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Day trip out of London to see a castle

Miami, Florida
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Day trip out of London to see a castle

Hello! I will be in London May 14-19 and wanted to take a day trip out of the city, preferably one where I could visit an awesome castle. I REALLY wanted to do Highclere castle as I'm a Downton Abbey fan but it appears to be booked completely. I'd like to see one with a lot of history (I mean, this should be easy haha) and some antique furniture inside. Does anyone here have any recommendations on the coolest castles to see?

Also, I had wanted to do a trip out to Bath as well. Would it be possible to do both of these things in one day if I get started very early? And are there any castles close enough to Bath to even make this possible?

Thanks for any help.

Winchelsea, United...
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21. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

"I'd like to leave the city for a bit :)"

Good for you ! London is great, but there's so much more to England. For one thing, you might actually meet some locals on your travels !

Mike

Plymouth
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22. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

Do you want to visit a castle, which was primarily a fortified place, or a 'stately home' which was built for domestic, residential purposes? I'm not a Downton Abbey fan, but from what I know about it, I'm guessing Highclere is a 'stately home' .

Blenheim Palace near Oxford is one of the grandest stately homes in the country.

Miami, Florida
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23. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

Eclectic_Angel, thank you for making me aware about these! I didn't know they existed.

I love going to old properties and admiring the architecture, history, and decor so it's looking like I'll be doing a few of the ones suggested instead of just one. Yay!

East Coast
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24. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

As previously mentioned by several other posters, visits to Oxford (by train or coach) and Blenheim Palace (by bus from Oxford) can be combined in an easy but very full day trip from London. If you do go to Blenheim, take some time to look around the small town of Woodstock:

visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com/oxfordshire/to…

Another stately home well worth visiting is Knole, on the outskirts of the town of Sevenoaks (easily reached by train from Charing Cross Station):

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole/

Or, you could do a day trip to the town of Stamford and nearby Burghley House:

www.stamford.co.uk/tourism/attractions.shtml

http://www.burghley.co.uk/

Moscow, Idaho
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25. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

I bought a book called "Day Trips from London" online that was extremely helpful. It had detailed instructions for using public transportation to get to a lot of really interesting places. My favorite day out was to Leeds Castle in Kent. Beautiful, ancient, scenic and lots to do as well. I highly recommend the book and the castle!

Essex
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26. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

Osterly Park is easy, being a mile or so from Osterly Station, on the Picadilly Tube Line.

Ham House, Syon Park and Chiswick House are easy to visit from Richmond-on-Thames, end of the District Line.

But, if you want to visit a Jacobean House, upon whom the "Jacobethan" style architecture of Highclere is based, then maybe Audely End would suffice.

Train from Liverpool Street to Audley End, short walk from there...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audley_End_House

Burleigh is the same era....

Sussex
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27. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

Everyone has their favourites: Leeds Castle (in Kent, not Yorkshire!) is often called the most romantic castle in England. It looks like it is rising out of the water. Classical concerts are often held there. That's about an hour but involves a walk or taxi at the end. Hever Castle in West Kent is very pretty - dates back to 1270 and was once the home of Anne Boleyn (Henry VIII's 2nd wife). You can get trains from Victoria or London Bridge to Edenbridge Town and then a taxi from there. The village of Bampton in Oxfordshire is where the exterior shots of Downton village are actually filmed - pretty place with lovely pubs but too far for a day trip and not well served by public transport. Highclere Castle (not really a castle) is sold out for 2014 visits. Bath is lovely but please don't do a day trip. No, the most obvious place is WINDSOR castle - it is the oldest occupied castle and the largest in the world. Trains go from London Waterloo (one hour) and Paddington (half an hour I think). The town of Windsor is interesting too.

U.S. expats
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28. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

Windsor would be an easy trip, and I don't think you would be disappointed.

Visiting Windsor Castlle...

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186419-c157824/Winds…

Getting there by train from London...

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186419-c157699/Winds…

Arlington, TX
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29. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

Windsor or Hever are both stately and a castle and enough history to keep you fascinated for hours! Hampton Court is also drenched in history and beautiful. The gardens at Hever are my favorite of the three if that matters.

Kent, UK
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30. Re: Day trip out of London to see a castle

>>Everyone has their favourites: Leeds Castle (in Kent, not Yorkshire!) is often called the most romantic castle in England. It looks like it is rising out of the water. Classical concerts are often held there. That's about an hour but involves a walk or taxi at the end.<<

There is a bus from Bearsted station, but you've have to check running times.

>>Bath is lovely but please don't do a day trip.<<

Why not? It's doable. The train journey from London is only 1.5 hours. I did it myself. I covered a couple of audio walks, the Roman Baths and the Abbey. London Walks go there in a day.

People are suggested, and do, day trips to York all time, and that is much further away.