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50 of the best day trips across GB

Published on 25 min read

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Whether it’s a single day trip, or a series of long weekends, there’s some epic things to see and do outside across Great Britain. The OS GetOutside Champions bring you 50 of the best day trip ideas!

You might fancy a long distance walk or cycle over a few consecutive day trips, or a visit to a new wild swimming spot. Perhaps there’s a few great crags you’ve been meaning to take on? Or is it a family adventure day where you don’t need to spend a penny, perhaps river wildlife spotting with a picnic to enjoy along the bank.

Click on a button below to find day trip ideas near you.


1. Alpaca walking

Alpaca trekking is a brilliant activity to do as a group or team building event. When you arrive, you will be welcomed by members of our team. After a short health and safety talk and introductory into all things alpacas we will hand over the alpacas, and the fun will begin. The trek will explore different areas of the farm, saying hello to some of our other animals along the way while getting a first-hand insight into life on a working farm. Each tour will take you to a scenic spot where you will have an opportunity to take photographs with your alpacas. We will then return the alpacas to their field, and you will have a chance to feed them their reward and then say your goodbyes.

Tracy selfie with alpaca


Alpaca walking

2. Donkey/pig walking experience

The ultimate animal experience days for donkey lovers! Walk Maverick and Goose & Bertie, sweet Miniature Mediterranean donkeys across scenic farmland, sometimes accompanied also by Betty, our lovely small standard donkey. You’ll follow quiet pathways with great views towards Pen Y Fan and The Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales.

Have a mini adventure and take some little Kune Kune pigs for a walk along a beautiful valley in the Brecon Beacons, followed by a “Pig-Nic” of tea/coffee/squash and cakes! Great fun for families and also people wanting a fun and engaging few hours in the countryside with these friendly little animals. Have the opportunity to learn all about their welfare and their life in this scenic area.

Both day trip ideas brought to you by Tracy Purnell.

3. Llandegfedd Reservoir

Llandegfedd and its reservoir is a great day out for the family. Fishing, watersports, bird watching and a great walk of almost 9km on permissive paths around the reservoir. There’s a coffee shop and toilets at the visitor centre where there is free parking. Easy to reach from Newport/Cwmbran/Pontypool.

4. The Black Mountain and Llwyn y Fan Fawr

A cracking ridge walk with two mountain lakes. Keep this for a clear day to enjoy the incredible views. Car park at the start, no facilities. More about the area.

Carmarthen Fans

Merthyr Mawr

Usk Reservoir, photo credit Sophie Hillier

5. The sand dunes of Merthyr Mawr

Sand dunes and sea. This is a great day out for young and old! Just a few miles from the M4 between Cardiff and Swansea, Merthr Mawr is a national nature reserve with the highest sand dune in Wales! You can walk through the dunes, picnic in a hidden spot, or have a dip in the sea. Pay and display parking.

6. A tour of Usk Reservoir

Usk Reservoir, between Trecastle and Llanddeusant is a hidden gem. It’s great for all abilities and ages, with a clearly marked six mile track which you can walk or cycle. The views are wonderful as you go through woodland and gaze across to open moorland and the striking Carmarthen Fans.

All of these day trips ideas brought to you by OS Champion Phillipa Cherryson. Follow Phillipa on Instagram.

7. A visit to Llanberis

If you’re visiting the Snowdonia National Park this summer then a trip to the lovely town of Llanberis is a must. The High Street has a great selection of cafes, craft shops and outdoor clothing shops. There are lakeside accessible walks along the side of Llyn Padarn where you can visit the old quarry hospital, a children’s park and it’s also where you’ll have the opportunity to have your photograph taken next to a replica sword named Llafn y Cewri by local schoolchildren.

Dolbadarn Castle, which is a short walk away takes you back a thousand years to the time of the native Welsh princes. It is free to visit, open to explore and the perfect place to sit and have a picnic. Llanberis also has its own lakeside railway, where you can take a 5-mile return journey on a little steam engine which runs along the side of Llyn Padarn, right into the heart of Snowdonia.

Lisa on SUP

National Slate Museum


Snowdon Mountain Railway will take you to the summit of Snowdon (COVID-19 restrictions currently in place). The National Slate Museum, which is another free attraction tells the story of Snowdonia’s rich industrial heritage.

Snowdonia Watersports hire out Stand Up Paddleboards and kayaks so that you can view the mountains from the water. It is also the perfect place to see the Lonely Tree which is reputedly the most photographed tree in Wales.

If you have enough energy left you could walk to the summit of Wales’s most famous mountain, Snowdon. Llanberis has something for everyone, you just need to decide how many days you need to set aside for your visit.

Llyn Padarn

Dolbadarn Castle

Lisa with dog

This awesome day trip idea brought to you by OS Champion Lisa Wells. Follow Lisa on Instagram.

8. Roman Caerleon

Then known as Isca, one of just three permanent legionary fortresses in Britain, Roman Caerleon was quite the bustling town. When the Roman legionary weren’t fighting the ancient Britons, they were allowed to enjoy the modern facilities here, including keeping fit at the fortress baths and watching the gladiators at the local amphitheatre. The remains of the Roman buildings are surprisingly intact, albeit with all the gaps filled in with housing and other buildings charting Roman times through to the present day, but there is still a surprising amount to see. You can see the remains of the large open-air swimming pool (now inside a building…), that would have once held more than 80,000 gallons of water, and parts of the bath house (owned and managed by CADW).

Fortress baths

Walk along the river

You can also see the amphitheatre, which would have held 6,000 spectators when it was open, and the remains of the barracks where the soldiers lived. The National Roman Legion Museum houses an impressive collection of Roman artifacts, including a coffin that was discovered when builders were working on the University, and some beautifully preserved precious stones that were excavated from the water pipes that fed the bathhouse – the Roman’s hadn’t learnt to take their rings off when they went for a swim and a sauna. Find out more about this area.

9. Newport Wetlands

The Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve lies between the Severn Estuary and the River Usk on the South Wales coast. Owned and managed by Natural Resources Wales, in partnership with RSPB Cymru, Newport City Council and others, it is exactly the kind of place I’d go with my family to explore – and not just because there is a lovely little café serving soup and stew when you’re done. Built on mudflats and marshland, the nature reserve here was opened in 2000 as a mitigation project to restore wildlife habitat following the Cardiff Bay Barrage scheme. The reserve covers just over 1,000 acres of the Caldicot Level, a low-lying area of land bordering the northern shore of the Severn Estuary. The reserve was designated a National Nature Reserve in 2008, and is now a haven for birds and other wildlife, and a lovely place for a walk.

Find out more at Visit Monmouthshire.

Both day trip ideas brought to you by OS Champion Zoe Homes.


10. Gordon Way via Bennachie

11 mile linear hike along the Gordon Way. Beautiful Forest tracks to open hill tops. Waymarked route with views further afield over the Cairngorms. Some overgrown parts due to quiet trails. Slight detour off the trail to climb Bennachie. Started in Suie Hill and finished Bennachie centre.

Brought to you by OS Champion Jess Mather. Follow Jess on Instagram.

Gordon Way

11. Beach Clean at Lunderston

A lovely wee beach to spend a day rockpooling but when you are there you could spend a bit of time litter picking.

Brought to you by GetOutside Champion Ross Toole. Follow Ross on Instagram.

12. Canoe and Kayak adventures in Wester Ross

Tailored Canoe or Kayak adventures to suit all experience levels and ambitions.

Kayak adventures on Loch Ewe

13. Climb, ride, explore in Wester Ross

Hill guiding, MTB, SUP and coasteering. Find out more here.

14. Red Point Beaches, Wester Ross

Easy 6km walking with 2 stunning beaches. Views of Torridon mountains, Raasay and Skye

These great day trip ideas brought to you by OS Champion Sal Thornton. Follow Sal on Instagram.

England: North, Yorks & Humber

15. Craster to Beadnell via Embleton Bay

Sand, sea, coastal paths, quaint villages and an amazing castle. You can start from Craster, meaning you”ll go past Dunstanburgh Castle or if you prefer, start at Embleton Bay, either way, its a beautiful day out. A long and rewarding coastal hike.

Brought to you by OS Champion David Finlayson. Follow David on Instagram.

Craster to Beadnell via Embleton Bay

16. Coombs Wood Near Armaithwaite

An awesome woodland which runs parallel with the River Eden. You can park in Armaithwaite village on the main bridge (for free) then head up the river on a bridleway, taking in the incredible/lush woodland. You can drop down near the river and see the powerful rapids/weir that many canoeists spend time thinking about ! If you are into bouldering you can even climb some lovely sandstone rocks and then cool off with a dip in the river ! Also some really cool face carvings in the sandstone rock.

Brought to you by OS Champion Craig Henderson. Follow Craig on Instagram.

17. Whernside Wander, Yorkshire Dales

Ribblehead Viaduct

View from Whernside


Starting from the beautiful Ribblehead Viaduct this route takes you to the highest point in Yorkshire – Whernside. This 7.5-mile walk starts with a long steady climb followed by a scenic wander along an impressive high-level ridge. On a clear day there are spectacular views out to the Howgills, the Lake District and Morecambe Bay. Whernside is one of the three peaks in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge (three peaks in 12 hours!) and in my eyes, is the most impressive of the three.

18. Cycling on the Cinder Track

The Cinder Track, a former railway line, is one of the foremost cycle routes in the UK. The route from Scarborough to Ravenscar is a pleasant 10 miles with fantastic sea views. The track is very easy to follow as signposting is plentiful.

Among the highlights is Ravenscar itself and the beach at Hayburn Wyke, where woodland meets the sea. There is also a selection of places to eat and drink right on the track which makes it particularly well suited to family cycling.

Route in OS Maps

19. Easy paddling on Ullswater Lake

Kayak from Glenridding to Blowick Bay at the southern end of of Ullswater Lake. It’s only a short paddle across to this secluded beach making it suitable for all abilities. Get up close to Wall Holm, a small secluded island in the middle of the lake which makes a fantastic photo! Back at Glenridding, reward yourself with coffee and cake in the beautiful garden of the The Inn On The Lake Hotel.

Kayaking on Ullswater

All three day trip ideas are brought to you by Helen Newman from the OS team. Follow Helen’s adventures on Instagram.

England: Midlands

20. Local Explorer Challenges

Events cancelled or lacking inspiration? No problem – Our answer was to further explore what’s on our doorstep and design our own adventures from home.

Andy & Gee

8 miles to Derby path

Map with bridges plotted

21. Micro End to End

An ‘End to End’ adventure is often associated with the larger scale adventure from Land’s End to John O’Groats, or the Coast to Coast. But applying a ‘micro’ perspective to this challenge can create some really fun half day, full day or even weekend microadventures in either your local surroundings or further afield.

Brought to you by GetOutside Champion Two Travlrs. Follow Two Travlrs on Instagram.

22. Grishill Crag

Some great sandstone climbing to be experienced in rolling countryside of Shropshire. This small outcrop boasts a large array of climbing experiences and some breathtaking views.

Brought to you by GetOutside Champion Ben Turner. Follow Ben Turner on Instagram.

23. Discover Lud’s Church

Whether you are climbing, walking or trail running, The Roaches take in some of the best scenery in the Peak District. A visit to nearby Lud’s Church is a must. The impressive deep, moss-covered chasm is full of history, and is wet and cool even on the hottest of days. This popular 6-mile circular walk takes in the spectacular ridgeline of The Roaches plus the unmissable Lud’s Church. There’s plenty of less trodden trails in the area for those wanting to venture off the beaten track. Discover more routes in OS Maps.

Lud’s Church

Helen at The Roaches

The Roaches

24. Explore Kinder Scout’s air crash sites

There are more than 11 remaining air crash sites on Kinder Scout, the most visited being the B-29 Superfortress on Bleaklow which came down on the 3rd November 1948. Despite taking place over 70 years ago it almost feels (and looks!) like it happened yesterday thanks to the remoteness of this vast moorland. Parking is located in the lay-by on the A57, north of the Snake Pass Inn. It’s a pleasant 4 mile walk to the crash site through Lady Clough Forest. Why not plan a longer route and make the most of the wild and rugged moorland of Kinder Scout? It’s so large, you have enough space to really get away from it all!

Both walks are brought to you by Helen Newman from the OS team. Follow Helen’s adventures on Instagram.

East England

25. Deserted beach

A short beach ramble North of crumbling Covehithe brings you to a wild and desolate coastal broad at Benacre. The beach sandbar seperates the sea from the broad lagoon and is generally deserted, it’s easy to imagine being cast away here, even for a few hours. Fire up the stove and slow the pace down. You could easily spend a morning collecting sea glass and drift wood, spotting bitterns and marsh harriers or simply capturing the landscape on canvas or film. Continue North towards the Denes before joing the Suffolk Coast Path inland to complete the loop back to Covehithe inland.

Brought to you by GetOutside Champion Chris Webster. Follow Chris Webster on Instagram.

26. Dunwich and Dunwich Heath

This circular 7 mile walk takes in the best scenery around around the lost town of Dunwich, which disappeared due to erosion from the Sea. You will take in sections of the Sandlings Walk, an off road path connecting Ipswich and Southwold, Dunwich Heath with its vivid purple flowering heather, the ruins of Greyfriars Priory, see the last grave remaining next to the cliff tops and encounter spectacular views towards Walberswick and Southwold.

27. Rendlesham Forest

Rendlesham Forest is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, covering 1500 hectares, just outside of the well-known market town of Woodbridge. Located close by is a RAF Woodbridge, where US Air Force personnel were based. In 1980 there was a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights near Rendlesham Forest, which were linked with UFO sightings. Today, there is a UFO trail for children to follow in the forest, there are also marked routes for mountain bikes, walkers, runners and those wishing to explore. If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of a herd of Deer.

Brought to you by GetOutside Champion Tom Wake. Follow Tom Wake on Instagram.

England: South East

Views from Butser Hill (#30)

28. Frensham Pond – escape from London!

A beautiful beach and varied walks through sandy heathland within easy reach of London. Perfect for a family day out there is a National Trust cafe as well as ice cream van – you wouldn’t know you were under an hour on the train from London!

Brought to you by GetOutside Champion Sophie Power. Follow Sophie Power on Instagram.

29. Blackdown & The Temple of the Winds

A gentle and easily accessible walk along the Blackdown Ridge to the highest point of the Southdowns NP. Enjoy the fantastic views from the Temple of the Winds

Blackdown Os Maps

Blackdown route in Os Maps

30. Butser Hill & Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Visit the QECP and enjoy accessible walks, picnics, cafe and shop. This is a great location for all the family with plenty to do and plenty of space. Take a walk up Butser HIll, the highest point on the Southdowns Way and look across to the Isle of Wight

Butser Hill

Both walks brought to you by GetOutside Champion Glyn Dodwell. Follow Glyn Dodwell on Instagram.

31. A peaceful day walk around Thorney Island

Pack a picnic for this leisurely 9-mile circular route, along the shoreline of MOD-owned Thorney Island in Chichester Harbour AONB. The peaceful shores of this island are a sanctuary for wildlife, including seals! The coastal route takes in the deserted sand dunes of Thorney Island Beach, the historic St Nicholas Church with its war graves and you can even walk over to Pilsey Island, which is a rspb Bird Sanctuary (access on to the sanctuary is restricted). The coastal route is easy to follow but you must make sure you stick to the coast. Walking across the island is prohibited as it is MOD land. Parking can be found in Emsworth or in Prinsted.

Thorney Island at sunset

32. Halnaker Windmill

The recently restored Halnaker Windmill is an iconic sight close to Chichester. Starting from Boxgrove Village Hall Car Park the Windmill Trail is a leisurely 5-mile circular route to the windmill. Passing Tinwood Estate Vinyard, the trail then takes you through ‘the tunnel of trees’ on Mill Lane before climbing up to Halnaker Hill itself, boasting spectacular views across the countryside. On a clear day you can even see the sea.

View from the Halnaker Windmill

Halnaker Windmill

Both walks are brought to you by Helen Newman from the OS team. Follow Helen’s adventures on Instagram.

England: South West

33. The Blue Pool of Dorset

The Blue Pool of Dorset… which isn’t always blue! Formerly a clay pit, supplying tons of clay for making of smoking pipes and porcelain, it has later filled with rainwater becoming what is is today – a beautiful lake that changes colour in different light conditions, from blue to green and turquoise, thanks to a high concentration of minerals in the water as well as a good deal of clay in suspension. A fascinating natural oasis tucked away in Dorset’s rolling green countryside, The Blue Pool is a spot of beauty and tranquillity even on a busiest day. It is a centre-piece of the Furzebrook Estate surrounded by 25 acres of heath and woodland and offering it’s visitors a retreat from the hustle and bustle of civilisation.

The Blue Pool

The Blue Pool

Both walks brought to you by GetOutside Champion Richie Rakauskas. Follow Richie on Instagram.

34. A day out at Worth Matravers

Starting at the village car park this 12km circular walk takes in the awe inspiring views of Winspit Quarry, St Aldhelm’s Head, Chapmans Pool and miles and miles of views of the Jurassic Coastline. You can spend time watching the climbers ascend routes in the quarry (or if you’re a climber, join in!), enjoy the sea views on the walk round to St Aldhelm’s head, then you’re greeted with arguably one of the best views in Dorset into Chapmans Pool. Before heading back to the village take a path down to the beach, stop for a picnic, have a swim and watch the sun set. Be sure to venture into the Square and Compass which contains a rather quirky museum!

Walks brought to you by GetOutside Champion Charlotte Fowler. Follow Charlotte on Instagram.

35. Wiltshire White Horses

Visiting the Nine White Horses of Wiltshire (inc one on the Oxfordshire border). All are great one day walks but also why not walk the 150km White Horse Way and see them all over a week.

36. Uffington White Horse

An 11km, 2.5hr walk taking in the White Horse, Wayland Smithy long barrow, Uffington Castle, part of the Wessex Ridgeway and White Horse Way

Uffington White Horse

37. Broad Town White Horse

An 8km, 2.1hr walk taking in the paths and bridleways of the North Wiltshire downland and White Horse Way

38. Cherhill White Horse

A 14km, 3.5hr walk taking in the beautiful Marlborough Downs, Cherhill White Horse, the ancient Wandsdyke path, hill forts and the source of the River Marden at Calshott springs

39. Devizes White Horse

A 7km, 1.5hr walk from Devizes, along the Kennet And Avon Canal and up towards Roundway Down and the youngest of the Wiltshire White Horses

Kennet and Avon Canal near Devizes

40. Westbury White Horse

A 12km, 3hr walk from Bratton to see the oldest of the horses at Bratton Down with far reaching views and steep coombes, feel the ground tremble if the big guns are in action on the Plain!

41. Pewsey Downs White Horse

A 6km, 1.5hr circular route across unfarmed downland with magnificent sping/early summer flowers. Crossing the Wandsdyke and White Horse Way, the route passes over one of the two high points of Wiltshire at Milk Hill (the other one at Tan Hill being a few km’s away further on the Wandsdyke and the hills still argue today as to which is the highest)

42. Marlborough White Horse

A 5km, 1.25hr walk taking in quiet lanes, paths and tracks which links up to the White Horse Way. This route has lots of alternatives including links to Marlborough via footpaths through its well known public school(which give the best views of the White Horse!)

43. Hackpen White Horse

A 2hr 8km walk (or great trail run) taking in the ancient Wessex Ridgeway and hidden valleys and wooded coombes littered with Sarcen stones of Marlborough Downs

Hackpen White Horse

44. New Pewsey White Horse

Lots of short circular walks heading south out of Pewsey along ancient drovers tracks.

All Nine White Horses brought to you by GetOutside Champion Lisa Drewe. Follow Lisa on Instagram.

45. Martin Down Nature Reserve

A newtork of footpaths across chalk downland full of flora and fauna plus archeological interest with ancient ditches and tumuli. Great visit on a summer’s day when a host of species of butterfly are fluttering amongst the wildflowers and there is chance to hear turtle doves. Perfect peaceful spot for a picnic far from the madding crowd or star gazing at night. Find out more.

Brought to you by GetOutside Champion Sue Barrett. Follow Sue on Instagram.

46. Tisbury and Old Wardour Castle

A great day out visiting Tisbury, which is steeped in 2,000 years of history, with a walk that takes you to Old Wardour Castle, which dates from the 14th century and was the scene of two sieges, it also featured in the film `Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

All of these day trips ideas brought to you by GetOutside Champion Phillipa Cherryson. Follow Phillipa on Instagram.

47. Cotswold Water Park

Located within Cotswold Water Park and close to Cirencester, Cotswold Country Park and Beach is a facility with two lakes, a beach, and a whole host of activities – a place to spend a whole day as a family or group or friends. Describing themselves as “the ultimate for watersports in the Cotswolds”, there is the inflatable assault course Aquaventure, paddleboards, kayaks and Canadian canoes, swan pedalos, rowing boats, mini electric boats for the kids, mini golf, and other things.

48. Sea Swims in Dorset

Being an island nation, there are a plethora of great spots for taking a dip in the ocean here in Great Britain. If you’re on holiday down in Dorset (and who wouldn’t want to be?!), these are four lovely places for a swim. They’re already popular, so I’m not giving away any secrets!

Worbarrow Bay, a beautiful bay perfect for a sunrise swim and breakfast on the beach. Winspit, more of a dip off the rocky shoreline than an endurance sea swim, but a lot of fun. Durdle Door and Man of War Bay, the iconic south England swim through the natural arch. Dancing Ledge, a natural pool good for a plunge.

All of these swims require a bit of a walk from the local parking, and should be taken seriously – the Dorset coast is beautiful but it’s also very rugged and can be rough.

49. Four Hills to Climb Near Cheltenham

One day with lots of views, or four days with one view each – four great views near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Being right on the edge of the Cotswolds, there are a whole host of amazing walks of all kinds of lengths to keep you busy from Cheltenham. Having recently moved to the area from the flatlands of Lincolnshire, I was particularly interested to explore the line of hills surrounding the old Spa town, as they promise excellent views back down into the valley and across the wide landscape to the Malvern Hills and into Wales.

You can easily visit Crickley Hill, Leckhampton Hill, Nottingham Hill and Cleeve Hill in one day or over one weekend – all offering short hikes, great scenery, and views of other hills you can come back and visit another time.

Both day trip ideas brought to you by GetOutside Champion Zoe Homes. Follow Zoe on Instagram.

50. Coastal strolls and ice cream at West Bay

The section from Burton Bradstock westwards towards Golden Cap is a beautiful family-friendly stretch of the South West Coastal Path. There’s certainly no shortage of scenic stops and the seaside towns of West Bay and Seatown allow plenty of opportunity to stock up on food, drink and of course, ice cream (the best being from Baboo in West Bay!). The SWCP route is well sign posted and you can make the walk as long or as short as you like. Challenge yourself to reach the top of Golden Cap – the highest point on the south coast of Great Britain.

Golden Cap

South West Coast Path

This day trip idea is brought to you by Helen Newman from the OS team. Follow Helen’s adventures on Instagram.

So for day trips this summer, spread out a paper map, or download the OS Maps app, spot what you want to see and do, visit views with the wow-factor and explore new places.

Make sure you check that any sites, events, activity centres or adventure destinations are open and accessible before travelling, plus what the weather plans to do. The Met Office have these beach and mountain forecasts to help you enjoy the outside safely.

Share your day trip adventures with us by using #GetOutside and tagging us on Twitter (@OSLeisure), Facebook or Instagram (Ordnance Survey).

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