Home U.KEngland 12 Day Trips From London in Winter To Explore And Get Cosy in!

12 Day Trips From London in Winter To Explore And Get Cosy in!

by TheWanderingQuinn

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Let’s take a look at the best day trips from London in Winter! London is a great place to see more of the UK from and there are so many easy day trips from London to do and so many day trips from London by train especially.

However, not all of the top London day trips are good all year round. On a bitterly cold winters day, or a wet and windy day I wouldn’t like to be beside the seaside in Brighton, or in a field seeing Stonehenge which are usually day trips from London I’d recommend!

So if you’re in London and the UK between November and March (because winter comes early and ends late in the UK!), below are great ideas for winter days trip from London, these are places that are more secluded from the wind, places where you can sightsee indoors, enjoy cute cafes, get cosy, and throughout December they are full of Christmas magic!

Day Trips From London in Winter

day trips from London in winter
Keep reading for the best day trips from London in winter! (photo from Cotswolds Journeys)

Friendly Reminder – Due to the current situation where a lot of attractions and restaurants are closed or bookings are required in advance, please be sure to double-check opening times, ticket information and booking requirements on their direct website so that you are not disappointed!

1. Oxford

Oxford is one of the most popular day trips from London and luckily it is also one of the best day trips from London in Winter.

The top things to do in Oxford include visiting it’s historic and impressive Oxford Castle and the many College and University buildings which are all mainly inside, so if you happen to visit oxford on a rainy day, you can hop from inside attraction to inside attraction without a problem.

To help you get around you could also purchase a hop on hop off bus ticket so you don’t have to walk outside too much if it’s wet and cold.

Oxford is home to many cute cafes and pubs where you can warm up. I recommend a cosy afternoon tea or lunch at Vaults & Garden Cafe which is in an amazing location next to the Radcliffe Camera building.

One of the most popular things to do in Oxford is to go out on the river and go punting which isn’t the best idea on a windy and wet day, but if you go down to the river on your winters day trip from London to Oxford, you might be able to find a boat which is covered to go out on.

Related Post: More Things To Do in Oxford on a Day Trip From London!

day trips from London in winter, Oxford

How to get to Oxford from London?

A direct London to Oxford by train is the best and quickest way. You can take the London Paddington Station to Oxford Station train in 1 hour. Buy tickets on The Train Line Here!

You can also get to Oxford from London by Bus and Car easily. If you want to see Oxford with a guide and see more places in the winter in the UK, you can book onto an Oxford day tour from London like this!

2. Windsor

Windsor is one of the easy day trips from London because of how close it is, just 1 hour by train! Windsor Castle is the main attraction in Windsor and when you visit the Castle most of the sightseeing is inside which makes it one of the perfect day trips from London to do in the winter!

Windsor is a popular place and in the Summer it gets very busy with tourists however come Winter, there are a lot fewer tourists so you will get a more pleasant experience seeing the Castle and there will be fewer people in the pretty little lanes around Windsor.

The castle still gets busy in Winter through as Windsor is one of the popular weekend trips from London in winter so be sure to buy a ticket for Windsor Castle in advance here!

To keep warm you can walk the 5km walking track from the Castle through the Castle Park which is an iconic thing to do in Windsor.

To help you get around Windsor, especially on a wet and cold day, I recommend booking onto the hop on hop off bus so you can learn about the city, and stay warm inside the bus!

If you are looking for one of the best day trips from London in December and London Christmas day trips, Windsor is filled with Christmas tree’s and Christmas lights come December so this is a great option!

day trips from London in winter, Windsor

How to get to Windsor from London?

London to Windsor by train is the best way to do this winter day trip from London. Take the London Paddington Station to Windsor and Eton Riverside Station train in just 1 hour making this one of the best day trips from London by train in Winter. Buy tickets on The Train Line Here and buy them early to get the best price!

3. Bath

You’ll be pleased to hear that the historic city of Bath has thermal Baths you can visit making Bath one of the great day trips from London in Winter!

Be sure to book a slot in advance at the Thermae Bath Spa which is Britains original natural thermal spa where you can relax in a rooftop pool in steaming thermal water with an amazing view of the city below, now that’s how you see a city in winter! Just remember to pack swimwear!

There are plenty of outdoor places to see in Bath like the Royal Cresent but also indoor museums and places to visit like the Roman Baths Museum and Jane Austen Centre. To help you get around Bath when it’s cold and especially if it rains when you’re in Bath, you can use the hop on hop off bus to see all the top sights from!

Going out on a river boat cruise is one of the popular things to do in Bath and boat cruises like this have an inside area where you can see the city but stay dry and warm.

Additionally, be very British in a British city and get afternoon tea in a cosy setting. To get a really good real I recommend looking on Wowcher who offer 2 for 1 discounts and huge savings on Afternoon Tea!

Related Post: More Things To Do in Bath on a Day Trip from London!

day trips from London in winter, Bath

How to get to Bath from London?

This London to Bath day trip is best done by train. Take a train from London Paddington Station to Bath Station in 1 hour 20 minutes. Buy tickets on The Train Line Here!

4. Harry Potter Studio

Harry Potter and Winter go together don’t they so one of the best day trips from London in Winter has to be to the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studios!

The studio is located in Watford which is just a short train and bus journey from London. Once you are there you can enjoy the inside studio just as much as you would any other time of year, except in Winter you’ll appreciate the shelter!

Another positive of going to the Harry Potter Studio in winter is that it’s likely there will be less crowds during the week due to their being fewer tourists in London in winter, but on weekends it might be busier.

day trips from London in winter, Harry Potter Studio
All of this cover is why the Harry Potter Studio is one of the best day trips from London in winter!

How to get to the Harry Potter Studio from London?

You can take a train from London Euston Station to Watford Junction Station in as little as 20 minutes making it one of the best day trips from London by train in Winter. At Watford Junction train station, there are clearly marked signs for how to get the bus to the Studio. Buy Train Tickets here!

Alternatively, if you want to go in a group and with a guide, you can book a guided tour from Central London like this which includes transport.

5. Cotswolds

Visiting the charming villages in the Cotswolds are on everyones UK bucket list and although wandering the streets and admiring the houses in the Cotswolds is mainly an outdoor activity, the reason why the Cotswolds is one of the best day trips from London in Winter is because in Summer the crowds are huge, so many people come here, whereas in the Winter it is much less busy!

This is one of the better day trips from London by car in winter because without a car it is harder to visit multiple villages in one day, but there are also many Cotswolds Day Tours from London that you can do if you do not have a car and the positive to going on one of these is that your guide will know the best places to take you to in the Cotswolds in Winter!

Head to Bourton on Water, Burford, Castle Combe, Stanton and more to see the best villages in the Cotswolds in Winter when they will look like even more of a fairytale, especially in December when everyone’s Christmas lights are out!

To warm up there will be plenty of cosy cafes you can into for tea and lunch, and don’t forget to have some scones with jam and cream!

day trips from London in winter, Cotswolds

How to get to the Cotswolds from London?

This is one of the easier day trips from London in winter with a car because then you can hop around the villages as public transport is limited.

If you don’t have a car, the most popular way to get to the Cotswolds from London is on a tour like this, transport is included and this way your guide will know the best places to take you in the Cotswolds in Winter!

6. Birmingham

The biggest attraction in Birmingham in winter is it’s Christmas market. Birmingham hosts the biggest Christmas market in the UK! In fact, it’s the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria and it’s called the Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham! That’s why Birmingham is on this list of the best day trips from London in winter!

Because we like to celebrate Christmas early in the UK, the Birmingham Christmas market runs for nearly all of November and all of December every year so if you’re looking for one of the best Christmas markets to visit from London and an early Christmas fix, this is the perfect day trips from London in November and day trips from London in December!

Aside from Christmas, things to do in Birmingham inside include the Birmingham Library, Birmingham Museum and the huge shopping centre called The Bull Ring! If the weather is ok outside, you can walk along the canals in Birmingham.

Birmingham is also really easy to get to and one of the easiest day trips from London by train!

day trips from London in Winter, Birmingham Christmas Market
Photo from Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

How to get to Birmingham from London?

Without a doubt the best day to do this winter day trip from London is by train because Birmingham is in the middle of the UK but by taking a fast train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street you can be there in 1 hour 20 minutes! Buy tickets in advance on the Train Line here to get the best price!

7. York

Visiting York on a day trip from London will give you a chance to see Northern England and although it looks far on the map, it is an easy day trip to do from London!

York is easily one of the best day trips from London in Winter because of how many of its attractions are inside so you can escape the cold. Enter into the impressive York Minster, go inside The York Dungeons, pop into the many shops along The Shambles which is a hugely popular street in York, and finally, take your mind off the cold on a York Chocolate Story Tour where you will spend time inside eating chocolate, tempting hey!?

The River Ouse runs through York city and is a great way to relax, see the city and the surrounding areas. For ideas for things to do in York in Winter, I recommend taking an afternoon tea river cruise or a lunch river cruise because you can do this from the comfort of inside a boat and will not need to wander the city looking for places to eat if it is cold and wet.

York lights up at Christmas with Christmas markets and impressive Christmas displays so if you’re looking at London Christmas day trips, York is a good choice!

day trips from London in winter, York

How to get to York from London?

The only way you will get to Northern England from London on a day trip is to take the train! Thanks to a super fast train you can do this journey in just 1 hour 50 minutes, perfect for a day trip from London in winter by train up North! Buy tickets in advance on the Train Line here to get the best price!

8. Winchester

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market has been recognised as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and therefore the best Christmas markets in the UK! It’s not far from London and works well as one of the day trips from London by train that you can do. So, if you are looking at day trips from London in December and London Christmas day trips, Winchester is a winner!

Go Ice Skating at the Winchester Christmas Market and warm up at The Old Vine Pub and Restaurant next to a warm fire with hearty food whilst appreciating the beauty of this charming, ancient city.

Outside of Christmas, Winchester Cathedral is still a top attraction and there are lots of traditional pubs to enjoy as you walk around its historic streets, and because Winchester is so far South in the UK, you are likely to get warmer weather here than other Northern locations for day trips from London in Winter.

day trips from London in winter, Winchester
Photo from Visit Hampshire

How to get to Winchester from London?

London to Winchester is just a 1-hour train journey and this is the best way to do this winter day trip. London Waterloo Station to Winchester Station is the train route you need to take. Buy tickets on The Train Line Here!

9. New Forest

If you want to get out of London for a really good walk in the Countryside and in a National Park I recommend the New Forest National Park as the best day trip from London in Winter.

The New Forest is inland, not on the coast and it’s also not too mountainous so the weather is sure to be better there than other areas in the UK. With one day in the New Forest, you can have a walk along of the many walking trails, spot some New Forest ponies and relax in a traditional English pub as you’ll find quite a few in the area.

day trips from London in winter, New Forest

How to get to the New Forest from London?

Although you can get the train from London Waterloo to Brockenhurst Station and explore around Brockenhurst, this is one of the day trips from London by car in Winter I recommend so you have more flexibility to see more of the National Park, and if the weather isn’t good you can just enjoy a scenic drive.

10. Hastings

Being beside the beach on a winters day is definitely nice, especially on one of those winter sun days.

Hastings is a beautiful seaside town in England and is one of the top day trips from London if you want to see the sea! I also think it works as one of the good winter day trips from London because although you can go for a walk along the beach in winter, if it is too windy or cold, you can easily retreat into the streets of the small and charming old town.

Hastings has museums and art galleries to enjoy as well as unique funicular railways to help you get up and down its cliffs and between these winter activities in Hastings, you will find plenty of cosy cafes to warm up in.

day trips from London in winter, Hastings

How to get to Hastings from London?

London to Hastings by train can be as quick as just 1 hour 45 minutes so this is the best way to do this winter break from London. Book your train on The Train Line here to get the best price!

11. Norwich

If you’re looking for a slightly alternative day trip from London and not one of the popular cities that are always recommended, add Norwich to your London winter itinerary!

Norwich has plenty of inside attractions to explore to help escape the cold and rain, it is one of the few cities in the UK to have 2 cathedrals, both of which are worth a visit on your day trip to Norwich from London. You can also do an underground Norwich tour which will give you a lot of history about the city and is a unique thing to do, whilst definitely keeping you inside!

Between exploring Norwich’s historic buildings and learning something new you can pop into the Adam & Eve Pub to warm up with its comfort food which has been serving customers since 1249 and is set in a former monastery!

day trips from London in winter, Norwich

How to get to Norwich from London?

Another day trip from London in winter by train to do because in less than 2 hours and for a cheap price you can get from London Liverpool Station to Norwich Station by train. Book your train on The Train Line here to get the best price!

12. Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is on the outskirts of London so it’s good for last-minute day trips from London in winter so you can check what the weather is like in the morning before heading out.

Hampton Court Palace is popular to visit all year round, you can buy tickets to enter the house and gardens which will keep you partly sheltered on your winter day trip from London there.

The main draw to visiting Hampton Court Palace in winter though is it’s Christmas magic! Every year December there is a Hampton Court Palace Festive Weekend where you’ll find festive food, drink and shopping available. If you’re planning your winter day trip from London in advance, get this years weekend in your diary!

For more Christmas vibes, throughout November and December, you can visit Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink, one of the best ice rinks in and around London!

How to get to Hampton Court from London?

Hampton Court has it’s own train station and the train from London Waterloo station to Hampton Court station is just 30 minutes because Hampton is on the outskirts of London. Book your train on The Train Line here to get the best price!

Depending on where you are staying in London, or live in London, you could also look at getting the bus there.

Winter Day Trips From London Tips

The UK has very short days in Winter so it gets dark at about 4:00 pm during December and January, therefore it is best to get up early on your day trip from London in winter so you can enjoy daylight once there.

That being said, come Christmas when the Christmas markets are up, you have to see them in the dark to appreciate the beauty, the good thing is that you won’t have to wait until late, by 6:00 pm you will have had nearly 2 hours of darkness and then you can head back to London!

Be sure to wear warm clothes but also layer up. It may be cold in London but once you are in one of these destinations for day trips from London in winter, it may be warmer. Also, in the UK we have the heating on full blast in cafes and on transport so parts of the day you will be hot and others you will be cold, so layers are key. This also applies for what to wear in London in winter!

Winter mornings can be icy if you’re up any earlier than 9:00 pm but don’t let this put you off your winter day trip from London, unless it is a freezing cold day, the ice will be gone mid-morning and it will warm up a bit.

Always pack an umbrella just incase of rain!

There are many day trips from London by train in Winter on this list. The trains in the UK are really good but they can be expensive. It is best to book train tickets as far out as you can to get the lowest price! Know where you want to go already?? Book your train on The Train Line here to get the best price!


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