If you’re heading into London for a holiday, don’t just keep to the city confines – there are some great places to explore just outside too.
Here we look at some of the best places to visit just a stone’s throw from the capital.
With its winding streets, medieval pubs and maritime history, stepping into Rye can feel like you’ve travelled back in time. You can spend a pleasurable day or two here exploring the passageways, quirky antique shops and castle. And if you fancy a beach day, you’re only a bus ride away to the wide and golden expanse of Camber Sands. Rye is just over an hour from London St Pancras with a change at Ashford International.
Croydon has established itself as a vibrant and arty borough. And whether you want to taste delicious street food at Boxpark, shop at London’s oldest street market, while away an hour at an art gallery or even see inside a windmill, you can do it all in Croydon. If you’re yearning for some green spaces, you can catch the train from East Croydon to Purley to explore the area’s many natural attractions like Foxley Wood Nature Reserve and the spectacular Riddlesdown quarry.
Situated on the banks of the Thames and flanked on the other side by the Chiltern Hills, the Georgian town of Marlow is stunning in every way. From walks along to Thames Path to Bourne End, the home of Enid Blyton, to the Grade I-listed suspension bridge, there is lots to admire. There are boutique shops to explore, as well as a plethora of charming cafes and bistros. For a real treat, book a table at Tom Kerridge’s The Hand & Flowers, the first pub ever to receive two Michelin stars.
Just 20 minutes out of London by train you’ll find the charming Hertfordshire town of St Albans. This town has existed for over 2000 years, when it was the Roman settlement of Verulamium and the remains of the Roman wall can still be seen today. Make sure to visit the breathtaking cathedral and then take a stroll in the sprawling Verulamium Park to admire it from a different viewpoint. The park is also home to a host of water birds including herons, and a beautiful ornamental lake.
With so much to see outside London, it would be a shame not to explore at least some of these places on your trip to the capital. Where would you like to visit?