Part I: 8 Must-See Places in England Beyond London
London itself is worth the trip. Certainly - I have lived there for a year and it is safe to say that this is the most cosmopolitan city ever (I am not even sure whether New York City can beat it). Culture, history, loads of activities - the diversity of England’s capital is immense.
However, once in London other places worth seeing are not far. I have travelled a bit throughout my year on royal ground and I can assure you: there is much to see in England (far more than I can list here). Therefore, I’ll share with you my 8 English must-see places easily reachable by train or coach. London, undoubtedly, is a good starting point for day trips of short getaways. Here is PART I of my 8 Must-See Places in England Beyond London.
Stonehenge is one of the world heritage sites. There are a few theories about how the stones got there and if you you’re there it even is a bit “magical.” No one knows for sure how the big and heavy stones - also known as the mysterious hanging stones - got there. It was my very first trip out of London and I enjoyed it very much. Hear about the hypotheses and get some more information about this well-known world heritage. It’s worth the visit but I would also say it’s one of those things you visit once in a lifetime and then you can tick it off the list. If you take a coach from London, it’s about a 2 hour ride.
After having visited Stonehenge, the old Roman city Bath was on the agenda. The architecture is beautiful and the city thus very picturesque. If you travel by car or coach, it take you approximately 2 and a half hours to get to Bath. If you make it a combi day trip (like I did last year in October) you go to Stonehenge first and then continue the journey to Bath. From the world heritage site to the town it takes about another hour. Don’t miss Bath, the city famous for the “old Roman Baths.” It’s a world cultural heritage and thus quite a few people are making their way down there. It is one of the most beautiful places in England, apparently. You can spend your time wandering around the town, learn more about its history, visit many museums (don’t miss the famous Roman Baths and the magical healing springs) and shop your way around the little independent and unique shops. Not only is Bath itself beautiful but also the whole region. It was particularly breathtaking in autumn when the leaves are changing. The town is perfect for a relaxed weekend getaway.
The university of Cambridge - which the city is mainly known for - was established in 1209 and thus makes it even older than Oxford. The colleges are very impressive and walking around townn allows you to soak in a bit of the elite spirit. You should definitely go punting (see the second picture) because you get a different view on Cambridge while learning about the colleges and their history. If you’re lucky a smart Cambridge student is giving you the tour. Walk the little alleyways afterwards, visit a few of the colleges (some charge you for entrance) and sit down for a hot chocolate in one of the unique little cafés. From London Kings Cross, it’s less than an hour by train. Sweet and easy - the ideal day trip destination.
Although Cambridge is one (little) step ahead regarding education, I have to say Oxford wins the overall race. It is about half the size of its “opponent” and the architeture is more beautiful in my opinion. If you take the train from London, it will take you a little over an hour to reach this charming town. Because of the latter, the city is also referred to as “city of dreaming spires.” Oxford is very historic and you can easily discover the town on the walk as places do not seem to be as far apart as in Cambridge (don’t get me wrong, most of the places there are within walking distance, as well). Undoubtedly, the university is a stunner and so is the main library, as you can see on the last picture. I travelled to Oxford by coach (National Express), which was a) way chaeper and b) doesn’t take too much longer, around 1.30h and 1.45 h. However, if you know early enough when you want to go there, you can look into discount rail tickets before booking your tickets via National Express.
Stay tuned for Part II of “8 Must-See Places Beyond London.”
Have you been to one of those places?