5 Weekend Road Trips Near London

June 28, 2023 in Destinations, Tips for Travellers & United Kingdom

It’s time to escape the city for a weekend! Living in London, it can be easy to forget that anything exists outside of it. But it’s important to leave the bustle of the city every once in a while and explore something new. London is ideally located for weekend getaways, as you can head just about anywhere within a few hours of driving. 

We’ve rounded up the best weekend trips from London to get you out of the city and back into nature. These are ideal for your next bank holiday, or even just for two nights away over the weekend. Are you ready for a mini adventure?

Man reading book in field of flowers outside his campervan

1. The Cotswolds

Let’s start with a classic: the Cotswolds. 

The only word that can begin to capture the Cotswolds is ‘fairytale’. It’s a magical place, filled with picturesque cottages that have ivy creeping up their walls and cobblestoned paths leading up to them. You’ll get to drive past babbling brooks and lush forests. It might just be our favourite destination for a weekend trip from London. It’s also perfect for those looking not to drive too much, as it’s only 2,5 hours away.

If there’s a more peaceful place than the Cotswolds, we’d love to hear it. Your biggest struggle will be leaving to return for work on Monday!

Things to do in the Cotswolds:

-Take a stroll through the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens. It features over 260 different species of wildlife across 160 acres of landscaped parkland and gardens. It makes for a lovely day out.

-Head to the ancient market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. It’s one of the most beautiful towns in the Cotswolds. Make sure to visit St Edward’s Church, which looks like it was taken directly from the pages of a fairytale.

-The Cotswolds is one of the most dog-friendly places in the UK! Bring your pup along for the journey, and enjoy plenty of delightful walks in the woods. Check out our dog-friendly guide to the Cotswolds.

Dog looking out of campervan window

Staying at: Cotswolds Caravan and Camping

This small campsite is perfect for those looking for peace and quiet during their trip. It offers a view over the valley and is surrounded by great walking routes. It’s very popular, so be sure to book ahead of time to guarantee your spot.

Spelsbury Rd, Charlbury, Chipping Norton OX7 3LL, United Kingdom

51.88557, 1.48991

2. Norfolk Coast

The Norfolk Coast is considered by many to be one of the most scenic landscapes in the world, and visitors flock to the UK for a glimpse of it. These 280 miles of coastline are a protected region, classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

The drive from London to Norwich should take about three hours. Grab some lunch in this historic city and take a wander, before heading further on your road trip. Drive to the coast, with a stop in Cromer. After this, follow the coast all the way to Hunstanton and then head back inland to King’s Lynn. This is one of our favourite road trips near London for a long weekend, such as a bank holiday, as it can be perfectly spread over three days. 

Campervan parked on Norfolk coastline

Things to do on the Norfolk Coast:

-There’s plenty to see in Norwich. Due to its location, Norwich managed to avoid most of the industrial revolution. Because of this, it still features a Tudor centre and many Medieval churches. Be sure to visit Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle, in particular.

-Looking to escape the rain? You’ll find shelter in the Museum of the Broads, as well as plenty of interesting exhibits. You can learn about the history of the region, including the First World War, the M&GN Railway, and the brewery industry. 

-Set aside a few hours to spend at the beach. You’ll have plenty of options, including Holkham Beach, Mundesley Beach and Horsey Beach. Slip off your shoes and enjoy a nice stroll on the sand.

Staying at:  Highgate Farm Caravan Park & Campsite

This campsite is known to be family-friendly and is always a hit with the little ones. It’s only a fifteen-minute drive from Norwich, so it’s ideal for visiting this bustling city. Especially in the peak of summer, you’ll appreciate the shaded pitches to relax under.

2 Swim Rd, Runham, Great Yarmouth NR29 3EH, UK

52.636961, 1.654408

Cosy campervan on Norfolk coast

3. Jurassic Coast

Stretching for 95 miles, the Jurassic Coast is truly one of the most impressive sights in the UK. It was an easy decision to include it in our list of the best weekend trips from London. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, namely for its spectacular geology. It features fossils, rocks and landforms dating back to the Triassic era — which was over 252 million years ago!

It’s only a three-hour drive from London to the starting point in Swanage. Beginning at Old Harry Rocks near Swanage, drive along the coast until you reach Orcombe Point, near Exmouth.

Things to do on the Jurassic Coast:

-Try your hand at fossil hunting. You won’t find a better place for fossil hunting in all of the UK. Who knows what you’ll find with a little digging? Imagine discovering an incredible souvenir to bring home.

-Relax on the beach. There are plenty of sandy beaches along the Jurassic Coast, including Shell Bay, Middle Beach and Knoll Beach. If the weather permits, you could go for a lovely dip in the water to get a different view of the coast.

-Adventurers will seize this opportunity to go coasteering! There is no better way to explore this magnificent coast than clinging to it with a rope. This combination of swimming, scrambling and rock jumping will have your adrenaline pumping in no time.

Man boiling kettle in cosy campervan

Staying at: Beer Head Caravan Park

Situated towards the end of the Jurassic Coast, this is the perfect place to finish your road trip. Beer Head Caravan Park features an on-site shop, bistro, laundry services and more. But more than their well-serviced site, you’ll appreciate the incredible view. The perfect place to toast to the end of your Jurassic Coast road trip!

Common Hill, Beer, Seaton EX12 3AH, United Kingdom

50.693251, -3.096615

4. New Forest

Acres of wild heathland and forest are waiting for you at the New Forest, only two hours away from London. This is the perfect road trip near London for those looking for minimal driving and maximum nature. It’s a gorgeous little corner of the UK which is well-suited for trips in autumn or spring. You’ll struggle to run out of things to do here.

Things to do in the New Forest:

-Keep an eye out for the real celebrities of the New Forest: the wild ponies! They’re usually quite comfortable around people, so you should be able to get very close. Alternatively, you could also go pony trekking at one of the many riding stables.

-Lace up your walking boots and head out for a hike. There are many great routes around the New Forest. The shortest is a 1-mile stroll around the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. The longest is the 34-mile walk from Salisbury to Christchurch.

-We’re always looking for unusual things to do, and the New Forest Lavender Farm fits that description perfectly. You can stroll through their gardens, which are filled with various types of lavenders, perennials, herbs, roses and grasses. Follow it up with some afternoon tea in their Tearoom. The menu is comprised entirely of local produce.

Ponies peeking through campervan window

Staying at: Tom’s Field Camping

Don’t worry, this campsite is definitely more than a field! Aside from washing up stations and bathroom facilities, Tom’s Field Camping also offers fire pits for hire. If you fancy a proper bite to eat, you can walk to the nearby Fighting Cocks Pub in just fifteen minutes. This campsite is surrounded by footpaths and cycling routes, making it ideal for those looking to stay active during their trip.

The Ridge, Pottery Rd, Fordingbridge SP6 2LN, United Kingdom

50.939386, -1.738244

5. Cornwall

It’s one of the most popular weekend trips from London and for good reason. Cornwall is a seaside classic, and most of us have fond memories of childhood holidays there. Out of all our road trips from London, you’ll definitely spend the most time driving on this one, but your time on the road will fly by thanks to the great views and a good road trip playlist. 

In total, driving from London to Cornwall should take about five to six hours. We recommend visiting Falmouth, the Lizard Peninsula and St Ives.

Woman driving classic campervan through Cornwall

Things to do in Cornwall:

-There’s no doubt that a serving of fish and chips are required during your trip to Cornwall. And to get the absolute best of them, head to Rick Stein’s Fish in Falmouth. The famous TV chef’s restaurant is known for having the best seafood in the region.

-Take a boat trip. There is no better way to explore Cornwall than from the water. In particular, a boat trip to Seal Island is a delight for the whole family. You’ll get to see this wild seal colony up close and personal. This island is also surrounded by anglerfish, dogfish and sea anemones, as well as a century-old shipwreck.

-Attention art lovers: report to Tate St Ives immediately! Dedicated to British artists, you’ll find this museum filled with rotating modern art exhibitions. Additionally, we recommend visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

Staying at: Gwithian Farm Campsite and Caravan Park

There are a lot of campsites to choose from in Cornwall, but Gwithian Farm Campsite and Caravan Park really stands out. Gwithian Beach is only a few minutes away and is known for good surfing, safe swimming and being dog-friendly. This campsite is also close to the centre of town, so a good pint is always close. 

1 Churchtown Rd, Gwithian, Hayle TR27 5BX, United Kingdom

50.220955, -5.386078

Cornish beach

Photo by angela pham on Unsplash

Now you’re faced with the challenge of choosing which weekend road trip to embark on first! Will you head south to sunny Cornwall or west to the stunning Norfolk coast? Start planning some mini breaks throughout the year to tide you until your next holiday. 

If you need a set of wheels for your road trip, you can hire a motorhome in London. Then all that’s left to do is to pack your bags and hit the road!