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Escapes

5 Eco-Friendly City Breaks That Are Less Than 2 Hours From London

Holly Platt-Higgins Holly Platt-Higgins

5 Eco-Friendly City Breaks That Are Less Than 2 Hours From London

Make your friends green with envy as you head off on an eco-friendly, super-green city break!

Since she erupted onto the scene in 2018, Greta Thunberg (Sharon to some), has been informing the world about the climate crisis and inspiring lots of us to be a little more eco-friendly. With this in mind, we have picked five fabulous places for you to head to for a city break, all of which are just an eco-friendly train ride away from The Big Smoke.

Forget flying, these scenic train journeys are the perfect way to keep your carbon footprint baby-sized and your thirst for adventure well and truly quenched. So sit back, relax and enjoy the guilt-free ride…

1. Bath

First up on our list: Bath. This gorgeous city is so stunning that it has been a confirmed World Heritage site for over 30 years, which, we have to say is pretty impressive. Picture cobbled streets, charming townhouses and as much honey-coloured Georgian architecture as you could possibly want.

Bath is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing weekend. Complete with the original Roman baths and some swanky thermal spa ones too, you’re sure to find plenty of ways to slip into a state of total tranquility on your holiday. Leave all of your worries behind as you wander through this timeless town and maybe even take a few minutes to admire its eye-watering Abbey or the famous Pulteney Bridge.

🚂 Route: London Paddington direct to Bath Spa

Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

💸 Price: Book in advance for £10 return tickets

2. Cambridge

Dreamy spires and great slabs of sandstone await you in this enchanting university town. We promise Cambridge is every bit as magical as it looks in The Theory of Everything — and you’re sure to enjoy swanning about the ancient colleges and exploring the historical secrets that lie hidden down winding alleyways.

Spend your weekend shopping in the market, drinking a cold pint at the pub where DNA was discovered, or simply gawking at every twirling tower in sight! With so much to see, Cambridge is the ideal destination for anyone looking for a little adventure in the new year.

🚂 Route: London Liverpool Street or King’s Cross direct to Cambridge

Time: 1 hour / 1 hour and 10 minutes

💸 Price: Book in advance for £21 return tickets

3. Tunbridge Wells

Next up on our eco-friendly location list is Royal Tunbridge Wells; a picturesque town in Western Kent. Here you can holiday away from the hustle and bustle of city life and breathe in fresh, clean air in the ‘Garden of England.’

It might be an idea to pack your wellies, as there are an array of gorgeous footpaths to follow and parks to visit, all just meters from the town centre. Take yourself on a tour of the rich surrounding woodland and get back to nature as you enjoy a leafy-green weekend.

🚂 Route: London Charing Cross direct to Tunbridge Wells

Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

💸 Price: Book in advance for £17 tickets

4. Oxford

Another one of England’s finest, Oxford is well known for its impressive architecture and endless array of beautiful ancient streets. Get completely lost as you trail through this sandstone city and enjoy the gentle hum of history with buzzes through the streets.

With plenty of pubs, clubs, colleges, and markets to visit, you’ll have absolutely no trouble finding loads to do here – and you might even need more than a long weekend to do the city justice! From archways to avenues, libraries to lookouts, Oxford makes for the ideal city break and has enough to please even the fussiest of travel companions.

🚂 Route: London Paddington or London Marylebone direct to Oxford

Time: 45 minutes / 1 hour and 5 minutes

💸 Price: Book in advance for £10 tickets

5. Brighton

This last one is for all of the seaside fanatics out there (you’re welcome). Brighton is simply the place to be if you’re hoping for some salty-fresh air and the best fish and chips you’ve ever put in your face.

Complete with a pebbled beach, cobbled streets and enchanting wobbly-wobbly houses, Brighton just might be one of the most charming places we’ve ever seen. Watch the ships bob up and down in the blue water, enjoy an ice cream (or three) and wander along the pier to try your luck on the two-pence machines. Quiet and calm, Brighton is the ideal place to escape the city and your stressful 9 to 5.

🚂 Route: London Vitoria direct to Brighton

Time: 1 hour

💸 Price: Book in advance for £13 tickets