5 Best Weekend Trips from London by Train (Under 2 Hours Away)

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Many of the best weekend trips from London by train are just a short ride away.

This makes it possible to spend less time traveling, and more time enjoying these beautiful weekend breaks near London.

You’ll find 5 worthwhile destinations reachable from London in less than two hours.

They’re good incentive to get one–or more–weekend breaks on your calendar.

weekend trips from London by train - Cotswolds

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about the best weekend trips from London by train that are less than a 2 hour ride:

  • Best British Weekend Breaks
  • Portsmouth
  • West Sussex
  • Brighton
  • Southhampton
  • Cotswold
  • Final Thoughts on Weekend Trips from London by Train
  • Next Steps

The Best British Weekend Breaks Less Than Two Hours from London

They say that when you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.

But there’s nothing like a much-needed great escape every once in a while.

If you’re a Londoner looking for a break from the rat race or you’re seeking a family-friendly destination for a day trip or holiday, you’ll find plenty of great options that are easily accessible by train.

Here are 5 of our favorites.

1. Get Away to Portsmouth

Situated less than 2 hours away from London by train on the south coast of England, Portsmouth is known around the world for its proud and unique maritime heritage.

It’s the home of the British Royal Navy.

Better yet, direct trains from Brighton take only 1 hour 20mins.

This sea-faring town is full of attractions inspired by naval history.

Among them, you’ll want to visit:

  • The mighty HMS Victory
  • Historic Dock Yard
  • National Museum of the Royal Navy
  • The Spinnaker Tower
  • Nelson Trail
  • Spice Island

Some consider Portsmouth one of the most beautiful UK towns.

It’s also technically the only island city in Britain!

2. Holiday in West Sussex

Situated just south of London and stretching all the way to the coast is the ceremonial county of West Sussex.

It’s famed for its lush greenery, rolling hills and natural beauty.

West Sussex county consists of farmland, stretching coast, national parks, quaint chocolate-box villages and historic market towns.

Chichester is the only city.

Popular attractions include:

  • Fishbourne Roman Palace
  • Petworth House
  • South Downs National Park
  • Arundel Castle and Gardens (one of five castles in West Sussex)
  • More sunshine than most of the UK

Easily accessible from Brighton or London Victoria, West Sussex is a great choice if you’re looking to get back to nature and enjoy a well-earned break in the country,

3. A Few Days in Brighton

weekend trip to Brighton UK

Accessible from London Victoria in just under an hour with Southern trains, Brighton has long been a premier destination for families looking for a weekend break on the beach.

Home to an eclectic mix of buzzing nightlife and family-friendly seaside fare, popular attractions include:

  • Brighton Beach
  • The Royal Pavilion
  • The Lanes and Brighton Palace Pier (made famous by the classic movie Brighton Rock).

Whether you’re looking to party, play the arcades, relax in a traditional pub, or stretch out in the sun, this town has it all. 

4. Weekend Getaway to Southampton

Southampton is an ancient maritime city that’s easily accessible by train from major cities.

It’s easy to get to from London, Birmingham, and Newcastle.

Located on the South Coast, this proud port city wears its sea-faring past on its sleeve.

You’ll discover a range of themed attractions including

  • The Steamship Shieldhall
  • SeaCity Museum
  • Southampton Maritime Museum

If you don’t have your ‘sea legs’ on, Southampton is also home to a range of world-class theaters, museums, restaurants, and boutiques. And, don’t miss the beautiful and historic Old Town.

5. Cotswold Weekend Break

If you love the idea of a scenic country break, then head for the Cotswolds.

Here, you’ll find charming towns and villages set in the unspoilt countryside. 

You can take the rail from London Paddington Station to Moreton-in-Marsh, which will take just over an hour-and-a-half. The train stops in Kingham and Charlbury, along the way – both are brimming with natural beauty.

From Moreton-in-Marsh, it’s a short taxi or bus ride to Bourton-on-the-Water.

A few things to see here are:

  • The River Windrush
  • Cotswold Motoring Museum
  • Birdland Nature Park

Trains run several times away, making it easy to get around between towns and back to London.

Final Thoughts on Weekend Trips from London By Train

When your weekend break begins when you just hop on a train in London and take a short ride, it makes the planning that much easier.

You can enjoy exceptional weekend holidays at a moment’s notice – and be home in just a few hours.

Once you start taking these weekend trips from London by train, you may just get hooked on the concept.

Related: Why London Short Term Apartments Are a Better Vacation Option

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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