England can be a wonderfully weird country. Quirky is the word most Brits would use but a lot of it is simply bizarre. I mean, your great student experience is in the land of bog snorkelling, cheese-rolling contests and world conkers competitions. Here’s our top tips for London Day Trips: these ideas are so bonkers we guarantee nobody else in you class at University will have done them. Now that the weather is getting better, it’s the perfect time to get out of town for a bit, leaving your student accommodation and exploring England. So set out on these 5 quirky, random, weird London day trips.
Quaint London day trips: Ask for Beer on a Bus
The first in our list of London day trips may not be the most mature of our suggestions, but it isn’t the least mature either! Head down to Waterloo and ask for a Train to Axminster, it’s an easy 2h40 ride with no changes. Get off, and find a bus that’ll take you to Beer. The guys at Trip Advisor say there’s only two things to do if you visit : there’s some caves and a model railway themed park. Got to be kidding us: the whole point of this London day trip is to find the “Welcome to Beer – Please Drive Carefully” street sign and take as many photographs with it as you can. And then some more with everything else that has Beer on its sign: there’s the Beer Post Office, Beer Pharmacy and the Beer Head Park, and probably a few others we haven’t seen yet. While you’re there, enjoy the village. It’s a cute little seaside place with a pleasant beach and the local ales and ciders are always really good.
(For more information, click here for the Beer, Devon website. Its actually really good. And with ‘Visit Beer’ as its tagline, it couldn’t go wrong, could it?)
Expensive London day trips: Take a train to France – and come back
If your student loan has just come in, the whole point of being a student is spending it as quickly as you can right? It’s what everybody else around you seems to be doing. If you want to trump all their attempts, get yourself a EuroStar ticket and jump across the English Channel. It can take under an hour to get from London to Calais (although some trips take 1hour and a few minutes). Call it an invasion if you must, walk on the beach and enjoy some cheese, wine and croissants before you get back on the train to London.
(Eurostar leaves from St. Pancras station, you can check out timetables buy tickets online from the Eurostar website.)
London day trips for boys: Watch a JCB dance
If you head over to Strood, a town in Kent, you’ll find Diggerland. In this mad place, you can drive construction machinery around, use it to dig holes or race JCBs. The house favourite is a performance by a stunt team that makes six diggers do a dance routine. If you were the kind of kid who’s favourite toy was that big yellow bulldozer, this is something you can’t deny your childhood self. I couldn’t and it’s awesome.
(Want to know more? Put on a pair of sunglasses and click here for Diggerland’s bright orange website.)
London day trips for the inner grandma in you: Paint a teapot in the Teapot museum
If Diggerland and Beer compete as the two most immature London daytrips, this one is by far the most mature. In Yalding (also in Kent) you can find Teapot Island, a museum collecting thousands of teapots. It’s only 20 years old but has already earned two Guinness World Records. If there’s something you would probably only find in England, it’s a Teapot Museum – right? About 15km away there’s the Dog Collar Museum too, just in case you’re not done yet with weird, inexplicable collections. What is it with Kent that seems to attract all the unusual attractions? Maybe that’s why it’s so popular with students.
(Teapot Island’s website is more of a blast to the plast than most pieces in its collection. Totally worth a visit.)
Slightly deranged London day trips: see Gnome Magic (for real!)
And then there’s a whole other level of weird, surreal London day trips like Gnome Magic, a museum with hundreds of Gnomes. Even if these little ceramic creatures creep you out, an absolute must to add to that list of places to take ridiculous photographs in. The grounds supposedly cover 5 magical acres and the collection boasts more than 800 garden gnomes. We can only imagine what would happen if this place caught the attention of Garden Gnome Liberationists (yes- that’s a thing too, I swear). Gnome Magic is in Colchester, which is less than an hour away from London on a train.
(Need more information on Gnome Magic? Timetables, history, photographs and more on the Gnome Magic website)
That’s it folks! Our top 5 ridiculous London day trip ideas. Choose one, start packing and get gone – just remember to send us photographs, you guys. I’ve got a special prize lined up if any of you sends us a postcard from all 5 London day trips!
(our photographer said going to these places was way too ridiculous for him so we had to scavenge off Flickr to illustrate the article. Photo credits in order of appearance to the users: Paul Appleyard, Phil Beard, James Butler, Themirvinatorstagset, Bob Donkin and kmoney_56 . Thank you guys.)
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