Tired of paying for numerous entrance fees, expensive plane tickets and extortionate car parking fees every time you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of big cities? If you’re dreaming about a quick summer getaway that won’t cost you the earth, take a look at our ideas for affordable day trips from 3 of UK’s biggest cities – London, Manchester and Bristol.
Affordable day trips from Manchester
Perfect for: canals, history buffs, art lovers, walkers, gay pride
Average price journey: £3 by train
This charming market town in West Yorkshire is famous for its colourful artistic quarters and festivals as well as being a liberal hub for the LGBTQ-community. British Airway’s High Life magazine named it ‘one of the world’s funkiest towns’. Hebden Bridge is also a great place to discover some of England’s history and to find out more about the old milling industry which was suspended in the 1970s.
Perfect for: nature-lovers, hikers and outdoor adventures
Average price journey: £11.20 by train
Edale valley is the ideal getaway where you can truly escape to nature and simply enjoy being outdoors. It’s located along one of England’s most spectacular railway routes – the Manchester to Sheffield train line. Edale is also an hour walk from Kinder Scout-the tallest peak in the Peak District, and Mam Tor. This small village is also the start of the UK’s first and most popular walking path – the Pennine Way. If you’re looking for a weekend-long getaway, this could be your ideal destination.
Other popular day trips that won’t break the bank are the city of the Beatles – Liverpool, Southport’s Beach and Jane Austin’s-style town of Buxton.
Affordable day trips from Bristol
Bath Skyline Walk
Perfect for: nature-lovers, walkers, family day with pets
Average journey price: £8.30 by train
Just outside the centre of Bath, this National Trust Skyline Walk is known for its 6 miles of meadows and ancient woodlands and secluded valleys, looking just like a real-life fairy tale.
Perfect for: beach, family day, picnic
Average journey price: £7.50 by train
This seaside town is the perfect beach getaway from Bristol in a hot summer day. Spend a fun family day on the beach, explore the Weston Pier or enjoy a tranquil walk over Sand Bay. The Weston Sand festival should also be on your list! Some other ideas for cheap day trips from Bristol include a discovery day of medieval Salisbury, a day trip to mystical Stonehenge or the Brecon Beacons mountain range.
Affordable day trips from London
The New Forest National Park
Perfect for: nature-lovers, walkers, cyclists, family day, animal-lovers
Average journey: around 2 hours by car
Take a tranquil walk in the New Forest National Park, enjoy a picnic with the family or simply marvel at the playful wild ponies around you. Falling in love with the forest’s idyllic glades, ancient woodland, open moors, heathland and cliff top walks is inevitable!
Perfect for: sightseeing, history buffs, walkers
Average journey price: £10.20 by train
Stroll down the streets of the royal town of Windsor and discover its numerous historical sights during this fun day trip from London, just half an hour away from the city. Explore the iconic Windsor Castle and its marvellous art collection, watch the Changing of the Guards and enjoy a nice picnic at Great Park. Don’t miss the Savill Garden – a maze of gardens filled with beautiful exotic and native flora.
Looking for more ideas? Head to Cambridge, Oxford or Bath. Brighton is the perfect quick beach getaway while the Cotswolds are the perfect summer road trip adventure.