London is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities on earth, but it can also be a difficult place to feel confident. Every now and then you need a break from the crowded tubes and busy streets. Escape to a place where you can rest your brain, get some fresh air and have a nice break from the rush. Whether it’s for a study break, a vacation or a short day-trip, London is surrounded by relaxing places, lovely cities and small towns you get to in a few hours or less. Here’s a list of 5 relaxing places you can go when you need a break from busy London.
Brighton is a very popular choice when it comes to parties and nightlife, and may not sound like the ideal city for a relaxing break. However, if you enjoy being by the water and feeling the sea breeze, Brighton is still worth considering. Sitting by the pier with ice cream and a book is the loveliest change from London pollution and stress.
Even though the city is busy with people, the tempo is entirely different here. Nobody seems to be in a rush, everyone is smiling and the atmosphere is so relaxed and lovely. Take a walk along the famous pier or enjoy the Brighton Aquarium. The city is also filled with little artsy cafes offering amazing food. Travel from Victoria Station and you’ll be in Brighton in about an hours time.
Oxford is the place to go for grand old buildings, long shopping streets, canal boats and of course Oxford University. You could walk these streets for days, constantly finding something new to explore. If you’re bitter about not getting into Oxford University you can spend your time making fun of the students studying for their exams.
Walking along the canals in Oxford is a great way to wind down and listen to an audiobook or two. There’s also the Botanic gardens where you can spend hours trotting along, smelling flowers or writing some bad poetry. If you have a Railcard you can get a return ticket to Oxford for about £20, or you can take the Megabus for about £10 each way.
One hour and 8 minutes train ride from London is Winchester, a very charming town filled with cute little houses and nice parks. This the perfect in-between if you want a bit of English country-side but still want to be able to go shopping and have fancy cocktails.
When in Winchester walking up St. Kathrine’s hill is a must! It’s so peaceful and quiet and the view is like a stunning party for your eye-holes. This town is a beauty and there’s something for everyone here, whether you want to look at trees and do yoga or get drunk and silly.
Tell people you’re going to Bath spa, it sounds really fancy so if you say it enough times they might think you’re rich. Even if you can’t afford to pay for any spa treatments, you should definitively still go! There are so many lovely things to look at in Bath. Take a trip to the Roman Bath museum or walk the streets snacking on a Sally Bun.
You can spend the day lounging in a park or go Rich people-watching by The Royal Crescent. Should the French revolution be more your thing you can visit Pulteney Bridge where Javert/Russel Crowe killed himself in the Les Miserables movie. Getting here takes about 1,5 hours by train so it’s ideal for a weekend trip.
I don’t know if it ever gets more British than Wiltshire county. This is the home of some of the loveliest villages England has to offer. Landscape-wise this is about as far away from London as you get. Lots of famous movies and TV shows like Harry Potter and Downton Abbey was filmed here so bring your camera and take lots of photos!
Visiting villages like Lacock, Castle Combe or Tisbury is a must when visiting, it’s like stepping into a different time period. Pretend you’re the main character in a Dickens novel or the lead suspect in an episode of Midsummer Murders. Everything is slow paced here so take it easy, find yourself a cute local coffee shop, drink your own body weight in tea and just relax and enjoy the view.