10 Day Trips Within One Charge of London
Whether you’ve already made the decision to go for an environmentally-friendly electric car or you’re just considering your options, one of the biggest concerns is how far you can get on a single charge.
So will you be electronically tethered within a small radius of your house, or can you really do some exploring with an electric car? If you opt for a high-end, modern electric car, you can go a lot farther than you might think. Here are 10 places you can visit for a day trip that are within one charge of the capital – all you need to do is find somewhere to recharge while you go exploring for the day!
\#1 – Stonehenge
Around 88 miles (140 km) away from the capital, Stonehenge is a World Heritage Site, around 5,000 years old and shrouded in mystery. A goliath rock formation made from 40-ton stones, theories about its purpose include the suggestions that it’s an ancient astronomical clock, a religious temple or a prehistoric burial ground, but it must have been so difficult to construct with primitive tools that it obviously held great significance to the ancients who built it. Whatever the true purpose, it makes a great day trip from London. There’s also a visitor’s centre which houses permanent exhibitions as well as different special exhibitions throughout the year.
- Whether you’ve already made the decision to go for an environmentally-friendly electric car or you’re just considering your options, one of the biggest concerns is how far you can get on a single charge.
- A goliath rock formation made from 40-ton stones, theories about its purpose include the suggestions that it’s an ancient astronomical clock, a religious temple or a prehistoric burial ground, but it must have been so difficult to construct with primitive tools that it obviously held great significance to the ancients who built it.
\#2 – Salisbury Cathedral
Not far from Stonehenge, and the same distance (88 miles) from London, Salisbury Cathedral houses one of the most important documents in British history: the Magna Carta. With only four copies of the original 1215 text remaining, the well-preserved one at the cathedral’s Chapter House is one of the main reasons visitors flock there, but the building itself is also a beautiful site, featuring the tallest church spire in Britain.
Related: Salisbury Cathedral
Photo: Flickr: adactio, via Compfight
\#3 – New Forest National Park
The New Forest was first established by William the Conqueror 900 years ago, the ancient woodland – once a hunting ground – is now home to free-roaming wild ponies and some truly stunning natural scenery. Whether you want to explore on foot, ride a bike, head out on horseback, camp out in the wilderness or take in some traditional village life at Brockenhurst – right in the centre of New Forest – there’s something for everyone. At just 82 miles (132 km) from London, it’s easily accessible as a day-trip from the capital.
Related: The New Forest
Photo: Flickr: Tina_Sauwens, via Compfight
\#4 – Windsor Castle
Windsor is just 25 miles (40 km) from London, meaning that you can get there and back with just one charge of an electric car, with plenty of power to spare. Windsor Castle is the main visitor’s attraction, being the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and the family home of the British monarchy for nearly 1,000 years. You can see the ornate interior, witness the changing of the guards, see one of the many exhibitions running at the castle and much more. While you’re in Windsor, be sure to check out the Savill Garden if the weather is nice.
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\#5 – Colchester
Although hardly as regal as Windsor, Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town, and features some stunning architecture as well as plenty of historical sites like the largest surviving Roman gateway in Britain and the Castle Park and Gardens. Once you’ve made the 66 mile (106 km) journey, you can take in the sites through a guide walking tour or explore the town for yourself. If you time your visit right, you can also catch attractions like the Food and Drink Festival and King Coel’s Kittens Fireworks display.
Related: Visit Colchester
\#6 – Egham and Runnymede
Both around 23 miles (37 km) from London, the town of Egham and nearby Runnymede can make for a great day trip, particularly for those interested in seeing the historical site where King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215 and the monument now standing there. On a walk from Egham, you can also take in two more monuments, to John F. Kennedy and the Commonweath Air Forces, with plenty of time to take in the open, lush scenery on the banks of the Thames, wander through the meadows and find a perfect spot for a picnic.
Related: National Trust: Runnymede
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\#7 – Dover
At 77 miles (124 km) from London, Dover is most famous for its stunning white cliffs, but is also just south of Deal, where you can take in the beautiful Tudor Deal Castle. Dover itself has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and there’s plenty of history to explore from Dover Castle to the oldest known sea-faring vessel in the world. Deal Castle, north of Dover, was built by the order of Henry VIII, and is now completely open to visitors. You can also cycle from the castle to the beachfront and the nearby Walmer Castle.
Related: English Heritage: Deal Castle
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\#8 – Hatfield House
Hatfield House was built in the Jacobean era by the Earl of Salisbury, in the middle of the 1000-acre Hatfield Park. The Tudor Banqueting Hall is the only surviving part of Hatfield Palace, which was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth I. While admiring the fine craftsmanship and historical treasures of the house, strolling through the gardens and surrounding park, you can also visit the exact spot where young Queen Elizabeth I learned she would take the throne. Just 23 miles (37 km) from London, you can easily visit the historic park and return to London on a single charge of the BMW i3.
Related: Hatfield House
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\#9 – Hampton Court Palace
A palace of Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is just 13.5 miles (22 km) from London, and is another major site around London you can get to and back from on a single charge of your electric car. With 60 acres of garden teeming with flowers and punctuated with fountains, a gorgeous chapel, Henry VIII’s Great Hall and a couple of exhibits about the king, there’s plenty to keep you busy at Hampton Court. You can also get lost in the Hampton Court Maze, potentially the most famous maze in the world.
Anthony Baggett/iStock/Getty Images
\#10 – Brighton
Brighton is the most popular British tourist destination after London, and the seaside town has plenty to offer for a family day out. You can head to the Pier to take in the seaside atmosphere, see the Sea Life Centre, go on the Brighton Wheel and soak up some more cultural sights like the Royal Pavilion (once the seaside palace of the Prince Regent George IV) and the Brighton Museum found in the Pavilion’s gardens. Brighton is just a 65 mile (105 km) drive south of London, making it easily accessible on a single charge.
Related: Visit Brighton
Photo: Flickr: stëve, via Compfight
Lee Johnson has written for various publications and websites since 2005, covering science, music and a wide range of topics. He studies physics at the Open University, with a particular interest in quantum physics and cosmology. He's based in the UK and drinks too much tea.