Summer is in full swing in London which means it is too hot to do anything around town. It is the time for summer vacations all over the world and I recently had my own parents visit me. While we managed to find a fair number of activities to do indoors in London, I managed to discover the wonders that are day trips. Thanks to London’s numerous stations, there is a direct train to almost every location you can think of. While I had been to some of these places before, the efficiency of a day trip has blown my mind because it is the quickest and most stress free way to vacation.
- Canterbury: I had been meaning to go to Canterbury forever considering it is so close to London and I am a history student. However, it just did not seem worth it to book a hotel for a night considering all I was interested in seeing was the Canterbury Cathedral. There are direct trains to Canterbury from Victoria or St. Pancras station, and the journey is only about an hour. I spent a great day at the Cathedral with my parents and we managed to grab lunch in the city. We even made it back to London before dinner and managed to get a quick nap on the train.
- Brighton: I had been to Brighton with my friends earlier, but we had booked a hostel and stayed for about three days. My parents wanted to go down for a day trip, but I was not sure considering how busy the city and especially the pier gets. I did not want to go all the way only to be standing in lines all day. We decided to grab a heavy breakfast around London Bridge and then take the train to Brighton from the London Bridge station. On reaching Brighton, we immediately went to the beach and spent a lazy afternoon sunbathing. Around lunch time, we headed to the pier and obviously it was packed. However, since we had had a heavy breakfast, we hung around and had a leisurely lunch around four. Once again, we took the train back to London and took a nap as soon as we got on.
- Thorpe Park: Located on the outskirts of London in Surrey, a day at Thorpe Park is surely going to be a day full of fun. Thorpe Park is an adventure park with rides, games, food and all sorts of adventures. This day trip was perhaps the most tiring of the three but also the most fun! Regular Southwestern Railway trains run from London Waterloo to Staines station. Thorpe Park is about 10 minutes away by car from Staines and there are also regular buses from the station to the theme park. There are various tickets available to buy on the spot, but I did manage to find a student discount if you buy a ticket online in advance. However, it is extremely important to monitor your time while in Thorpe Park because if you miss the last bus or train, it could be a pretty expensive Uber back to London!