What are the best winter day trips from London? This is one of the most common questions people ask me, so today I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post to answering it. I hope you find it helpful if you’re in London during the winter months.

Winter Day Trips from London

Winter Day Trips from London

You can do any day trip from London in the winter, but there are a few that stand out for specific reasons.

The Mermaid, Rye

The 5 best winter day trips from London are:
1. York
2. Rye
3. New Forest
4. Stonehenge
5. Stratford-upon-Avon

I’ve done all these day trips in the winter, so I’m recommending them to you from personal experience. There’s more about each one in Frommer’s Best Day Trips from London. You can get it here.

York

I’ve always loved York, and winter is a good time to visit for several reasons. First, the city goes all-out for Christmas. From markets to ice skating rinks, it’s a great place to spend a day during the festive season. But York is worth a day trip even after the holidays. This is not least because there are fewer crowds to contend with, which is meaningful in a place where streets are so narrow you can touch the buildings on either side with your arms outstretched.

York, England

Rye

The little town of Rye in East Sussex is one of my favorite places to travel in England. Its charming streets and chocolate-box ambiance make it a joy for my inner photographer. On top of that, winter turns Rye into a foodie paradise. Rye Bay Scallop Week takes place every February, and the town is worth a trip just for the shellfish.

Rye, East Sussex

New Forest

For outdoor types, one of the best winter day trips from London is Hampshire’s New Forest. The misty paths are atmospheric in the colder months, and a long walk in the woods is the perfect way to burn off those Christmas calories. Then again, there are so many good restaurants in the New Forest that it might be worth putting off the wight-loss regime until spring.

New Forest Pony

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is another great winter day trip. For those in the mood for a spiritual experience or just a spectacle, there’s a big event on the winter solstice where hundreds of people gather to watch the sunrise above the stones. But it’s worth visiting on other days, too. Since Stonehenge doesn’t take long to see, it’s an ideal day out in months with less daylight hours. It’s also beneficial to visit in the winter since lower visitor numbers mean easier photo opportunities.

Stonehenge

Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon is another of my favorite day trips in winter. It’s easy to keep warm by heading indoors to see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Swan Theatre, or The Other Place. Shakespeare’s Birthplace is another good spot for keeping the cold away, and there are lots of ye olde pubs with cozy fires. I’m so excited about Stratford-upon-Avon that I’m heading there in February for a whole winter weekend getaway.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Winter Day Trip Tips

Whichever one you decide to do, here are my top tips for winter day trips from London:

– Remember that England gets dark early in the winter, so it pays to arrive in the morning. Depending on when you travel, it may be dark by 4 or 4:30pm.

– Dress warmly and check weather forecasts, especially if you’ll be outdoors for a lot of the day. My winter packing list for London has lots of good tips for how to dress for the cold.

– Check opening hours before you travel. Many museums and attractions have reduced hours during the winter season or are closed between autumn and spring.

– Charge your camera batteries before you go. Cold weather can sap battery life quickly, so it’s a good idea to leave London with a full charge.

Rye, East Sussex

Have you been on any good winter day trips from London? Where did you go?

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Winter Day Trips from London

24 comments on “Lady’s 5 Lovely Winter Day Trips from London”

  1. Awesome suggestions. I’ve been to Stonehenge (September 2016) and Stratford-upon-Avon four times during 2016. Rye in East Sussex sounds lovely. I haven’t done York yet, and I’m based in Cambs! Definitely going to be heading there in Feb. 🙂

  2. Hi Julie,

    I have only went (which I remember) to Stonehenge.

    I would like to go to the other 4. I will be in London a few months.

    Want to travel right now! 🙂

    A hug from Malaga.

    Bo

  3. I found your blog just before Xmas and love it. London is my favourite city so I’m interested in the opinions / suggestions of a fellow Londonphobe. I’ll be there for a wedding this September and will be planning various day trips based on your posts.
    All the very best for 2017
    Ian from Downunder (Melbourne)

  4. I love Stratford-Upon-Avon! I’ve been there twice! But not in winter. Maybe it’s worth giving it a go these days. Oh, what if it snows there? Should be very romantic!

  5. Hi there!
    I’ve just discovered this helpful blog. I’m chuffed to bits because my dad and I are going to London next week. Well, we’ve already been to Oxford, Canterbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Coventry as well. Rye seems such a cozy town. Honestly, it’s quite fascinating. Hope I’ll be able to head there.
    By the way, would you recommend me any cool literary spots in London or nearby? I’m asking because I’m looking for bookworms’ haunts as well as nice places to visit on a Winter day.
    Thanks in advance. Loving your articles.
    Greetings from Italy 😃

  6. Julie, I will be in London again sometime this next winter. Rye and the Cotswolds are the day trips that seem most interesting to me of those you posted, also referring to your winter weekend in the Cotswolds post. Beautiful scenery, preserved villages, old churches and castles are probably what most interests me most. Would those be your two highest recommendations for me if I were to do two day trips from the city? Thank you!

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