It’s true that London — from museums and theater shows to river cruises and pub crawls — has much to see and do within its city walls. But sometimes the bright lights and crowded streets of the British capital has visitors longing for a change of scene. Thankfully, London’s high-speed train routes to outdoor-loving counties such as Kent, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, and West Sussex make an escape to the great British countryside easy and affordable.
Whether it’s sipping tea in a quintessential English castle or breathing in the fresh air on a country walk, a visit to one of the National Trust’s 500 properties makes for a fun and relaxing day out. Here are some of our favorite spots — all close enough to London to get there and back in a day using public transport.