London is quite probably the best city on the planet (a Londoner’s bias aside) but everyone is prone to an ache for a change of scenery. Luckily the geography gods have mapped out England in such a way as to provide rolling hills and sand dunes perfectly within our remit. What’s a better use of your recently acquired driving licence than getting away to the quaintest places you don’t even need to pack an overnight bag for? Here are the best summer getaways to visit!
The picturesque town of Rye is a town of quaint cottages and much-loved antiques shops. Mermaid Street in Rye was voted one of the prettiest streets in the UK, and it really does live up to its title with it’s Tudor-style houses and its whimsical house names. The town of Rye is only a 20-minute bus ride to Camber Sands, a gorgeous beach that is a delight even on a windy day and isn’t nearly as touristy as other popular beaches in the UK, and it’s less than two hours away from London. A great option for summer getaways!
Brighton isn’t just good for classic British fish, chips and sugared doughnuts. A walk along the pier amongst the cheerfulness and lark of the arcades is a sweet afternoon pastime. Brighton was named the happiest city in 2015, and the Brighton Royal Pavilion, modelled in a 19th Century Indian Style is truly a sight to behold.
Shakespeare wrote of the stunning White Cliffs of Dover in King Lear, so they’re worth a mention in this list at the very least. Canterbury and Brighton are really close by Dover too! You could even pop over to France from here if you fancy really good pastries.
The colleges of Cambridge are lovingly placed around this summer getaway location, and the city offers 90-minute tours which are a good shout if you’d like to get some of the best sights done in a day. Cambridge summertime also means festival time, including the Cambridge comedy festival held in July, which has presented some amazingly talented comedians. It’s also a great city to go punting in if you want to have a jolly good time. A great choice for summer getaways!
Oxford is best known for its historic university but it has so much more to offer. The city is only an hour’s drive away from London, and boasts wonderful architecture including the many spires it is rather famous for. It’s not bad for a student night out either.
The New Forest
The New Forest is an idyllic writer’s retreat and bursting with inspiration for the arts. Although it’s so very close to London, the New Forest will make you feel like you’re in an entirely different realm. Think of the Bronte moors. That’s the kind of thing you’ll find at the New Forest. A fun place for summer getaways!
Surprisingly (not), the monarchy isn’t one of the reasons I’d recommend visiting Windsor. In fact, Legoland is probably a better reason. Second only to Windsor Castle of course.
Colchester is an arts city away from the capital. It has galleries, theatres, Roman ruins, a castle and a zoo for the kiddies. Colchester Castle alone, a Norman castle built on Roman foundations provides enough history to the city to make it well worth a summer visit.
This really is so super pretty. It was deservedly named an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1958 and it still lives up to that recognition. If you’d like to escape London for a really good walk, this is the place to go.
The Cheddar Gorge in Somerset gives you the chance to explore hidden away stalactite caves and lets you climb the cliffs and walk the long roads of the Gorge. Climb all 265 steps of the Jacob’s Ladder Lookout and take in the picturesque view over the Gorge.
When it’s this hot in London, sometimes you really need to be at a big body of water, and Hastings will provide just that. Cool down at the beach and if it’s the shade you need, take a trip to the caves. If you remember your Year 9 history, the Norman Conquest took place here too in 1066! Check out this place for summer getaways!
The South Downs National Park is about as quaint as it gets. With rather romantic names like Blackberry Wood, Breaky Bottom and Devil’s Dyke (not what it sounds like) the National Park really is a gulping breath of fresh air. This National Trust is one to visit for the summer but is also beautiful year-round. Check out this place when going on summer getaways!
Hop into a car and get on your way. Which places will you go to for the best summer getaways? Let us know in the comments!
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UCL student and bonafide brown girl. Sometimes writing, mostly dreaming, always hungry.