Here’s nine inspiring trips that can easily be taken in a day and back.
Packed lunch – check, sun hat – check, bucket and spade – check, you’re ready for a day trip to Bournemouth. This bustling seaside resort is great any time of year, with plenty to see and do. Most come for its seven miles of golden sands, but it’s also home to a thriving bar scene and great shops. An ‘Instagramers’ dream, there’s plenty to snap and share, from cute and colourful beach huts, to its famous pier, and local surfers chopping up the waves. After a spot of sunbathing, head over to the Botanical Gardens before sneaking in a quick bag of fish and chips – it would be rude not to!
Getting here – Direct trains to Bournemouth take around two hours, from here the beach is walkable, or a short bus ride away.
London has it all. Whether you fancy a day shopping on Oxford Street, or a boat ride along the River Thames taking in the historical sights. Perhaps you’ll sneak in a trip to the Churchill War Rooms, or a five-star meal from the dizzy heights of a rooftop restaurant – there’s so many ways to fill a day in London. There are also endless free events and exhibits to enjoy, including the National Gallery and Tate Modern. For a truly memorable experience though, Shakespeare’s Globe must be visited for anyone with a love of literature, thirst for theatre, or appreciation of Shakespeare. Reconstructed to emulate the original Globe Theatre built in 1599, performances today include Romeo & Juliet and the Twelfth Night.
Getting here – Direct trains to London Paddington take an hour, plus a 20-minute journey to Waterloo. From here it’s a short walk along the scenic River Thames.
3. Oxford to the Cotswolds
If you’re looking for a relaxing and restorative day trip from Oxford, then add the Cotswolds to your itinerary. Here you can find 800 square miles of British countryside, with cottages and castles peppered around. Wonderful to explore by foot, you can lose a whole day marvelling at its quaint antique shops and gently flowing rivers, surrounded by green British countryside. Before hurrying home, make sure you stop off for afternoon tea - it’s a tradition.
4. Oxford to Blenheim Palace
Where grandeur and royalty combine, Blenheim Palace on the outskirts of Oxfordshire has a rich and fascinating history. Birthplace to Winston Churchill, and once-home to the first Duke of Marlborough, today it remains as noble as ever in all its 18th-century glory. Visitors on day trips from Oxford, as well as those beyond our shores, love to visit this enchaining piece of living history. With impeccable grounds, it’s a delightful setting to stroll around at your leisure.
Getting here – A quick 40-minute journey to Hanborough Station, followed by a gentle walk to the unmissable estate.
The place that gave Bournville its name, indulge in a day of chocolatey delights at Cadbury World! The tastiest day trip from Oxford offers plenty of mouth-watering opportunities and is great family fun. Learn about the history of chocolate, have a go at making your own bar and take a trip to the Aztec jungle – enjoyable for kids and big kids alike. After all that hard work, you’ll have worked up an appetite, making it a rather convenient place to stop over for the day.
Getting here – 1hr 30m by train, head to Bourneville, changing at Birmingham New Street. Upon arrival it’s a 15-minute walk – after all that sugar, you’ll be grateful for it.
6. Oxford to The Living Rainforest
From green iguanas to poison dart frogs, and two-toed sloth to tropical plants, the Living Rainforest in Berkshire is a hidden gem in the British countryside. With over 650 species of plants and animals to discover, you can easily clock up your daily 10,000 steps walking around its tropical glasshouses! Expect to see lizards roam free and all kinds of endangered species, all underpinned with a positive sustainability message at heart.
Getting here – It’s little over an hour (1h 13m) from Oxford to Newbury station via Reading, from here it’s a 20-minute taxi ride.
7. Oxford to The Making of Harry Potter
For any die-hard Harry Potter fan, the day trip from Oxford to Watford makes for a memorable experience. A tour that both kids and adults will love, it’s hard not to be mesmerised by ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ studio tour by Warner Bros, which brings the magic of the film to life with lots of special effects. Handle the props, check out the costumes and immerse yourself in the wizardry of it all – some say it’s truly spellbinding.
Getting here – There’s plenty of options, but the quickest is by train to London Marylebone (1h 18m) connecting on to London Euston, followed by a final train to Watford Junction – from here shuttle buses are provided. Allow for two and a half hours each way.
It’s not just any shopping experience, a day trip from Oxford to Bicester Village is popular with those seeking designer brands at bargain prices. This fashion outlet is home to 160 designer and fashion brands, with up to 60% off. From British designers like Anya Hindmarch and Alexander McQueen, to international favourites such as Dior and Coach, make sure you come armed with a credit card, or two. When it’s time to refuel, there’s plenty of upmarket eateries to choose from.
Getting here – It’s couldn’t be easier, just a half hour train ride from Oxford to Bicester Village.
There are many wonderful castles dotted around the country to visit, with many to choose from. What makes Warwick Castle so special, is the way its medieval history is brought to life. This landmark fortress, originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068, has theme-park qualities with, falconry displays, daily shows, a Princess tower and dungeon, to bring little imaginations to life. On sunnier days, the bank of the River Avon provides a delightful spot to soak up its history, as a fun family day trip from Oxford.
Getting here – The journey takes an hour changing at Banbury to Warwick Station. From here the castle is a mere mile away.