We have a string of bank holidays coming up and an imminent heatwave, so what better time to escape the city for the day and explore somewhere new? The destinations below are all just an hour from London, give or take, and if you have young children then the train journey will be a fun activity in itself! Read on to discover our Top 5 Day Trips from London by Car to enjoy with your family this spring and summer.

1. Brighton

Brighton is one of Britain’s most loved seaside resorts, bringing thousands of visitors to its shores each year. The beach and the pier are a big draw of course, but it’s also the city’s artsy vibe, liberal atmosphere and fiercely independent streak which keeps day-trippers coming back for more. If you’re travelling on a hot day then be sure to get there early as it does get very busy. When it comes to mealtimes, check out our Child Friendly Restaurants and Cafes in Brighton for the best seaside eateries.

Train takes approximately 1 hour from London Victoria

2. Canterbury​

The ancient walled city of Canterbury is one of Kent’s top tourist destinations thanks to its historic architecture, such as the iconic Cathedral, parts of which date back to the 11th Century. Canterbury offers some fascinating museums detailing the city’s Roman past, modern shopping and dining, and some lovely green spaces such as Westgate Park. Just 15 minutes away is Howletts Wild Animal Park, home to hundreds of rare animals and endangered species.

Train takes approximately 50 minutes from London St Pancras

3. Rye

Source: Shutterstock.com

A picturesque town near the East Sussex coast, Rye’s photogenic cobbled streets are lined with medieval timbered houses, and surrounded by rolling green hills. Visitors cannot fail to be charmed by its winding lanes, quaint cafes and independent shops. There are plenty of beach walks nearby and even a castle to explore. A really pretty, laid back place to mooch around for the day. An unusual city from our day trips from London by car to do for sure.

Train takes approximately 1 hour 10 minutes from London St Pancras

4. Cambridge

Cambridge - day trips from london by car
Source: Premier Photo / Shutterstock.com

The historic and beautiful city of Cambridge tops the “must visit” list of many travellers, boasting stunning architecture, world class museums and of course its prestigious University. It is also a very family friendly city – you will feel right at home exploring its compact centre side by side with students, locals and tourists. It’s a beautiful city to visit in the summer, when the River Cam is bustling with punts gliding up and down and the green banks offer inviting picnic spots. With so much to see in one day, take a look at our Top 5 Outdoor Family Activities in Cambridge to narrow down your options.

Train takes approximately 1 hour from London Kings Cross

5. Leeds Castle

Source: www.leeds-castle.com

Pitching itself as “the loveliest castle in the world” Leeds Castle in Kent certainly lives up to expectations, and it’s only an hour’s drive from London. You couldn’t feel further from the city as you explore its 500 acres of grounds which include a huge moat, a maze, a falconry and an underground grotto. There are lots of family focused events throughout the year, such as children’s theatre shows, medieval jousting and welly walks.

Leeds Castle is approximately 1 hour’s drive from London.

Please note: Travel times may vary depending on route taken and time of travel.

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