It might be that the next month sees us in the thralls of a second national lockdown, but it’s never too early to get planning for your post-lockdown escapes. Whilst there may still be restrictions on visiting friends and family outside of your household, and indeed on overnight stays, we’ll still be implementing our government certified Montcalm COVID 19 updates and safety measures on our reopening post-lockdown. Whilst you might have to wait for a while before you can take advantage of London staycations like ours, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get planning. Alongside hotel stays in London, a great way to enjoy the UK is on the many day trips you can take out of the UK capital.
Whilst this will, of course, be subject to the government guidelines once the lockdown, due to lift in December, is over with, we thought we’d give you a lowdown of some of the best day trips that are no more than an hour from the Montcalm Marble Arch London. From buzzing beach cities to countryside escapes, these are some of the best spots in the surrounding home and southern counties for a truly breathtaking day out.
Only 55 minutes from London Victoria, Brighton may very well remind you of a smaller version of London. With narrow, Georgian shopping streets, personality steeped in history and progressive values and luxurious seafront hotels to rival London’s with their COVID hotel sanitation protocols, there’s plenty to fill a day in this Regency-era tourist hotspot. Make sure not to miss a trip to the Palace Pier, what with its traditional arcades and funfair, whilst the historic icon of the city will always be the Indian palace inspired “castle”, the Brighton Pavilion.
Lewes is a Sussex town just 50 minutes outside of London. Just a ten-minute train journey from Brighton, Lewes is known for its surrounding South Downs countryside, gorgeous castle ruins and twee village atmosphere. If you happen to be visiting next November, make sure not to miss the largest bonfire night in the UK, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors for its grand collection of firework displays and thunderous procession, commemorating the 17 medieval martyrs executed there.
Based on the coast of Kent, Margate has seen a resurgence in the past decade due to its burgeoning art, performance and music scene, as well as its beachside Turner Gallery, which focuses on contemporary and modern art. Margate has a beautiful coastline as well as an independent shopping district that has attracted countless Londoners to move south for good. Margate is just over an hour outside of London by train, but what with its rickety, diner encumbered pier, art galleries and beachside dreamland funfair, there’s definitely enough to keep you roaming, browsing and dining all day.
Another Sussex coastal gem, Eastbourne is perfect for those looking for a traditional seaside town paired with the promise of nearby natural beauty. Very close to the iconic Seven Sisters valley, a collection of tributaries and estuaries, Eastbourne is a scenic and quaint town that’s only an hours train journey from London Victoria.
Just an hour outside of London from Kings Cross St Pancras, Folkestone is Kentish town with a classically English harbour and plenty of cafe-side art galleries to while away your day. Folkestone is also home to the closest sandy beach to London, so is a great solution for a summer escape.
An hour by train from London Liverpool Street, Cambridge is an easy to reach town that’s promises plenty of medieval history, museums and stunning gothic architecture. Home to one of the two oldest – and most prestigious – universities, not only in England but the world, Cambridge is a step, and sometimes a canal punt into the country’s past.
For guests at the Montcalm and it’s Montcalm care protocol during the COVID era, one of the best ways to get out and about but retain social distance, is to explore the larger green spaces in and just outside of London. Located just 45 minutes by train from Clapham Junction, the Surrey Hills are a National Trust estate that provides scenic walking trails and great views over the green pastures of Surrey.
Based in Buckinghamshire, the Chiltern Hills are another chance to escape into nature from London. Forget hotel deep tissue massages near me, the Chiltern Hills promise a soothing of the sense with its medieval-era churches, nearby caves and beautiful nature trails that you’ll find it hard not to lose yourself in.
St Albans has a history as long as London’s but comes with just as much if not more remnants of it’s Roman history through its Roman Wall. If the ancient history of martyrs and Romans isn’t enough, then one of England’s most honoured traditions, the pub crawl, is a main staple of the St Albans landscape. This is in part due to the fact that there are apparently more pubs here than any other city or town in the country, as well as it’s being the headquarters for the Campaign For Real Ale group, a pioneering company focussing on improving and pushing the boundaries of English ales.
Just 39 minutes from Fenchurch Street Station, TIlbury is an Essex enclave on the banks of the River Thames and is famous for it’s Tudor era fort that still stands today. Make sure not to miss this slice of history, it’s seen tactical use as defence from and through some of the countries most famous conflicts such as the Spanish Armada and the English Civil War.
A little further into Essex is Clapton, nestled on the edge of the Thames River’s mouth into the English Channel. With its pier, theme park and plenty of Essex character, Southend is the perfect day out for some true East English fun.
Take a trip to Hever Castle for another slice of Tudor England. This castle was the home of Anne Boelyn before her marriage to Henry VIII and dates back to the 13th century. Expect plenty of insight into Anne Boelyn’s early life, as well as a classic British castle style, wi classic moats and glistening parkland.