6 Best Weekend Getaways Within 2 hours from London from $85 | RatesToTravel


Have you ticked off London’s iconic sights? You might be craving a break from the city’s hustle and bustle. Luckily, London offers an array of fun weekend getaways by train, from the prestigious university town of Oxford and pebbly beaches of Brighton to the picturesque medieval walled city of York.

With over 400 million annual visitors to RatesToTravelinfo, we’ve found the best weekend getaways under two hours from London. Whether you’re looking for a last-minute city break or want a quiet country escape, these six destinations reward you for venturing beyond the city sprawl.

Why You Should Stay in Oxford

Photo| Shutterstock | DAVID IONUT

With picture-perfect cobblestone streets and a prestigious university, Oxford is known for its beautiful architecture with imposing spires. This fairy-tale town is just an hour by train from London, offering culture vultures a chance to see iconic landmarks, such as the 18th-century Radcliffe Camera and the 1,000-year-old Oxford Castle, then soak up city views from the top of St. George’s Tower.

Must-Do Experiences in Oxford

  • Take a University of Oxford Tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at the architecturally iconic landmark.
  • Visit the Bodleian Library, one of the most beautiful and oldest libraries in Europe.
  • Enjoy a pint at the Eagle and Child Pub, a former hangout of Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Popular Hotels in Oxford

Old Parsonage Hotel

Photo| Old Parsonage Hotel | Provided by OLD PARSONAGE HOTEL

The 17th-century Old Parsonage Hotel combines English charm and character with 5-star amenities. Individually-designed rooms feature handmade beds, marble bathrooms and terraces overlooking the garden. Upgrade to a suite for a bespoke leather writing desk, Nespresso machine and separate living area.

Enjoy traditional afternoon tea in the walled courtyard, relax in the delightful library area or pick up a vintage-style bike from reception to explore the area. Visit Parsonage Grill and refuel with classic British dishes.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 215 – USD 551
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 1 Banbury Road, Oxford, England, United Kingdom

The Old Bank Oxford

Photo| The Old Bank Oxford | Provided by LEONARDO

The central Old Bank Oxford has 43 luxury rooms, many of which have unrivalled views of Oxford landmarks. The on-site restaurant, Quod, boasts a heated Italian garden terrace and serves European classics. Hotel bicycles are complimentary, while the sleek onyx bar is a social hub during the daily cocktail hour.

Classic Rooms feature queen-size beds, flat-screen TVs and mini bars, while Luxury Suites add king-size beds and lounge space. For panoramic city views from a private terrace, upgrade to the Rooftop Bedroom and Terrace.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 284 – USD 548
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 92-94 High Street, Oxford City Centre, Oxford, United Kingdom

Hotel Location

Why You Should Stay in Brighton

Photo| Shutterstock | BERNDBRUEGGEMANN

Brighton is a charming seaside resort town on England’s southern coast, known for offering light-hearted, old-fashioned fun. Only an hour by train from London, it has a thrilling roller coaster on the kitsch pier, an array of unique boutiques and a lively LGBTQ party scene.

Must-Do Experiences in Brighton

  • Stroll the Brighton Palace Pier, home to arcade games, fairground rides and kid-friendly rides.
  • Browse independent cafes, record shops, bookstores and art galleries in the passageways called The Lanes.
  • Marvel at the ornate Royal Pavilion, a former holiday home for George, Prince of Wales.

Popular Hotels in Brighton

The Grand Brighton

Photo| The Grand Brighton | Provided by THE GRAND BRIGHTON

The Grand Brighton is one of Brighton’s most iconic hotels, sitting on the seafront in the town centre. Classic Rooms feature flat-screen TVs, Egyptian cotton linens and Wi-Fi, while Deluxe Sea View Rooms offer stunning views over the seafront. For 7th-floor views and a separate lounge, upgrade to a King Suite.

Visit the sea-facing Victoria Terrace for afternoon tea or a Terrace Brunch or enjoy a signature Grand Cocktail at the stylish Victoria Bar. GB1 restaurant serves refined cuisine, such as oysters and caviar paired with heritage vegetables, while Victoria Lounge presents live music on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 90 – USD 402
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 97-99 King’s Road, Brighton City Centre, Brighton, United Kingdom

Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront

Photo| Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront | Provided by LEONARDO

Just a few minutes from Brighton’s iconic pier, Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront is one of the only hotels on the seafront. Ranging from Deluxe to Penthouse rooms, accommodation includes flat-screen TVs, air conditioning and Wi-Fi. Upgraded rooms add stunning sea views and separate living areas.    

Take advantage of the fully-equipped gym, swimming pool, steam room and sauna, as well as the luxury spa. In addition to light bites at Atrium Bar and Lounge, you can enjoy wines from the cellar at Seaview.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 89 – USD 718
Guest Rating: 8.6
Address: Kings Road, Brighton City Centre, Brighton, United Kingdom

Hotel Location

Why You Should Stay in Windsor

Photo| Shutterstock | EDUARD WICHNER

Windsor is famously home to Windsor Castle, one of the opulent homes of Britain’s Royal Family. It’s steeped in royal history and while it’s centred around the Queen’s residence, it also offers family-friendly attractions, parks and restaurants. Just 35 kilometres west of London, this picturesque Berkshire town is truly regal.

Must-Do Experiences in Windsor

  • Immerse yourself in royal history at Windsor Castle, the longest-occupied royal residence in Europe.
  • Take the kids to Legoland Windsor for Lego-themed rides and games.
  • Spot friendly deer within the 1,900-hectare Windsor Great Park.

Popular Hotels in Windsor

Macdonald Windsor

Photo| Macdonald Windsor Hotel | Provided by BOOKING.COM

A five-minute walk from Windsor Castle, Macdonald Windsor complements its prime location with the inviting Caleys Brasserie, which serves prime cut steaks. The contemporary restaurant also serves Prosecco and champagne with its afternoon tea selection.

Standard Double Rooms include free Wi-Fi, comfy chairs and Bluetooth speakers, while Super Deluxe Double rooms boast stunning views over Windsor and Windsor Castle.  Upgrade to a Super Deluxe Suite for an open-air balcony, super king-size bed and lounge area.

Nearby Attractions

  • Windsor Castle (140 metres)
  • St. George’s Chapel (400 metres)
  • Windsor & Eton Central train station (350 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 144 – USD 602
Guest Rating: 9
Address: High Street, Windsor, England, United Kingdom

Castle Hotel Windsor – MGallery by Sofitel

The 16th-century Castle Hotel Windsor – MGallery by Sofitel is set on Windsor’s iconic High Street, directly opposite Windsor Castle. Classic Rooms appeal to solo travellers with single beds, while couples can get cosy on the king-size bed in a Superior Room, which also features a mini fridge and flat-screen TV. Spacious suites add separate sitting areas.

The on-site Marco Pierre White Steakhouse offers a menu of creative twists on British cuisine. Head to the bar for a wide selection of wines and cocktails or satisfy your sweet tooth with decadent desserts.

Nearby Attractions

  • Windsor Castle (170 metres)
  • The Two Brewers (270 metres)
  • The Long Walk (500 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 171 – USD 430
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: 18 High St, Windsor, England, United Kingdom

Hotel Location

Why You Should Stay in York

Photo| Shutterstock | DAVID IONUT

Under a two-hour train ride from King’s Cross station in London, York is a quintessentially British city with narrow streets bordered by 13th-century walls. Visit the iconic York Minster cathedral or stroll along the River Ouse, then pop into one of the many inviting pubs. The interesting neighbourhoods are full of historic sites, museums and independent shops.

Must-Do Experiences in York

  • Embark on a riverside cruise along the River Ouse past Millennium bridge, Rowntree Park and Clifford’s Tower.
  • See the medieval stained-glass windows and artefacts at York Minster.
  • Wander along the ancient fortified walls that once protected the city. 

Popular Hotels in York

Hampton by Hilton York

Photo| Hampton by Hilton York | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Hampton by Hilton York offers a central location five minutes’ walk from the train station, as well as modern rooms with signature Hampton beds. Twin Rooms boast HDTVs and coffee making facilities, while Queen Rooms add double-size sofa beds.

Fill up with hot breakfast favourites at the complimentary buffet or grab a takeaway option if you’re on the go. Purchase snacks at the on-site convenience store or take advantage of the 24-hour pizza service. The chic bar also has a 24-hour snack menu and kids’ menu.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 85 – USD 235
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Toft Green, Central York, York, United Kingdom

The Grand Hotel & Spa

Photo| The Grand Hotel & Spa | Provided by ICE PORTAL

The 5-star Grand Hotel & Spa is an opulent retreat in York, considered one of the best luxury hotels in the UK. Exquisite rooms feature Egyptian cotton linens, underfloor heating and flat-screen TVs, while Suites add super-king size beds, elegant lounge areas and York skyline views. 

HotelsCombined visitors rave about the on-site spa, which features a swimming pool, whirlpool, steam room and sauna. On-site dining is highlighted by the modern British cuisine at The Rise. Visit The 1906 Bar for cocktails, ales and champagne or book a class at The Cookery School.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 125 – USD 329
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: Station Rise, Central York, York, United Kingdom

Hotel Location

Why You Should Stay in Bath

Photo| Shutterstock | VALDIS SKUDRE

You can reach Bath in less than 1.5 hours from Paddington Station. The tranquil setting has an historic atmosphere, thanks to restored Georgian residences. See how Bath’s former residents relaxed centuries ago at the Roman Baths, then unwind at Thermae Bath Spa or get a dose of culture at one of the many museums. 

Must-Do Experiences in Bath

  • Browse the interactive exhibits and CGI reconstructions at the Roman Baths.
  • Step back in time at The Jane Austen Centre with exhibits and costumed characters.
  • Soak up panoramic city views from the top of Bath Abbey Tower.

Popular Hotels in Bath

Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel

Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel is set in the historic heart of Bath, offering beautifully landscaped gardens and a luxe spa with a hydro-therapy pool. Soak up captivating city views from the outdoor terrace at Vellore Restaurant, which serves seasonal English fare, or sip tea in the Drawing room or cocktails in the Colonnade and Rotunda bars.

Save money in a Standard Room, which features a flat-screen TV and Wi-Fi, or upgrade to a Deluxe Suite for a grand open fireplace, four-poster bed and separate sitting room. Presidential Suites exude luxury with separate living spaces and panoramic views across Bath.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 113 – USD 329
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: Sydney Road, Bath City Centre, Bath, United Kingdom

Francis Hotel Bath – MGallery by Sofitel

Photo| Francis Hotel Bath – MGallery by Sofitel | Provided by LEONARDO

Housed in original 18th-century townhouses, Francis Hotel Bath – MGallery by Sofitel boasts individually-styled rooms with four-poster beds and city views. Classic Rooms have two singles or one double-size bed, while Feature Rooms can accommodate three guests.

Feel like British royalty while enjoying traditional Afternoon Tea in the Tea Room or visit Brasserie Blanc for exquisite French dishes. After a long day of sightseeing, the hotel’s Lounge and Bar offers a quiet setting to unwind.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 109 – USD 261
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: Queen Square, Bath City Centre, Bath, United Kingdom

Hotel Location

Why You Should Stay in Canterbury

Photo| Shutterstock | WILLIAM PERUGINI

Canterbury is an ancient city idea for travellers interested in the UK’s literature, history and beautiful architecture. Nestled in the county of Kent, this busy market city boasts ancient walls, a medieval centre and cobbled streets dotted with historic sites, such as Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey and places mentioned in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”.

Must-Do Experiences in Canterbury

  • Admire the stained-glass windows and over 1,500 years of history at Canterbury Cathedral.
  • Browse the bookshop at the crooked St John Boys House.
  • Take a break in Westgate Gardens, which boasts colourful flowerbeds and picnic spots.

Popular Hotels in Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral Lodge

Photo| Canterbury Cathedral Lodge | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Situated on the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge is part of a UNESCO-listed site. Along with iconic cathedral views, stylish rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD TVs and coffee making facilities. The Self Contained Apartment, meanwhile, has two twin bedrooms for up to four guests.

You won’t go hungry with the full English breakfast served in Refectory Restaurant, which also has alfresco seating on the terrace in summer. Afterwards, enjoy a glass of wine in the hotel’s cosy Library or foliage-filled Campanile Garden.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 124 – USD 138
Guest Rating: 9
Address: The Precincts, Canterbury, England, United Kingdom

The Millers Arms Inn

Photo| The Millers Arms Inn | Provided by BOOKING.COM | GETTYIMAGES – PAUL BRIDEN

The Millers Arms Inn is one of the top-rated pub hotels in Canterbury, built in 1826 to serve local mill workers. A beloved local spot to enjoy a pint, the hotel also serves locally-sourced, seasonal dishes and features a crackling fireplace and tranquil courtyard garden.

Unwind in one of the spacious rooms with Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and coffee making facilities. Choose from Single, Double or Twin rooms or upgrade for views of Canterbury Cathedral. Got the kids in tow? Stay in the spacious Family Room with one double and one single bed.

Nearby Attractions

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 111 – USD 148
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 1-2 Mill Lane, Canterbury, England, United Kingdom

Hotel Location

England boasts delightful weekend destinations, easily visited thanks to London’s world-class transport. These six destinations are just a few of the charming English towns at your fingertips with historic attractions, fascinating museums and inviting restaurants and pubs. Top accommodations range from 5-star lodgings to seaside stays, offering on-site dining, spacious suites and easy access to popular attractions.

Where do you want to visit near London? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Charity De Souza

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.



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