Cities Closest to London

City Escapes: 7 Cities Closest to London You Must Visit

11 Mins read

Everyone knows what a great city London is; their culture, food, and architecture are mesmerizing. That’s why, after experiencing the beauty of London, people get pretty curious about the outside City and locations of London as well. Many great cities of England are well known outside London, and their charm is so enchanting that people can’t stop exploring the cities near london.
However, many think traveling to cities outside london would be time-consuming and cost-effective. But they don’t understand that there are exciting cities that are just a stone’s throw away from London. So to make the England trip even more worthwhile here are some incredible Cities Closest to London. 


City 1: Oxford – The Gateway Getaway

 Key attractions and landmarks

Oxford is one of the major cities outside london. The name of this place is enough to justify the key attraction and landmark of the city. Oxford University is a destination about which endless students dream. Not only that, but the architecture of the university is astonishing. Besides the university, the guests must also visit the,

  • Bodleian Library,
  • Pitt Rivers Museum,
  • Christ Church Meadow,
  • University Church of St. Mary,
  • Sheldonian Theatre,

etc. The options of locations and places in Oxford are endless. All these locations are near each other; therefore, Oxford is enough for a one- or two-day trip. 

Unique cultural experiences

 Oxford is a place filled with students because of Oxford University, Oxford Brookes University, Ruskin College, etc.; hence, this place has a diverse culture filled with scholars, artists, writers, filmmakers, scientists, etc. Not only that, but this place has glamorous architecture, one of its great features. This place is filled with talented people.

As a result, Oxford has a great museum, galleries, musical theater, literature hub, etc. Here, the museum holds a significant collection of Leonardo da Vinci Picasso, remains of Dodo, and many other things. 

Then, at night, the city becomes an entertaining hub where people can try delicious street food, experience art and music, and go out with friends.

Accessibility from London

People can easily come to Oxford using various transportation methods from London.

Train: The visitors can easily catch a train and reach Oxford within 1 hour 30 minutes while sightseeing.

By road: the tourists can also come to Oxford by bus or private car, but it can be a bit time-consuming.

Cruise: Then, if any visitor wants to visit Oxford through the Thames River as well, small cruises or boats are available that take you from London to Oxford city.

City 2: Winchester- Hidden Historical Treasures

Historical sites and landmarks

 Winchester is a place that is filled with an amazing historic location and beautiful views. The first destination about this place that we should talk about is Winchester Cathedral. The place was built in 1079, making this place one of the finest architectural church buildings in Europe. Then, the Winchester Castle and its Great Hall, which people talk about. After that, other places like,

  • Wolvesey Castle and Palace,
  • City Museum, Guildhall,
  • St. Peter’s Church,

etc., are must-visits at Winchester.

Local traditions and events

Many cultural and traditional events that are very enjoyable and interesting are available. At Winchester, people celebrate Street theater around the city, which has been hosted since 1974.

This place has one of the largest farmer markets in the UK; as a result, before Christmas, the annual Winchester Cathedral Christmas market is being held in the city. This place has a great theater culture, which tourists and locals enjoy.

Recommended routes or transportation options

The transportation system at Winchester is pretty great and simple. Because it has multiple transportation systems, it’s easy for tourists and locals to go from one place to another. 
Rail: The Winchester railway station is connected from London to Southampton. Then, it is also connected with CrossCountry between Bournemouth. And then through Birmingham, it gets to Manchester or Newcastle. 
By car: Winchester is the meeting destination of major roads like A34, A31, A272 and A3090. And as this place is located near the M3 motorway, hence it’s easy to travel by car or bus. However, it can be a bit time-consuming as some traffic issues are on the road.
Bus service: If people don’t have a personal car while sightseeing, they can utilize the bus service available at Winchester. And to return from Winchester to London National Express Coaches at the best service. 

City 3: Brighton – Culinary Delights and Gastronomic Adventures

 Noteworthy restaurants and eateries

Brighton is one of the best places outside London where tourists can experience delicious and incredible dishes. Also, there are great restaurants of different cuisines that the customers can visit. A few of them are,

The Coal Shed Brighton

It is a steakhouse restaurant where the customers can try incredible dishes like Sunday roast, sirloin steak, churros, ribeye steak, etc.

The Salt Room 

This restaurant is a Well-known seafood restaurant with a great ambiance. The guests must try Hot King prawn, seabass, Carlingford oysters, etc.

Giggling Squid

If you love Thai food, then at this cozy and affordable restaurant, customers can try Giggling Pad Thai prawn, Thai green curry chicken, tempura, sticky rice, etc.

Local specialties and cuisine highlights

Brighton, similar to London, has many different types of cuisine available. Based on choice, guests can easily go to their favorite cuisine restaurant or a street food stall. 

But in Brighton, British and Italian cuisine is mostly famous. Besides that, coffee, wine, beer, and gin have different fan bases among customers. At Brighton, customers love to try roasted coffee, flapjack, purezza, pan haggerty, fish and chips,etc. Hence, Brington is the best city closer to london where people can try delicious food and enjoy the culinary events. 

Food festivals or culinary events

The foods at Brington are so famous, and the tourists and the local people enjoy trying new foods so much that food festivals are also common in Brighton. At Brighton, you can join events like the foodies festival, Brighton Coffee Festival, Worthing Veganary Fair, JAGERROCK Fridays, Menu Testing experience, etc.

The range of events and culinary experiences is endless. Different types of food festivals are arranged at different times of the year. So, for that, the customers have to visit Brighton first. 

City 4: Birmingham – Urban Exploration and Modern Marvels

Modern architecture and urban landscape

Birmingham is a perfect blend of modern and traditional architecture. Here, people will simultaneously find 100-year-old buildings and incredibly built modern architecture and landscape. One of the most incredible examples of modern architecture is the Library of Birmingham at Centenary Square. Besides that, other incredible destinations like the,

  • Selfridges building,
  • Council House,
  • Victoria Square,
  • Chamberlain Square,
  • millennium Point,

etc. It’s a great destination which can’t be missed.

Art galleries, museums, or contemporary attractions

Creativity is something this city cherishes the most. There is incredible artwork at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and another well-known art gallery worldwide is The Barber Institute of Fine Arts. There are places like,

  • ​​​​​Museum of Jewelry Quarter,
  • Soho House Aston Hall, and,
  • Ikon Gallery,

is something the guests must visit. But most importantly, the Cadbury World Museum is something that no one should miss, especially if it’s a tour with kids. 

Besides art and literature, the places are highly known for their music and theater arts. Music is what makes Birmingham more lively. The Symphony Hall is home to the well-known City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Then, at Arena Birmingham, there are constantly shows going for entertainment. Birmingham Repertory is one of the great theaters in Britain. Many other theaters are available in Birmingham, but what makes the difference is the major companies like Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Opera Company, etc. 

Public spaces and parks for leisure

Now, if you are done with traveling and want to keep it slow and relax, there are many gardens and open places available to have a picnic or relax alone. So, in your free time, you can visit the

  • Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park,
  • Cannon Hill Park,
  • Birmingham Botanical Garden,
  • Martineau Garden,
  • City Center Garden,
  • Birmingham Library,
  • National Sea Life Center,
  • National Motorcycle Museum,


City 5: Chelmsford – Nature Retreat and Outdoor Escapes

 Natural attractions and scenic spots

We can say Chelmsford is where people can relax or try some adventurous activities. So those who are not into an adventure can visit the natural attractions and the scenic spots of Chelmsford like,

  • RHS Garden Hyde Hall,
  • Central Park,
  • ​​​​​​Bell Meadow,
  • ​​​​​​Sky Blue posture,
  • Oakland Park,
  • Admirals Park,
  • ​​​​​Tower Garden,
  • Beaulieu Part,
  • Galleywood Common,

etc., These places are full of greenery and beautiful views where you can spend some relaxing moments. Besides that, guests can also visit Hylands House and The Essex Regiment Museum. 

Outdoor activities and recreational options

For kids and families, many outdoor activities are available in Chelmsford that people can enjoy. So, among the activities and leisure, people can visit,

  • Chancellor Park,
  • Pitch and Putt,
  • Riverside Leisure Center,
  • Geek Retreat Chelmsford,
  • radical Bikes CIC,

etc. Besides, they can enjoy boating trips at the river, mountain climbing, shopping, horse riding, theaters, churches, etc. Besides that, there are many amusement parks, great restaurants, etc., at Chelmsford, which the guests should visit. 

Seasonal highlights for optimal visits

During festivals like Christmas and New Year, several music, art, and craft festivals happen in Chelmsford city. Not only that, people can also enjoy the beautiful flowers at RHS Garden Hyde Hall throughout the year, especially during spring.

Then visit the Writtle sunflowers, Essex Regiment museum, etc.; being one of the nearest city to london people get the chance to experience all the beauty of Chelmsford and enjoy the trip. 

City 6: St. Albans – Quaint and Charming Towns

 Small-town charm and ambiance

Among other cities, St. Albans is the nearest city to london. This city is beautiful and adorable. St. Albans is a big city, but many people visit this place as a Cathedral. Like other cities near london, St. Albans is modern, but at the same time, it follows its tradition and still maintains the traditional architecture. 
St. Albans has incredible Church locations with great views, such as,

  • St Michael’s Church,
  • Saint Peter’s Church,
  • Saint Savior’s Church,

etc., and with the chorus Opera at these churches, the place is always filled with beautiful music.

Unique shops, boutiques, and markets

Besides the churches, there are others for which St. Albans is a famous destination. Here, visitors can enjoy shopping at the Meltings, Christopher Place Shopping Center, Colney Fields Shopping Park, etc. then this place is filled with great clothing like AllSaints, Chloe James lifestyle, etc., but for a proper shopping experience, people must visit the St. Albans street market.

The market normally opens on Wednesday and Saturday, and on these days, customers can purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, nuts, baked goods, fashion items, accessories, fabric, etc. Not only that, people can also try local food items. 

Community events or festivals

Besides the church, St. Albans is famous for its sports. The city is very active in all sports, and as a result, most of the events are mostly related to Sports. Here games like cricket, football, hockey, rugby, skateboarding, gymnastics etc are famous. Hence, there are events like 6, a football YMCA, St. Albans community gym, cricket match, etc. Besides that, there are other events and festivals like the foodies festival, St. Albans Beard and Cider Festival, Great British Food Festival, etc. 

City 7: Liverpool – Vibrant Nightlife and Entertainment Hub

Evening entertainment options

Pretty much everyone knows how great of a place Liverpool is. After enjoying noon in London, people can easily catch a train, and before they know it, they will be in Liverpool, ready to enjoy the evening. 
Liverpool is full of life so in the evening people can visit any bar or restaurant of their choice, if not there are live street music, game zones, street food stalls, etc., where people can visit to enjoy the evening by having a great time. 

Nightlife scene, bars, and music venues

Then those who like to have fun will miss much of it if they don’t participate in Liverpool’s nightlife. So, many bars are available based on unique themes like Prison, Drag Queen, Folk Irish, etc, based on the preference customers can visit the place.

But suppose there is no matter of theme. In that case, great bars like Liverpool Bierkeller, Ex-directory, The Oracle, The Alchemist Liverpool, Soho Bar Liverpool, etc., can be visited.
But for a nightclub experience, a concert square bar with clubs in Liverpool, Soho Bar Liverpool, revolutión de Cuba, Heebie Jeebie, etc, is a great choice. To enjoy live music, The Jacaranda, The Cavern Club, the Arts Club, O2 Academy, Zanzibar, The Shipping Forecast, etc., is the go-to place in Liverpool.

Safe and lively atmosphere for an evening exploration

At Liverpool, there is nothing to worry about safety; most good-quality restaurants, clubs, and pubs are situated at famous locations in Liverpool, and nothing gloomy about it. Besides that, there are many stand-up comedy shows, Street music, Liverpool Central Library, Chinatown, Walker Art Gallery, Sefton Park, etc, which people can explore. 

City Comparison Table

CityDistance from London (In Miles)Closed Train stationAverage Drive timeMain Cultural Attractions
Oxford58 milesOxford Railway station1hr 45minThe Ashmolean Museum, education, literature, art, etc.  
Winchester62 milesWinchester railway station1hr 55minWinchester Cathedral, cultural festival etc.
Brighton77 milesBrighton railway station2hrRoyal Pavilion, North Laine, Foods, festival, etc
Birmingham118 milesBirmingham New Street railway station2hr 45 minBirmingham Museum and Art Gallery, modern architecture and landscape, etc.
Chelmsford43 milesChelmsford railway station1hr 30minEssex Police Museum, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, fun activities, etc.
St. Albans25 milesSt. Albans railway station1hr 10minSt. Albans Cathedral, Verulamium Museum, Sports, etc.
Liverpool212 milesLiverpool Lime Street railway station4hr 30minThe Beatles story exhibition museum, World Museum Liverpool, nightlife, live music, etc.

Practical Tips and Recommendations

Suggest transportation options between London and these cities

Many transportation methods are available from London to visit the locations mentioned above. Through the car or bus journey, people can enjoy sightseeing, but the train journey is much faster, and all the mentioned cities have their respective railway stations, therefore, the change journey won’t be a problem.

But if you are fine with taking your time and enjoying the journey, nothing can be better than traveling by private car. 

Provide tips for accommodation, local etiquette, and must-try activities

There is nothing much the tourists need to learn, but there are some basic things that people should keep in mind,

  • As it’s England, there won’t be any issues with language as everyone speaks English.
  • After eating something, don’t throw the packet on the road.
  • Try street food, but make sure you are not allergic to anything. Also, carry digestive medicines with you.
  • Participate in festivals and cultural events.


Offer additional resources for more in-depth exploration

  • If you have time then while visiting Oxford you should also visit its rival city Cambridge. These cities have nearly the same architecture and culture, but you’ll find it fascinating. 
  • If possible, try to experience the tour through the local bus or train journey instead of traveling through a private car or bus. 
  • Before visiting any of the above places, list the locations and areas you want to visit and the activities you want to do. 
  • Plan the whole trip for the day before sunset. This way, you can enjoy and experience the view to its fullest. 
  • If you plan to visit only a location’s major spots, then it’s fine through private transportation. But for sightseeing, local transportation is better.
  • For Major sports visits, 1 or 2 days a trip is enough, but if you want to experience its culture and cover all the sightseeing, then it will require 3 to 5 days to finish it all. 
  • Book all the destinations beforehand so you don’t have to waste time looking for a hotel.



In these cities closest to London, the guests can experience incredible architecture, culture, food, nightlife, activities, and many other things. All these different cities have their specialties, and there is no doubt that the tourists will love each location. 

So it doesn’t matter if you are a tourist, employee or local resident of London, these cities outside london are the must-visit destinations, and if you miss it, then it’s a great loss, which you will regret later. So, without thinking too much, take a little escape route from London and visit any of these locations for a simple 1 to 3-day trip. 

Give these cities a chance to mesmerize you, and it won’t take much time for you to feel the excitement of discovering New horizons just outside London. 

23 posts

About author
I'm Abhijit Gorai, a writer specializing in UK-based male fashion, business, finance, tech, home decor, cars, property, and travel. With a keen eye for contemporary living, I offer insights that resonate with diverse audiences. As a tastemaker in men's fashion, I navigate the intricacies of business and tech, while also inspiring readers to enhance their lifestyle across various facets such as home decor, automotive passions, property decisions, and memorable travel experiences.
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