The best day trip adventures close to London

Here are 8 adventures in and around the capital to make your next weekend one to remember

Camber Sands Beach

Surely one of the finest beaches in the South, Camber Sands is unusual in the region being sandy not shingle. The beach is framed by a large and picturesque system of sand dunes. The nearby town of Rye is absolutely stunning with its cobbled streets and confused mix of Tudor & Victorian buildings create a wonderful atmosphere.

Get there:  Rye Station from St. Pancras (change at Ashford) 1 hour + a short taxi.

Have a bite: The Ship Inn, owned by the ex-proprietors of The Engineer in Primrose Hill.

Make sure to see: Camber Castle, built by Henry VIII, sits right on the coast. The beautiful Mermaid Street in Rye.

Grab a pint:  The Mermaid Inn dates from 1420 and is full of character.

Wild Swimming in the river Ouse

Head into the East Sussex countryside and indulge in one of life’s great gifts; wild swimming. If you aren’t already a fan, don’t let the season discourage you, cold water swimming has proven health benefits and is a real joy. But a warning, it’s addictive!

Get there: Lewes Station from Paddington, 45 minutes + a short walk.

Have a bite: The Royal Oak, Barncombe Cross.

Make sure to see: Take the time to find one of the many footpaths which cross the beautiful farmland around Barncombe Mills.

Grab a pint: The Royal Oak, Barncombe Cross.

 Canoe Down the Thames 

Delight at the River Thames’ natural beauty as you float gently downstream; with riverside pubs, impressive shoreline homes and Windsor Castle; home of the Queen.

Get there: Maidenhead Station from Paddington, 45 mins.

Have a bite:  Meimo Restaurant in Windsor, right by the castle.

Make sure you see: Windsor Castle and its beautiful parkland, you’ll see impressive riverside homes and Cliveden House, once home to the world’s richest family.

Grab a pint: Boulters Lock Bar for a pint with a view of the Thames.

You can find more information and a full canoeing itinerary here

Hang Gliding Over Devil’s Dyke

Credit: Natural High paragliding

Ever felt like you were truly flying? There’s nothing like non-motorised flying, the quietude of it is as breath-taking as the views across the landscape around Devil’s Dyke & Fulking Escarpment, a favourite of 18th and 20th century tourists. Tandem flights can be organised here.

Get there: Brighton Station from Victoria/London Bridge Stations, 1 hour + short taxi.

Have a bite: The Devil’s Dyke Inn.

Make sure to see: The Royal Pavilion in Brighton & The Lanes in Brighton is one of England’s best markets.

Grab a pint: Pub Du Vin in The Lanes.

The Seven Sisters Hills

Seven Sisters Cliffs in the south downs, Sussex

Possibly Britain’s most impressive stretch of coastline, The Seven Sisters are a set of gentle hills which create some of the largest sea cliffs in the country, including the famous cliff at Beachy Head. This route available from self-guided travel experts Vespucci Adventures takes you past all the local beauty-spots, stops at a fantastic country pub, before returning you to the train-line.

Get there: Eastbourne Station from Victoria/London Bridge, 1 hr 30 m.

Have a bite: The Plough & Harrow, Litlington

Make sure to see: Cuckmere Haven as the river meets the sea gives impressive views. Clergy House in Alfriston is the archetype thatched cottage the area is famous for.

Grab a pint: The Cricketers Arms, Berwick.

Wake Boarding

Credit: wakeup Docklands

Fancy a sporty day within the M25, in fact on the tube-line! Across the river from the O2 Millennium Dome, the Royal Victoria Docks house a fantastic secret – a water sports centre. This adventure is one that is best shared – who’s going to be the best on the water?

Get there: Canning Town Underground

Have a bite: at Fatboy’s Diner near the docks offers some well-priced, hearty grub.

Make sure to see: The Park & Garden next to the dock sits on the riverside.

Grab a pint: Fox@Excel

Windsor Castle and Park

Windsor is of course famous for its Grand Castle, home to the Queen and to Royals for a thousand years; but it is easy to overlook Windsor’s real jewel, the sprawling Parkland surrounding the ancient castle. This adventure can be paired with a visit to the castle. It’s hard not to be enchanted by this place…

Get there: Windsor & Eton Central from Paddington, 45 minutes.

Have a bite: Côte Brasserie, Windsor.

Make sure to see: The Copper Horse monument, thehuge statue commemorating King George III is both impressive and imposing.

Grab a pint: Bel & The Dragon, Windsor.

Ice Climbing in Covent Garden

Whether you’re an experienced ice climber, mountaineer or simply a thrill seeker looking to try out ice climbing for the first time – Vertical Chill is an exhilarating experience for everyone.

Get there: Covent Garden Underground

Have a bite:  at The Ivy Market Grill

Make sure to see: the riverside near Covent Garden. If it’s a bit damp The London Transport Museum is an indoor gem.

Grab a pint: The Escapologist in Covent Garden’s motto is ‘take a break from reality’, need we say more?

Not quite your cup of tea?

For more days out like these, try Vespucci Adventures


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