As one of the most popular cities in the world, and ranked #1 best city for 2021 (Timeout 2020), London has an unimaginable amount to offer. From incredible food to stunning nature, there really isn’t anything you can’t find in this culturally diverse hub.

As much as we love London and all that it has to offer, sometimes it’s great to have a change of scenery and escape from the hustle and bustle of it all. We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favourite places to head for a much-needed break, and have divided them by interest to make the decision for your next weekend trip much easier.


  • Windsor Castle

It has been the family home of British Kings and Queens for almost 1,000 years and is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. You may recognise the name as it is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot 2 years ago. This is a perfect visit if you’re interested in the British Monarchy or if you enjoy looking at impressive historic architecture.

  • Oxford Castle and Prison

Known as one of England’s most romantic cities (Rifenery29 2018), Oxford is only a few hours away from the capital. Once you get to the castle and prison, you’ll have the chance to climb 101 steps to see the panoramic views of the city from the top of the tower, and you’ll go underground into the candle-lit crypt, stepping inside 18th Century prison cells. You’ll end up walking down the cobbled roads feeling like you’ve travelled to a different time as you pass by all the fairy-tale-like spires and towers.


  • Hiking up to Box Hill viewing point in Surrey

Only an hour away by car, this viewing point is a must-see for anyone looking to take a day trip from London. This walk takes in some glorious views of the Surrey Hills, one of which is the path of The Stepping Stones. This Stones path is known for being the best spot to stop and watch the river flow by, and has plenty of Instagram-worthy moments.

  • A trip to Woburn Safari Park

Woburn Safari Park is a wild animal park, set in over 360 acres of beautiful parkland. It is home to over 1,000 wild and exotic animals, and the perfect day out for animal encounters and visiting wonderful wildlife. Just make sure you don’t feed the animals any of the snacks you’ll be munching on and you’re good to go!

Family fun

  • Warner Bros: The Making of Harry Potter

Wander through the wizarding world of Harry Potter through its sets, props and costumes which you’ll find just a mere 20 minutes away from central London by train. A perfect escape for any Potter fan, you’ll have the chance to step into iconic sets such as the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office and the Wand Room. You can even experience what it is like to be a wizard by treating yourself to a butterbeer and taking a ride on a broomstick!


The name gives it away but this place is heaven on earth for anyone who’s a fan of Lego. This theme park has more than 55 interactive attractions including rides, opportunities to meet characters and watch live shows – a guaranteed way to entertain the whole family.

Food & Drinks

  • Denbies Wine Estate

Known for being the largest vineyard in England, and only an hour outside of London, Denbies Wine Estate could easily be the perfect country escape. Their tour will give you some insight into the process of how they make their wine while giving you the opportunity to taste their products and judge for yourself. By the end of the tour, you’ll probably be the go-to person in your friendship group for all things wine.

  • Cadbury Factory

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This day out will be fun for the whole family as you’ll learn the history behind the Cadbury brand, watch the production line at work and have a go at making your own chocolate. Let me repeat that – you’ll get to make your own chocolate and eat it too!

There you have it, our list of a few of our top things to do on a day trip outside of central London. Based on circumstances related to COVID-19 at the point of this publication, some of the indoor activities listed above might not be open at the time of reading this blog. However, you could always note them down and visit them at a later date once it’s safe to do so.  Whether you visit next weekend or in the future, we hope you have an incredible experience!

Quick contact

Please note, this will overwrite any previous communication preferences you may have already specified to us on our website or websites relating to our University Partners. You can change your communication preferences at any time. QA Higher Education will process your personal data as set out in our privacy notice