Places to Visit near London
London is lucky to have so many fantastic tourist attractions both outside the city as well as inside. Within an hour’s journey you can be at the doorstep of historic castles, royal palaces and nature reserves – among many other great places for a family day out, or short trip. Learn more about the country’s history, beautiful landscape and culture at these places to visit near London.
Attraction type: Historic Castle
Windsor Castle is one of the most impressive historic castles in England and is in fact the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world! Built in the 11th century, Windsor Castle is steeped in history and has seen its fair share of rulers come and go over the last 900 years. Visit the State Apartments and see how each royal’s tastes have changed over the years, from priceless pictures from the Royal Collection to lavish furnishings. You can’t miss the Doll’s House either, the smallest and most intricate in the world. Time your visit to Windsor right and you can even catch the Changing of the Guard.
Address: Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ
How to get there: Travel from London Paddington, board a train for Slough and change at Slough for a train to Windsor & Eton Central. This is included in the London Pass. Alternatively you can board a train at London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside.
Visit duration: 1 day
Hampton Court Palace
Attraction type: Historic Palace
Hampton Court Palace is one of the most stunning historic buildings in England and was the former home of King Henry VIII, one of the most notorious rulers of Britain. A visit to Hampton Court Palace promises a fascinating insight into the life of the infamous king, from his vast meals cooked in the huge Tudor Kitchens, to his Great Hall, where he was entertained by Shakespeare’s company performing the Kings Men in 1603. Enjoy the gardens of this beautiful historic attraction and explore the Vineyard, maze and original tennis courts, too.
Address: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
How to get there: Train from Wimbledon or Waterloo to Hampton Court. Or take the underground or overground to Richmond and get the R68 bus to Hampton Court.
Visit duration: half a day
Attraction type: Botanical Gardens and Historic Palace
If you are a fan of the outdoors and natural beauty, a visit to Kew Gardens is a must. These Royal Botanical Gardens are a great place to visit near London for a family day out. Kew Gardens is full of beautiful blooms, exotic plants and even a Palace and Museum to explore, too. There are over 121 hectares of grounds to discover and it is famous for growing the largest number of species of plants than any other garden in the world. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, why not join in on a free Guided Tour of Kew Gardens once a morning, and once in the early afternoon, to see the best there is to see.
Address: Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey TW9
How to get there: Underground: District Line - Kew Gardens
Visit duration: half a day
World Rugby Museum & Twickenham Stadium
Attraction type: Museum & Sporting Grounds
The World Rugby Museum & Twickenham Stadium is the home of English World Rugby so its hallowed grounds are sacred to any rugby enthusiast! Take a guided tour of this famous stadium and access all areas for an exclusive insight into pre- and post-match traditions. Visit England’s dressing room, see the royal box and walk out the players’ tunnel onto the pitch. The Museum will teach you all about the history of this great sport from its origins in Rugby School to becoming one of the most nail-biting sports today, including exhibits on some of the sweetest victories won in this world-famous venue.
Address: Twickenham Stadium, Whitton Road, Twickenham, TW2 7BA
How to get there: Train to Twickenham station from London Waterloo or Clapham Junction.
Visit duration: 3 hours
London Wetland Centre
Attraction type: Outdoor attraction
The London Wetland Centre is a quiet urban oasis in the middle of London, in the bend of the Thames. Start your visit at the Observatory, where you can take in the stunning views over the wetland from this unbeatable vantage point. The wetlands are home to a number of birds, wildlife and butterflies, as well as otters and sand martins who have their own habitats for you to see. Stop off at the Pond Zone and Rain Garden for some magical natural landscapes. It’s a great family day out and especially beautiful when the sun is shining!
Address: Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes, London SW13
How to get there: Hammersmith Underground and then take the bus number 283 to the Wetland Centre.
Visit duration: 3 hours
Attraction type: Natural attraction
The Chislehurst Caves in Kent are a hidden gem and few people know about the 20 miles of tunnels and dark passageways hidden just outside London. On a tour of the caves, you’ll learn about how these chalk tunnels are were hand-mined for their flint and lime for over 8000 years. The tour will take you along a timeline of Saxons, Druids and Romans and how the mines played their part in the history of London and its natural mining industry.
Address: Caveside Close, Old Hill, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5NL
How to get there: Train to Chislehurst from Charing Cross and London Bridge stations.
Visit duration: 4 hours
There are so many places to visit near London so don’t forget that great tourist attractions can be found a little further afield. From historic palaces and castles, to nature reserves and botanic gardens, there are so many things to do in and around London. Travelling around London with an Oyster Card, too, is the easiest and most cost-effective way of getting from A to B so take the stress out of sightseeing with this easy to use electronic travelcard.