Want to escape the hustle and bustle of life in the capital? Then you need a countryside summer staycation. And we’ve rounded up the very best UK staycations near London. So whether you’d prefer a holiday by the sea, a staycation with a hot tub, or to spend your days exploring the UK countryside, we’ve found something for every kind of traveller.
One of the most beautiful cities in England, this historic city still has lots of its medieval heritage intact. It’s located just on the border of Kent Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), so you’re never too far from escaping the city either.
How to get there: 54-minute train journey from London St. Pancras. Or 1 hour 40 minutes by car.
The thing to do: The most impressive building in all of Canterbury, the Canterbury Cathedral is a must-see. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, parts of the building date back to the 11th century making it one of the oldest structures in England.
Best walking route: See the most picturesque parts of Kent on the Stour Valley Walk, it’s a 58-mile route but you can break this down into smaller walks.
The pub to visit: Stop by The Compasses Inn, an award-winning traditional country pub that’s perfect for a post-walk pint, or for fueling an afternoon of walking with a hearty lunch.
Nestled in the beautiful Surrey Hills, this historic market town is the perfect quintessential summer staycation. Today, you can still see evidence of Stone Age, Roman and Saxo dwellings found here. It’s a small, quaint town but with lots to offer—with easy access to an abundance of rural walks.
How to get there: 1 hour and 33 minutes by train from London Waterloo. Driving takes around 1 hour 25 minutes from central London.
The thing to do: Farnham offers a unique shopping experience, with everything from independent boutiques to vintage antique stores. You’ll get to take in the traditional Georgian streets while you’re there too.
Best walking route: Hike the 3-mile Hidden Hindhead circular walk, which takes you across the famous Devil’s Punch Bowl for some of the best views in the area. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of London’s skyline!
The pub to visit: Hidden in 4 acres of woodland, The Spotted Cow is a rural, tranquil pub that’s perfect for cosying up after a long walk.
If you’re looking for a coastal escape, the Suffolk coast is one of the closest and most popular. It’s easy to see why as pretty, pastel-coloured holiday homes line the promenade, and Aldeburgh Beach’s shingle coastline stretches for miles—so you’re sure to find a quiet spot to soak up the sunshine.
How to get there: Take the train from London Liverpool to Melton (1 hour 29 minutes), then it’s a 1-hour bus journey to Aldeburgh Beach. Drive there and your journey will take around 2 hours 17 minutes.
The thing to do: A staycation in the UK wouldn’t be complete without enjoying some of the best fish and chips in Britain, at family-run Aldeburgh Fish & Chips. It’s even A-lister approved, with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Tom Hiddleston walking through its doors.
The pub to visit: Serving up traditional pub dishes and with a wood-fired pizzeria, White Hart Inn is not to be missed on a trip to Suffolk.
This charming town is one of the largest in the Cotswolds, but it still has that adorable village feel. Situated on the Roman Fosse Way, it offers a mix of antique shopping, bustling markets and some of the best restaurants in England.
How to get there: If travelling by public transport, take the 1 hour 37-minute train from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh. Then a 21-minute bus ride to Stow-on-the-Wold. Or 1 hour 47 minutes by car.
The thing to do: Go for afternoon tea at Lucy’s Tea Room. This sweet pitstop in the heart of Stow-on-the-Wold also serves up breakfast, lunch and the most delicious homemade cakes.
Best walking route: Walk from Stow-on-the-Wold to the picturesque Lower and Upper Slaughters. This easy circular walk takes you along the Gloucestershire Way through the countryside.
The pub to visit: Stop by The Porch House, a quintessentially British pub and hotel that has really stood the test of time—it’s the oldest in the whole of Britain!
Witney was once famous for blanket-making, exporting blankets all over the world for over 300 years. Today, this market town offers a special blend of shopping, culture and history, making it a great UK staycation choice. It’s located just a few miles away from the Cotswolds too, so if you’re a fan of walking you’ll be spoilt for choice.
How to get there: Direct train from London Paddington to Hanborough (1 hour 6 minutes), then a short bus ride to Witney on the 233 service.
The thing to do: Take a tour of the Wychwood Brewery, home to the legendary Hobgoblin beers. Afterwards, sample some of the local beers and take home a complimentary souvenir glass.
Best walking route: Walk around Witney Lake and Country Park on this easy circular walk. It starts and finishes in the centre of Witney, so why not make the most of it and visit the town’s shops and cafes.
The pub to visit: The Hollybush, a modern country pub ran by two locals, serving dishes sourced locally from in and around the Cotswolds.
The Norfolk Broads is a national park that spans 125 miles. Explore its beautiful countryside and charming villages on foot, by bicycle or even on a boat. It has more waterways than Venice and Amsterdam! It’s in easy reach of popular coastal town Great Yarmouth too, so it’s perfect for a couples or family holiday.
How to get there: 2 hours 28 minutes train journey from London Liverpool Street to Hoveton & Wroxham station. Drive and it’ll take you the same amount of time.
Best walking route: Walk the picturesque route of Salhouse Broad circular. This quieter walk around the waterway lets you enjoy the tranquillity of the Norfolk countryside.
The pub to visit: There’s no better way to relax after a busy day of exploring, than dining along the riverfront at The Rising Sun.
Take yourself away for some much-needed R&R in the beautiful Hampshire countryside. A short break in New Forest is perfect for taking in the national park’s landscape, or for simply unwinding in one of the world’s most luxurious spa hotels.
How to get there: The direct train from London Waterloo to New Milton takes 1 hour 40 minutes. If you’re driving, you can expect to get there in the same amount of time.
The thing to do: Book yourself in for a spa treatment at the Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, an award-winning country house hotel.
Best walking route: This gentle walk through Rhinefield Forest takes you through the heart of the New Forest National Park. This magnificent woodland is home to some of the tallest trees in England.
The pub to visit: Full of charm and set in unspoilt countryside, stop by The New Forest Inn where you might even see ponies, donkeys and cattle wandering past the front door.
Although it’s not the most obvious staycation near London, the Yorkshire Dales National Park isn’t too far from the capital. And it’s worth it because this holiday destination is jam-packed with things to do. Each dale has a unique character so depending on where you visit, expect tumbling waterfalls, outstanding scenery and quaint villages.
How to get there: Book a direct train from London Kings Cross to Leeds (2 hours 13 minutes), then hop on the Settle-Carlisle Railway to Horton-in-Ribblesdale (1 hour 10 minutes). The journey will take you 4 hours 10 minutes by car.
The thing to do: Be sure to book a staycation with a hot tub, it’s the best way to relax after a day full of adventure.
Best walking route: If you’re feeling adventurous, why not hike to the top one of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks (or all if you’re feeling up to the challenge!). Choose from Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough or Whernside. All three offer rewarding views from the top!
The pub to visit: Enjoy a well-earned pint at The Golden Lion Hotel, located in the heart of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks.