London is one of my favourite cities in the world and it will likely steal your heart too, but if you have any more than three days in the city, take the opportunity to get out of London and see more of the UK as there are some great day trips to take from London. Other great trips you can make from London are: Oxford, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, The Costwolds, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour, Brighton, Edinburgh and Bristol.
I will talk about the one we did, we went with Viator because it was easier this way to see 3 great places in just one day trip. They pick you up at your hotel early in the morning and the first stop is Windsor Castle. Afterwards we make our way to the beautiful town of Bath and last but not least the amazing Stonehenge. Its one of the most popular day trips from London and you have enough time to enjoy in each place. However, the one I wish I should’ve spend more time in us Bath, such a cute little town.
W I N D S O R C A S T L E
Home of the British Royal Family for 900 years, Windsor is the world's largest and oldest occupied castle and widely considered one of England’s finest. Is the Queen’s favorite castle - she stays there often and is also one of the most accessible. Windsor itself is a beautiful place to visit, but the highlight is the castle.
Our tour led us through the Windsor Royal Shopping arcade and the town before the gates of Windsor Castle. I really wished we had more time to spend here because they had some adorable shops. Explore the lavishly-decorated State Apartments and St George's Chapel and see the castle’s fascinating history and heritage. The Round Tower looms over the the castle complex.The tower is open for tours during August and September and visitors can climb the 200 steps to the top for some panoramic views of the area.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Admission Prices: Adult £17.75 ($28.50 US); Kids (17 years old and under) £10.60 ($17 US); Kids 5 and under are free; Family ticket £46.50 ($75 US) (2 adults and 3 kids under 17). Our tickets were included in our tour but these tickets were a bit pricey compared to other European castles. Pre-purchase tickets in advance to skip the lines.
- The Royal Standard flag flies high above when she is in residence.
- Changing of the Guard at the Lower Ward at 11 AM.
- There are no refreshment facilities anywhere within the Castle walls - Bring snacks and water. (You can find many stores and restaurants outside the gates and at the Windsor Royal Shopping)
- As expected, visitors go through an airport type security before entering the castle gates.
- St. George’s Chapel is closed on Sundays for services.
- Combined castle entrance and train fares are available at some London train stations.
B A T H
Bath sits in the west of England, famed for it’s Roman Baths and its elegant Georgian architecture - the city has such an amazing history, is one city everyone needs to visit in the UK at least once. Visitors all over the world flock to Bath each year and it’s one of the most popular cities to visit and widely considered one of England’s prettiest cities, so if you’ve never considered it before, you probably should now.
Roman Baths ~ Bath’s legacy was pioneered by the Celts and then built by the Romans, who took the natural bubbling hot water and channeled them into a beautiful bath house and temple complex. These days, visitors can see the sacred spring, a Roman temple and the bath house. The Roman Baths made Bath a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Be enchanted by the town's beautiful streets and alleyways, capturing the sites on camera as you go. You'll see Bath Abbey and the much-photographed Pulteney Bridge, modeled on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. And enjoy your time at the Prior Park with its cool Palladian Bridge (which, fun fact, is one of only four remaining in the world)
The most prestigious address in Bath is without a doubt The Royal Crescent. This curved row of 30 Georgian townhouses set against a large green lawn is a photographers dream and visited by hundreds of thousands of interested tourists each year.
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Soak in the Thermae Bath Spa | Eat a Sally Lunn Bun | Be a Hopeless Romantic at the Jane Austen Center | Catch the sunset at Alexandra Park | Enjoy the Botanical Gardens atthe Royal Victoria Park
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- A little history fact ~ The Celts first built a shrine in Bath’s hot water springs and dedicated it to Sulis who was the local goddess of the thermal springs. When the Romans invaded Britain, the town became known by its ancient Roman name of Aquae Sulis or “waters of Sulis”. The Romans built temples and bathing complexes in the area starting in 75 AD. Believed to have healing powers from the goddess and along with the mineral-laden waters, the springs were considered sacred and became a popular attraction in the Roman Empire.
- It’s just 100 miles west of London, it’s possible to do as a day trip from the capital; however, overnighting or spending a weekend in Bath is a smart decision.
- Roman Baths ~ Admission Tickets: Adults start at £12.75 ($20 US) and kids 6 years old and above are £8.50 ($13 US).
If your itinerary allows it, spend more than a day in Bath. It is such a lovely city offering many attractions. We’d love to go back here and spend a few days.
S T O N E H E N G E
A collection of stones dragged to this lonely plain near Salisbury 5,000 years ago. This ancient stone circle is still a place of strong spiritual significance, and continues to capture the imagination of the many visitors it welcomes each year.
Why the stones were placed here and what purpose they served remains a mystery though, so wander around the site at your leisure and decide for yourself why these age-old rocks have found themselves here. Perhaps we’ll never really know the real history behind the construction of the monument, but you will definitely get a glimpse into the theories and evolution of the area at the Visitor Center.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- I thought its location in an open field in the English countryside would have that feeling of solitude but it didn’t. It was by two busy roads and we heard the sound of cars a lot in addition to all the tourists walking around.
- Visitors are no longer allowed to walk within the circle of stones, which will cut down on erosion and damage to the monument.
- The center contains exhibits, a gallery, a gift shop and cafe. It is located about a mile from the actual monument, so you need to catch a shuttle that will take you there. Shuttles depart the visitor center every 5 minutes.
- The current cost of a ticket is £14.50 for adults and £8.70 for children. There are family discounts available too.
- Another option for a Do-It-Yourself visit is taking the train to Salisbury from London (1 hr 20 min) and go on a Hop-On-hop-Off bus to Stonehenge.
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