Tuesday, 19 November 2013 1:31 PM
London is one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic cities, and there's always something new going on. However, if you're looking for an experience that's a little different and are stuck for inspiration then it may be an idea to think outside the box – or, more precisely, the city.
Despite all the great events and attractions on offer in the capital, sometimes you just have to get away from the Big Smoke to enjoy yourself, and once you do you'll find that there are plenty of unique and fantastic locations outside of London that are well worth visiting. After all, the UK may be small but it is one of the most fascinating countries in Europe and has arguably the most developed tourism industry on the planet, with great days out offered all over the nation.
Britain's diminutive size can actually be an advantage, as it means you're never too far away from one of its top attractions. Hiring a car in London and heading out of the city is therefore an extremely viable option when you want to explore this great country, and you'll find more information about doing so here.
So, let's take a look at just a few of the places worth visiting on day trips from the capital.
Driving to Brighton takes around an hour and a half and is a relatively simple journey, with the south coast city connected to the capital by the M23. Famous for its alternative music and cultural scene, pebbly beach and iconic pier, Brighton is one of the most characterful cities in the UK and always good for a day out.
May is a great time to visit as this is when the famous Brighton Festival takes place, featuring a superb line-up of arts and entertainment that is more than a match for any other event in the UK. Even if you're not visiting at this time of year though, you'll still find plenty to keep you occupied.
A great place to start is at Brighton Pier, which was built during the Victorian era and is known for its fairground attractions and excellent fish and chips. A walk along the beach is also a must, and for those who want to learn more about the aquatic environment there's nothing better than a trip to the SEA LIFE Centre. Here, you'll get to see all manner of marine creatures, including sharks and turtles, while the Octopus Garden is brand new for 2013.
Hampton Court Palace
Located in the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, Hampton Court Palace was built back in 1514 and was originally inhabited by King Henry VIII. Since then it has been home to a number of other monarchs, including the likes of Mary I, James I and Charles I, although it hasn't been occupied by the royal family since the 18th century.
Among the highlights of a visit to the palace is the chance to see Henry VIII's famous tapestries, while the Hampton Court Maze is considered to be one of the most challenging and confusing in the world. Just make sure you don't enter too close to closing time, as you could end up getting stuck in there for the night!
The Roald Dahl Museum
Children's author Roald Dahl lived much of his life in the village of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, and it's here that he wrote many of his most famous stories. In honour of this, the Roald Dahl Museum has been established in the town, and visitors can wander round both the Boy Gallery and the Soho Gallery.
The former pays homage to the life of the man himself, providing details about his mischievous childhood and shedding light on some of the real events on which he based his tales. The latter meanwhile, contains Dahl's Writing Hut, where he composed so many of his books.