with colourful beach huts, or visit the main high street which is filled with cute boutique shops, galleries and cafes.

Whitstable is very famous for its incredible seafood scene and you’ll find many small oyster shacks in the harbour and along the beachfront, or alternatively head to the Lobster Shack restaurant for an amazing sit down feast!

After indulging in all the seafood delights make your way over to the Old Neptune which is one of the most popular pubs in town. It is located right on the beach, so you can enjoy a delicious pint of locally brewed beer with a beautiful sea view.

The town also holds a popular two day oyster festival every July featuring hundreds of food stalls, live music and a parade.

How to get from London to Whitstable:

A weekend trip from London to Whitstable is super easy – the high-speed trains from London Kings Cross and London Stratford take you there in just over an hour, while you can board a slightly slower train from London Victoria.

 

Southend-on-Sea

By Emily from London City Calling.

Coastal weekend trips in the UK, Southend Pier going out far to sea at sunset

Southend-on-Sea (commonly just called Southend) is a coastal resort town located to the east of London in the neighbouring county of Essex.

The British seaside town has been a popular holiday destination with Londoners ever since the early 1800’s when transport links grew and the Victorian aristocracy fled to the coast for the therapeutic properties of sea air. To this day Southend is still a popular destination for Londoners looking to escape the city for the weekend.

One of the main things to do in Southend is to walk (or get the train) down Southend Pier, which at 2,158 metres long is the longest pier in the world. At the end of the roughly 20 minute walk you’ll find a small cafe and lifeboat station.

Along the seafront, you’ll find a long road filled with family-friendly arcades, seafront pubs and local fish and chip shops – getting chips at the British seaside is a must! There is also Southend Adventure Park with a number of rides and games, from rollercoasters to bumper cars and even a 9-hole mini-golf course.

If you’re visiting Southend during the Autumn, the town has an amazing free firework display every Saturday evening from early October to mid-November, set off from a barge out in the ocean at around 7:30pm.

How to get from London to Southend:

Trains from London Liverpool Street and London Fenchurch Street run regularly to Southend. The direct train journey takes just one hour.

 

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UK Weekend Trips from London – CITY BREAKS:

Weekend city breaks in the UK, buildings and red phone box with heading

Escape the city and head to… another city!?

Take a UK city break to somewhere other than London. British cities are all extremely different, from the charming university towns of Oxford and Cambridge and the roman baths of historic Bath to the modern metropolises of Liverpool or Manchester.

 

Oxford

By Emily from London City Calling.

Weekend city breaks in the UK, medieval spires of Oxford university buildings

Located around an hour to the west of the capital, Oxford is one of the easiest and cheapest UK weekend breaks from London.

Also known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’, Oxford city centre is mostly consumed by the stunning medieval buildings of prestigious Oxford University, which dates all the way back to the 12th century.

As well as being able to visit many of the beautiful Oxford colleges, there’s plenty to do in Oxford to fill an entire weekend away from London, such as visiting the city’s 1000-year-old castle, drinking in historic pubs, punting on the river with Oxford’s student population and visiting the many fascinating museums filled with collections belonging to the university itself.

Oxford is the ideal city break from London for literary fans, with several authors drawing inspiration from the city including Lewis Caroll (aka. Charles Dodgson) who studied maths at Oxford while also dreaming up the famous tales of Alice in Wonderland.

Oxford’s Christ Church College was also the filming location of several scenes from the Harry Potter movie franchise, while the college’s dining hall provided the inspiration behind Hogwart’s Great Hall.

 

Cambridge

By Laura from The Travelling Stomach.

Weekend city breaks in the UK, punt going down the river in Cambridge

Alongside its cousin Oxford, the city of Cambridge is renowned as a historic university town, dominated by classical architecture and steeped in the traditions that it’s colleges have ingrained.

You could lose yourself for hours just wandering around the pretty colleges and university buildings – many are open and free to enter, although some of the famous ones, such as Trinity College, charge a small fee to go in.

Of course, no visit to Cambridge is complete without a spot of ‘punting‘! This iconic pastime is spent on the waters of the River Cam, which flows straight through the city, aboard one of the “punts” (a narrow flat-bottomed boat, almost similar to a Gondola) and travel alongside the universities iconic sights, such as the magical King’s College chapel and lawn.

After your excursion on the water, it’s definitely time for lunch! If you’re looking to make an occasion of it, there’s nowhere better in the city than Midsummer House, famed restaurant of Daniel Clifford, to tuck into dishes such as salt aged duck with barbecued sweet potato and sorrel.

If you want something a bit more chilled, head to the Cambridge Wine Merchants for a selection of fantastically priced wines and a platter of delicious meats and cheese.

How to get from London to Cambridge:

Cambridge is the perfect short escape from London, with trains from London Liverpool Street taking only around an hour with regular trains throughout the day.

 

Bath

By Suzanne from Meandering Wild

Weekend city breaks in the UK, historic bridge going over water in Bath

Bath has a long history, the most famous being the Roman Baths. These can be visited and have an interesting museum and gorgeous tea rooms.  If you fancy a dip then there is the modern Thermae Spa just a short distance away.  This has a number of pools and steam rooms, our favourite being the rooftop open-air swimming pool which has views across the city rooftops.

Close to the Roman Baths is the Abbey and the oldest remaining home in Bath – Sally Lunn’s which was built in 1482.  Excavations in the cellar though link this house back to Roman times so it is probably even older!

Bath also has a strong Georgian Period history with the imposing Royal Crescent and Circus (a circular street) and the unique Pulteney Bridge.  From the road, this bridge looks like a normal street with shops, but from the riverside, it is very clearly a bridge with buildings along the top.

Bath also has links to Jane Austin and there is a themed museum as well as celebrations of her time living in the city throughout the year.

From Bath, it is easy to visit Cheddar Gorge, the deepest gorge in the UK, and the nearby city of Wells which is the smallest city in England.

How to get from London to Bath:

There are more than enough things to do in Bath to make it a great weekend break from London, plus it won’t take you too long to get to either. Bath is just 90 minutes by train from Paddington Station in central London or three hours by car on the M4.  The train station is in the centre of the city, just a short walk from all of the attractions, restaurants and hotels.

 

Liverpool

By Ella from ManyMoreMaps.

Weekend city breaks in the UK, Liverpool city centre

Just 3 hours away from London by direct train, Liverpool has so much to do that you’ll easily be able to fill up a whole weekend.

Obviously, a huge draw for visitors to Liverpool is the amount of Beatles-related attractions in the city. You could head to the Beatles Museum, Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, or the Cavern Club (where the band got their big break). You can even tour Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s childhood homes! 

The Beatles aside, there’s still loads to do in Liverpool to keep you busy. If you’re visiting on the day of a football match be sure to buy a ticket and join in in the chants and excitement of the crowd. 

If museums are more your thing, you’re in luck. Liverpool has a historic shipping industry, and plenty of museums to educate you about both its positive and negative impacts. The sobering International Slavery Museum, based at the now regenerated Albert Dock, is a must-visit. The Maritime Museum is a great place to learn about the navy, shipwrecks and Liverpool’s surprising connection to the Titanic.

If you need a break from museums, Liverpool One is a great option. One of the north’s largest shopping centres, it boasts a collection of both high street brands and Liverpool-based shops. Later, check out a gig at the cosy 81 Renshaw Street or some live drama at the Everyman Theatre.

How to get from London to Liverpool:

There are a number of trains running from London Euston to Liverpool every day, with the fastest direct train taking as little as 2 hours.

Where to stay on a weekend break to Liverpool:

The perfect place to stay in Liverpool is four-star Hard Day’s Night Hotel. Located in the city centre, this fantastic themed hotel is perfect for any music enthusiast, or anybody looking for something more exciting than a typical chain hotel. 

 

Manchester

By Vicky from Spud on the Run.

Manchester England

Manchester is a city that has a great deal to offer, yet it still manages to not take itself too seriously and welcomes visitors warmly. From quirky little pubs, vibrant street art and a world famous music scene, to huge green spaces and a strong community feel, Manchester has something for everyone to fall in love with.

The city was the birth place for many famous bands, including Oasis, The Stone Roses, the Verve and Take That. The city’s music scene is very much still alive and there are many venues across the city celebrating live music. Take a look at the listings for places such as Band on the Wall, Albert Hall, Night and Day, Matt and Phreds, the Bridgewater Hall, and the Deaf Institute for a huge array of choice.

If you love football you could take a guided tour of Old Trafford, or check out the Football Museum which celebrates the highs and lows of the game with some moving tributes such as to Hillsborough and the Munich Air Disaster.

If you want to take things easy for the weekend, you could check out the biggest municipal park in Europe, Heaton Park, which has a boating lake and ornamental gardens to explore. It makes the perfect place for a lazy stroll and a picnic. Or you could head to Chorlton or Didsbury, leafy South Manchester suburbs, well known for their brunch cafes and relaxed bars. They are perfect places for a spot of people watching.

Manchester’s weather is known for being temperamental but that doesn’t need to scare you away! If you love shopping, check out the Trafford Centre. Or if art and history are more your cup of tea while away the hours in the beautiful John Rylands Library, the Whitworth Art Gallery or the Science and Industry Museum (to name but just a few!).

The city centre is manageable on foot but there is a clean and reliable tram network if you want to go further afield. As it’s just two hour and a half hours direct from London, it makes the perfect destination to escape the city for the weekend.

How to get from London to Manchester:

Jump on the train at London Euston and you can travel directly to Manchester in just over 2 hours.

 

Edinburgh

By Christin Theilig.

Weekend city breaks in the UK, row of colourful houses below old stone buildings in Edinburgh

If you’re in need for a weekend getaway from London, look no further than to neighbouring Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is a fabulous city that will enchant you with its medieval architecture, trendy food scene and abundance of festivals.

One of Edinburgh’s most striking highlights is the Edinburgh Castle. Dominating the city’s skyline, it’s origin traces back into prehistoric times – a truly unique fortress.

For the best panoramic views of the city, head up to Calton Hill. It’s a quiet place with beautiful green slopes, distinctive by an Athenian acropolis. From there you can see Arthur’s Seat, the highest point of an extinct volcano.

Another must-do is strolling through the Old Town. Get lost in cobbled alleys and sample some of Scotland’s best fudge. For that, go to The Fudge House of Edinburgh to watch how they hand-make their fudge since 1949 and try one of 30 flavours!

To unwind, visit the Princess Street Gardens and get a beautiful view up to Edinburgh Castle. From there it’s only a short walk to The Scotch Whiskey Experience. Containing the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whiskies, you can learn about the whiskey-making process and be able to enjoy a tasting.

If you are more of a Gin lover, head over to The Wee Pub. Not only is it Edinburgh’s smallest pub, but it also features samples of Scotland’s finest gin distilleries. Ever tried a rhubarb and ginger gin? It’s something you’ll remember!

For all Harry Potter fans, make a stop at The Elephant House, the coffee shop JK Rowling wrote the first of the books!

How to get from London to Edinburgh:

You can either take a short 1 hour 15 minutes flight from most London airports (and an even shorter 25 minutes taxi into the city centre once you arrive) or a 5 hour train from London Kings Cross.

 

Dublin

By Nils from Lets Go Ireland.

Weekend city breaks in the UK, Temple Bar in Dublin with lots of pubs and people in street

Okay I know Dublin isn’t technically part of the UK – its the Republic of Ireland – but let’s throw it in any way.

Conveniently located only a short flight from England’s capital city, Dublin is an ideal choice for a weekend trip from London.

Dublin boasts so many great attractions and things to do that it is hard not to fall in love with it and its unique, lively atmosphere.

Some of the best sights in Dublin are located right in the city centre. Trinity College has the Book of Kells on show, which is arguably the most famous and beautiful medieval manuscript. Close by is the Museum of Archaeology (part of the National Museum of Ireland), in which you can get a glimpse of the rich cultural history of Ireland.

Another fantastic exhibition can be found in the Guinness Storehouse. Here you can learn about the intriguing history of Ireland’s national beer and afterwards enjoy a freshly poured pint while enjoying the best bird’s-eye views of Dublin in the Gravity Bar.

If you look for something more unusual on your getaway break, then you should join a tour of the crypt of St. Michan’s where you can see real mummies. 

After experiencing some of the best sights in Dublin, you might want to relax in one of the many parks of Dublin, such as St. Stephen’s Green. Alternatively, if you want to enjoy a lively, entertaining evening with some live Irish music, then head to Temple Bar, which is famous for its nightlife.

How to get from London to Dublin:

The most convenient way to get from London to Dublin for the weekend is to take a 1 hour 15 minute flight from any London airport.

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UK Weekend Breaks from London – HISTORIC TOWNS:

Weekend trips from London to historic towns, castle with heading

Leave the big smoke and visit one of the UK’s historic market towns for a weekend…

 

The Cotswolds

By Karen from TravelMadMum.

Weekend trips from London to historic towns, old stone houses next to river and orange trees in Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are the perfect weekend destination for those based in London. Only a two hour drive away and you are plunged into a quintessentially British experience. The Cotswolds are filled with stunning well preserved medieval villages, beautiful countryside, and warm pubs with roaring fires.

Rushing rivers pass through typical stone villages, each surrounded by rolling green hills and farmland. Each village is nestled amongst nature and no place is short of things to do.

Our top choice for where to stay is near the Cotswold Waterpark. The Waterpark is based on the edge of over 100 lakes all interconnected with rivers and walkways. The best time to make the most of the waterpark is in the summer, however, there are also some stunning trails around the lakes in the colder months.

There are a tonne of activities at the waterpark, from golf to paintballing and aerial adventures to aqua adventures. Not to mention exploring the stunning rivers and lakes. The aqua adventures are obviously the most symbolic of the waterpark, with a giant floating bouncy obstacle course for people to run across. It’s great if you are visiting the area with kids.

From the waterpark area, you can also easily visit some of the neighbouring villages like Bourton on the Water, which is around a 30-minute drive away. Bourton on the Water was voted one of the prettiest villages in England and is sometimes referred to as ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ due to the numerous stone bridges crossing the villages central river.

How to get from London to the Cotswolds:

From London you can drive to the Cotswolds in roughly two hours. Alternatively, you can get the train from London Paddington station to Moreton-in-Marsh (also stopping at the towns of stops at Kingham and Charlbury in the heart of the Cotswolds) which takes around 1 hour 30 minutes.

 

Canterbury

By Ann from The Road is Life.

Weekend trips from London to historic towns, small boat going down river past thatched black and white tudor houses in Canterbury

Just one hour from London by train in the countryside of Kent is the lovely historic town of Canterbury. A visit to this beautifully preserved medieval town makes the perfect day trip or weekend trip from London.

The cobbled streets of Canterbury are full of gorgeous Tudor architecture, pretty little canals and plenty of fascinating historic sites to explore. It’s the perfect little getaway for those seeking a break from the fast paced city life.

You can’t miss out on taking a scenic canal cruise in traditional punting style. It’s a great way to get a unique perspective of the town while learning some of its history from a local guide. This is by far one of the most popular things to do in Canterbury!

Another must during your trip to Canterbury is visiting the Canterbury Cathedral. It’s one of the oldest cathedrals in England dating back to the year 597 and it has the most impressive interiors.

Canterbury also has many beautiful old pubs which are worth checking out. The Dolphin Pub always makes a great choice, it’s the oldest pub in town and has a very cosy, old-world vibe to it.

How to get from London to the Canterbury:

Many trains run every day Trains run daily from London Marylebone to Canterbury, taking around 1 hour 30 minutes (fastest route 50 mins).

Where to stay on a weekend break to Canterbury:

If you’re looking for the perfect place to base yourself in Canterbury, look no further than the Cathedral Gate Hotel. As its name suggests, it’s centrally located right next to the cathedral which is perfect for easy access to all of Canterbury’s major attractions.

 

Stratford-upon-Avon

By Emily from London City Calling.

Weekend trips from London to historic towns, medieval building Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon

Photo of Shakespeares Birthplace by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Stratford-upon-Avon has to be one of the most famous historic market towns in England and one of the best places for a UK weekend trip from London.

The medieval market town in the West Midlands is well known for being the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare, probably the most famous writer in the English language. Literary fans will love visiting Stratford-upon-Avon and learning more about the life of the talented British poet and playwright.

You can visit many interesting sites including the charming thatched medieval cottage where Shakespeare was born and spent his childhood, the site of Shakespeare’s New Place where he lived during his later years, his wife Anne Hathaway’s cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm (the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother).

Other than its Shakespearean history, Stratford-upon-Avon has plenty of other things to do such as exploring the local shops on the High Street or taking a boat ride down the beautiful River Avon.

The town also still has an active theatre scene, with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan Theatre the Bear Pit Theatre and The Other Place all showing regular performances from Shakespearean adaptions to modern musicals.

Check out this locals guide to Stratford-Upon-Avon for more.

How to get from London to Stratford-upon-Avon:

Trains run daily from London Marylebone to Stratford-upon-Avon and take around 2 hours 30 minutes.

 

Colchester

By Dee from Vanilla Papers.

Weekend trips from London to historic towns, high street with clocktower and shops in Colchester

Less than an hour by train from London, the historic town of Colchester is perfect for a weekend full of sightseeing and history.

There’s a High Street with some great shops in the smaller side streets, but the town’s real charm lays in its centuries-old history. Colchester was Britain’s first Roman-founded Colonia and claims to be Britain’s oldest recorded town.

Start your visit off at Colchester Castle, Europe’s largest Norman Keep. It’s built on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius and has a vast collection of historic items including medieval paintings, armour and Roman statues. The interactive displays make this a great stop for families, too.

The Dutch Quarter, just north of the High Street, was once home to Flemish Protestant refugees in the 16th century. It was regenerated in the 1970s and today it’s a charming and quiet residential area full of colourful (and very Instagrammable) facades.

The Bridge Cottage is another picture-perfect destination. The gorgeous 16th century thatched cottage on the River Stour served as inspiration for John Constable’s pastoral paintings. Today it houses an exhibit on the artist and a cosy riverside tea room that’s perfect for lunch.

The nearby Hollytrees Museum contains a beautiful collection of decorative arts, costumes and toys housed inside a Georgian townhouse.

How to get from London to Colchester:

Trains run regularly from London Liverpool Street to Colchester in just one hour.

 

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UK Weekend Breaks from London – COUNTRYSIDE:

Weekend countryside breaks from London, field with horses at sunset and heading

Some of the best UK countryside breaks so you can escape to the country for a couple of nights away from London…

 

The Lake District

Weekend countryside breaks from London, lake surrounded by forest and mountains in the Lake District

The Lake District is a national park in Cumbria in northwest England. The region is known for its beautiful lakes, mountainous hiking paths and historic market towns, making the Lake District the ideal UK weekend break from London for nature lovers and active travellers.

One of the best places to visit in the Lake District has to be Lake Windermere, which at 18kms long makes it England’s largest lake. There’s plenty to do both around and on the lake, with a number of nature hikes in the surrounding mountains, as well as historic castles and forts, cycle paths, boat rides, outdoor activities and more.

Popular historic market towns in the Lake District include Windermere (a small town on Lake Windermere itself), Ambleside, Grasmere, Keswick and Coniston Water, amongst others.

With a number of cosy Bed and Breakfasts, quaint country pubs, cute cafes serving afternoon tea and local activewear shops, these are all great places to base yourself for a weekend in the Lake District from London.

How to get from London to the Lake District:

From London jump on the train from London Euston to Oxenholme Lake District which takes roughly 3 hours. Then from Oxenholme, you can grab a regional train to the other popular market towns.

 

The Peak District

The Peak District is a large national park in the very south of the Pennines, spanning across Derbyshire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Great Manchester.

The area is split into two main areas, the Dark Peak which is where you’ll find the spacious moorland, while the White Peak is made up of limestone hills.

The peaks are home to many walking routes and cycle paths through the diverse parkland, charming spa towns, large country manors and plenty of outdoor activities such as rock climbing and caving.

In fact, the Peak District is also particularly known for its caves, which people still lived in right up until the early 1900s. The deepest cave in the Peak District is over 400 meters below the ground.

There are also plenty of fun things to do in the Peak District with kids.

How to get from London to the Peak District:

There are several different options for getting the train between London and the Peak District by travelling from London to cities including Machester or Sheffield then jumping on the smaller regional trains to reach your final destination. The journey takes between 3-4 hours on average. Find out more about the different train connections here.

 

Cheddar Gorge

By Darak from Darek and Gosia.

Weekend countryside breaks from London, road going between two cliff faces at Cheddar Gorge

Free this weekend and don’t have plans? Pack your walking shoes and head out west from London. In just over 2 hours you can get to the stunning Cheddar Gorge!

This limestone gorge near the village of Cheddar is located in the southern part of the Mendip Hills massif, in Somerset England. Cheddar Gorge is classified as the largest gorge in all of England and is also the most impressive natural wonder.

You can explore the collection of limestone caves in which the oldest human skeleton was discovered. The skeleton found was named “Cheddar Man” and can be seen in the Natural History Museum. The Gough Cave has impressive stalactites, and by participating in the Crystal Quest trip we will see many figurines of fantasy characters.

Cliff top gorge walk is another attraction you must do! After just 3 miles along the magnificent cliff tops, you’ll find an amazing picnic spot and enjoy the best views in Somerset. Along the way, you can meet lots of wild animals too.

Cheddar Gorge is also the famous its Cheddar cheese, which is known all over the world and originally comes from these caves. It is still stored in them during the maturing process, which you can see for yourself while strolling through the caves. Does it sound yummy?

How to get from London to Cheddar Gorge:

There are no direct trains from London to Cheddar Gorge, however, you can get the train from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads (1 hour 30 mins). From Bristol Temple Meads get the train to Weston-super-Mare (20-30 mins) then jump on Bus 126 (50 mins) or take a 20 minute taxi to Cheddar.

The easiest way to get to Cheddar Gorge from London would be by driving which takes around 2h30 to 3 hours.

 

White Cliffs at Eastbourne

By Jan from Leisurely Drives.

White Cliffs at Eastbourne UK Weekend Trip

The White Cliffs of south-eastern England are hard to view unless you go out to sea because usually, you cannot get a good look from the cliff edge. Eastbourne, just 75 miles and a mere 2-hour drive from London, gives you access to places where you can see the White Cliffs from up close.

You can reach the pebbly and tranquil beach at Birling Gap via a metal staircase and actually touch the towering cliffs. At a distance you will see the Seven Sisters, a line of seven white cliffs alongside the beach. If the tide is not in, you can walk on the beach and if it is, the classic cliff-top walking path gives you great views of the sea as well as Beachy Head.

If you drive along the shore-side road, past green meadows dotted with white sheep, you will reach Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, all of 531 feet above sea level. The beach here is not very accessible because of the high tides, but you can get good views of the cliffs from the top. There is a lovely lighthouse on the beach and another on the top – the restored Belle Tout lighthouse which is now a B&B. 

Eastbourne is a little seaside town with great scenery and a nice pier, plus the Eastbourne Redoubt, a circular coastal defence fort which was built in 1805 when Napoleon threatened to invade England. 

Several good accommodation options are available in Eastbourne including popular brands such as Cavendish, Best Western and Premier Inn.

You can have a lovely, relaxing weekend at Eastbourne – pleasant walks, great scenery and homely food – great fish and chips, and Victorian tea rooms!

How to get from London to Eastbourne:

You can travel by train from London Victoria or London Blackfriars to Eastbourne in roughly 2 hours.

 

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UK Weekend Breaks from London – OFFSHORE:

Offshore weekend breaks in the UK, cruise ship with heading

Did you know that you can take a weekend mini cruise from England?

Or that the UK has several offshore islands and territories which you can easily visit in a weekend from London?

Well, you do now…

 

Isle of Wight

By Mansoureh from Travel with Mansoureh.

Weekend trips in the UK from London, Isle of Wight coastline

The Isle of Wight in the south of England, not far from the mainland, can be the perfect destination for who is looking for a weekend break from the hustle-and-bustle of London.

The Isle of Wight is the largest English offshore island and it has a lot to offer to all types of visitors such as families with kids, couples or groups of friends.

If you have your own car, you have more freedom to go around and you can stay near the beautiful beaches, but if you want to roam around by public transport, it is better to stay in Newport where you are only a 20 minutes walk away from Carisbrooke Castle while being close to the main bus station. Then, you can easily hop on buses from Newport to go to different parts of the island including the Needles, the most popular iconic landmark of the isle of Wight.

It is nice to visit the Isle of Wight on a sunny weekend so you can cycle around the island and enjoy the beautiful nature without getting wet.

How to get from London to the Isle of Wight:

You can drive from London to Portsmouth, Southampton, or Lymington, then take a ferry to the island. If you are travelling on foot, the best option is to take a train from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour Station and from there take a ferry or a hovercraft.

 

Southampton Cruise

By Laura from Cruise Lifestyle.

Offshore weekend breaks in the UK, light and luxury interior of a cruise ship lounge with piano player

For a weekend getaway on the high seas, a mini cruise from Southampton is an opportunity to dip your toe into cruising.  From Southampton, popular weekend cruises will take you to destinations such as Hamburg and the Channel Islands in the comfort of a luxury cruise liner.

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is traditional cruising at it’s finest, with elegant lounges and the chance to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea with white glove service.

The beauty of taking a cruise is that meals are included in the cruise fare so whether that’s a quick bite to eat at the buffet or a three-course meal in the Britannia dining room, you don’t need to factor in extra spending money for food.

A cruise on this luxury liner is a fabulous excuse to get glammed up of an evening so you shouldn’t forget to pack something smart for the evening’s formal attire.  The liner has evening entertainment in the theatre or the option to sip cocktails or champagne in one of the many onboard bars.

Once you reach a destination, you are free to explore on your own or you can opt to book an excursion organised by the cruise company.  The advantage of booking through the cruise company is that it will guarantee that the ship won’t leave port without you but as long as you keep your eye on the time, it’s perfectly do-able to take in the sights at your own pace.

How to get from London to Southampton:

Trains from London to Southampton leave frequently from Waterloo Station and take just over an hour.  Once you reach Southampton, the cruise terminal is a 2-mile taxi ride from the train station.

 

Jersey

By Alice from Adventures of Alice.

Offshore weekend breaks in the UK, road overlooking cliffs, green scenery and ocean in Jersey

Jersey is a charming little island in the English Channel and it’s actually closer to France than the UK. Nevertheless, it’s such a beautiful island it’s undoubtedly one of the best weekend destinations from London.

Jersey is tiny but so picturesque. At just 9 miles across, it’s not far to visit any part of the island, no matter what area you stay in and there are certainly some great things to see.

Visit the Jersey War Tunnels, the magical Mount Orgueil Castle overlooking the village of Gorey and the beautiful bay of St Brelade. For a fabulous family day out, take a trip to Durrell Wildlife Park or head to the popular St Aubin’s Bay for some paddling in the waves. 

I spent a lot of my childhood exploring this gorgeous island and it literally has some of the most beautiful towns in Europe.

Don’t forget to spend some time in the island’s port capital, St Helier. Here you could spend a day wandering the cobbled streets and exploring the shops, visiting the Maritime Museum, the Jersey Art Gallery, or exploring the exquisite Elizabeth Castle which can only be visited at low tide.

Jersey is the absolute perfect place for a short break and such an easy and delightful weekend trip from London.

How to get from London to Jersey:

To get to Jersey, you can either take a short one hour flight from any London airport or take the ferry which takes about 4 hours departing from Portsmouth on the south coast. We chose to take the ferry when we visited because, even though it was the longer journey, it meant we could take our car with us, which made it a lot simpler to get around. 

 


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