Pack your bags: From countryside charm to seaside bliss, these quick, easy escapes all are under three hours away by train or car. Go for the day or stay the weekend.Less
NEW FOREST DAYTRIP — WHY IT'S GREAT: Don’t be fooled by the “new” in the name: William the Conqueror created the woodlands to hunt after his successful invasion in the 11th century. A thousand or so years later, it’s a nature retreat, with more than 5,000 wild ponies roaming freely around the national park, making it a memorable place to go on a hike.
NEW FOREST DAYTRIP — WHERE TO EAT: Top chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder create locally sourced, seasonal Italian dishes such as gnocchi con parmiagiano with pea pesto as well as English veal with candied San Marzano tomatoes. The restaurant is located in the Lime Wood Hotel in the heart of the New Forest National Park.
NEW FOREST DAYTRIP — WHERE TO STAY: Set on almost 7 acres, it brims with gloriously mismatched cozy furniture and wood-burning stoves. Make sure to book a meal at its renowned restaurant: All the fare including the barn farm pork chops is sourced from within 25 miles of the hotel.
THE COTSWOLDS DAYTRIP — WHY IT'S GREAT: Covering an area of almost 800 square miles of rolling hills, picturesque cobbled stone villages, and stately homes, the Cotswolds have been a classic escape for well-heeled Londoners for good reason.
THE COTSWOLDS DAYTRIP — WHERE TO STAY: It’s made up of 32 bedrooms across the main house and cottage and includes a pub, cookery school, spa, and an event and exhibition space. It couldn’t feel farther from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Rooms from £400.
THE COTSWOLDS DAYTRIP — WHAT TO DO: The home of Winston Churchill and a masterpiece of baroque architecture, sits on the edge of the Cotswolds and is open to visitors who can find decoration for their own palaces in one of the many antique shops scattered around the nearby villages.
THE COTSWOLDS DAYTRIP — WHERE TO EAT: This pub, hotel, and restaurant in Stow-on-the-Wold dates to 947 A.D., claiming to be one of the oldest inns in England. But the food doesn’t feel dated. Its menu of fish and chips as well as chicken and chorizo burgers are classic pub fare done right.
THE COTSWOLDS DAYTRIP — WHERE TO STAY: Set on almot 100 acres of the Oxfordshire Countryside, this retreat has an indoor-outdoor pool on a lake, a cinema, a famous spa and several restaurants, making it the perfect place to recharge.
MARGATE DAYTRIP — WHY IT'S GREAT Embrace seaside kitsch in the home of the Shell Grotto and the Scenic Railway, the country’s oldest operating roller coaster, which is located at the Margate Dreamland amusement park. But it’s not all about Margate’s retro beachfront past: The town is now an art destination, thanks to the Turner Contemporary.
MARGATE DAYTRIP — WHAT TO DO: Based on the site where artist JMW Turner used to stay, the gallery celebrates the town’s connection with the romantic painter. Admission is free and has a rolling program of modern exhibitions. On now is a video and virtual reality display by Lindsay Seers and Keith Sargent called Cold Light, shaped by the life and work of Nikola Tesla.