7 Places within an Hour of London Worth the Trip ...


Most tourists to the UK visit our amazingly awesome capital city, but if you’re up for a spot of sightseeing elsewhere there are places within an hour of London that really are worth the small effort to visit. Being only an hour away (or less) by train, car or coach, you might be surprised just where such a short journey can take you. That’s one of the great things about the UK. As a small country it’s easy to get around and cram in sightseeing. Here are some of my favorite places within an hour of London.

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Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle Less than 40 minutes from Central London lies Windsor Castle, an official royal residence. Windsor is one of those ‘must-sees’ outside of London and has been tied to the British royal family for many centuries and happens to be one of the Queen’s favourite abodes. The castle itself is a quick jaunt from Windsor & Eton Central rail station and its grounds span 13 acres. Highlights of the castle include its awe-inspiring state apartments, St. George’s Chapel, and Queen Mary’s Dolls' House. An additional 5 rooms are opened to the public in the winter months. Windsor Castle is open year round with the exception of a few selected dates listed on its website. In addition to the castle, Windsor is also home to Legoland, and host of lovely restaurants, making it one of the top places within an hour of London to visit.

Travel Time: Train - 38 minutes from London Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central


Oxford University

Oxford University The preferred place of learning for future world leaders, Nobel-prize-winning scientists, and other great minds, Oxford is the home of the intellectually inclined. Just under one hour from Central London, the town is also exquisitely beautiful and quintessentially English. After touring the colleges of the university, have a look around the town or try your hand at punting down the River Cherwell. The best time to visit Oxford is in spring, before the major tourist crowds fill the streets and the university students evacuate the premises.

Travel Time: Train - 59 minutes from London Paddington to Oxford


Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace Once the royal residence of Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is one of the most historic places to visit within an hour from London. The palace has been kept in remarkable condition and is surrounded by the River Thames, and hundreds of acres of royal parkland. It will take at least half a day to see everything Hampton Court has to offer and your best bet is to purchase the ‘All Palace and Gardens’ admission ticket so you don’t miss out on anything. Highlights of the palace include its medieval-era Great Hall, which was once the venue for William Shakespeare’s theatre company, the gorgeous Chapel Royal, and the Tudor-era kitchens. Outside, there’s a famous hedge maze, 60 acres of gardens, and a hundred acres of parkland to enjoy.

Travel Time: Train - 36 minutes from London Waterloo to Hampton Court


Hatfield House

Hatfield House Perhaps the finest example of a Jacobean-era home, getting to Hatfield House is a breeze with a travel time of just over 20 minutes. Build in 1611, the splendid residence features priceless pieces of furniture, artwork, and other artifacts collected by the Cecil family over the past 400 years. The home’s grand staircase, which is completely original, is one of its more distinguishing features. There are enough sightseeing opportunities and activities available on the rest of the property to keep you occupied for the whole day. The grounds of Hatfield House are extensive, and include a small farm, restaurant, old stables converted into shops, and a whole lot more. Hatfield House is open annually from the beginning of April to the end of September.

Travel Time: Train - 21 minutes from King’s Cross to Hatfield



Brighton Hip, fun, and carefree, Brighton is England’s bohemian capital. ‘London by the sea’ has a lot to offer visitors and is just 58 minutes from London Bridge rail station. The old Victorian pier is still a major attraction in the city, but Brighton is also becoming increasingly known for its lively nightlife and boutique shopping. Spend an afternoon shopping along the city’s old fisherman’s mews for unique handcrafted items, followed by a wild night out on the town. Sea Life Brighton and the Brighton Royal Pavilion are two additional points of interest in the city. The great thing about Brighton is that you can visit it year round. Tourist season generally aligns itself with the summer months, so to avoid the crowds, try visiting in winter, spring, or autumn.

Travel Time: Train - 58 minutes from London Bridge to Brighton (East Sussex)



Southend-on-Sea Another of our typical seaside places within an hour from London is Southend-on-Sea. The lively town has a lot to offer day-trippers who are looking for a change of scenery. The three Blue Flag beaches here are a major attraction, as are the Sea-Life Adventure Aquarium and roller coasters on Adventure Island. Visitors will also find unique shopping opportunities in Southend-on-Sea’s buzzing city centre.

Travel Time: 59 minutes from London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central


Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park Bletchley may not boast the splendor of a royal palace or the dazzling attractions of a seaside city, but it is an amazing venue that changed the course of modern history. It was at Bletchley Park that Alan Turing and a host of other computer scientists and mathematicians broke the German Enigma code during World War II. The breakthrough gave the allied forces an advantage that saved countless lives. Nearly 80 years later, Bletchley Park has been preserved as a historic site where visitors can learn more about WWII, the code breakers, and the history of computing.

Travel Time: Train - 36 minutes from London Euston to Bletchley

As you can see, the places to visit within an hour from London will see you paddling in the ocean and eating fish and chips on the pier, immersing yourself in the country’s amazing history, and seeing how the other half lives. London is one of the most incredible cities on Earth, but a visit to the capital is also the opportunity to see more of my blessed country. Have you visited any of these places?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Love this article! Good to know these places cuz I'll be in London in March!

I live in London and study in brighton! There are so many lovely places to visit in both' I hope the weather is better for all those coming to London ❤️

Will be visiting these places this year

Living in London really is great, so many beautiful places nearby!

I love living in Southend, there is so much to do here for everyone, especially in the Summer months. So close to London :) I like visiting a few of these other places on the list too.

Brighton is my favourite place on earth! I make a holiday out of visiting family there, everything really is brighter there

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