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Written by Savi, 42 Comments

Summer is around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to explore UK. We’re sure you’ve read about Oxford, Cambridge, Stonehenge, and Windsor in every article talking about day trips from London. If you’re hankering after something a bit more offbeat and exciting, check out our top 5 free day trips from London. You are bound to find something new here, irrespective of whether you’re a resident or a visitor:

 

 

#1 Micheldever Woods
An hour’s drive away from London, this is a hidden treasure. A perfect contrast to London’s urbanity, the forest makes for a great day out. There are numerous walking trails, biking tracks, and picnic spots- just park your car and pick one. A word of caution – take your wellies, because the forest can get pretty mucky.

The area is pretty all year round, but it is truly spectacular in spring. This is due to a stunning carpet of bluebells deep in the woods. The beech trees prevent sunlight from reaching the forest floor. As a result, the flowers do not wilt, and sunbeams filtering through the trees lend a magical aura to the entire forest. If you’re a photographer, this is the place for you.

Here is a picture Vid clicked last spring (just look at those bluebells in the background)- we will definitely be going back for more this year. If you love open spaces, you should definitely check out Mayfield Lavender Farms near London.

Free Day Trips London - Micheldever Woods-002

 

#2 Pick-Your-Own Farms
There is no dearth of exciting things to do in London, but come summer, London can get very crowded. If you want to steer clear of overcrowded museums and galleries this summer, this might be the trip for you. A number of farms around the country allow customers to access their orchards and pick their own fruit during summer months. What’s more, entry is usually free and you pay only for the fruit you pick. So far we’ve driven to a number of farms in Cambridgeshire and Kent, and picked strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, pears, plums, and apples. Nom nom!

Of course pick-your-own farms are not limited to London. You can find a comprehensive guide of pick-your-own farms in England, Wales, and Scotland here. We suggest calling the farm(s) in advance to confirm the availability of ripe fruit.

Free Day Trips London - PYO farms

Free Day Trips London - Pick your own review

Free Day Trips London Pick your own Farm London

 

#3 Kent
Come spring, and flowers and fruits can be seen blossoming through the hard earth all over Kent. It is not called the Garden of England for nothing – the countryside, covered with fields of flowers and colourful flower-beds, is a riot of colour. If you really want to enjoy the British spring, go for an aimless drive in Kent- it will be exhilarating and rewarding in equal measures. Daffodils, bluebells, tulips, azaleas, and rhododendrons are just some of the flowers you will encounter.

Roll down your windows- you will be able to smell the spring in the air. Park your car at any car park, go for a walk in the by-lanes of the atmospheric towns dotting Kent, and let your senses fully experience the setting. Pack a picnic or have lunch in a cozy country-inn along the way.

Who needs a destination when the drive looks like this?

Free Day Trips London Kent in Spring

London. Free Day Trip

 

#4 The White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover are a series of majestic chalk cliffs facing the English Channel. An hour’s drive from London, they ensure an invigorating day trip. If you enjoy walking, you must take one of the cliff-top walks. Our favourite is the 4 mile circular walk that takes you to the South Foreland Lighthouse and back. As you walk along the edge of cliffs, you can see stunning views of the coast and even spot France across the English Channel on a clear day.

It is usually too windy to picnic at the White Cliffs, but there is an on-site cafe, which does amazing English cream tea. You can find more information here.

Free Day Trips London - Cliffs of Dover

Free Day Trips London Dover

 

#5 Mudchute Park and Farm
This is not a day-trip outside London, in the strictest sense of the word, but it sure feels like one. Mudchute Park and Farm is close to London’s banking district but once you’re there, you will feel like you’re deep within the English countryside. One of London’s largest city farms, it is built on 32 acres of grassland. There are over 200 animals at Mudchute including pigs, sheep, turkeys, ducks, horses, even Llamas (Savi’s favourites). We have to admit it is a bit surreal to be nuzzling against furry and feathered creatures with the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf in the background. That’s why this place is such fun- it is definitely one of London’s best kept secrets 🙂

Entry is free and you can carry your own picnic. They also have a homely cafe with the freshly-baked scones and cakes. You can find more information here.

Free Day Trips London Mudchute Farm

Offbeat London - Mudchute Farm

 

While in London, the best way to explore the city is The London Pass (use code JULY6 for 6% discount on passes)

Hope you got inspired by our list of offbeat day-trips from London. Send us your photos if you do visit any of these places.

Leave a comment below if you enjoyed this post and want more information on unusual things to do in and around London

42 thoughts on “5 Offbeat and Free Day Trips from London

  1. A good and informative post guys! Enjoyed it 🙂 can’t wait to get back to London and explore all these places 🙂

  2. The White Cliffs of Dover look brilliant. Back in London on the 12th. Definitely going to plan a visit there.

  3. Some good tips. Used to live near Epping Forest. You could just have easily recommended Essex as Kent. There’s a very different county to explore than what you’d led to be believed watching TOWIE.

    1. Haha- TOWIE that epic work of fiction 😉 Thanks for the lead Matthew- will definitely explore the Essex countryside one of these weekends. Any special places you’d recommend?

      1. PS Have you read our posts on the Canary Islands yet? Would love to hear what you think since it’s your area of interest 🙂

  4. The pictures are so awesome that they literally tempt one to visit these spots.Hope a visit does justice to these pics.Kudos to t
    he photographer………….great work 🙂 🙂

    1. Thanks a ton 🙂 You two should totally visit a PYO farm soon- May and June are the best months to pick fruit

  5. Wow, those are great day trips from London!

    I’d love to go to Dover and also Kent.

    Beautiful photos!

    Keep up the great work.

    Kay 🙂

        1. Spain is one of our favourite countries Sneha- we fall a little more in love with it every time we visit 🙂

  6. Coming to England in October for 3 years (and more, I hope!). Your list is getting me excited. All of these are on my bucket list!

  7. Guys, this definitely looks like a must-do list. Unfortunately (as you know :p) I am wheels-challenged. Any suggestions for places I can visit by public transport? Thanks!

    1. Shikha,

      You can reach the White Cliffs of Dover fairly easily by public transport – trains run frequently from London Charing Cross and take around 75 minutes. From the Dover Priory station it’s a pleasant walk to the white cliffs (20 minutes).

      You can also reach Mudchute farms easily – take the DLR (from Tower Gateway) towards Lewisham and get off at Cross Harbour, walk through the ASDA store and you will reach the entrance to the farm – less than 5 minutes walk from the DLR station 🙂

  8. Hello travel bugs. What an amazing blog. One of the best travel blogs iv come across. I’d like to visit these on my next trip to london which is from 30th June to 9th July. Can you guys show me “offbeat London”? Love!

    1. Nishita thanks a million- you can’t see it but we’re blushing right about now 😉 Just drop us a mail at info@bruisedpassports.com and tell us what kind of stuff you like, we’ll send our suggestions for London across 🙂

  9. wowzaa! never knew of these places. Thanks a ton, Savi! Really quite an information this. I was contemplating on touring the Micheldever Woods this weekend. Any suggestions for wear/activities?

    Also, do you know of any other places in and around England where I can go camping? Not heard of any yet, so just thought I might as well check with you. Let me know. Great posts btw! Keem ’em coming 🙂

    1. Aye Dee we have tons of posts in the pipeline 🙂 Oooh- have fun in Micheldever- I hope you guys can spot the bluebells. Wear a sundress and make sure you take your Wellies along.

      There are some gorgeous camping sites in the North (Peak District, Lake District) and Cornwall. If you are after slightly comfortable camping, look for glamping (glamourous camping) sites in Sussex- there are quite a few gorgeous ones.

    1. Hey Colleen – Greenwich Park is amazing for fall leaves during/after October 🙂 It’s really quite spectacular. Just drop us a line if you need any help with getting around/exploring London

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