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Undoubtedly, The UK’s National Parks are among its greatest treasures. From the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Lake District National Park to the world-famous Jurassic Coast, England and South Wales are full of stunning landscapes waiting to be explored.

But the best UK National Parks are not just about the landscape – they are also a haven for wildlife, with an incredible diversity of plants and animals to be found in each one.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure while backpacking in the UK, or want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, then make sure you visit one of these 10 best UK National Parks!

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of the best places in the UK to return to nature. With over six hundred miles of trails winding through the mountains and hills, it’s perfect for an exhilarating hike.

Mickledore views are highly recommended when hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The trail can be rough at times, but it is well worth the effort it takes. The Mickledore ridge is a pass-through mountain range with breathtaking views of wildlife everywhere.

Overall, it is one of the best national parks in the UK for an adventure visit.

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is a must-see for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. With majestic mountains, deep valleys, and pristine rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot rare wildlife in the Cairngorms National Park. The area is home to red squirrels, reindeer, ospreys, and golden eagles, so keep your eyes peeled!

Many Munros – Scottish mountains over 3000 feet – also make for great hiking trails. Be sure to take on at least one of these when visiting the park!

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe UK National Park

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe Park is one of the many beautiful national parks in the United Kingdom. It is known for its picturesque landscapes and lush vegetation. The park is also home to various wildlife, making it a perfect place for nature lovers to explore.

Since its establishment in 2020, Duncombe National Park has become a popular destination for hikers and campers. Many trails wind through the park, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park is the newest park in the UK and is one of the best national parks near London. A short train ride will get you to the park. It is the best place to stargaze because of the large rolling hills that allow you to lay in peace without the lights from a city blinding the view.

Woolmer Forest, a lowland heath site, is home to many rare species and is the only place in the country with all twelve species of native reptiles and amphibians.

South Downs Way is a hiking and biking trail that is scenic beyond what you can see when driving. There is also a section of the park that has been turned into a battlefield site where you can learn about and experience what it was like to fight in the Battle of Hastings.

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its beautiful lakes, stunning mountains, and tranquil valleys make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

But there are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, from hiking and climbing to water sports and mountain biking. And, of course, no visit to the Lake District National Park would be complete without taking a ride on a steam train!

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor UK National Park

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park is a stunning area of natural beauty in Devon, England. With its ancient forests, wild moors, and tumbling rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of things to do in Dartmoor National Park, from exploring the many hiking trails to visiting the historic sites. You can even go horse riding or camping in the park!

But one of the best things about Dartmoor National Park is the wildlife. With red deer, wild ponies, and rare birds, it’s a haven for nature lovers. (Do not forget to bring your camera, though)

The Peak District National Park

The Peak District - the UK's most popular National Park

The Peak District – the UK’s most popular National Park

The Peak District National Park is one of the best National Parks in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its stunning landscapes and incredible views make it the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

There are plenty of things to do in the Peak District National Park, from hiking and cycling to rock climbing and caving. You can even go horse riding or take a scenic drive through the park!

But the wildlife is one of the best things about the Peak District National Park. With red deer, badgers, foxes, and otters, it’s a haven for nature lovers.

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park is a stunning park located in the UK that offers 125 miles of water to boat, swim or sail in. You can rent a boat for a day or use your own, making it the perfect place to spend a summer day.

Wildlife viewing is a huge part of this park, especially if you enjoy bird watching. As with every other national park, you can find miles of hiking or biking trails offering breathtaking views you cannot see from the main roads.

Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

If you’re looking for a taste of the wild in the UK, head to Exmoor National Park. This sprawling area of unspoiled countryside covers over 400 square miles, making it one of the biggest and best national parks in England.

Exmoor is home to various landscapes, from woodlands and valleys to moors and hills. Wildlife is also abundant here, with red deer, Exmoor ponies, and otters calling the park home.

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland UK National Park

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park is located in the northeast of England and is one of the best national parks in the UK. The park is home to various landscapes, including forests, heathland, moorland, and coastline.

The park is also home to many castles, including Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, and the Turf Knowe burial site.

If you are interested in exploring the UK’s national parks, then Northumberland National Park is one that you should not miss.

10 Best UK National Parks for Wildlife and Unforgettable Hikes

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Have you always dreamed of moving abroad but are not sure how to do it? With plenty to discover in the British Isles, plus its proximity to European destinations, moving to the UK could be the way to live out your dreams of living abroad.

While immigration laws can be difficult to untangle, among the various routes available for individuals moving to the UK, the Innovator Visa is suitable for those with business experience. This route is designed for those looking to establish an innovative UK-based business, who have at least £50,000 to invest, and have obtained endorsement from an approved body. An application for an Innovator Visa must also satisfy various eligibility and suitability requirements.  

Here, Jessica Lee from Latitude Law discusses a guide to the UK innovator visa, including the various stages and main requirements of an application.

Obtaining endorsement for an Investor Visa

Before moving to the UK, an applicant for an Innovator Visa must obtain endorsement for their business idea from a Home Office-approved endorsing body. There are a number of these bodies, and many only offer endorsement subject to various restrictions, such as the location of the business, the sector in which it will operate, or application during a certain period. Some endorsing bodies also make participation on one of their own programmes or mentoring services a prerequisite, although participation on such a programme will not guarantee endorsement. A complete list of all the approved endorsing bodies can be found here

To successfully obtain endorsement, an applicant must demonstrate, amongst other things, that their business idea is innovative, viable and scalable. An innovative business will be unique and original, differing from businesses already operating in this sector. Viability will require showing that the applicant has the knowledge and skills to successfully run the business, while to be scalable, the business idea must have potential for future growth.    

The business must also be new, or where it does already exist, have not yet started trading.  

Making an application for an Investor Visa

Fulfil your dream of living in the UK with the UK Investor Visa

Fulfil your dreams of living in the UK with the UK Investor Visa

If an applicant does successfully obtain endorsement, the second stage of submitting an application for the UK Innovator Visa must be made within three months of the date given on the letter of endorsement.  

As mentioned above, along with obtaining endorsement, there are other requirements of a UK Innovator Visa application. One of these is evidence that the applicant holds funds of at least £50,000 to invest in the business. These funds must be accessible to the applicant and, if in a UK bank, have been held by them for at least three months. Whether an applicant has access to these funds will also be relevant to the business idea’s viability, as discussed above. In addition to this sum, an applicant must show they have held at least £1,270 in their account for a minimum of 28 days prior to application, as evidence they can support themselves after moving to the UK.  

An applicant must also satisfy an English Language requirement, namely an ability to read, write, speak and understand English to Level B2 CEFR. This requirement can be met if the applicant has completed a degree taught in English (although if this was completed abroad, confirmation of the degree’s UK equivalent from Ecctis must be obtained), or if an applicant has completed GCSEs, Highers or A Levels in the UK. In the absence of such qualifications, an applicant will need to sit an approved Home Office English Language test.  

A suitability requirement also applies to UK Innovator Visa applications, relating to the applicant’s character and conduct; examples of what might affect suitability include criminal convictions or previous non-compliance with UK immigration law. 

Partners and children under 18 can also move to the UK with those with an Innovator Visa. As evidence that these family members will be financially supported whilst here, evidence of the following amount of savings, held again for at least 28 days before the date of application: 

  • £285 for a partner 
  • £315 for one child 
  • £200 for each additional child 

A successful application will result in a grant of leave for three years.  

Moving to the UK permanently under an Innovator Visa 

Relocate to bustling London with the UK Innovator Visa

Relocate to bustling London with the UK Innovator Visa

After completing three years’ continuous residence in the UK with leave as an Innovator, it is possible to apply to settle. This application again requires an endorsement letter, although the criteria differs to those for initial endorsement. In order to obtain the endorsement required for settlement, an innovator’s business must be registered with Companies House, be actively trading, and demonstrate an ability to continue trading for at least the next 12 months.  

In addition, the business must show it has achieved two of the following: 

  • £1 million revenue in the last full year for which the business can provide accounts 
  • £500,000 revenue in the last full year for which the business can provide accounts, of which £100,000 comes from overseas export 
  • Have received £50,000 investment, spent on business development  
  • Created 10 full-time jobs (or the equivalent) that have all lasted for at least 12 months 
  • Created five full-time jobs (or the equivalent) with an average salary of £25,000 a year, which have all lasted for at least 12 months 
  • Made an application for intellectual property protection in the UK 
  • Have doubled the number of its customers in the last three years to a figure that is above the average for the type of business 

If the innovator relies on either of the “job creation” options listed above, the jobs must be for “settled” workers; that is, a British or Irish citizen; an EEA citizen who commenced employment in the business prior to 31st December 2020; a holder of indefinite leave to remain/settled status; or the holder of a UK Ancestry Visa who is also a Commonwealth citizen. 

Again, an application for settlement must be submitted within three months of the date given on the endorsement letter. Applicants for settlement must also pass the Life in the UK test and meet an absence requirement of no more than 180 days spent outside the UK in any 12 months.  

Frustratingly, dependent family members must complete five continuous years living in the UK (this can include time spent as a dependent on a different route, such as Skilled Worker or partner of a settled person). In practice, this will mean that family members will often need to extend their leave for a further two years before they are eligible for settlement. 

Dependants over the age of 18 will also need to pass the Life in the UK test, and meet an English Language requirement at Level B1 CEFR.  

Due to the strict requirements involved in moving to the UK with an Innovator Visa, it is advised that applicants seek legal advice and representation to ensure they provide all the relevant documents, meet the criteria, and make the strongest possible application for an Innovator Visa. 

London is one of the most vibrant, exciting cities in the world, with so many incredible things to see and do. However, there are plenty of other fantastic places in the south of England that are also definitely worth visiting. Many of these make easy day trips from London by train. Here are some of the very best.

Oxford (or Cambridge)

Historic Oxford, accessible as a day trip from London by train

Historic Oxford, accessible as a day trip from London by train

Home to a world-famous 1,000-year-old university, beautiful medieval buildings, cozy cafes, atmospheric pubs, and more Harry Potter filming locations than you can shake a wand at, Oxford is a wonderful place to spend a day.

The centre of town is fairly compact and walkable. Highlights include the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, Christ Church College,

Turf Tavern, the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean museums, as well as the Sheldonian Theatre, Botanic Gardens, and Magdalen College.

For the best view in the city, and to see why Oxford is known as the “City of Dreaming Spires”, climb the tower of the Church of St Mary The Virgin.

Alternatively, why not visit the other equally-famous university town, Cambridge. (Or “the Other Place”, as Oxonians like to call it.

Cambridge is smaller than Oxford, with slightly fewer “sights”, but an equally captifying atmosphere. Famous places to visit in Cambridge include the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Bridge of Sighs (named after the bridge in Venice), the Mathematical Bridge, King’s College Chapel, and “the Backs” – an iconic and beautiful area that separates some of the university’s colleges with the river Cam (hire a punt for the best views).

The South Downs

Head to South Downs National Park to experience English countryside just outside of London

Head to South Downs National Park to experience the beautiful English countryside

There are many excellent walks in and around London. However, if you’d prefer to spend a day hiking in the English countryside, head for the South Downs National Park. This range of hills passes through the counties of East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire, and has some of the finest scenery in southern England.

It’s a beautiful place, with gently rolling hills, picture-postcard green fields, ancient woodland, and meadows of wildflowers. From many viewpoints, you can see all the way to the coast and out to sea.

There are many excellent walking trails passing through the South Downs. Two of the best known are the South Downs Way and the Monarch’s Way. These are both long-distance hiking routes, but several sections make excellent day walks that are easily doable on a day trip from London by train.

A classic route is from Hassocks to Lewes, via Ditchling Beacon. Both Hassocks and Lewes have a station with direct trains to/from London.

Another great option is the walk from Seaford to Eastbourne, via the famous “Seven Sisters” cliffs.

Brighton

Take a day trip from London by train and head to the coastal town of Brighton

Take a day trip from London by train and head to the coastal town of Brighton

Brighton is a popular seaside town on the south coast of England.

Famous for its long pebbly beach and party atmosphere, Brighton is a great place to visit throughout the year. In the summertime, the long, mild evenings draw crowds of locals and visitors alike to the seafront. Here you can enjoy friendly festival-like vibes and a drink or two as you watch the sunset over the English Channel.

Other places to visit in Brighton include the iconic Royal Pavilion and Brighton pier, complete with a traditional amusement arcade and mini-theme park. Wander through the narrow alleyways of the Lanes, an area close to the seafront that’s full of pubs, bars, restaurants, vintage shops, and independent boutiques.

Brighton is known for being a very progressive, open-minded place. Brighton Pride is arguably the UK’s most popular international Pride Festival, and the city has a large LGBTQ+ community.

There’s also a vibrant creative scene here, with a range of music, theatre, art, film, and literature festivals throughout the year.

Brighton is particularly easy to explore as a day trip from London by train. There are usually at least 2-3 direct services per hour to/from several London stations, and the journey only takes 60-70 minutes.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, just outside of London

Windsor Castle, just outside of London

Located just outside London and accessible by train, Windsor Castle is one of the Queen’s three official residences. It’s also the largest and oldest continually-inhabited castle in the world.

The castle is located on top of a hill and can be seen for miles throughout the surrounding area. It has many imposing towers and battlements, immaculately manicured courtyards, and more than 5,000 acres of grounds.

One of the most striking things about Windsor Castle is its size. It’s truly massive, with over 1,000 rooms. You can visit many of these, including the richly furnished state apartments (full of priceless artwork by painters such as Rembrandt), and the Royal Family’s luxurious private apartments.

The castle’s gothic St George’s Chapel has a beautiful vaulted ceiling and contains the tombs of many former British monarchs, including Charles I and Henry VIII. (For anyone interested, this is also where Harry and Meghan were married.)

If you can time your visit to coincide with the Changing of the Guard (at 11 am), this is worth seeing. A colourful and symbolic daily ceremony marks the formal changing of the castle’s guards. It’s full of pomp and tradition, complete with a marching band.

Don’t miss a walk through the extensive grounds too. The best – and most iconic – view of Windsor Castle can be seen from the Long Walk, a 2.6-mile tree-lined avenue that leads up to the castle.

Margate & Whitstable

Walk along the seafront in Whitsable - A day trip from London by train

Walk along the seafront in Whitstable

The Victorian seaside town of Margate has recently become popular again with a wave of regeneration and gentrification.

Today, the town is full of hipster coffee shops, vintage shops, trendy bars selling craft beer and natural wine, and inventive restaurants and galleries. The Turner Contemporary gallery is well worth a visit, as is Crate, an artists studio and creative space housed in a former printing factory.

Also worth checking out, the alternative-themed amusement park Dreamland has several fun rides and also hosts a range of live music.

A few miles along the Kent coast, Whitstable has a totally different feel to Margate. More upmarket, here you’ll find several smart restaurants and many fancy holiday rental properties.

Take a walk along the Whitstable seafront, past the rainbow-coloured beach houses, maybe stopping to chat with one of the vendors selling freshly caught oysters, mackerel, and other local produce. If you have time, pop in for a drink at the Old Neptune pub, a local institution located right on the beach.

It’s easy to visit both Margate and Whitstable as a day trip from London by train. Both towns have good rail connections with the capital, and the train only takes 20 minutes between the two.

Bath

With Roman origins and stunning architecture, Bath is well-worth a day trip from London

With Roman origins and stunning architecture, Bath is well worth a day trip from London by train

Home to an incredible ancient Roman bathhouse, the city of Bath has some of the most beautiful architecture in Britain.

The famous Roman baths were built 2,000 years ago on top of a natural hot spring. Mineral-rich water rising from the ground was channelled through an impressive system of pipes and chambers to create a spa complex with several heated rooms and thermal pools.

It’s one of the best-preserved ancient bathhouses in the world, and definitely worth a visit.

Sadly, you can’t take a dip in the Roman baths in Bath. However, the same natural hot spring water flows into the modern Thermae Bath Spa, where you can enjoy a luxurious pampering experience complete with a stunning rooftop pool.

Other sites not to miss in Bath include the Royal Crescent (a gorgeous curving street lined with butter-coloured Georgian houses), Pulteney Bridge (an 18th-century bridge lined with shops), and Bath Abbey (a beautiful medieval church).

For a great view over the city, try hiking the Bath Skyline, a 6-mile circular trail passing through ancient woodland and meadows.

Bristol

Bristol is known for its vibrant arts scene and quirky alternative culture

Bristol is known for its vibrant arts scene and quirky alternative culture

Arty, edgy, and wonderfully unconventional, Bristol is one of the most liveable cities in the UK. At only 1.5 hours away from central London by train, it makes a perfect day trip.

Bristol is known for its attractive harbour, vibrant arts scene, rich history, quirky alternative culture, and the friendliness of its locals. It’s also the proud birthplace of the famous street artist Banksy, whose works are found throughout the city.

Clifton, a smart residential area of the city, is definitely worth a visit. Here you’ll find beautiful large Victorian and Georgian houses, green parks, boutiquey shops, and independent cafés and wine bars. From the famous Clifton suspension bridge, there are wonderful views across the Avon Gorge.

For a grittier take on the city, take a walk around the Stokes Croft area, home to a range of excellent pubs, artists’ studios, and fantastic international eateries.

Planning Your Day Trip from London by Train

The price of your ticket can vary wildly depending on the time, and how far in advance you book. For the cheapest fares, it’s best to book as far in advance as possible. If you’re travelling between Monday and Friday, try to book “off peak” trains (i.e. departing between 9:30 am and returning after 7 pm), if possible.

It’s quick and easy to compare and book tickets online using thetrainline.com.

The number of free things to do in Wales is incredible. In fact, there are many scenic hikes, beautiful Welsh coast, and charming villages. Furthermore, your holiday in this amazing country can be really cheap if you love spending time with nature.

If you want to explore North Wales, the best airport to fly to is Liverpool. It is only 30 minutes drive from the Welsh border. However, Manchester airport is also a great choice with a 1-hour drive to Wales.

1. Climb the highest mountain in Wales

Climb Mount Snowdown - the highest mountain in Wales

Climb Mount Snowdown – the highest mountain in Wales

Snowdonia National Park is home to various landscapes and offers amazing outdoor activities. The highest mountain in Wales and its beautiful lakes make it one of the top destinations to visit in the UK. Each year more than 500,000 people reach the summit of Snowdon.

There are 7 different routes to the top of the mountain and all of them are free to explore. All you need is a bit of time (at least 6 hours) to climb Snowdon and go back. It is a perfect place for a day out with incredible views.

2. Visit amazing waterfalls

Aber Falls in Northern Wales

Aber Falls in Northern Wales

If you are looking for some of the best waterfalls in Wales, make sure to visit the northern part of the country. In North Wales, you will find incredible scenery and a lot of hidden gems. Aber Falls which is just off the A55 (North Wales Expressway) is an amazing place to explore.

There is a parking charge on most of the places in the UK, however, if you want to save some money park near Aber Falls Cafe & Butterfly Room. It takes only a 1-hour hike to get to the waterfall.

3. Relax at one of the Welsh beaches

Exploring the lighthouse near Talacre

Exploring the lighthouse near Talacre

Wales is a perfect summer destination due to the abundance of sandy beaches. Some of the best beaches in Wales include Colwyn Bay Beach or Talacre Beach. If you want to combine your visit with also exploring the lighthouse, make sure to visit Talacre.

The miles of sandy beach make it a perfect place for a picnic with the family. Your kids will love shallow waters and dog the space to run around the beach. If you stay there for a sunset, you can take some incredible photos of the lighthouse.

4. Explore Holy Island and the Isle of Anglesey

Visit historic South Stack perched atop dramatic cliffs

Visit historic South Stack perched atop dramatic cliffs

There is no better place to visit for those who want to see even more lighthouses in Wales. One of the best is located on beautiful Holy Island. South Stack is a historic building set on dramatic cliffs with views of the sea.

On the Welsh coast, you will also find a few other interesting lighthouses. Goleudy Twr Mawr and Goleudy Twr Mawr are set on a small tidal island – Ynys Llanddwyn. You can get there from Traeth Llanddwyn beach, which is also a great place to relax during summer.

5. Visit Conwy

Walk the Town Walls of Conwy

Walk the Town Walls of Conwy

One of the most charming villages in Wales is Conwy with an incredible medieval castle. You need to pay to enter the castle, however, exploring Conwy Town Walls is free. This walk around the town is one of the best free things to do in Wales.

You can also take incredible pictures of Conwy Castle from the street. The beautiful towers of the fortress from the XIII century cannot be missed when visiting Wales. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Conwy that also include relaxing at Conwy Morfa Beach.

6. Walk over the aqueduct

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales is an engineering masterpiece. A height of 38m and a total length of 307m offers incredible views of the country. This structure is the highest canal aqueduct in the world and is perfect to visit in the early morning when there are not many visitors. Who wouldn’t want to watch the sunrise with the views of the River view and the beautiful Welsh landscape?

Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best free things to do in Wales. You can walk there from Ty Mawr Country Park which takes approximately 30 minutes. In this area, you will also find another amazing tourist attraction which is Traphont Cefn Mawr Viaduct.

7. Visit one of the seven wonders of Wales

St Giles' Church in Wrexham

St Giles’ Church in Wrexham

St Giles’ Church in Wrexham is a beautiful 16th-century structure that can be seen from miles. This Grade I listed building is free to visit and its interior is very impressive. The medieval buildings in Wales are one of the greatest in Europe, so make sure to tick this off from your list.

Other seven wonders of Wales include Pistyll Rhaedr waterfall, Overton yew trees, St Winefride’s Well, Llangollen Bridge, Bells of All Saint’s Church, and Snowdon. Most of them are free to visit or with a small entry fee and parking.

8. Hike Little Orme

Little Orme with amazing views over the bays

Little Orme with amazing views over the bays

If you are looking for a place where you can spot seals, visit Little Orme. It offers amazing views of Penrhyn Bay, Porth Dyniewaid Angel Bay, and Llandudno Bay. The hike is very easy and very popular among the people that take their dogs for a walk there.

It is still an unknown tourist destination which is perfect to visit if you want to save some money on parking. You can leave your car on the street without paying any fees. After the hike, you can visit Llandudno Beach or Penhryn Bay Beach. 

Free things to do in North Wales – Insider Tips

When planning your trip to Wales, make sure to also check out some events that offer free entries to many amazing attractions. Sometimes you can visit castles for free, which usually cost at least £10.

Also, try to avoid popular destinations as there is more likely to be a fee for parking. However, you can always find a place to park a bit further and walk to the attractions. Make sure to bring with you good hiking shoes, waterproof clothes, and a good camera to take incredible photos of your journey.

If you live near Wales, you can also go on a road trip, which will offer you a scenic drive. The Welsh coast is incredible and there are many great places to stop. One of the best routes is A55 (North Wales Expressway) which will offer you an unforgettable day out in Wales.

Between travel bans, lockdown restrictions, and fears about the coronavirus, more and more travel enthusiasts have been embracing the classic staycation to soothe their wanderlust. Luckily for those living in the UK, there is so much natural beauty and historical locations for plenty of options for weekend trips from London.

Once the weather starts to warm up, avid travellers will be looking for city trips and weekend breaks around the English countryside. Recharge your batteries by visiting the old city centres, Roman-time ruins, or walking along extensive walking trails through the countryside and coastline.

1. Historical Bath – a Day Trip from London

As its name implies, a visit to Bath can be one of the most relaxing weekend trips from London – it’s only a 90-minute drive from Paddington Station. In fact, public transportation is even faster than driving, making Bath one of the best weekend trips from London by train.

Weekend Trips from London - Historic Bath

90 minutes from London, discover Historic Bath

The local hot springs that give Bath its name have fascinated the city’s people for centuries. From Roman times to the modern-day, people visit Bath for its healing powers and focus on relaxation.

There is still much evidence of Roman baths and great examples of ancient architecture. Don’t miss the Roman bath, Bath Abbey and Thermae Bath Spa.

Whether you want to spend a day in the thermal spa, or would rather explore the historic centre, Although its proximity to London makes it well-suited for a day trip, we can assure you that there is plenty to do in Bath to warrant a weekend-long city break.

2. The Lovely Lake District

The Lake District can be reached by train in just 3 hours from Euston Station in central London, making it a great choice for nature lovers who need a weekend break. You can search the Trainline to find tickets to any of the stations in the Lake District region such as Oxenholme, Windermere, or Grasmere.

UK Weekend Getaways - Lake District

Take a weekend trip in the Lake District in Northwest England

The Lake District National Park spans an area of 2,362 square kilometres and was even announced as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2017. It includes the tallest mountain in England, and the largest and deepest natural lakes in the whole country.

Outdoors and active enthusiasts will find a large network of beautiful trails and mountains. Anyone seeking to gain some elevation and stretch their hiking legs will find everything they need right here in the UK. A nice weekend break from London in the Lake District is sure to quench your thirst for more far-flung destinations like Iceland or Switzerland.

For something special, get a bird’s eye view over the region by taking a hot air balloon flight. Or, take a boat cruise on Lake Windermere. Some of the most famous British literary talents also lived in the Lakeland region, and to this day, you can still visit the homes of William Wordsworth or Beatrix Potter.

Because of its proximity to the sea, the weather in the Lake District is generally rainy. So, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast while planning your weekend break.

3. Cotswolds: A Charming Weekend Trip from London

The Cotswolds is a large area known for its hills, medieval villages, and thatched-roof houses. The buildings in the Cotswolds are all made from local limestone, which gives them a warm honey colour.

Charming cottages in the Cotswolds

Take a relaxing weekend trip from London in the charming Cotswolds cottages

People love the Cotswolds for the abundance of walking and biking trails that pass through the quaint English villages. The best time to visit the Cotswolds is between June and August, when the lavender is in full bloom. Some say that the lavender fields in the Cotswolds can compete with the famous fields in Provence, France.

Antique shoppers love the Cotswolds for the famous Cirencester Antique and Collector’s market. Every Friday you can browse the markets and discover a large selection of antique treasures and street market stalls.

Regardless of how you spend your weekend, don’t leave Cotswold without trying the famous Cotswold cheese. It is a regional cow’s milk cheese that is flavoured with chives and onions and is made from cow’s milk.

To start your weekend trip, a take train from London’s Paddington Station. There are direct trains to various locations within the Cotswolds, such as Moretown-in-Marsh, Kemble, Stroud, or Stonehouse.



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4. Pembrokeshire – The Quintessential Seaside Weekend Break

A bit further afield, Pembrokeshire is popular among tourists from England and Wales since it has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the UK.  This region is best suited for a long weekend break from central London, as a train will take about 5 hours 30 minutes.

With historic architecture and spectacular coastline, Pembrokeshire really has something to offer everyone. This region offers excellent food and drink, beautiful beaches, and historic Victorian-era villages. One of the most popular activities in Pembrokeshire is to hike the National Park along the coast. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path makes it accessible for casual pedestrians and serious hikers alike. 

UK Weekend Trips from London - Pembrokeshire

Take in the sunset on The Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Pembrokeshire is also home to several historical architectural sites. Pembroke Castle, Carew Castle, and St. Cathedral David are the main highlights. In Pembrokeshire, there’s even “Stonehenge of Wales”, one of the best Neolithic dolmens that still exists today.

The best way to spend your weekend break in Pembrokeshire is to rent one of the available UK Holiday cottages on the weekends. These days, most cottage owners list their places on booking.com, so you can browse around to find a place that suits your needs.

5. Cornwall – Beautiful and Unique

This county in southwestern England is surrounded by water to the north, south, and east. Cornwall features a proud Celtic culture which makes it one of the best weekend trips from London. Since there is so much to do, we would recommend taking at least a whole weekend to explore all that Cornwall has to offer.

Take a stroll on Land’s End Trail, the most south-west point of England. Cornwall has more than 300 miles of walking trails along the coastline with spectacular cliffs, dunes, and medieval villages.

Cornwall England’s Land’s End Trail 

Cornwall England’s Land’s End Trail

Cornwall cannot be mentioned without thinking of specific food traditions. Maybe you just want to spend your weekend break as more of a culinary vacation, indulging in Cornwall’s gastronomic pleasures — we’re not judging! From Cornish meat pasties, Cornish Heavy Cake, saffron buns, Cornish ice cream, Cornish fudge, there is more than enough regional specialities to keep you busy! During your weekend break, you might even want to take a cooking class to learn all about how to make traditional Cornish Pasties.

One of the unique places in Cornwall is the Eden Project. This ecological park and educational project site holds the distinction of being the world’s largest indoor rainforest. The section is full of biomes that showcase a number of the most important plants in the world. At night, the biomes are illuminated with colourful light displays and the atmosphere is simply magical.

Cornwall England’s Eden Project

Cornwall England’s Eden Project



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As you can see, there is no shortage of nice weekend trips from London to make you feel a world away. If you’re looking for more things to do in the UK check out our UK Travel and Backpacking guide, where you’ll also find budgeting tips and advice for how to travel around for cheap.