Since the Channel Tunnel opened its tracks back in 1994, traveling between London and the rest of Europe has become so quick and easy that you don’t even have to stay overnight. Paris is one of the most popular day trip destinations from London and with regular high-speed trains taking around 2 hours and 15 minutes, you can be munching croissants and strolling around The Louvre by mid-morning. Combine your trip with a boat cruise along the Seine, a tour of the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral and a climb to the top of the iconic Eiffel Tower, then hop on the train and you’ll make it back to London in time for a nightcap.
Along with Lille in France, the famous birthplace of Charles de Gaulle, Eurostar also runs direct routes to Brussels, making it possible to explore the Belgium capital on a day tour too. The journey takes just over 2 hours from London, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the picturesque Grand Place and stock up on delicious Belgian chocolates. Combine it with a Hop on Hop off bus tour and you can check out sights like the European Union district, the Atomium and the Manneken Pis statue, before relaxing in one of the city’s legendary beer bars.
Of course you don’t have to head over to the continent to leave England. A detour to the Scottish capital is also a popular option and with a day in Edinburgh, you can stroll the famous Royal Mile, climb the peak of Arthur’s Seat for a view over the UNESCO World Heritage listed city and view the dazzling Scottish Crown Jewels at Edinburgh Castle, before heading back to your London hotel.