Top 7 Most Scenic Day Trips from London in Your Rental Car

London, the capital of England, beckons visitors with its cosmopolitan charm and countless attractions. However, the constant hullabaloo can sometimes be overwhelming. Fortunately, London's central location provides easy access to breathtaking and unique destinations just a few hours away, perfect for a quick escape from the city's frenzy.

Whether you're craving coastal serenity or the quaint charm of the countryside, these destinations offer a refreshing break from city life. Picture yourself wandering through ancient stone circles, strolling along sandy beaches, or savouring a traditional afternoon tea in a picturesque village. With a rental car, you can explore the best day trips from London at your own pace.


With Hertz Car Rental, you can rent a car at Heathrow Airport, among other locations across London and whisk yourself away to a day full of rolling hills and scenic meadows. Here are seven best day trips from London, England to escape the hubbub of the city.

1. Bath

Founded by the Romans as a thermal spa, Bath is just a 2.5-hour drive from London. Renowned for its healing thermal baths and stunning honey-coloured Georgian architecture, Bath holds a permanent spot on every London, England travel guide. While in Bath, don't miss The Jane Austen Centre, where exhibits and costumed characters bring to life the famous author's time in the city. For an immersive experience, don some Regency-era clothes and enjoy sweet treats in the charming tea room.

2. Stonehenge

This prehistoric monument, located two hours from London, is best described as a circular formation of stones believed to have been built between 3000 and 1520 BCE. Despite being an undying topic of conversation amongst antiquarians, archaeologists, and other professionals, the exact purpose of this mystical site is still unknown. While some believe Stonehenge to be a place of sacrifice, others argue it’s an astronomical observatory. Stonehenge, Avebury, and other related sites were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986 and attract over a million visitors annually.

3. Canterbury, Kent

Less than a two-hour drive from London, you'll find the charming English town of Canterbury, famed for its iconic landmark, Canterbury Cathedral. This cathedral dominates the skyline with its towering 72-metre-high spire and has served as a spiritual hub since the 7th century BCE. What sets Canterbury Cathedral apart is its remarkable architecture (a blend of the Perpendicular Gothic style and Romanesque style). It includes a quaint French Protestant chapel nestled within its walls, where weekly prayers are still conducted in French. Other attractions include the colourful Westgate Gardens and the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, which is home to eclectic offerings, from artwork by local painters to archaeological finds.

4. Stratford-upon-Avon

The hometown of none other than William Shakespeare, this charming English town is a two-hour drive from London. The town brims with small city charm, offering plenty to do and see. From the lush green Bancroft Gardens along the River Avon, where you can enjoy a peaceful boat ride, to Shakespeare’s wife’s cottage, which still houses the original furniture owned by Anne Hathaway, there are a plethora of attractions to pique your interest.

5. New Forest, Hampshire

Another destination you can explore with just a two-hour drive is this English district that promises scenic walks and wildlife trails. Home to the New Forest National Park, this is the perfect destination for those looking to get some activity on their trip. Some of the activities you can indulge in include cycling, stargazing, birdwatching, and kayaking. Other than that, New Forest is also home to mediaeval ruins and boundless moors.

6. White Cliffs of Dover

These massive white chalk cliffs offer visitors a stunning, far-reaching view over the sea towards the French coast. A two-hour drive from the capital, this unique scenic wonder is a perfect escape from city life for those looking to get closer to nature. Apart from the breathtaking panoramic view, the White Cliffs of Dover are home to some interesting flora and fauna, such as the delicate pyramidal orchid and the graceful chalkhill blue butterfly, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

7. Brighton, East Sussex

Just a two-hour drive from London lies Brighton, a coastal gem and a favourite beach getaway for Londoners. Known for its pebbled beaches and vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, Brighton is also home to charming bookstores and unique antique boutiques perfect for souvenir hunting.

A must-visit is the Royal Pavilion, an 18th-century palace with stunning Eastern influences. Originally built by King George IV when he was Prince Regent, it was a favoured venue for royal dinner parties and offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Other attractions include Sea Life Brighton, the world's oldest aquarium, Volk’s Electric Railway, and the Brighton Palace Pier, making it one of the best day trips from London, England.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to immerse yourself in the thermal springs of Bath, explore the enigmatic Stonehenge, or stand on a cliff and feel the breeze rustling your hair, our guide lists some of the best day trips from London, UK.

The best way to reach these magnificent destinations is with a hired car from Hertz Car Rental, giving you the freedom to explore at your own pace. Choose from our diverse fleet, including sedans, zero-emission EVs, SUVs, vans, and more, to travel in comfort and style.

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Book a car with us, pack your picnic basket, and get ready for a day full of scenic beauty and tranquillity. Visit our website today!