Honestly, there’s a huge amount of places in England to explore, especially on a sunny day. We’re so fortunate to have a whole heap of the best day trips in England that are dotted all across the country. With everything from tropical-like islands to magnificent castles.
That being said, it can be pretty tough to nail down a few of the best day trips in England to head out on. This is especially true when you’ve got such a huge amount to see.
This is exactly why I wanted to share some of the best day trips in England that everyone can enjoy.
This’ll hopefully give you a load of relatively local spots to visit for one of the best day trips in England.
With that in mind, take a look at some of the best day trips in England that I’m sure you’ll love. Have the best trip!
1.) The Cotswolds
Nestled within a protected area of outstanding natural beauty, the Cotswolds is filled with rolling hills and quaint little villages and towns to boot! It’s the kind of place where you can spend a day driving around the country lanes and randomly just come across the prettiest little places.
To make things really easy, book this incredible Cotswolds tour from London. Along the way, you’ll stop at Bibury, Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold and more.
Just be sure to book your tour before arriving in London as the tour can fill up fast at peak times. Alternatively, check out the tours that have slightly different routes, too.
Not too far from the Cotswolds, Bath is a Roman city that’s totally steeped in history.
It’s a totally stunning city and one of the best day trips in England as it’s only a few hours by train from central London.
Once here, you’ve got to go visit the Roman baths that you can still tour to this day. Also, pop into Sally Lunn’s for some of her iconic buns that are famous in Bath.
They’re so tasty and a must-have when hunger strikes.
Afterwards, take a stroll around the town and see Bath Abbey and the circus, too. It’s a present of houses that are so beautiful and totally unique.
Finally, after strolling the cobbled streets, pop over to the Thermae Spa pool that’s heated by geothermal activity. Their outdoor pool is just so nice.
Though be warned, you can easily get sunburned, especially on a sunny day. Lather yourself in sun protection, like the ones Bioderma produce that’s not using nano mineral filters and are better for the environment.
Plus, you won’t look like a lobster when you leave the spa!
After a little dip, head inside for one of their massage treatments, too. They’re amazing.
Also, be sure to book this Bath walking tour with optional Roman Bath tickets. It’s a great way to explore the whole city and see all the main spots.
Just be sure to book before arriving in Bath; places fill up on weekends and you don’t want to miss out.
3.) Peak District
Being the oldest national park in the country, the Peak District is a totally gorgeous area to explore.
Plus, it’s one of the best day trips in England if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Now, after living in Cambridge for a year, I’ve come to realise how special this place is. You see, it’s not only steeped in history but it also has a shed load of gorgeous foodie spots and stunning university grounds to see, too.
Only 45-minutes from central London by train, it’s totally easy to visit if you’re wanting to see one of England’s prettiest little cities.
Yeah, it’s much smaller than the likes of London or Birmingham but it has a charm that is well-worth experiencing.
After arriving in Cambridge, make sure to head over to King’s College Chapel and see the ornate works that have stood for centuries.
Afterwards, book these tickets and hop on board a guided punting tour of Cambridge at your own pace. It’s so much fun, even in the colder months when you wrap up warm.
Alternatively, check out the (below) tours of Cambridge which are great options, too.
5.) The Jurassic Coast
Nestled on the south coast of England, the Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO-protected area of England that’s pretty unique.
You see, what makes the Jurassic Coast so special is its geological formations and the fact you can go fossil hunting, too.
Once here, take a stroll on the beach and keep your eyes peeled! If you’re patient, you’ll end up finding quite a few fossils that you’re actually allowed to keep. Though, no digging into the cliffs isn’t allowed.
Some people have even found dinosaur skeletons, too. It’s such a special place and a perfect spot for one of the best day trips in England.
After scouring the beach, head over to Corfe Castle for a wander around this ancient village.
Situated within Yorkshire, York is a Viking city that’s got a history dating back over 1,000 years.
Plus, it’s also a relatively small city which makes it one of the best day trips in England if you’re already in the area.
After arriving in the city, take a wander over to York Cathedral and climb the stairs to the views from the roof. You’ll get a gorgeous view of the walled city from up here.
Afterwards, head on over to the Shambles that’s a street that’s so quaint and pretty. It almost looks like it has fallen out of Harry Potter!
Afterwards, take a wander around the city walls, visit the castle and even head to Roots for a delicious seasonal meal.
It’s one of my favourite spots; plus, they have the tastiest cocktails.
Finally, if you want to take to the water, book these self-drive boats around York. It’s so much fun for a morning; we loved it.
Being England’s most northerly city, Newcastle is one of the best day trips in England if you’re heading up (or down) the east coast.
You see, over the last few decades, Newcastle has really made a name for itself as a great little city break, especially with all the things to do there.
If you love art, then check out the Laing Art Gallery or the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. These are great spots to visit, especially if the weather gets a little wet!
Afterwards, pop down to Sage, and wander the Riverside to see the Tyne Bridge. It’s an iconic part of Newcastle. You honestly can’t miss it.
8.) Northumberland Coast
Northumberland has a nickname as ‘castle country’ and it’s easy to see why once you arrive. It’s the county that has the most castles out of any in England and they’re totally stunning.
Once here, make sure to check out Bamburgh Castle which is huge and so imposing. Also, don’t forget to see Dunstanburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle, too. Now, you probably won’t have enough time to visit them all when searching for the best day trips in England, but you can certainly give it a shot.
Alternatively, stay for a few days and head out to see Holy Island that’s totally unique! It’s a tidal island that gets cut off from the mainland every day, so be sure to plan your trip in advance.
Once here, you can visit Lindisfarne Castle and even try some of the monks’ mead that they produce on the island (and is made from honey).
9.) Lake District
One of England’s newest UNESCO world-heritage-sites, the Lake District is just beautiful.
With around sixteen lakes in all, the Lake District is a great place to visit if you love the outdoors and you’re already in the northwest of England.
Now, the most famous lake to visit has to be Windermere, but if you want to avoid the crowds, pop over to the quieter (but still big) Ullswater.
From here, you can stay in places like Another Place and ramble around the hills and countryside before heading out onto the lake itself.
We decided on paddle boarding and also taking the traditional steamer across the lake itself.
It really is a stunning area of England and, if I’m honest, a great place to spend longer than just one day.
10.) St. Ives
Cornwall is a totally beautiful area within England to explore. Better still, it’s a really easy place to visit for one of the best day trips in England when you’re already in the southwest of the country.
Whilst here, make sure to check out the sandy beaches of St. Ives, take a wander around the town and find some of the best places to eat.
Pop into the Cellar Bistro for their freshly-caught sea bream and haddock that is always so tasty.
Alternatively, pop into the Mermaid Seafood Restaurant which serves some tasty seafood, too. Their hake is so yummy and the restaurant is so cute.
Situated around a 100-minute drive from central London, Arundel is dominated by its incredible castle that’s something to behold!
Occupied by the Howard family, it has a history that dates back almost 1,000 years. Nowadays, you can head inside the grounds and the grand rooms that still overlook the town of Arundel itself.
Once here, make sure to scale the Norman Motte and see the views of the quadrangle and courtyard of the castle itself.
Afterwards, head into the staterooms and libraries to get a glimpse of what castle life is really like. It’s totally incredible.
If you’re already in London, Windsor is probably one of the easiest (and arguably) one of the best day trips in England. You see, it’s only about 30-minutes on the train, right from the heart of central London.
Before arriving, be sure to book these tickets and head inside Windsor Castle and explore some of the staterooms and iconic grounds which the royal family call home.
You’ll likely spend about 3-4 hours here, so plan your day trip in advance.
Afterwards, pop over to Eton and take a boat trip down the River, too. It’s a great way to relax and see more of the area on a sunny day.