One of the benefits of living in our nation’s capital is the easy access you have to a number premium events and locations; you’re right at the heart of the UK’s transport network.
The upshot is you are never more than a stone’s throw away from a spectacular change of scenery, and there are dizzying array of options for delightful day trips out of the capital.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the possibilities, though… we’ve compiled six of the most elegant days out of the city to inspire you in your search for scintillating summer activities.
Goodwood Festival of Speed
Since 1993, the picturesque grounds of the Goodwood House country home have played host to the UK’s leading historic motor racing festival. Petrolheads will love seeing the almost endless parade of vintage cars – and the hillclimb race that the event is built around – but there is something for everyone here: Formula One cars in the F1 Paddock; supercars; aviation displays; and action sports like Motocross. The event runs from 12th to 15th July and you can get tickets here, but hurry – admission is capped at 150,000!
The Glyndebourne Festival Opera might be the most refined music festival in the world, and has taken place every year since 1934 (with the exception of the period during World War II). The festival is again held in the environs of a scenic English country house – but this one has an onsite opera hall. The 2018 season runs from 19th May to 26th August, and features Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and Handel’s Saul. Performances start in the afternoon to accommodate Londoners who want to get back to the city before too late, and extended intervals allow for picnic dinners or a slap-up meal in one of the grounds’ restaurants.
Henley Royal Regatta
A highlight of the English social season, the Henley Royal Regatta is an annual rowing event that constitutes a fine day out on the banks of the River Thames, within sight of the town of Henley-on-Thames. Starting on Wednesday 4th July and running until Sunday 8th July, the event will showcase five days of back-to-back boat races. There are a number of places from which the action can be viewed, but the most prestigious is the Steward’s Enclosure; open only to members of the Committee of Management of the Regatta and their guests, there’s a restaurant, bars and a bandstand – not to mention an extremely strict dress code. Blazers ahoy!
Fancy a flutter? Head out of town for a day at the Ascot Racecourse, much like the Queen does when she makes her annual visit to Royal Ascot. You may have missed Royal Ascot this year, but not to worry – there is a year-round calendar of races to keep you occupied until the next one rolls around. With an exceptional selection of restaurants and bars for fine dining and drinking, there’s plenty to keep your entertained between races, too.
Belmond British Pullman
Sometimes, the joy of a daytrip can be the journey itself – even more so if you’re travelling in 1920s Art Deco-style train carriages pulled by a steam engine. The Belmond British Pullman is a stunningly appointed railway experience – complete with fine dining – that can take you all over the country (including to Goodwood and Ascot) and get you back to London before the day is out. Take a look at some of the trips available here.
You live in London – so why not take full advantage of the fact that you’re in one of the few places in the country that allows you to get to Paris and back in a day. Simply hop on the Eurostar at St. Pancras and then you can spend the morning wandering the cobbled streets of one of Europe’s most romantic cities, the afternoon indulging in fine French cuisine, and the evening heading back home to London.