5 great places to visit within an hour from London

A magical day out

Immerse yourself in the wizarding world at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. When the final Harry Potter movie wrapped, a magical trove of treasures was left behind and in 2016, the set opened as an attraction. Contained within two soundstages where, among original props and costumes, you can walk down Diagon Alley, visit Dumbledore’s office, see the original Hogwarts Express, and pose by Platform 9¾. Catch the train from London Euston to Watford Junction, then a shuttle bus, and you’ll be knocking at Hogwarts within 40 minutes.

Book here: wbstudiotour.co.uk/home

Diagon alley making of Harry Potter

Diagon alley making of Harry Potter

A thrilling race

Travel to Epsom, home to the world’s greatest flat horse race, the Epsom Derby, which takes place this year from the 1-2 June. They have had the privilege of welcoming Her Majesty The Queen to The Derby for nearly 70 years. It’s also where suffragette Emily Davison died after being knocked down by the King’s horse while raising awareness of women’s rights.

Book here: epsom.thejockeyclub.co.uk

investec derby at epsom downs racecourse

Investec Derby at Epsom Downs racecourse

A historic home

Catch the fast train from Kings Cross and you’re outside Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, in 20 minutes. The main building, the Old Palace, dates back to 1485, was owned by Henry VIII and was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth I, while the Jacobean-era Hatfield House was built in 1611. Take a tour, to include the very spot where Elizabeth I discovered she’d become Queen of England.

Visit website: hatfield-house.co.uk/your-visit/

Hatfield House

Hatfield House

A Royal retreat

Windsor Castle is the weekend home of Queen Elizabeth II, and the venue of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming nuptials. Tour the 11th-century castle and grounds, and admire the lavish State Apartments and Semi-State Rooms, carefully restored after the 1992 fire. Catch a 40-minute mainline train from Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central, and it’s a five-minute walk to the castle entrance.

Book now: tickets.royalcollection.org.uk/windsor-castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Taking the water

Jump on a train at London’s Charing Cross and you can be in Royal Tunbridge Wells in just 50 minutes. This Kent spa town first found fame 400 years ago when the iron-rich Chalybeate Spring was discovered, and the gentry flocked to ‘cure’ ailments from infertility to hangovers. You can still taste the healing waters today –in the summer, the water is served by a traditional ‘dipper’ in Georgian costume.

Shopping in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Shopping in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Also within an hour of London:

AUTHOR

Claire Pitcher
Claire Pitcher

A writer and editor for 20 years, Claire lives in the north of Hampshire. Her passion is promoting local food and British made products through her writing and she loves exploring the UK.

View all posts by Claire Pitcher

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