Inspirational Ideas for Breaks in London & South East England
From historic towns and the dazzling attractions of the UK's capital to dramatic chalk cliffs and the rolling countryside of The Downs, the South East has so much to see and do. Covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex, Oxfordshire and Kent, it has everything from meandering rivers and exquisite parks to offbeat museums and vineyards...
Live it up with an oyster picnic in Whitstable
This bohemian seaside town is well known for its thriving oyster trade. Grab a pot from a fresh fish bar in the harbour, along with a bottle of fizz, and spread out with a luxury picnic on the town’s glorious beach next to colourful beach huts.
Nearest hotel: Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel, Canterbury
Wine buffs won’t want to miss a tour of this vineyard in Ditchling in the sprawling South Downs countryside. It specialises in sparkling wines made from the classic champagne grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Nearest hotel: Best Western Princes Marine Hotel, Hove
Love a proper brew? Showcasing more than 7,000 teapots from around the world, this family-run museum holds two Guinness World Records for the largest teapot collection. You can also paint your own teapot.
Nearest hotel: Best Western Rose and Crown Hotel, Tonbridge
Look out to sea at Birling Gap, Eastbourne
The Seven Sisters white cliffs are a big draw, but less visited is the beach below. A vast expanse of chalk rock pools and narrow strip of shingle and sand leads out to the sea. If you’re basking here, don’t get caught out by the tide.
Nearest hotel: Best Western Lansdowne Hotel, Eastbourne
Hidden beneath a church in the Chiltern Hills lies a network of winding tunnels with a mysterious past. It was here that political figures of the 18th-century known as the Hellfire Club used to gather to practice occult rituals. Go deep underground to explore the caves – and watch out for ghosts!
Nearest hotel: Best Western Garden Court Hotel, Aylesbury
Smell the flowers at Kyoto Garden, London
This beautiful Japanese garden is a hidden gem within Holland Park – itself tucked away in Kensington. If the weather’s warm enough, you can while away a few hours with a good book as you sit by the burbling waterfalls and koi carp pond.
Nearest hotel: Best Western Boltons Hotel London Kensington
An oasis of calm in London? Yes, really. This unlikely beauty spot is only a short walk from the sprawling transport hub that is King’s Cross station. It offers two acres of tranquil parkland along the banks of Regent’s Canal, and is home to birds, butterflies and bats.
Nearest hotel: Best Western Swiss Cottage Hotel, London
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