Trips: Destinations From London

The capital of England and the United Kingdom, the city of London is a true 21st-century city. Standing on the River Thames in the south east of Great Britain, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. It was founded by the Romans, who named it Londinium. It is a global centre for banking and finance, ans a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both London Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic 'Big Ben' clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city. London is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world and in 2015 was ranked as the most visited city in the world with over 65 million visits. It is also the top city in the world by visitor cross-border spending, estimated at US$20.23 billion in 2015.

Canterbury

Travel by rail from London: from 1 hr 30 mins

Departure: London St Pancras International Station

A cathedral city in southeast England, the delightful Canterbury was one of medieval Europe's great places of pilgrimages and knowledge in the Middle Ages. Its ancient walls, originally built by the Romans, encircle its medieval centre with cobbled streets and timber-framed houses. Among the listed buildings, a boldly modern theatre has been built on the river bank, and an art museum has been restored and doubled in size.

Chatham

Travel by rail from London: from 1 hr 15 mins

Departure: London Victoria Station

Chatham Dockyard, located on the River Medway, was established as a royal dockyard by Elizabeth I in 1567. It provided over 500 ships for the Royal Navy, and was at the forefront of shipbuilding, industrial and architectural technology. At its height, it employed over 10,000 skilled artisans and covered 400 acres. The Georgian dockyard is now managed as a visitor attraction by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.

Brighton

Travel by rail from London: 1 hr 30 mins

Departure: London Victoria Station

An English seaside resort town about an hour south of London by train, Brighton has been a popular day-trip destination for decades. Its broad shingle beach is backed by amusement arcades and Regency-era buildings. Brighton Pier, in the central waterfront section, opened in 1899 and now has rides and food kiosks. The town is also known for its nightlife, arts scene, shopping and festivals.

Portsmouth

Travel by rail from London: 1 hrs 45 mins

Departure: London Waterloo Station

The significant port city of Portsmouth is known for its maritime heritage relating to its naval base and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The dockyard is home to the interactive National Museum of the Royal Navy, the wooden warship HMS Victory, where Nelson died in the Battle of Trafalgar, and HMS Warrior 1860. The Tudor ship Mary Rose is also conserved in a dockyard museum.

Brooklands

Travel by rail from London: 28 mins

Departure: London Waterloo Station

Brooklands, a former motor racing circuit and aerodrome near Weybridge in Surrey, also became Britain's largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918. Today it is the home of Brooklands Museum, a major aviation and motoring museum, as well as a venue for vintage car, motorcycle and other transport-related events. Popular attractions include Mercedes-Benz World and a British Airways Concorde aircraft.

Bath

Travel by rail from London: 1 hr 30 mins

Departure: London Paddington Station

Known for its natural hot springs and 18th-century Georgian architecture, the town of Bath is known for its stone, which has been used extensively in the town's architecture, including at Bath Abbey. The Abbey noted for its fan-vaulting, tower and large stained-glass windows. The museum at the site of the original Roman-era Baths includes The Great Bath, statues and a temple.

Coventry

Travel by rail from London: 1 hr

Departure: London Euston Station

The second largest city in the West Midlands, after Birmingham, Coventry motor companies have contributed significantly to the British motor industry. Their products are featured in an excellent museum here. The legendary 11th century exploits of Lady Godiva who rode through the city naked on horseback is still celebrated. Don't miss the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, a poignant reminder of the effects of war.

Cambridge

Travel by rail from London: 1 hr 1 mins

Departure: London Kings Cross Station

Cambridge is known as one of Britain's famous a university cities. Several fairs and festivals take place in Cambridge, mostly during the British summer. The Strawberry Fair music and arts festival and Midsummer Fairs are held on Midsummer Common, and the annual Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on Jesus Green. The Cambridge Science Festival, typically held annually in March.

Oxford

Travel by rail from London: 1 hr 12 mins

Departure: London Paddington Station

Oxford, a city in central southern England, revolves around its prestigious university, established in the 12th century. The architecture of its 38 colleges in the city's medieval centre led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the 'City of Dreaming Spires'. University College and Magdalen College are off the High Street, which runs from Carfax Tower to the Botanic Garden on the River Cherwell.

Greenwich

Travel by rail from London: 11 mins

Departure: Waterloo Station underground to North Greenwich Station

Greenwich is a charming suburb of London that had a real marine village feel to it. There is plenty there for visitors, including the restored tall ship, The Cutty Sark, the National Maritme Museum, the old Royal Naval College, and of course the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the location from which both the world's time is calculated and distances to every place on Earth is measured.

Windsor

Travel by rail from London: 39 mins

Departure: London Paddington Station

Windsor, a town on the River Thames just west of London, is home to Windsor Castle, a residence of the British Royal Family. Built by William The Conqueror in the 11th century, the castle was extensively remodelled by subsequent monarchs. The Royal Borough has a rich mix of history, culture, heritage. The Legoland theme park is situated just outside the town centre.

Hastings

Travel by rail from London: from 1 hr 36 mins

Departure: London Charing Cross Station

Hastings, on the English Channel, claims fame from the Battle of Hastings (1966), and later because it became one of the medieval Cinque Ports. Hastings was, for centuries, an important fishing port; it became a popular spot for therapeutic bathing in the sea in the 1760s, and then a seaside resort. Hastings Castle was built in 1070 by the Normans, four years after the Norman invasion.

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