A church in the Cotswolds where Fr Brown is filmed Blockley UK not far from Moreton-in-Marsh
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Best Day Trip By Train from London Under 3 hours- 2024

Do you want to know the best day trip by train from London? I’ve got you covered!

Table of Contents

Experience the sights of London and its surrounding regions with these unforgettable day trips from London by train. Take your time to fully immerse yourself in the charm of London, with a recommended minimum of seven days to explore its iconic landmarks.

But don’t stop there! Venture beyond the bustling capital and discover the hidden gems just a train ride away. Prepare to be mesmerized as we present the best day trips from London by train, each accessible in under three hours. Get ready for a truly unforgettable experience with these incredible day trips from London by train.

Discover the allure of London with unforgettable day trips by train. As a seasoned traveler and self-proclaimed London expert, I’ve repeatedly immersed myself in this captivating city. And now, I want to share my secrets with you.

In 2019, I had the privilege of exploring London for an extended period. My love for this city and the countryside runs deep, which is why I always make it a priority to embark on fun adventures to nearby destinations. With England’s extensive rail service, these day trips are a breeze.

Traveling less than three hours of London is bursting with possibilities. There’s something for everyone, from awe-inspiring landmarks to spectacular historical architecture and even breathtaking beaches. And the best part? You can easily escape the hustle and bustle and uncover hidden gems just a train ride away.

So, join me on this incredible journey. Discover the wonders that await beyond the borders of London. Let me guide you through amazing places, just a day trip from London that you won’t want to miss out on. It’s time to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Best Day Trip by Train From London – Less Than One Hour

Windsor, Berkshire

Did you know that Windsor Castle is the most famous royal castle in the world? It was not only the preferred residence of Queen Elizabeth II but also a must-visit destination just a short day trip away from London.

To make the most of your visit, get your tickets for the castle with the Royal Collection Trust in advance. Once in Windsor, stroll along the famous Royal Mile, a picturesque 3-mile pathway that winds through the stunning Windsor Great Park.

While exploring Windsor Castle, don’t miss the opportunity to visit St. George’s Chapel. With its stunning architecture, this beautiful chapel is the final resting place of many monarchs, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. It’s a fascinating glimpse into royal history.

And you’re in for a treat for all you foodies out there! Make sure to book a reservation in advance at the Fat Duck, a world-renowned restaurant created by the talented Heston Blumenthal. Get ready to indulge in a culinary experience like no other.

So, if you’re looking for a day trip that combines history, beauty, and incredible cuisine, don’t miss out on exploring Windsor and Windsor Castle. It’s a royal experience you won’t want to miss.

How to get to Windsor

Train Journey: London Waterloo to Windsor & Eaton Riverside on the South Western Railway or London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Central on the Great Western Railway.
Journey Time: One hour

Windsor Castle Admission Ticket

  • 1,000 years of Royal History
  • Oldest and largest occupied Castle in the world
  • Home to 40 Monarchs, starting with William the Conqueror

Oxford, Oxfordshire 

Oxford is home to the oldest university in England. Just a short walk from the train station, you can explore the historic University of Oxford college buildings. Don’t miss the iconic Radcliffe Camera and the impressive Bodleian Library. To taste history, visit the over 1000-year-old Oxford Castle and Prison.

To truly step into the world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, take a boat trip along the River Thames and be transported to a bygone era. Or, if you’re up for punting, don’t miss the chance to glide along the picturesque River Cherwell.

If you’re in the mood for shopping and browsing, head to the Oxford Covered Market with its many shops and stalls. And when hunger strikes, you’ll have plenty of delicious dining options.

For a bird’s-eye view of Oxford, climb the University of St. Mary the Virgin stairs and enjoy a breathtaking panoramic cityscape. Immerse yourself in history at Christ Church College, founded by Henry VIII in 1546. Come and discover the wonders of Oxford, where history and charm await at every turn!

How to get to Oxford

Train Journey: London Paddington Station to Oxford Train Station on the Great Western Railway or London Marylebone to Oxford Train Station on the Chiltern Railways
Journey Time: One hour on the Great Western Railway or One hour 30 minutes on the Chiltern Railways

Oxford University Walking Tour

with University Alumni Guide

  • Small group tour that can be personalized
  • Walking tour with a former Student who knows the campus firsthand
  • Learn about the rich history of Oxford University

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Come and discover the stunning architecture of Cambridge University – Kings, Queens, Trinity, Magdalena, and St. John’s colleges await your exploration. Take advantage of the fascinating walking tours that are available. If you’re a Christopher Wren fan, visit the Wren Library at Trinity College. This renowned architect is responsible for St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Wren Library.

Discover the hidden treasures of the eight enchanting public museums waiting to be explored within the University. Among them, the Fitzwilliam Museum is a must-see attraction, full of stunning masterpieces that will leave you in awe. Don’t let this unique opportunity pass you by.

Take a leisurely punting tour along the scenic River Cam. Experience the beautiful evensong at King’s College Chapel. Quench your thirst with a pint at one of the charming riverside pubs. Immerse yourself in nature with a leisurely stroll through the Botanic Gardens or delve into the fascinating exhibits of Cambridge’s many museums.

How to get to Cambridge

Train Journey: London King’s Cross to Cambridge on the Cambridge Express on the Great Northern or London Liverpool Street Station to Cambridge Train Station.
Journey Time: 50 minutes on the Cambridge Express or 1 hour 5 minutes

Cambridge University Punting Tour

  • View the Mathematical Bridge and King’s College from the River Cam
  • Learn about the city’s rich history with an experienced guide.
  • Experience leisure activity that has a 100 year history

The Cotswolds

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Cotswolds, an Area of Natural Beauty spanning multiple counties and boasting picturesque villages. While one day won’t be enough to explore this stunning region fully, you can still sample its charms and leave with a craving for more.

As someone who’s visited the Cotswolds numerous times, I can’t help but keep coming back for more. There are many delightful villages, but for your first trip, I highly recommend Burton-on-the-Water – the “Venice of the Cotswolds.”

If you’re worried about transportation, don’t fret. While Uber might not be an option here, you can plan ahead to navigate between towns easily. Take a train to Moreton-in-Marsh and hop on a bus to your desired destinations. The 853 and 801 buses are the most popular and will take you to charming places like Cheltenham, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Northleach.

For specific schedules, check out the Pulham Coaches website.

Escape the hustle and bustle of London and embark on a romantic day trip to the Cotswolds. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

How to get to The Cotswolds

Train Journey: London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh. From Moreton-in-Marsh, take the 801 Bus to Burton-on-the-Water.
Journey Time: 58 minutes – 1 hour 25 minutes

Cotswold Motoring Museum

  • Learn about the history of the village of Burton-on-the-water
  • Fascinating museum for all ages
  • Home of the Brum. Great for car lovers.

Hampton Court Palace, Richmond Upon Thames

Experience the grandeur of Hampton Court, a famous palace steeped in history and Tudor charm. Originally the residence of Cardinal Thomas Worsley, this magnificent property was eventually gifted to King Henry VIII, who made it one of his favorite retreats along the picturesque Thames River.

With its stunning Tudor-style architecture and additions by King William III and Queen Mary, the palace now blends Tudor and Baroque designs. Explore the lavish staterooms, state apartments, and the Tudor kitchen, where you can immerse yourself in the opulence of the past.

Be sure to visit the Haunted Gallery, where whispers of past spirits linger, and don’t miss the Royal Chapel, which houses Anne Boleyn’s Book of Hours, a legendary artifact. And, of course, stroll through the expansive 60-acre gardens, a true oasis of beauty.

Embrace history and indulge your senses as you spend 2-3 hours uncovering the secrets of Hampton Court. This iconic London day trip is conveniently located, making it the perfect choice for an unforgettable adventure just a short trip away from the city’s heart.

How to get to Hampton Court

Train Journey: London Waterloo to Hampton Court Palace
Journey Time: 36 minutes

Hampton Court Palace

Private tour – the Secrets of Henry VIII

  • Explore the Palace with a historian guide
  • Customized tour to your interests
  • Tour guide is versed in Tudor history

Canterbury, Kent

Discover the captivating allure of Canterbury, a cathedral city brimming with fascinating history and breathtaking beauty.

Experience the charm of Canterbury, a city renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and fascinating past. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Canterbury Cathedral, where a significant pilgrimage occurred during medieval times, stirred by the gripping tale of Thomas Becket’s untimely demise. This pilgrimage held such sway that it inspired the timeless masterwork Chaucer’s Tales of Canterbury. Prepare to be maxed by this journey through time and literature.

Discover the wonders of Canterbury beyond its famed cathedral. Delve into the rich heritage and profound significance of this city as the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Anglican Church. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and unlock the hidden treasures that await.

Step back into history as you stroll through the timeless medieval center of Canterbury. Immerse yourself in the sights of intricate Timber Framed buildings and follow the charming cobblestone streets to uncover hidden gems and create unforgettable memories.

How to get to Canterbury

Train Journey: London Charing Cross or London St. Pancras stations to Canterbury West
Journey Time: 53 minutes from London St. Pancras or 1 hour 42 minutes from London Charring Cross


walking guided tour

  • Official Green Badge Guide
  • Fascinating tales of myth & legends of historical characters, writers, and artists.
  • 90-minute walking tour

Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes 

Discover the hidden sanctuary of WWII’s brilliant code breakers at Bletchley Park. Seemingly a mere retreat for the war’s brightest minds, this covert location was the epicenter of decryption triumphs. Led by the ingenious Alan Turing and his team, the Enigma code machine was finally cracked, contributing significantly to the Allies’ ultimate victory.

Explore the preserved rooms that once housed these extraordinary individuals, offering a glimpse into their wartime operations. Additionally, immerse yourself in computing history on the National Museum of Computing premises.

Conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from London, Bletchley Park makes for an unforgettable day trip that blends intrigue, education, and entertainment.

How to get to Bletchley Park

Train Journey: London Euston to Milton Keynes Central on West Midlands. It is a five-minute walk to Bletchley Park.
Journey Time: 30 minutes

Bletchley Park

Mansion & Gardens

  • Wander the beautiful gardens of the Mansion.
  • Learn about the Code Breakers and the part they played in World War II under the guidance of Alan Turing
  • Interactive and immersive Museum

Brighton, East Sussex

Explore the charming shops at The Lanes, soak in the breathtaking sunset at the Palace Pier, and indulge in a refreshing drink at the vibrant beachfront bars. Brighton is a city designed for walking, with most attractions just a 15-minute stroll away from each other.

If you are fascinated with marine life, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Sea Life Brighton – the oldest working aquarium right by the seaside. Step into history at the magnificent Brighton Royal Pavilion, a stunning architectural masterpiece built by King George IV.

Brighton Beach is one of the must-visit destinations near London during the summer months.

How to get to Brighton

Train Journey: London Victoria to Brighton on Southern or London King’s Cross on Thameslink
Journey Time: 58 minutes – 1 hour 24 minutes

The Brighton Story

walking tour

  • Get a good overall view of Brighton by walking by the Royal Pavilion, North Laine and the Palace Pier
  • Learn about the city’s rich history of this quaint city.
  • Local professional guide to provide you with the history of Brighton.

St. Albans, Hertfordshire 

Are you looking for a quick and exciting day trip from London? Look no further than St Albans! Just a 30-minute train ride away, this city has something for everyone.

First, be sure to visit the famous Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, one of Britain’s oldest pubs. Its rich history and charming atmosphere make it a must-visit for any pub enthusiast.

While you’re in town, take some time to explore the numerous shops and restaurants St Albans offers. You’ll find it all here whether you’re in the mood for eclectic boutiques or delicious cuisine.

For history buffs, a visit to the Roman Ruins is a must. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Roman life over 2000 years ago at the Verulamium Museum. It’s a unique experience that will transport you back in time.

And, of course, no trip to St Albans would be complete without a visit to the St. Albans Cathedral. As the second oldest cathedral in Britain, it’s a true architectural gem. Marvel at the stunning craftsmanship and soak in the serene atmosphere.

With its close proximity to London and other attractions, St Albans is the ultimate destination for a memorable day trip.

How to get to St. Albans

Train Journey: London St. Pancras to St. Albans City Station
Journey Time: 30 minutes

St. Albans

The Roman City of St. Albans Private Tour

  • Round trip transportation from your London hotel
  • You will have a personal tour guide
  • Explore the St. Albans Cathedral

Winchester, Hampshire

Discover the captivating charm of Winchester, a historic gem among the cities in the UK. Immerse yourself in its narrow cobbled streets, lined with medieval houses that tell tales of times gone by.

But it is the Winchester Cathedral that truly steals the show. As the final resting place of the renowned author Jane Austen, the cathedral holds a profound literary significance.

And that’s not all – this breathtaking masterpiece also houses one of the world’s oldest Bibles, a priceless treasure that visitors can view at its ancient pages. Experience the allure of Winchester’s past and be transported to a world of wonder that transcends time.

Experience the grandeur of history firsthand at Winchester Cathedral, where William the Conquerer was crowned King in 1066. Immerse yourself in the medieval 13th Century Great Hall, home to King Arthur’s legendary Round Table.

Be sure to indulge in the authentic English pub experience by visiting the charming Willow Tree near the river. Come and discover England’s past in one captivating destination.

How to get to Winchester

Train Journey: London Waterloo to Winchester on South Western Railway. It is a 5-minute walk from the train station to the city center.
Journey Time: 1 hour


Private Tour of Winchester

  • A historical view from a local
  • Explore the iconic sights of Winchester, such as the Great Hall
  • Learn more about this ancient capital of the UK

Highclere Castle, Hampshire 

Don’t miss out on the chance to visit Highclere Castle, the iconic setting of Downton Abbey! Just a short 15-minute cab ride from Newbury Station, this historical gem is a must-see for fans of the beloved TV series. Book your tickets in advance to secure your spot, as they tend to sell out quickly. Please note that tours are only available during specific times, so plan accordingly.

As you explore the castle, you’ll discover its rich history. The current Earl of Carnarvon and his wife call this historic estate home, while his grandfather played a significant role in rebuilding the castle back in the 17th century. Beyond its appearances on screen, Highclere Castle has an important wartime past. During World War I, it served as a hospital; in World War II, it provided shelter for evacuees.

Prepare to immerse yourself in the beauty and grandeur of Downton Abbey by visiting Highclere Castle. This is an opportunity you won’t want to miss.

How to get to Highclere Castle

Train Journey: London Paddington to Newbury. A 15-minute cab ride from Newbury Station to Highclere Castle
Journey Time: 1 hour

Highclere Castle

Seen on the hit show Downton Abbey

  • Round trip transportation for Highclere Castle tour and film set locations
  • Visit Downton Abbey that in real life is Highclere Castle
  • Visit the quaint Cotswold town where location filming occurred for the village.

Harry Potter Studios, Watford

Experience the magic of Harry Potter at Warner Brothers Studios in Watford! Hop on a shuttle at Watford Junction train station and prepare for the ultimate day trip.

Immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter as you explore the actual sets, admire the wardrobe, and learn about the fascinating process behind making the movies. This studio tour is a must-visit for fans of all ages and interests.

To make the most of your visit, purchase your tickets in advance. Plan for approximately 4 hours of fun and enchantment. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to enter the wizarding world!

How to get to Harry Potter Studios

Train Journey: London Euston or Victoria to Watford Junction
Journey Time: 18 minutes

Harry Potter Studios

Warner Brothers Studio in Watford

  • Round trip transportation to the Harry Potter Studios
  • Entry ticket to the Harry Potter Studio tour
  • See the original set, props and costumes and how they brought the J.K. Rowling books to life.

Mayfield Lavender Farm, Banstead, Surrey 

Check out their website to get the flower report before you visit. The flower season is only during the summer months.

Imagine a grand 25-acre farm experience with tractor rides, tours, and a café boasting a liquor license where you can savor their lavender-infused Cider. Treat yourself to a delightful cream or afternoon tea while basking in the beauty of the lavender fields. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embark on a perfect day surrounded by nature’s wonders.

How to get to Mayfield Lavender Farm

Train Journey: London Victoria to West Croydon, then Bus 166
Journey Time: 52 minutes

Mayfield Lavender Farm

  • Enjoy the Lavender Theater
  • There is a gift shop on site
  • Enjoy a lavender-infused cocktail near the picturesque lavender fields

Colchester, Essex 

Explore the historic streets of Colchester with our free walking guides and immersive audio tours. Just a 15-minute walk from the train station, you’ll find yourself in the heart of one of England’s oldest recorded towns. Immerse yourself in the tale of Queen Boudicca‘s battle against the invading Romans.

Marvel at the incredibly preserved Roman walls, complete with a unique pub called The Hole in the Wall. Journey through time as you visit Colchester Castle, home to a Roman temple in its dungeon and a Keep dating back to Norman times. In the center of town, discover the ruins of St. Bololph’s Priory.

Before bidding farewell to this historic gem and returning to London, indulge in the famous Colchester Native Oysters. For a quintessential afternoon tea experience, delight your taste buds at the Tiptree Jam Tea Room and savor the unique Moorish Blackberry Gin, a specialty not to be missed.

How to get to Colchester

Train Journey: London Liverpool Station to Colchester on the Great Anglia
Journey Time: 1 hour


Colchester History Walking Tour

  • Learn about the 2000 year history of Colchester
  • See the largest water tower in the UK, Jumbo
  • Visit the spectacular Town Hall

Rye & Camber Sands, East Sussex 

Escape the hustle and bustle of London and transport yourself to a charming maritime town that feels worlds away. This idyllic destination, once an isolated island, has evolved and is now interconnected with the mainland.

Immerse yourself in the town’s atmosphere as you rent a bike to uncover hidden gems such as the harbor, historic riverside docks, and the Camber Sands beach. Indulge in a quintessential English experience by eating delicious fish & chips at one of the many charming old English pubs.

Travel back to the 13th century when Rye was renowned as a thriving pirate town. Follow in the footsteps of smugglers as you stroll down the famous Mermaid Street, which serves as a key passage from the River Brede into town.

Don’t forget to make a pit stop at the iconic Mermaid Inn, a popular haunt for these daring individuals. Today, this storied street is one of England’s most captivating and frequently photographed streets.

How to get to Rye

Train Journey: London St. Pancras to Rye on the Southern Railway
Journey Time: 1 hour


& Camber Sands

  • Best preserved medieval streets
  • Explore the sand dunes of Camber Sands
  • Discover historical sights by walking around this quaint town

Rochester, Kent 

Explore the enchanting world of Charles Dickens in the charming town of Higham. Immerse yourself in the literary landscapes that inspired his timeless stories. Embark on the Dickens Trail, a self-guided tour that unveils the sites of significance in this picturesque area.

Follow the marked trail and discover where Dickens found inspiration for his unforgettable characters and compelling narratives. Don’t forget to pick up a Dickens Trail map at the Tourist Office for a small fee and enhance your exploration.

While in the vicinity, visit Rochester Castle, a remarkable 12th Century Tower testament to England’s rich history. Ascend to the top and witness breathtaking views. Uncover the secrets and stories within these ancient stone walls, making it a truly memorable experience.

Tread in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, delve into the depths of history, and be captivated by the beauty and intrigue of Higham and its surrounds. Start your journey today and create memories that will last a lifetime.

How to get to Rochester

Train Journey: London St. Pancras to Rochester
Journey Time: 40 minutes


Private Tour from London to Rochester Castle and Dicken’s Rochester

  • 12th Century stone tower of the Castle is the most preserved in England
  • Charles Dickens used Rochester as the backdrop of his writings
  • This tour can add Kent as well

Best Day Trip By Train From London – Less Than 90 Minutes

Bath, Somerset

Bath is a city steeped in history and charm. With its famous Roman baths and connection to Jane Austen, Bath has earned itself the honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage site.

To make the most of your visit, we recommend starting early to avoid crowds at the Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. These iconic landmarks are must-sees that glimpse the city’s fascinating past.

Explore the vibrant stalls along Pulteney Bridge, leading to the picturesque Great Pulteney Street, to taste local life. Take a moment to relax and unwind in the tranquil Sydney Gardens.

Consider joining a free or paid walking tour to delve deeper into Bath’s secrets and hidden gems. These tours offer insider knowledge and a unique perspective on the city’s history and culture.

Calling all “Bridgerton” fans! Did you know that much of the popular series was filmed in Bath? Follow the footsteps of your favorite characters with a walking tour that will take you to some of the show’s iconic filming locations.

Don’t miss the opportunity to admire the stunning Georgian architecture of the Royal Crescent, a true testament to Bath’s elegance and grandeur.

Experience the rich history of Bath, from its Roman origins to its Georgian era, and let the city’s captivating stories unfold before your eyes.

How to Get to Bath

Train Journey: London Paddington Station to Bath Spa Station on Great Western Railway.
Journey Time: One hour, 20 minutes

Roman Baths entry

& walking tour with Blue Badge Guide

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Walking tour with Blue Badge registered guide
  • Skip the line at the most often visited attraction the Roman Baths

Stonehenge & Salisbury, Wiltshire 

Embark on an extraordinary adventure to Stonehenge, 9 miles from Salisbury. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring wonder of this ancient site. Choose from various tours departing from the city center or train station, guaranteeing an unforgettable visit. Set aside 2-3 hours to delve into the enchanting mysteries of the captivating stone circle.

Explore the captivating charm of Salisbury, a delightful small town perfect for strolling and exploring on foot. Immerse yourself in the city’s captivating history through an enticing guided or self-guided tour. Uncover the wonders of the Avenue, a captivating timbered circle famously known as Woodhenge, and venture into the remnants of the remarkable Durrington Wall, the largest neolithic settlement in the United Kingdom. Embark on an adventure that will transport you through time and leave you in awe of Salisbury’s rich heritage.

Make sure to visit the awe-inspiring Salisbury Cathedral near the railway station. Its towering spire is the largest in England, and if you venture to the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Salisbury and the surrounding countryside. Inside the Cathedral, view the original Magna Carta from 1215. Right next to the Cathedral, the Salisbury Museum houses remarkable archaeological discoveries from Stonehenge.

Before heading back to London, take a moment to relax and enjoy a pint at Milford Hill or Fisherton Street. These local spots offer a taste of authentic British pub culture.

How to get to Stonehenge

Train Journey: London Waterloo to Salisbury Train Station. To get to Stonehenge is less than nine miles.
Journey Time: One hour, 30 minutes

Salisbury Walking Tour

with a Private Guide

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Walking tour with your own private guide for your group
  • Learn about Salisbury past over the last 8 centuries

Leeds Castle, Kent

Discover the enchantment of the breathtaking restored Leeds castle, hailed as one of the most stunning in the world. Immerse yourself in its beauty and rich history.

And here’s the best part – during the high season from April to September, a complimentary bus shuttle service is offered from the Bearsted main station straight to the castle. Enjoy the convenience and make your visit unforgettable.

How to get to Leeds Castle

Train Journey: London Victoria to Bearsted on the Southeastern Railway. Take the free shuttle from the train station
Journey Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Leeds Castle

including Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury

Whitstable, Kent

Experience the hidden gem of Whitstable: the quieter alternative to bustling Brighton Beach. With its pebble sand and charming seafood restaurants serving delectable cuisine, this coastal town is a must-visit for any foodie.

Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, soaking in the stunning views, until you reach the picturesque harbor and lively fish market. Discover the epitome of coastal charm and indulge in a truly unforgettable experience.

If you’re feeling active, why not rent a bike and explore the Crab & Winkle Way that leads to the historic city of Canterbury? Don’t miss the chance to visit the beautiful Whitstable Castle. And, of course, no trip to Whitstable would be complete without indulging in a delicious seafood dinner before heading back to London.

How to get to Whitstable

Train Journey: London Victoria Station or London St. Pancras to Whitstable
Journey Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


Boat Tour

  • Get out on the water to spend the day
  • See the Red Sands fort, seals and Kentish Flats Wind Farm from the seaside
  • Small group tour of only 12

Arundel, West Sussex 

Discover the beauty of Arundel, a city that will captivate you. Take a leisurely stroll along the high street, where antique shops and one-of-a-kind boutiques await your exploration. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in this picturesque gem nestled by the River Arun.

Discover the ultimate treasure of Arundel: the breathtaking Castle. With a rich history dating back to 1067 and a restoration in the 19th century, this medieval marvel continues to be the ancestral home of the Duke of Norfolk. Prepare to be captivated as you spend at least two hours immersing yourself in the castle’s architecture and wandering through its gardens. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness its beauty firsthand.

While in Arundel, don’t miss the chance to visit the breathtaking Arundel Cathedral. Majestically built into the hillside and offering panoramic views of the town, this cathedral was constructed in 1873 in the elegant French Gothic style by the 15th Duke of Norfolk.

Soak up the history and charm of Arundel as you explore its treasures, from quaint shops to magnificent castles and cathedrals.

How to get to Arundel

Train Journey: London Victoria Station or London Bridge to Arundel
Journey Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Arundel Castle

and Gardens tour

  • Wander the beautiful garden of the Castle
  • Visit this living Castle and its impressive moat
  • Home of the Duke of Norfolk.

Brockenhurst, Hampshire 

Discover the natural wonderland that is Brockenhurst! This charming town is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering scenic cycling paths, horseback riding, and hiking trails leading to swimming holes. And what better way to immerse yourself in this idyllic setting than to pack a picnic lunch and savor the fresh, crisp air?

Before you bid farewell to this breathtaking town, take a leisurely stroll through the inviting shops of the village, adding a touch of quaint charm to your adventure. As the largest village within the New Forest, Brockenhurst is an experience you won’t want to miss.

How to get to Brockenhurst

Train Journey: London Waterloo to Brockenhurst
Journey Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


Beaulieu Palace House

  • The house used to be the gatehouse to the Beaulieu Abbey
  • Home to the Montagu family since 1538
  • Beaulieu Palace is a great example of a Victorian country house

Margate, Kent

Experience the natural beauty of Botany Bay along a picturesque two-mile pathway. Discover a serene beach area that will take your breath away. But that’s not all – continue your journey to Broadstairs, where an exciting vintage theme park called Dreamland is located on the seashore.

Margate is a hidden gem hosting charming vintage shops, exceptional restaurants, and stylish boutique stores, offering a unique experience outside London. If you’re seeking an alternative to Brighton, Margate is the perfect destination.

How to get to Margate

Train Journey: London St. Pancras to Margate on the Southeastern Railway.
Journey Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


Things to do in Margate

  • Explore the Margate Caves
  • Visit Dreamland
  • Tour the Shell Grotto

Leicester, Leicestershire

Discover the ancient allure of England’s remarkable city, boasting a rich Roman past. Immerse yourself in history at the Jewry Wall, where the Roman Baths stand as a testament to the Empire’s presence. Adjacent, a museum showcases treasures of Roman artifacts, offering a glimpse into life centuries ago.

As you wander into Leicester, delve into the saga of King Richard III, whose remains were unearthed just a few years ago. Unveil the mysteries surrounding this iconic figure at the King Richard III Visitor Center, nestled alongside the Leicester Cathedral.

This architectural gem, dating back to Norman times, is one of the renowned six churches mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086. Unearth history, immerse yourself in ancient wonders, and connect with a storied past that still echoes through the cobbled streets of Leicester.

Discover a world of wonder at the Natural Space Museum and Planetarium. Immerse yourself in the exhibits and stargaze like never before.

Indulge in a shopping spree and excite your taste buds at Golden Mile. Wonderful shops and tasty restaurants await you in this hub of Leicester.

Uncover the rich history of Leicester at the legendary Leicester Market. Experience the marketplace that has thrived for over 700 years, making it one of Europe’s oldest and most visited outdoor markets.

How to get to Leicester

Train Journey: London St. Pancras to Leicester on East Midlands Railway
Journey Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Historic Treasure Hunt Walking Tour

  • Answer clues to find hidden gems
  • Stroll along New Walk
  • Discover Europe’s largest outdoor market

Dover, Kent 

Experience the beauty of the White Cliffs of Dover and immerse yourself in the rich history of Dover Castle. As you stroll along the White Cliffs Coastal trail, be awed by the stunning views of the English Channel, with a chance to catch a glimpse of neighboring France on a clear day.

Prepare to be awe-struck by the grandeur of Dover Castle, the largest castle in all of England, surpassing even the renowned Windsor Castle. To ensure a seamless visit, secure your tickets in advance. Once inside, step back in time as you explore the Great Tower and relive the era of King Henry II. Uncover the secret underground tunnels and learn about the castle’s significant role in the historic Dunkirk evacuation during World War II.

How to get to Dover

Train Journey: London St. Pancras to Dover Priory
Journey Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


Tour of White Cliffs Country from Dover Port

  • Round trip transportation for the Dover Port
  • Sightseeing trip of the White Cliffs of Dover
  • Discover historical sights and nature reserves

Southend by the Sea, Essex 

Experience the thrill of walking on the longest pleasure pier in the world at Southend Pier. Stretching over an impressive 1.4 miles, this iconic landmark offers coastal views and endless entertainment. Adventure awaits next to the pier at Adventure Island amusement park, where excitement and fun are guaranteed.

Take your seaside adventure to new heights by riding the picturesque funicular and enjoying breathtaking views from the cliffside. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the deep at the Southend Aquarium, where fascinating marine creatures await your visit.

How to get to Southend by the Sea

Train Journey: London Fenchurch Street Station to Southend Central on the C2C or London Liverpool Station to Southend Victoria on the Greater Anglia 10-minute walk from the train station to the seaside
Journey Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Southend by the Sea

City Scavenger Hunt

  • Visit Adventure Island
  • Visit the Sealife Aquarium
  • Relax on the beach
  • Walk along the Southend Pierr

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire 

Discover Blenheim Palace, a must-visit destination just a stone’s throw away from Oxford. Immerse yourself in history as you explore the birthplace of Winston Churchill and the residence of the Duke of Marlborough.

UNESCO has also recognized this iconic site as a World Heritage Site. Make your London day trip truly unforgettable by including a visit to Blenheim Palace.

How to get to Blenheim Palace

Train Journey: London Paddington to Hanborough. Taxi from Hanborough train station to Blenheim Palace
Journey Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace and Cotswold Day Tour

  • Birthplace to Winston Churchill
  • Gifted to the Duke of Marlborough for his role in defeating the French in 1704.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Seven Sisters Cliffs, East Sussex 

Embark on a picturesque adventure along the stunning white cliffs that grace the English Channel! Spanning 8 miles, these seven white cliffs in South Downs National Park offer an awe-inspiring journey.

Indulge in the beauty of nature as you stroll along, and be sure to bring a picnic basket to enhance your experience. Escape the bustling city life of London and bask in the fresh air of Seven Sisters Cliffs.

How to get to Seven Sisters Cliff

Train Journey: London Victoria to Seaford
Journey Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Seven Sisters Cliff

& Beachy Head Lighthouse Boat Trip

  • View the Seven Sisters Cliff from a boat on the sea.
  • Visit the Beachy Head Lighthouse
  • Keep an eye out for seals and porpoise in the summer months

Day Trips from London by Train Under Two Hours

Hastings & St. Leonard’s, East Sussex 

Discover the charming beach town of Hastings, just outside of London, with multiple convenient stations, including Charing Cross, Victoria, London Bridge, and Blackfriars. Hastings is the perfect choice for a peaceful seaside escape, located in the town center and only half a mile from the beach.

Immerse yourself in history by visiting Hastings Pier, a beautiful Victorian structure dating back to 1872. Explore Hastings Castle, famously linked to the historic Battle of Hastings in 1066, and be transported to a different era. Take a leisurely stroll from the town center to the Hasting Country Park for breathtaking cliff views.

Before bidding farewell to this idyllic destination, stop by the popular Prince Albert pub for a taste of local culture and hospitality.

How to get to Hastings & St. Leonard’s

Train Journey: London Charing Cross to Hastings
Journey Time: 1 hour 35 minutes


& St. Leonard’s

  • Take a stroll in Alexandra Park
  • Antique shop in Old Town Hastings
  • Get a great view while taking the Cliff Railways


Discover Bristol’s vibrant street art scene and iconic landmarks on a hop-on, Hop-off bus tour! Immerse yourself in the world of Banksy, the renowned artist who put Bristol on the street art map. Explore the city’s street art with various tours at your fingertips.

Don’t miss out on the fascinating legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a legendary figure in mechanical and industrial engineering from the Industrial Revolution era. Prepare to be amazed as you uncover Bristol’s rich history and artistic wonders!

Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring Clifton Suspension Bridge, a masterpiece crafted by the visionary Brunel. While at it, don’t miss the vibrant neighborhood of Cliftonwood in Bristol.

Indulge in a culinary adventure at the world-renowned ZaZa Bazaar, where flavors from around the globe tantalize your taste buds. For a truly authentic experience, quench your thirst at the legendary Llandoger Trow, a charming historic pub that oozes Bristol’s rich heritage.

How to get to Bristol

Train Journey: London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads on Great Western Railway
Journey Time: 1 hour 40 minutes


Blackbeard to Banksy Walking Tour

  • Guided walking tour of street art in Bristol
  • Featuring Banksy and other local artists
  • Great introduction of Bristol

Birmingham, West Midlands

Discover Birmingham, a city renowned for its culinary excellence and charm. With the distinction of housing the most Michelin Star restaurants outside of London, this gastronomic haven promises a culinary experience like no other.

But Birmingham offers more than just excellent cuisine. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the largest Christmas Market in Britain, creating a magical wonderland for visitors of all ages. Explore the vibrant Victoria Square and the bustling City Center, where two memorials to Queen Victoria stand tall, paying homage to the city’s rich history.

And when you need a moment of tranquility, Birmingham offers vast green spaces, boasting one of the largest in Britain. Take a leisurely stroll amidst nature and unwind from the city’s bustling energy.

Experience the beauty of Birmingham Botanical Gardens and be captivated by its stunning collection of tropical birds and Bonsai trees spread across 15 acres. Discover the hidden treasure of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, where creativity thrives and over 200 workshops showcase craftsmanship. Immerse yourself in Birmingham’s culture and witness the birthplace of 40% of the country’s jewelry.

Indulge in extraordinary dining, embrace the festive spirit, and uncover the allure of Birmingham’s historic landmarks and scenic landscapes.

How to get to Birmingham

Train Journey: London Euston to Birmingham New Street or London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street
Journey Time: 1 hour 35 minutes to 2 hours


City Centre Walking Tour

  • Dive into the history and culture of Birmingham
  • Guided tour of all the top Birmingham sites
  • Get the inside scoop and discover the hidden gems with your tour guide.

Norwich, Norfolk 

Experience the charm of Norwich, a medieval city renowned for its iconic Norwich Castle. Discover the history of this vibrant city through an exclusive underground Norwich tour.

Immerse yourself in the grandeur of two cathedrals and indulge in a unique shopping experience at the largest covered market in Europe. With its architecture and picturesque cobbled streets, Norwich invites you to explore its wonders on foot.

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the traditional fish and chips at the renowned Grosvenor Fish Bar, nestled in the heart of the charming Norwich Lanes.

How to get to Norwich

Train Journey: London Liverpool Street station to Norwich
Journey Time: 2 hours


Private Historical walking tour

  • Learn about the 2000 year history of Norwich
  • Walking tour will last between 3-4 hours
  • Learn how Norwich got it’s nickname “The City of Beer”

York, North Yorkshire 

A York day trip from London is quick and easy with a direct train that will get you to York in under two hours.

Discover the enchanting medieval town of York, where history comes alive at every step. Immerse yourself in over 2000 years of stories as you tour the iconic York Minster, marvel at the ancient city wall, and dive into the fascinating world of the Jorvik Viking Center.

For a breathtaking panoramic view of York and its surroundings, challenge yourself to climb the 275 steps of York Minster Tower. Feel the charm of the city beneath your feet as you stroll down the cobblestone streets of the renowned Shambles, the inspiration behind Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley.

Continue your exploration and find yourself at Clifford’s Tower, the remnants of York Castle, a testament to the legacy of William the Conquerer. And when it’s time to refuel, York offers various delectable options. Indulge in mouthwatering pies at the Rose and Crown, treat yourself to a delightful brunch at Pig & Pastry, or immerse in the timeless tradition of afternoon tea at Betty’s Tea Room.

As you meander along the scenic River Ouse, you’ll feel transported back to the medieval era. A day trip to York from London awaits, ready to captivate you with its heritage and unforgettable experiences.

How to get to York

Train Journey: London King’s Cross to York
Journey Time: 2 hours


Private historical walking tour

  • Private tour to accommodate your interests
  • Explore York with a professional guide
  • Visit sites such as York Minster, Shambles, King’s Manor and Clifford’s Tower

Day Trips from London by Train – Under 3 Hours


Discover the hidden gems of Manchester with a free walking tour. Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere and experience its iconic landmarks and cultural hotspots.

Start your adventure at the Adobe Hotel Manchester, a charming spot for indulging in a delightful afternoon tea or a refreshing cocktail. Fuel up before your journey to London and explore the bustling Market Street, Exchange Square, or Arndale shopping center.

Uncover the rich history of the city at the Imperial War Museum North, nestled along the picturesque Salford Quays dockyards. Explore the exhibits and dive into the stories of courage and resilience.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Manchester Cathedral, a timeless gem with a history dating back to 700 AD. Embark on a journey through time as you explore its architecture.

Step into a world of enchantment at the John Rylands Library, where the ambiance will transport you to the magical world of Hogwarts. Immerse yourself in the countless literary treasures and soak in the atmosphere.

Before bidding farewell to Manchester and heading to London, visit the Mackie Mayor, an exquisite indoor food hall nestled within a stunning building. Indulge in a culinary adventure and a vibrant atmosphere.

How to get to Manchester

Train Journey: London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly
Journey Time: 2 hours 10 minutes


Afternoon walking tour

  • Visit the Shambles
  • Sightseeing to all the Manchester sites
  • Learn about the history of Manchester from your guide in the small group tour

Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire 

Discover the birthplace and cherished home of the legendary William Shakespeare in the charming town of Stratford Upon Avon. Immerse yourself in the world of the iconic playwright as you explore the Shakespeare Trust’s five historic homes: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place, Mary Arden’s Farm, and Hall’s Croft.

But that’s not all! There is a wealth of other activities awaiting you in Stratford. Marvel at the beauty of the Stratford Butterfly Farm, or embark on a tranquil boat ride along the serene River Avon for a convenient way to explore the town and hop on and off the sightseeing bus at your leisure. And don’t forget to pay your respects to the great wordsmith himself at the Church of the Holy Trinity, where Shakespeare’s final resting place lies. If you have the time, indulge in a tour or immerse yourself in a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

How to get to Stratford Upon Avon

Train Journey: London Marylebone to Stratford on Chiltern Railways
Journey Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Stratford Upon Avon

Shakespeare Schoolhouse and Guildhall tour

  • Entrance ticket to the Schoolhouse and Guildhall
  • Learn little known facts about Shakespeare
  • Visit where Shakespeare attended school and where his father worked at a Mayor

Liverpool, Lancashire 

Explore Liverpool on foot and discover its compact charm. This famous city, known as the birthplace of the Beatles, has a special place in music history. Immerse yourself in the iconic story of the Fab Four at The Beatles Story Museum.

You won’t want to miss the chance to snap a photo with the striking statue of the band at Pier Head. And when hunger hits, head to Albert Dock, where various inviting restaurants, bars, and attractions await.

How to get to Liverpool

Train Journey: London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street Station
Journey Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


City and Beatles Tour

  • Open-top bus tour
  • Sightseeing trip to see the homes of the Beatles
  • Explore Liverpool’s historical attractions

Shrewsbury, Shropshire 

Discover the town of Shrewsbury, where history and charm intertwine seamlessly. While there are no direct trains to this destination, fear not – a train change at Crewe is all it takes to reach Shrewsbury.

Immerse yourself in the town’s rich heritage by visiting the Shrewsbury Castle, a true relic of the past that dates back to the remarkable year 1074. This majestic fortress holds tales of centuries gone by and houses the Shrewsbury Regimental Museum, offering a fascinating insight into military history.

The Charles Darwin trail is an absolute must for science and evolution enthusiasts. Follow in the footsteps of the brilliant Charles Darwin, unraveling the secrets of this extraordinary man’s life and work. You’ll be amazed at the discoveries awaiting you along this journey.

As you venture through the town, a curious sight awaits you at St. Chad’s churchyard. Among the serene and peaceful surroundings lies a unique headstone named Ebenezer Scrooge, a nod to the famous character from Charles Dickens’s beloved “A Christmas Carol.” This remarkable gravestone is a testament to the literary ties that Shrewsbury proudly boasts.

Need a moment of tranquility amidst your exploration? Look no further than The Quarry, a breathtaking 29-acre park along the picturesque riverbank. Lose yourself in the beauty of nature, taking in the serene atmosphere and enjoying a peaceful respite from the bustling world.

How to get to Shrewsbury

Train Journey: London Euston to Shrewsbury
Journey Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


Soldiers of Shropshire Museum

Book Shrewsbury Tours
  • Military colletction from 18th Century to the present day
  • Walk through the beautiful grounds
  • Reviewers say it is well worth the visit

Durdle Door, West Lulworth, Dorset 

Explore the wonders of the Jurassic Park World Heritage Site at this breathtaking spot. Nestled within the Lulworth Estate, you’ll find a magnificent limestone arch that leaves you in awe. This natural wonder is a must-see whether you access it through a scenic footpath from Lulworth Cove or park your car in the designated area.

To reach this hidden gem, take a 15-minute stroll along the picturesque path. As you embark on this adventure, remember to plan ahead and wear suitable footwear for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

How to get to Durdle Door

Train Journey: London Waterloo to Wool on the Weymouth Rail line. From the train station, there are buses, or you can hire a taxi.
Journey Time: 3 hours

Durdle Door

& Lulworth Cove

  • Visit the most scenic coastline of England, the Jurassic Coast
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore the West Lulworth village

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland 

Experience a shopper’s paradise at Eldon Square, the UK’s premier shopping destination. Immerse yourself in a world of culture and knowledge with a visit to renowned museums like the Life Science Center, Discovery Museum, and Great North Museum. And for all you craft beer enthusiasts, go to The Bridge Tavern, where quality brews await.

Treat your taste buds to a delightful dining experience at The Broad Chare, a gastropub that never fails to impress with its delectable offerings. Eldon Square has it all – shopping, culture, and mouthwatering food – making it the perfect destination for a memorable day out.

How to get to Newcastle

Train Journey: London King’s Cross to Newcastle
Journey Time: 2 hours 50 minutes


A Taste of Newcastle Food Tour

  • Explore the Newcastle food scene with a guide
  • The guide will show you the best vendors and restaurants
  • Visit city sights and learn insider facts with a local resident

Train rides from London to other Countries:

  1. Paris, France – St. Pancras station to Gare du Nord. Eurostar is 2.5 hrs, but you must arrive at least 30 minutes before the train departs. Catch an early train to maximize your time in the City of Light. Explore Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, and walk along the Seine River.  Grab lunch at a café. End your day at the Eiffel Tower—book tickets for the Eiffel Tower in advance since you are only there for one day. 
  2. Brussels – less than 2 hours London St. Pancras. Try a Belgian waffle! Hunt for the Manneken Pis (peeing man) and visit the Atomium for the city’s best views. It is the remanent of the 1958 World Fair. Explore the Grand Place (Grote Markt), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and be amazed at the gold-gilded houses. Take a self-guided tour of the comic strip murals. Before returning to London, try some Belgian Beer and fresh Mussels, Moules Frites.
  3. Lille, France – London St. Pancras to Lille, France station. 1 hr 22 mins. Lille is close to the Belgian border, so this city is more Flemish than French.  It is compact, so a self-guided walking tour is very convenient. Take in the Baroque architecture and the quaint cobbled streets. Here, visit the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Norte Dame de la Treille, and have a meringue cake with fresh cream and chocolate called merveilleux.
  4. Calais, France – London St. Pancras to Calais 55 minutes. Calais is a cliff-lined city that parallels the British coastline. Calais is known for its white sandy beaches, wonderful restaurants, and shopping for lace. The Calsis city hall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its Neo-Flemish style. Climb the 271 steps of the Calais Lighthouse for stunning views of the sea, city, and the British Coastline. It has withstood two World Wars and dates back to the 19th Century. With its close proximity to England, some ferries cross the channel if you choose not to take the Eurostar.
Eiffel Tower at night Paris France take the Eurostar for a day trip from London

Did you enjoy this blog post? Check out our Ultimate 5 days in London Itinerary for first time Visitors.

Tips: for Train Travel

  • Booking train tickets in advance can be much cheaper, especially for International trips. I suggest booking three months in advance and no less than two weeks.
  • Look for direct trains versus having to change trains. 
  • Sometimes, booking two one-way tickets is cheaper than a round-trip ticket. Explore all your options.
  • Always recheck your train times, and things can change last minute.
  • Go contactless with digital tickets on your phone.
  • Sign up for ticket alerts if your tickets aren’t on sale yet.

In conclusion, London’s accessibility makes it the perfect starting point for exploring some of the most iconic destinations in England. Whether seeking architectural wonders, cultural experiences, or natural beauty, a day trip from London by train will cater to your interests. From the historic city of Bath to the breathtaking landscapes of the Cotswolds and the enchanting charm of Cambridge, these destinations offer a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of London.

So hop on a train and embark on an unforgettable journey through history, culture, and stunning scenery just a short ride from this vibrant capital city.  If you enjoyed reading about these train trips from London, check out my blog post Ultimate 5 days in London Itinerary for first time Visitors.

And don’t forget, always wear sunscreen.

Happy Exploring!

FAQ Day Trips from London by Train

Yes, you can.  A high-speed LNER train from London Kings Cross to
Edinburgh Central is four hours and 30 minutes. There is so much to do and see in Edinburgh. Visit Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and Greyfriars Bobby. Since you are making a day trip, I highly recommend the Hop-on Hop-off.

Take the Eurostar from London via the Channel Tunnel to:

Paris, France (2 hours, 20 minutes)

Brussels, Belgium (2 hours, 1 minute)

Amsterdam, Netherlands (3 hours, 52 minutes)

Rotterdam, Netherlands (3 hours, 13 minutes)

Calais, France (55 minutes)

Lille, France (1 hour, 22 minutes).

London St. Pancras is an impressive feat of Victorian engineering and a magnificent spectacle. With its iconic Gothic architecture, ornate ironwork, and stunning glass roof, it’s no wonder that it has been dubbed the most beautiful train station in London. And although it’s primarily known as the starting point for the Eurostar to Paris, it’s also the gateway to some of England’s most picturesque destinations. From the charming countryside of the Cotswolds to the quaint seaside town of Whitstable, plenty of day trips from London by train are easily accessible from St. Pancras. So, next time you find yourself passing through, take a moment to admire the station’s grandeur and consider venturing out to explore more of the beauty that surrounds it.

Yes! London has so much to offer but lots to explore out of the city that is worth it.  England has many UNESCO World Heritage sites, easily accessible by train. If you have been to London previously or are spending more than seven days in London, I recommend taking a day trip out of London.

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