Cheap Day Trips For When You Need To Get Out Of London

Whether you've got £25 or £150

Cheap Day Trips For When You Need To Get Out Of London

by Elizabeth Atkin |
Published on

In between all the rent and bills I pay to live in London, it turns out that it doesn’t leave a lot of spare cash for getting out of the smog-covered capital every once in a while.

I know for a fact I got paid at the end of the month, and I know I had some savings (somewhere) but with extreme living costs and OK, maybe one cider-fuelled festival weekend a while back – it’s all managed to disappear.

No matter how much you like living in the city, sometimes you just need to be elsewhere. Just for one day. Just one day with no sticky summer tube journeys home, and one day without having to sit on the curb outside of a heaving pub just to get a decent pint.

So, can you really take a break from the rat race if you’re not raking in serious £££?

Turns out, you can (if you’re ace at finding cheap train tickets and are prepared to book a couple weeks in advance)…

If you’ve only got £25… head to Bexhill-on-Sea


A return ticket from London Bridge can be as cheap as £13 (without a railcard), so if London life is starting to seriously affect your brain, it’s worth spending a few hours in this East Sussex seaside town. If you’re a history buff, there are plenty of abbeys, churches and museums to visit. See Egerton Park, and then round off your trip with a visit to the surprisingly charming De La Warr Pavilion. Honestly, it’s not dissimilar to somewhere you’d visit with your gran, but it’s worth it for the calming view of the beach alone.

If you can only spare £50… head to Margate

Getting there is easy: a 1hour 50min train from London Victoria, for around £30 return. Visit a mysterious underground cove made of shell patterns (no one knows how it got there) for just £3. Stop off on the main high street for some fish & chips (around £2) to eat by the beach, before heading over to the Turner Contemporary for a free look around Kent’s newest art gallery.

Then, you’ve got two options left: you can blow your last £15 on a (pre-booked) ticket to the newly refurbished arcade/theme park Dreamland, or on some quality clobber from one of Margate’s authentic vintage clothing, furniture and knick-knack shops or weekend markets. The last one, you can do for nothing. If you can window shop, that is.

If you can spare £75… head to Arundel

What’s the antidote to a big, bustling capital city filled with tall buildings and not a lot of nature? The glorious countryside, and the picturesque Arundel Castle (which costs around £16 for the full tour). Take a Southern train from Charing Cross for £28.90 return and arrive in this charming West Sussex town. Once you’ve spent a couple hours’ contemplating how it might be cheaper to live in said castle than it does to live in Shoreditch – you can easily see the rest of Arundel in an afternoon.

If you’ve managed to find £100… head to Bath

Train tickets start at £40 return from London Paddington – which gives you about £60 to play with. Take off £20 for a joint ticket visit to the Roman Baths (the only natural hot spring in the UK), the Fashion Museum and the Victoria Art Gallery. From there on out, a stroll through the Royal Victoria Park and a look around the Cathedral will save you some cash.

Literary nerds can also follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen with a highly-recommended walking tour around the city. Then you’ve got £40 left to spend on shopping, and eating Cornish pasties (it’s not Cornwall, but it’s close enough).

If you’ve saved up £150… head to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

In doubt? Head north. Two hours 50 minutes on a Virgin East Coast Train from Kings Cross (up to £90 return) and you’re there. Cheap vintage shopping? Check. Just find the hidden area behind the architecturally-stunning Grey Street. Famous bridges? Check. Walk down to the quayside. Awesome cafés and DIY cinemas? Check. Head to the Byker Bridge area, where you’ll also find £3 pints and £2 doubles in the nearby pubs. You’ll also find those everywhere else in the city. Win.

Newcastle’s also famous for having loads of cool, free shit to do: there’s the Laing Art Gallery, the Discovery museum (a science museum aimed at children but equally as fun for adults) and the best Greggs in the country. That last one’s not technically free, but it is priceless.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

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Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @iamnotblonde

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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