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Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
23 posts
12 reviews
Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

Hello everyone,

I will be travelling to London for a week in late February and staying with a friend. Since I am on a budget and that I am very lucky to have free accommodation in London, I am planning on spending most days in London and doing only two or three day trips. I have read a lot on potential day trips from London but I am slightly overwhelmed so I would really welcome personalised suggestions. A little bit more about me: I am in my twenties, I have no interest in guided tours, I am on a student budget (so somewhere where some of the sights are free or cheap, I can spend no more than 20 pounds in sightseeing per day), I prefer small towns and villages to large cities, I like Roman and pre roman sites, I enjoy the work of British authors but am not a die hard fan of any. So far I thought maybe Bath, Salisbury/Stonehenge and maybe Rye?

Finally, everything I have read about public transportation in London assumes tourists stay in Zones 1 and 2. My friend lives in zone 3 but I'll travel to zones 1 and 2 daily for 8 days. What would be the cheapest option for me?

Thank you very much for your precious insight.

15 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,157 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

'My friend lives in zone 3 but I'll travel to zones 1 and 2 daily for 8 days. What would be the cheapest option for me?'

Buy a seven day Travelcard loaded on Oyster for zones 1 - 3 at £40, and use PAYG on Oyster at the start or end of your journey, depending on which day will have the least travel. You may choose the first day of validity of your Travelcard when buying it and use the PAYG day(s) to suit your needs.

The daily cap for PAYG in zones 1 - 3 is £8. Should you travel beyond zones 1 through 3 then as long as you touch in and out correctly the system will charge an Oyster excess fare (during the Travelcard validity period) or lowest PAYG fare for all journeys taken that day.

Where in zone 3 will you be staying? If you'd like to travel to Bath then book tickets now from London Paddington to Bath Spa station at www.gwr.com You may also book the journey from London Waterloo to Salisbury at www.southwesternrailway.com but would likely be best off choosing www.thestonehengetour.info from Salisbury to Stonehenge and back again.

Depending on your start point you may not need to travel to central London to visit Rye. The details are important, so please let us know more.

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
23 posts
12 reviews
2. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

Thank you for your answer TravellerPlus. She lives in South London and the closest tube station is Colliers Wood. My last day would probably be the day I'll use transportation the least. So if I understand correctly I should buy an Oyster card upon my arrival to London (at Heathrow), load it with a seven day Travelcard for zones 1 - 3 plus enough money for the excess fare since Heathrow is in zone 6, as well as to use PAYG on my last day in London where I would basically only go from South London to Heathrow. Is that it?

Watford, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
44,230 posts
50 reviews
3. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

You've got it!

Your location isn't great for getting to main line railway stations for day trips. You would need to allow at least 20 minutes to reach Waterloo and at least 30 minutes to reach Paddington or St Pancras for Bath and Rye.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,226 posts
32 reviews
4. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

If you're into ancient Rome, the big sight is probably Hadrian's Wall, but London is nowhere near that. I would suggest you go to the Museum of London the same day you see St. Paul's. It includes a pretty neat exhibit about the city's time as Londinium. Although I unfortunately didn't have time to get there (a good excuse to come back!), from what I've read and seen the British Museum has rather extensive galleries devoted to your period of interest.

Salisbury (at least the Cathedral, which is what most visitors are interested in)/Stonehenge/Old Sarum are all doable on the same daytrip, and it was one of my favorites.

Windsor Castle is probably the closest thing to the daytrip that nearly everyone does. Interest is probably even higher now with people wanting to see it before the royal wedding next spring. Hampton Court is also arguably a daytrip, as it is technically in a London suburb but not in the city center.

I also don't know how great the weather will be in February, but hopefully you'll be somewhat lucky.

Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
1,747 posts
1 review
5. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

Windsor and Hampton Court would be good trips. For Hampton Court at least, you could walk to Wimbledon station rather than go in to Waterloo.

I'd thoroughly recommend Winchester - a small and peaceful city with lots of history, a great cathedral and a small amount of Roman remains.

For small towns you might also like to walk around somewhere like Godalming or Haslemere - I imagine there are local museums?

There are also parts of London that have (a bit) more of a "village" feel, such as Hampstead or Dulwich.

Edited: 1:39 pm, January 12, 2018
Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
1,747 posts
1 review
6. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

I forgot Canterbury. Beautiful small city which was a Roman town, Roman museum, boat rides and one of the greatest cathedrals in England.

London, United...
Level Contributor
4,505 posts
354 reviews
7. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

I think if you're in your 20s then you might enjoy a trip down to Brighton, where there's lots of cool cafes and independent clothing stores, etc.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,226 posts
32 reviews
8. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

Agree that Winchester is fantastic - great major Cathedral, the remaining Great Hall of a castle, and connections to the last phase of Jane Austin's life if you're a fan. Unfortunately Alyssa only has 3 days to devote to daytrips, so she's going to have to be very selective.

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
23 posts
12 reviews
9. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

Thank you very much for all of your answers, I really appreciate your suggestions and I am looking into all of them right now. I really will have to come back to England as there are so many beautiful places I would like to visit!

Warwickshire...
Destination Expert
for Cotswolds, Rome, London
Level Contributor
3,869 posts
107 reviews
10. Re: Day trip suggestions? Oyster card zone 3?

I think you will be disappointed if you go to either Haslemere or Godalming - they are nice residential areas but have little or nothing to recommend them to tourists with only a week in the UK. For day trips out of London then Winchester is a great suggestion but you could also look at Oxford or Cambridge (only about an hour on the train). Closer in, Windsor, Hampton Court or Greenwich might fit the bill.

London has some 'villages' of its own - Richmond or Hampstead might appeal to you.

I would also suggest that you look at some of the walks operated by London Walks (www.walks.com) some of which will take you to backwaters of London not much visited by tourists.

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