Top 10 day trips from St Pancras
Discover the top 10 best day trips from St Pancras International
While London has a lot to explore, there are so many wonderful places within 2 hours of St. Pancras which you can discover in a day.
Whether you are looking to whizz off for 24 hours in Paris, or stay closer to home exploring the Sussex coastline, travelling by train from St. Pancras leads to many destinations, and it is the greener way to go!
Let’s get into it - 10 of the best day trips from London!
South East England's coolest beach destination is ideal for a Summer day trip, this easy to commute location will become one of your favourite beach day trips from London.
If you are planning a one day trip from London, Brighton is the answer for many reasons. For those interested in architecture, the Royal Pavilion is a must-visit as it’s arguably the most recognised building on the skyline of Brighton. However, the Upside Down House won’t disappoint those keener on a more interactive experience.
Looking for street art? Head to Frederick Place to spot one of the most famous Banksy murals and the Dead Rock Start Mural. If this wasn’t enough, include Trafalgar Lane in your itinerary and appreciate the vibrant street art scene well known for its Graffiti. Visit The Lanes to take in Brighton's thriving drinks, restaurants, and independent shopping scene. Brighton is also home to several excellent coffee shops, perfect for satisfying your caffeine cravings and of course, you will have to try some fish and chips! Remember, Brighton Beach is pebble, so make sure to bring a towel or deck chair if you're in the mood for a beach day.
Getting there: Brighton is 1 hour 23minutes from St Pancras International, via Thameslink.
Margate is a perfect symbiosis of creativity, coastal beauty, and a vibrant atmosphere, making it one of the most popular seaside day trips from London. The Old Town boasts a quirky and independent spirit, evident through its eclectic mix of vintage stores, boutique shops, and unique eateries, all while embracing the beauty of its sandy beaches.
This retro-charm city has something for everyone. It offers a rich history, which is apparent in its architecture and landmarks. The town's heritage can be explored through notable buildings, such as the historic Margate Old Town. Additionally, Margate is filled to the brim with a range of cultural and entertainment offerings. Visitors can enjoy various festivals, including the Margate Soul Festival, Margate Bookie literary festival, and the Margate Jazz Festival.
Feeling nostalgic for the past? There's room for that too. You can enjoy an amusing walk in the iconic Dreamland amusement park or “roll back” in time at the Roller Disco.
Getting there: Margate is 1 hour 30 minutes from St. Pancras International via Southeastern Railway.
Folkestone is not another coastal town, this vibrant artistic and scenic location where you can stumble upon something new every time you visit, is an excellent idea for a day trip away from London.
The first thing to do when visiting Folkestone is to head to Old High Street, believe me, it will brighten your day up. Scroll along the street discovering local and independent shops while enjoying the colourful explosion of its facades. Walking along Old High Street you will find yourself at the Creative Quarter, a lively area filled with art galleries, studios and cafes.
If the idea of street food appeals to you, your next stop must be the Folkestone Harbour Arm, this restored Victorian pier that now houses a variety of food and drink establishments, including cafes, bars, and restaurants. It's a great place to enjoy waterfront views and sample local cuisine.
Getting here: Folkestone Central and Folkestone West stations are just under an hour from St. Pancras International via Southeastern Railway.
Thinking of day trips outside of London but don't know where to go? Let us help you.
Canterbury is a historic city located in Kent, in southeastern England, and it's indeed a true mediaeval germ. While the murder of Thomas Becket, a former archbishop, in Canterbury Cathedral turned the city into a prominent pilgrimage site in England, its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site continues to attract visitors to this day.
With its origins in the Middle Ages, Canterbury treats visitors to the delightful beauty of its charming cobbled streets and picturesque half-timbered architecture in the Old Town. The Westgate Towers, a well-preserved mediaeval gatehouse, offers panoramic views of the city and is a testament to Canterbury's historical past. For history lovers, Canterbury is home to museums such as the Roman Museum or The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge. The latter, in particular, is worth a visit not just for its exhibits but also for its impressive architecture.
Your day out from London has to finish with a picturesque boat trip through the beautiful River Stour. Admire the scenic sights of Canterbury while enjoying a relaxing boat tour that will take you, mentally, to Venice.
Getting here: Canterbury West is just 51 minutes from St. Pancras International via Southeastern Railway
Rye has earned its place on the list of the best one day trips from London, thanks to its rich history, preserved medieval architecture, quaint charm, artistic inspiration, coastal beauty, and culinary delights.
The small city of Rye is renowned for its stunning architecture, characterised by charming cobblestone alleyways that lead to cosy tea rooms like Cobbes Tea Room and the half-timbered facades of local pubs on Mermaid Street. This combination makes Rye the perfect destination for foodies.
Rye's strategic coastal location offers a perfect opportunity to take a bus ride to Camber Sands, a sandy beach that caters to sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts.
Getting there: Rye is 1 hour and 12 minutes from St.Pancras International. Hop on a Southeastern Railway train to Ashford International then board a National Rail Southern Train straight to Rye.
6. Day trip to St. Albans
You might not believe your eyes, but the perfect day trip from London is just 30 minutes away. St. Albans is a charming countryside city located in Hertfordshire, England, with a heritage dating back to Roman times.
This picturesque town offers a delightful blend of culture and relaxation. Start your itinerary at the Cathedral, the site believed to be where St. Albans, the first Christian martyr in Britain, was executed in the 8th century. Originally an abbey, the Cathedral boasts the largest nave in England. Its stunning combination of stained glass windows, exquisite artwork in the archeries, and its impressive sturdy tower make it a must-visit site. If you want to delve deeper into the story of St. Alban, join the city in June for the Alban Festival, which culminates in the Alban pilgrimage parade.
To truly experience the Roman heritage of the city, head to Verulamium Park. This scenic setting takes its name from the Roman city of Verulamium, and you can still see remnants of the old city walls adjacent to the park. Before exploring the Verulamium Museum, make sure to visit the Hypocaust, a must-see attraction. This marvel of Roman engineering, covered by a well-preserved mosaic, is one of the earliest examples of indoor heating in Britain.
St. Albans is also a fantastic destination for independent shopping. If your visit happens to coincide with a Wednesday or Saturday, be sure to explore the Charter Market on High Street. As you stroll along the street, don't miss the Clock Tower on your way to Britain's oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks
Getting there: St. Albans City is just 20 minutes away from St. Pancras International via Thameslink.
Have you heard about Deal? If you haven't, let me tell you why Deal is one of the best seaside day trips from London.
Located on the coast of Kent, Deal might not be as widely known as some other destinations, but when it comes to day trips out of London, Deal is a big deal! The city's character stems from its maritime heritage, which is still evident today. You can feel it as you stroll along its historic pier or relax at one of the waterfront bars.
If you're interested in exploring the town's fascinating history and why Deal was once one of the largest ports in the UK, you might want to join one of the Deal History Walking Tours. Additionally, the city is well-equipped with explanatory panels scattered throughout, allowing you to explore and discover the town at your own pace.
A must-visit attraction is Deal Castle, an impressive and well-preserved artillery fort built by Henry VIII in the 16th century. This castle stands as a testament to Tudor-era military architecture. Strategically constructed to defend the southeastern coast of England, it features a circular tower surrounded by six bastions, making it a prominent landmark in the town.
This quaint city also offers opportunities for quirky shopping. In the heart of the town's Georgian conservation area, you'll find The Farmer's Market, a delightful local market held on the first Saturday of every month. For beer enthusiasts, The Just Reproach is a fantastic option. This micropub has been serving craft beers and real ales since 2011 and has become an integral part of the Deal community. If you prefer a more historic setting, Deal Hoy is the perfect pub for you.
Getting there: Deal is 1 hour 30 minutes from London St. Pancras International via Southeastern Railway.
8. Day trip to Cambridge
Cambridge is considered one of the best day trips from London due to its unique blend of intellectual heritage and natural serenity, a must-have experience on your bucket list.
The city of Cambridge is renowned for being home to one of the oldest universities in the world and for producing alumni with some of the brightest minds, such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Stephen Hawking. The beauty of the university college buildings, including King's College, Trinity College, and St John's College, adds to the city's charm and creates an academic atmosphere. One of the best ways to admire this architectural complex is by strolling or punting along the River Cam.
While Cambridge is filled with cafes on every corner, the abundance of green spaces and tranquil gardens provide peaceful retreats where a picnic is always a good idea. If you have a green thumb, a visit to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a must. It offers a wide variety of plant collections and serene landscapes to explore.
Travelling by train from St. Pancras is an environmentally friendly way to reach Cambridge, and you can extend this eco-consciousness by embracing the city's cycling culture. Cambridge is renowned as one of the most cycling-friendly cities, allowing visitors to explore its charming streets and attractions on a bicycle throughout the year.
Getting there: Cambridge is 59 minutes away from St. Pancras International Station by EMR.
Have you ever thought about doing on a day trip from London to Paris? The idea might leave you speechless, but thanks to the incredible connection between London and the rest of Europe through Eurostar, this is entirely possible.
Whether you have a job-related day trip to Paris or you want to celebrate a special occasion in the City of Light, this Eurostar day trip will take you there in just 2 hours, and it’s airport stress-free!
If you think that 24 hours won't be enough, consider hopping on a Seine River Cruise to check off the main tourist sites, and then head to Montmartre, where there are plenty of bars and restaurant options, making it an ideal choice for lunch. For art enthusiasts, take note that on the first Sunday of every month, many museums offer free entry. Looking for more must-see attractions? check out our destination guide for Paris.
Getting there: Paris is just a 2-hour journey from St. Pancras International via Eurostar, and with carbon dioxide emissions up to 14 times less than the equivalent flight, your travel will be guilt-free!
It's a fact that Brussels has enough art, culture, and cuisine to keep even the most ambitious explorer busy for days. Fortunately, Brussels can be experienced in a day trip from London by breaking it down into manageable chunks.
Similar to its neighbouring country, France, Brussels is just a 2-hour journey from St. Pancras International, saving you the stress of commuting to the airport. Eurostar takes you directly to Brussels-Midi/Zuid (Brussels South) station.
Getting there: Brussels is 2 hours from St. Pancras International when travelling by Eurostar. And with carbon dioxide emissions up to 14 times less than the equivalent flight, travel is guilt-free!
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