June 18, 2020
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The 2020 staycation summer has started and it’s time to get some day trips in. From the New Forest to Henley, Lewes and Whitstable, we asked four locals to share their insider tips.

DAY TRIP NO. 1: Leaving from the East, Whitstable
Travel time approx 1.5 hrs

Whitstable offers up a little bit of everything for a super day out. Miles of classic British stoney beach, a charming high street and fantastic food.

Take a stroll down the beach at low tide and if by magic ‘The Street’ a natural path appears through the sea. Then switch back towards town to enjoy quaint shops, galleries and lots of great spots for coffee and food. From the traditional Fish and chips to The Forge or Samphire all serving up great dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Oh, and of course the famous oysters, Wheelers Oyster Bar is the go-to on the high-street.

Local insider tip: Search out Grain and Hearth bakery for sourdough to rival anywhere and some epic cinnamon buns.

There is a decent amount of parking for those that get there earlier enough and a quick route to get back to London via the A229 and M2. Find out more on Whitstable here.

DAY TRIP NO. 2: Leaving from the West, The New Forest
Travel time approx 2 hrs

Whilst Richmond Park does offer the chance to see wild animals a little closer to home, The New Forest is on another level. The huge expanse of countryside holds everything from Ancient woodland, heaths, pretty villages to a 40-mile ‘secret’ coast. Why not add the free bicycle rack and take advantage of the 140 miles of car-free woodland cycle trails when you book your car?

The 90-mile journey can actually be made pretty quickly down the M3. More information on The New Forest here.

Local insider tip: After a long(ish) drive it’s always nice to stretch the legs a bit, so take the bikes down to Brockenhurst and enjoy one of the many cycling routes. Rhinefield Ornamental Woodland is a good starting point.

DAY TRIP NO. 3: Leaving from the North, Henley-on-Thames
Travel time approx just over 1 hr

Heading out North West (ish) up the M40 or West via the M4 for just over an hour gets you to the Berkshire town of Henley. The town itself is full of superb restaurants, shops and pubs - when back open The Angel on the Bridge is the perfect place to watch the world go by from the riverside terrace.

But the river really is the highlight. Stroll along the waterside, take in the 18th-century Henley bridge, backdropped by the beautiful Chiltern Hills, whilst watching all of the boats coming and going. Ideal for taking the dog with you, just remember to add the dog boot-separator when booking.

Local insider tip: Talking of boats, if you don’t fancy the walk, grab provisions for a picnic and rent a day-boat from Hobbs of Henley.

DAY TRIP NO. 4: Leaving from the South, Lewes
Travel time approx 1.5 hr

When thinking about day-tripping from the South, there are a lot of good contenders, Rye, Brighton, but give Lewes a try, a small town full of history sitting in a beautiful gap of the Sussex Downs with many stunning walks and views.

After climbing the 11th-century Priory, take a walk-up across the Downs and back through the town, over the River Ouse and get some local produce from Harvey’s Brewery.

Lewes is connected to the A23 via the A27, so nice and easy to get there and back in a day. Find walking routes and more information here.

Local insider tip: About 1 mile out of Lewes you can get your walk on up the 146m to Mount Caburn, the view is really something.

Image from Unsplash, Nick Seagrave. Thank you.