By Michelle Lin

While I absolutely love and enjoy the city of London, I would definitely recommend taking day trips outside of London- the English countryside truly cannot be missed, and it is refreshing to get away from the hustle and bustle of London. Not only are the trains super easy to access from the King’s Cross station in London, but the train journey itself is breathtaking, because of the picturesque views of rolling green hills and so many sheep. London is not representative of the rest of England, and these day trips are easy and rewarding ways to see more of this country. England has a great transportation system, with trains that are fast, clean, and new, and I’d definitely recommend everyone to take advantage of this and travel within the UK through the trains. Train tickets can be bought on in advance, which is recommended in order to get a cheaper price. However, for spontaneous trips, tickets can be bought in the train stations as well.  


Brighton is a downright adorable little town by the seaside in southern London, and is the home of the YouTuber Zoella. I really missed the oceans of California, so seeing the ocean here was really nice, even though it was very different. Other than walking on the pier and enjoying the ocean, the city center of Brighton has a lot of really cute and unique boutique shops, selling anything from vintage silk shirts from the 1980s to handmade jewelry to quirky clocks made out of vinyls. Another cool place to go is the Royal Pavilion, a palace inspired by Indian architecture. Since it’s by the sea, Brighton has great and cheap fish and chips. Overall, Brighton has a really relaxed seaside vibe, and is cute and small enough to enjoy and explore for a day trip.  


Bath is a beautiful English village, and looks like the English countryside straight from the movies. The city center has lovely architecture, and heralds the Roman Baths, ancient remains of the outdoor baths that the Romans used to have. Outside of the city center is a river that runs through the town admist much greenery, as well as old churchs and bridges. There are also many smaller towns nearby that are worth exploring for an hour or two- Trowbridge and Frome are around a twenty minute train ride away.  


Canterbury is another quaint and cute English village that reminded me of Bath. This town is most well known for the Canterbury Cathedral and the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. The Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest Christian sites in England, and historically the site for many Christian pilgrims. This church is huge, with many different sections inside, and an underground crypt. I found the crypt to be the most interesting part, because of its dark hallways and small rooms that surround a larger gathering area. Other parts to explore other than the city center of Canterbury is Westgate Parks- this is a super peaceful and large park with a river running through it, and a great place to relax and soak in all of the beauty.  

Lastly, although I have personally not been yet, Cambridge and Oxford are both great and popular destinations for day trips, especially due to their historic and prestigious universities. So far in my program, I’ve really enjoyed seeing more of England through its different towns and areas. I have learned a lot, and not just how much cheaper groceries are outside of London, and hope to explore more of the United Kingdom in the future. 

Michelle Lin studied in London, England in 2018: