10 Great Side Trips from London
By Dinah Hatch
London is an unbelievably rich city, but it's still a city, and you haven't fully experienced England until you've gotten into the country for a while. We suggest you hop on the train or jump in the car and go and discover your own green and pleasant land, far from the madding crowd. After all, there's so much more to England than its capital.
Photo Caption: West Pier in Brighton. Photo by David Hawgood/Wikimedia Commons
Where: Just over 100 miles west of London.
How to get there from London: Nose the car towards the M4, stick on a CD to avoid radio chatter about The Big Day and drive for about 90 minutes. By train, there are half-hourly services from London Paddington to Bath Spa station, taking about an hour and a half.
Photo Caption: View of the river in Bath, England
Where: On the south coast, about 50 miles south of London.
How to get there from London: By car, join the M25 until the M23 turn off and continue driving until the A23 takes you straight to the Palace Pier. Trains leave London Victoria about every half hour and the journey takes just over an hour. From the station, it's downhill all the way, quite literally...
Photo Caption: Brightly coloured beach huts in a row on Brighton seafront, England
Where: 59 miles west of London.
How to get there from London: A straight drive for an hour along the M40 will deliver you to the city. Direct trains run from London Paddington every 30 minutes and get there in just under an hour.
Photo Caption: Bridge of Sighs and New College Lane, Oxford
Where: 110 miles west of London.
How to get there from London: Head west out onto the M4 and keep going. It'll take about two and a half hours. Trains run direct from London Paddington every half an hour and the journey takes an hour and three quarters.
Photo Caption: Boats and buildings seen from Redcliffe Bridge in Bristol, England.
Where: Just over 100 miles northwest of London.
How to get there from London: Bomb up the M40, past Oxford, and exit at junction 15, onto the A46. Local roads lead into the city. It'll take you just over two hours. Trains leave London Marylebone around about every two hours and the journey takes two and a quarter hours.
Photo Caption: Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford. Photo by Picturessence/Frommers.com Community
Where: 50 miles north of London
How to get there from London: Head for the M11, exit at junction 11 and follow local city centre signs. It'll take about an hour and a half. Fast, direct trains leave London Kings Cross every half an hour to Cambridge, taking 46 minutes.
Photo Caption: Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Musuem. Photo by Zylian/Flickr.com
Where: Just north of the Essex border in south Suffolk.
How to get there from London: By car from the north circular, take the M11, M25 and A12. It will take about an hour and a half. Take the hourly fast train from London Liverpool Street to Colchester which takes 46 minutes. The number 93 bus service runs from Colchester to Ipswich via East Bergholt and is a ten-mile journey.
Photo Caption: Willy Lott's cottage -- subject of works by painter John Constable -- in Dedham, England. Photo by crabchick/Flickr.com
Where: Eastbourne is 62 miles south east of London
How to get there from London: By car, take the M25, M23, A264, A22, A27 and then A22. It should take around 90 minutes. Trains leave London Victoria for Eastbourne every half hour and also take 90 minutes.
Photo Caption: Boats along the Sussex shore in Hastings, England. Photo by McCubrey/Frommers.com Community
Where: On the coast, 57 miles south west of London
How to get there from London: Head along the A3, the A3(M), the A27, the M27 and finally the A3 again. It should take an hour and a half. Direct fast trains leave London Waterloo half hourly and reach Portsmouth Harbour or Portsmouth and Southsea station about one hour and 50 minutes later.
Photo Caption: The "HMS Victory" in Porstmouth Harbour. Photo by Nigel Swales/Flickr.com