London is located near so many exciting places, it is impossible to mention all of them. Your first stop for planning a trip away from London is the Britain & London Visitor Center. Go in person to pick up leaflets and get guidance or visit their website. BLVC, 1 Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4XT or http://www.visitbritain.com
Among all the great trips outside of London, here are a few not to miss:
This is the second most visited town after London and for very good reasons. It’s a chocolate box of a town, gorgeous in every aspect: a medieval town center, the birth place of the famous Bard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y58VgzOFi80&feature=player_embedded and of course the river Avon and the Straford Canal with its lovely walks. http://www.stratford-upon-avon.co.uk
Brighton is by the sea and only an hour by train from London. It’s a very liberal town with a big gay community. Winter Pride is in March. Kids will appreciate the Brighton Toy and Model Museum (http://www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk), as well as the Sealife Center aquarium (http://www.visitsealife.com/brighton/).
Canterbury is an hour and a half away from London-Victoria by train and slightly longer but less expensive on the coach – National Express from Victoria. It boasts medieval streets, a cathedral, and a Roman museum and is, without a doubt, an extremely atmospheric town: http://www.visitwinchester.co.uk
Bath & The Cotswolds
This delightful area of England is a stunning place for a weekend trip. Small villages and endless green fields make for a relaxing time away from the big city. Check out the Roman baths of Bath (http://www.romanbaths.co.uk) or take the kids on a guided walking tour through the quintessential English villages (http://www.cotswoldwalks.com). Get the train from Paddington station in London. The journey is around 2 hours.
Oxford is only an hour away from Paddington station in London and makes for a great day trip. Visit all the museums and see the world-famous Oxford University campuses. Climb the tour of St. Mary’s or take the kids to the Museum of the History of Science (http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk).
Paris & Brussels
Paris is less than 2.5 hours away on the Eurostar train, Brussels no further than 1 hour so weekend trips to these world-class destinations are very popular. Go to Paris for the weekend and see the Louvre and taste amazing French foods or hop to Brussels for their mussels and waffles. Euro Disney is close to Paris and is a popular choice for children. Get onto the Eurostar site for tickets and hotel rooms: http://www.eurostar.com
These are large holiday villages set in forests. One of the major attractions is that each village has a covered park housing indoor activities such as tropical swimming pools which defy the British weather. Very popular with families, the nearest to London is near Cambridge about 1 hour drive away. More information on their site: http://www.centerparcs.co.uk/index.jsp
An attraction park devoted to Legos situated near Windsor http://www.legoland.co.uk
The World of Adventure in Chessington
Zoo and sea-life park with over 1000 animals to delight kids for a day out. The good news is that it’s conveniently located only 12 miles from London.