London: Further afield
This entry discusses some minor attractions along the southern edges of the city, including several eateries. While as a tourist you are unlikely to specifically venture for a visit, it is still worth cataloguing the ones we are familiar with.
Rochester ♥ is one of the nearest southeastern day-trip destinations from London (less than half an hour by car from Blackwall Tunnel) and is a pleasant place to explore.
Legoland ♥, located near Windsor, failed to make a great impression on us, primarily because we found the rides to be underwhelming and they are quite short, especially in relation to interminable wait times (which you can get somewhat around by renting a Q-bot – see below).
The Windsor Castle ♥♥♥, which remains the official residence of the British monarch, as well as an oft-used location for various State occasions, is grand and magnificent.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden ♥♥ is a well-known and worthwhile half-day excursion from London.
The medieval spiritual mecca and center of learning of England, Canterbury ♥♥ is a great destination for a day-long excursion from London.
Greenwich ♥♥ is a popular destination for most visitors to London, primarily because of the magnetic attraction of the Prime Meridian. Its neighbor, Blackheath Village ♥, separated from the Greenwich Park by a vast swath of open meadow, – the Heath – is also quite lively and popular, although it manages to maintain a certain quintessential English charm. Its popularity in no small way is due to the range of available eateries concentrated within a minute’s walk from the main village road intersection.
It is probably true that once you’ve been to a botanic garden, you’ve been to all of them, yet Kew Gardens ♥♥ is clearly among the stand-outs in this category. Spread-out grounds are impeccably maintained and utterly spectacular, with thousands of species of trees and vegetation, and plethora of strategically placed memorial benches for unhurried relaxation. The lawns are prime real estate for picnics.
Hever Castle ♥♥, in Kent, is a superb desitination for a day-trip from London, as well as a popular place for locals to spend a lovely day at.
Located in Kent about 40 miles south-east from central London, Leeds Castle ♥♥ is a grand destination for a day trip.
Oxford ♥♥♥ is probably less picturesque than Cambridge, but far surpasses the other in architectural grandeur.
Cambridge ♥♥♥ is a gem in its own right, given the architectural grandeur of several of the colleges that comprise the famous university.
Hampton Court Palace ♥♥♥ is a fantastic place to visit, even though it does not evoke as much splendor as Versailles or Peterhof.
Brighton ♥♥ is an atmospheric seaside town 60 miles south of London. It is a tremendously popular location, reputedly overrun by tourists in summer.