Sometimes the fast pace and bustling atmosphere of London can become too much. With so many people and so much to see and do, being able to simply escape the capital and head somewhere more relaxed and laid back is the best way to enjoy some ‘me time’ away from your studies.

Of course, thanks to the fantastic travel links enjoyed by London, being able to head away at the weekend – either on a day trip or for a weekend break – is simple, with an abundance of things to see and do across the South East and beyond. Below, we look at a few relaxing retreats that you should take time to discover, and let you hair down at the same time.


For a bit of culture and sophistication, a day trip to nearby Windsor is the perfect choice. With Windsor Castle, the occasional home of the Queen, dating back to the rule of William the Conqueror, this magnificent building is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. As such, it makes for a fascinating destination to discover during some downtime, and will provide a compelling look into the history, elegance, and refinement of the royal family.


One of the most popular destinations in the whole of the UK, Brighton is the perfect spot for a lively weekend away. Here you will find the perfect combination of a lazy beachside town crossed with fabulous nightlife, and where the cosmopolitan locals and fascinating day-trippers all work together to establish a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.


The hometown of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is a quaint destination that is packed with literary tradition. Easily accessible on train, this market town epitomises that of traditional England. Plus, with many sights and landmarks dedicated to the work and life of the famous wordsmith, getting your fulfilment of Shakespearean sightseeing is guaranteed.

Leeds Castle

Known as the ‘loveliest castle in the world’, Leeds Castle in Kent is approximately an hour away from central London and is another fascinating relic of traditional England. Over 900 years of history can be uncovered on a visit to this excellently preserved landmark, while a stroll among the peaceful grounds ensures that a weekend visit will seem like a million miles from the hustle and bustle of London.


As a university town in Kent, Canterbury has been tailored to be student friendly in everything it offers. Just a short trip from London, the traditional architecture, backstreets of quaint shops and restaurants provide hours and hours of entertainment for both locals and day trippers. Not forgetting the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral! A visit to Canterbury represents a great day out in a region that has everything within walking distance of the train station.


Heading further afield towards the South West of England, Bath should never be missed. Renowned as being home to Britain’s only natural hot springs, no visit to Bath is complete without taking a dip in the Roman baths and spa. Plus, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can be assured that history comes alive at every turn during your time in this fantastic West Country location.

There really is so much to experience outside of London that you will be longing for more time to head out to discover. While the capital is undoubtedly a epicentre of activity all-year round, there’s no denying that, for traditional British charm, intriguing culture, and splendid natural scenery, heading out of the city is a truly rewarding experience too.

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