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what's the best day trip outside of London?

California
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what's the best day trip outside of London?

I will be spending some time in London in March 2009 and was interested in a nice day trip outside of the city, maybe a castle area, some where with some green countryside

I have already been to Cambridge/Oxford areas

I would also prefer to travel by rail (not bus)

what is the best place to go?

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Redlands, California
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1. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

If you are going late enough in March, I would highly recommend the town of Arundel. Arundel Castle opens to the public on March 21. It's a lovely trip by train and can be combined with a visit to the Fishbourne Roman Palace (roman ruins) in Fishbourne just a stop or two past Arundel on the train.

Pickering England
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2. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

York-2 hours each way by train to what is recognised as the best tourist city in the country. Minster and city walls, National Railway Museum, river side walks, great restaurants and shopping, Castle Museum, Jorvik Viking experience, ghost walks. Even better if you can manage an over night stay.

Bingley, United...
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3. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

Best 3 day trips

a) York

b) York

c) York

Just check out the York sub-forum to see why

California
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4. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

thanks for replies

I was thinking of spending time in York on my next trip, I don't want to be too rushed with only one day

I was thinking I wanted to spend a couple of nights in Bath on next trip as well

so if you only had one day....???

any opinions on Windsor, Brighton, Leeds Castle...

Harleysville...
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5. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

I would choose Windsor. It's a charming town, the castle tour is excellent, the changing of the guards is better than in London - IMHO - there is good shopping, and the town of Eaton is adorable. Just about 30 - 40 minutes by train by London.

London, England
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6. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

Leeds Castle looks much more like a fairy tale castle than most English castles and would make a very relaxed and interesting day trip. The grounds are lovely if the weather is good and the inside is interesting if it is cold and rainy.

The town centre of Canterbury is pretty and, besides the cathedral, you can also walk almost all around the old town centre on top of the ancient wall.

But in the end, Brighton probably has the best combination of intersting restaurants, good shopping and the superb Brighton Pavillion; a fantasy building that has to be seen to be believed, The tea room in the Pavillion is also more than reasonably good.

Canterbury, United...
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7. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

Leeds Castle - it is beautiful but difficult to get to without a car. You'd either need to go on a tour bus from somewhere or train to Maidstone then taxi to the castle.

Canterbury - nice to walk around and the cathedral is stunning, 90 mins by train from Victoria station. But there's only a small section of the walls that you can actually walk on.

London
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8. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

If you want a castle that can be easilly reached by train from London then Arundel is a good choice, other options include Rochester (also has a cathederal), Dover (spectacular views of the coast) and Warwick. Leeds Castle is in a beautiful setting, but isn't on a direct rail link, buses may connect with the trains from a station at Bearsted. All of these destinations have simple ticket arrangements, buy your ticket at the departure station and the fare will be no different to booking in advance. No need to reserve seats either.

York is a fantastic city and yes it can be reached in under two hours by train, but each time I've planned a day trip there I've been unable to find a cheap enough ticket to make it worthwhile. It's a destination to which limited number of advanced tickets are availablle at a discount on specific trains, but in the case of York they seem to be particularly hard to find, perhaps beacause it's a such a popular destination. I've tried to plan trips 6 - 8 weeks ahead and been unable to find tickets for less than £30 each way on trains that leave London in time to may a day trip feasible. Others will have had more luck, but it's a destination that benefits from advance planning. Tickets are placed on sale three months ahead of your travel date, so if you commit soon you may find a cheap fare.

Portsmouth, United...
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9. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

Portsmouth,

No countryside,

but lots of fresh sea air,

more history than you could care for,

Shopping, Castles, sea forts, hill forts,

old ships, d-day, etc etc.

1h 20m from London by train

Meadow Lands...
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10. Re: what's the best day trip outside of London?

I absolutely agree with the short train ride to Windsor. Love the whole castle tour with the beautiful chapel and the doll's house and I also love walking the town and grounds. I've taken seven student groups on various trips to parts of the UK and including London, and Windsor is always their favorite. I often go back on my own.

Stratford sometimes gets less than stellar reviews here but I lived there for 8 weeks one summer and took many, many walks out into the countryside, through pastures (with permission!) It's easy to get to Warwick-- lovely grounds and take your walking shoes for tower climbing! -- from Stratford and the tours usually include a stop at Kenilworth.

Lots of great suggestions here. Have a wonderful time!