London is a great city to enjoy small weekend road trips from, helping you to explore a little more of the U.K. even if you are short on time. Whether you crave idyllic English villages, historical sights or a bit of beach time, or just fancy being outside of the buzzing city lights for a little while, these weekend road trips from London will satisfy your open-road hunger.
Taking just over 2 hours to drive from London, the Cotswolds are a collection of market towns and villages north-west of the city perfect for romantic breaks for two, country lane driving and otherworldly experiences. Step into the countryside and surround yourself with wildflowers, vintage buildings and cobbled streets. The Cotswolds are the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales making them the ideal choice for a relaxing weekend break from London.
If you’re keen to experience history and heritage outside of London, visit Stonehenge. This pre-historic monument is located in Wiltshire and is a pleasant 2-hour drive from London. Stay in the nearby town of Amesbury and then choose to pay for the visitor centre experience or simply admire Stonehenge from afar for free. From £19 per person for entry, the visitor centre is well worth the money and time. Learn about why Stonehenge is significant and understand the timing and placement of the stones in more detail. This official Wonder of the World will help you gain insight into England’s Neolithic ancestors.
The popular seaside town of Brighton is a vibrant, diverse and exciting destination to spend a weekend. Visit the Brighton Palace Pier, enjoy beach walks and get a great view from the new British Airways i360 observation tower. Two hours south of London, Brighton is a typical British coastal town full of great places to eat, party and shop. Make your visit even more fulfilling by visiting for one of Brighton’s incredible events; a music concert maybe or Pride weekend.
When planning your drive from London, consider where within the city you are starting from and when you will be leaving. Your journey time could be significantly longer if you need to either drive across or around central London, especially if doing so during peak times. Leaving on a Friday evening might be problematic so aim to leave work a little early or wait until after rush hour to start your road trip. Check out your route online before you get going and vary the direction you take in the city to minimise your journey time.
Once out on the open road with the city behind you, enjoy the views, fewer people and local wildlife. Book your accommodation in advance for weekend visits when popular tourist destinations typically see more visitors. Consider if the accommodation you choose has parking included because the south of the U.K. is home to many tiny, traditional roads. Once you’ve dealt with all the necessities and organised your road trip from London, look forward to seeing a different side to the country and immersing yourself in an outer city experience. Full of old world charm and rolling countryside, you won’t be disappointed by these three iconic weekend road trips from London.