When people think of visiting England they typically have London in mind. Whilst London is a fantastic city with lots of things to do, places to eat and many lovely walks, a visit to England wouldn’t be complete without making time for the British seaside and countryside. These may seem a world away from London at times, yet the great thing about London is that you can easily access many beautiful towns and villages just by hopping on a train. And some of them aren’t very far!
Ramsgate is only a two-hour train ride from London, but still very much feels like you are getting away. Once you reach the town centre, you know why it was once the getaway destination for Londoners. The hills, cliffs, and old stone paths frame the Georgian properties in a picturesque way. The panoramic sea views, fresh air, and fresh seafood restaurants feel far from the London rat-race. Ramsgate also has the only harbour and marina with Royal status as it was once a popular destination with members of the royal family many years ago.
Artsy and colourful Brighton is another seaside city on the list. Only a little over an hour from London, it’s well worth making the trip on a sunny day. Brits flock to the pebble beach on the hottest days of the year. The famous Brighton pier is packed with classic fairground features: Bumper cars, carousels, swing rides, candy floss as well as bars and restaurants. Interestingly, we noticed that the bar/lounges on the beach and pier have adopted an Ibiza-like feel, with loud, chilled house music, with cocktails and bar bites on the menus. A few streets back from the beach-front offer some real gems, by way of restaurants, shops, and pubs – with plenty of live music and comedy.
The closest to London on this list, is St Albans, barely 45 minutes away by train. St Albans is full of Roman history – making your way over to the town, park, museum, and amphitheatre is a must. There is also a long-standing market, and plenty of awesome restaurants in the town-centre.
Related: A Guide to A Day Out in St. Albans
You may already know this university town for its punting, antique stores, museums, the famous Fitzbillies cafe, and it’s many bridges. The city centre cathedral also offers a brilliant roof-top 360 view of this city. Naturally, the university grounds are stunning, and the town boasts some elegant architecture, so there are plenty of scenic routes to walk, and also plenty of historic pubs, and trendy restaurants. Related: Fifteen Things You Must Do on a Day Out in Cambridge
Getting to Rye feels like going through a time-machine to well in the past – a fairytale perhaps. Rye is made up of narrow, hilly, winding roads, with cobbled streets, and historic architecture. It is quaint, charming and full of fascinating history. Come here to enjoy some cosy pubs and tea-rooms, and to learn about the town’s smuggling history and turbulent relations with the French!
Related: How to Spend 24 Hours in Rye