Where can you drive for a nice view near London? From Chiltern Hills to amazing Surrey and the Cotswolds – learn more about the best scenic routes to drive near me from London!
Are there any scenic drives near me? Yeah, so many! 🙂
Once in a while, we all want to escape London and visit some of the most scenic places near the capital city. From beautiful British villages and amazing forests to the English seaside – there are so many magical places in England you can see on a scenic drive from London!
If you are looking for inspiration, then we’ve got you covered! We are happy to present top places to go for a drive near London. Psst… we have visited all the places and can guarantee that you will love all of them.
What makes a scenic drive scenic?
There is little better than a classic road trip, with the open road, friends and family, and some beautiful scenery along the way. Not every destination is a good one to drive to, but some routes are particularly scenic thanks to stunning landscapes, amazing views, and famous sights, all of which can be seen from the car windows.
Some of the most scenic drives are the ones off the beaten track, which take you through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other delights that can’t be seen from a common motorway.
Scenic drives near me types:
|Viewpoints to drive to near me:||Seven Sisters Cliffs|
|Short drives near me:||Old Amersham|
|Cool spots to drive to near me:||Lavenham|
|Romantic drives near me:||Castle Combe|
If you’re looking for scenic drives out of London, there are loads of fantastic options out there. Below we’ve shortlisted some of the highlights, so buckle up and pick your driving playlist.
Nice places to drive near me from London:
1. Bourton on the Water
Scenic drives near London? Bourton on the Water is a beautiful village in the Cotswolds. It is well worth visiting in its own right. There are many quaint, one-of-a-kind shops, places to eat and things to see. There are activities that interest the whole family with days out and local attractions within walking distance.
Bourton-on-the-Water is also an ideal location to use as a base for exploring the Cotswolds. It sits right at the heart of the area and has excellent transport links and many stunning walking trails to explore.
2. Cheddar Gorge
Nice places to drive near me from London? Much like many attractions and landmarks in the UK, if you want to see some fascinating caves and areas of natural beauty then you are going to want to visit Cheddar Gorge and Caves.
For those who are looking to spend some time at Cheddar Gorge is that you are going to find plenty of things to do. In fact, if you take into account the many attractions that form part of one day ticket then it is little surprise that you can expect to spend somewhere in the region of 3 hours.
Best roads to drive in England London? Just 65 miles from Central London is the beautiful village of Wherwell. It can be reached in an hour and a half by car, and the drive is as beautiful as the destination. Satnavs will direct you to the M3, which is the fastest route, but if you have time for a detour, take the slightly longer way on the A31.
Once you get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, you will enjoy stunning views across Surrey and head through picturesque locations on the edge of the Surrey Hills and the South Downs National Park.
4. Chipping Campden
Where to drive near me? Chipping Campden is a beautiful Cotswold market town in the county of Gloucestershire. It is roughly 100 miles from London, depending on the route you take, and the journey is certainly worth the effort. You will leave London to the west and head into the picturesque Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
From here, you’ll head past historic Oxford and towards Burford, which is known as the gateway to the Cotswolds. After Burford, you will be in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and whichever route you take to Chipping Campden will be a memorable one.
5. Lower Slaughter
Places to drive near London? Lower Slaughter is a charming and delightful village. If you enjoy taking in the beauty of the countryside and getting a feel for life in the Cotswolds, it is most definitely worth a visit. Because it is a small village it is worth combining your trip with other places in the Cotswolds.
There are lots of lovely villages you can walk between in the area. If you just want a quiet place to stay away from the hustle and bustle, then Lower Slaughter is a great choice for that as well.
Places to go for a drive near me? Shere village in Surrey is well worth a visit. While it might be small, there is so much to see and do on a car trip to Shere. Whether you are a nature lover, film buff or gin fan, there is something for you to enjoy in Shere.
7. Ashton under Hill
Scenic drive near me now? On the far north edge of the Cotswolds is Ashton under Hill, a small village in Worcestershire at the foot of the wonderful Bredon Hill. It takes around two and a half hours to drive from London to Ashton under Hill, and there are various routes you can take.
The most scenic option is taking the M40 through the Chiltern Hills, following on the A40 to Burford. Here you’ll go north through the Cotswolds, passing many quaint villages and viewpoints on the way.
Good places to drive near me? Lymington is popular with tourists, and for good reason. There is plenty to do in town. Exploring the shops and the pubs is a great way to pass the day. For those seeking a thrill, you can get out on the water, or you can explore the woods that are just on the doorstep of the town.
As if that wasn’t enough, a short ferry ride will have you at the Isle of Wight and a whole new place to explore. If you want to experience the British seaside, then Lymington is a great spot to visit on a day out by car.
9. Castle Combe
Where to go for a drive near me? The tiny village of Castle Combe has been called the prettiest village in England for years. I guess many of you have only seen it on screen on a few movies. Castle Combe enjoys a reputation for being one of the most photographed places in England as it’s one of the most famous British landmarks, so it must be one of the best places to visit in the UK!
This fairy-tale-like village is totally worth visiting for a day trip from London or even as a weekend trip if you place to explore the surrounding area a bit more. Castle Combe really is one of the best places to visit near London.
Cool places to roadtrip near me? Kersey is one of the most picture-perfect villages you’ll find in England. It’s small but perfectly formed. While you won’t find enough to do to spend a full day in the village, there are a lot of walks that start and end in the village.
If you want an interesting location to explore the rolling Suffolk countryside from, you really can’t go wrong with Kersey.
11. Old Amersham
Best scenic drives near me? Old Amersham is a gorgeous spot. It is filled with history and amazing old buildings. The location is a perfect setting off point for some lovely walks. All the amenities ensure that you will enjoy some excellent shopping and a great meal afterwards.
Amersham is an ideal spot for a day trip, especially if you are based in London. It gives you a real taste of the best that the London Suburbs has to offer.
Best places for a drive near me? Witney is certainly worth a visit, either as a day trip from London or Oxford or for a UK weekend getaway to the Cotswolds countryside. Despite growing rapidly over the last 50 years and being the largest town in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, Witney still has that charming, bustling market town vibe.
There is plenty to see and do on a visit to Witney, and it is clear to see why residents love the area so much.
Places to drive with a view near me? Another Cotswolds destination on this list is the sleepy village of Stanton in Gloucestershire. This charming village is unique in that it has no signs of commercialisation and feels like a step back in time.
On the two-and-a-half-hour journey from London to Stanton, you will head through the Aston Rowant Nature Reserve in The Chilterns and many breathtaking sights through the Cotswolds themselves. We recommend stopping off at Upper Swell just past Stow on the Wold, a quiet little spot to stretch your legs and enjoy the pretty waters.
Scenic drives South East England? Lavenham is definitely worth visiting if you are interested in historical settings, boutique stores, and beautiful countryside. Film fans flock to Lavenham from far and wide to see the spots from Harry Potter and take in the colourful character of the village.
Scenic drives from London? Stratford-upon-Avon is famed for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare and a popular destination in England, but many don’t realise the journey to get there is also pretty spectacular. The medieval town sits on the banks of the River Avon in Warwickshire and is 100 miles from London by car. For a more scenic route than the M40, head past Oxford and onto the A44.
16. Chipping Norton
Scenic drive Cotswolds? If you are looking for somewhere for a relaxing weekend break or to soak up the beauty of the Cotswolds, Chipping Norton is the perfect place. You can explore the stunning countryside, learn about the market towns rich history, and enjoy the various local businesses such as pubs, restaurants, and shops.
17. Wendens Ambo
Places to drive to at night near me? Wendens Ambo is a picturesque little village in Uttlesford in the county of Essex. Just 47 miles from Central London, Wendens Ambo is certainly worth a day trip. From the M25, it is an easy route up the M11, but for something a bit more scenic, come off the M11 at the A414 in Harlow and enjoy the country roads through the Essex countryside.
On route, you will see the beautiful Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village, which is certainly worth a stop.
Scenic drives near London? For those who are considering a quite day out near the countryside, who enjoy the history of old towns, religious architecture, and cycling or walking routes, Abingdon is a great place to visit.
Abingdon-on-Thames is not a town that you would need to stay in for more than a day or two if you want to see everything, and it’d be a good idea to visit during the Abingdon Heritage Festival to get a little more excitement out of your trip.
Scenic places near me to drive to? Pangbourne is a lovely village near London. It’s the perfect size to come and explore, while still having time for an excursion into the countryside. The local shops and unique character of the place make it the perfect example of English country life.
Scenic car tours near London? Wallingford is an ideal place to visit in the English countryside. History buffs, food lovers and those who enjoy getting out in the great outdoors will love a trip to Wallingford.
21. Sonning on Thames
Nice places to drive near me from London? Sonning is a beautiful little village in the heart of the English countryside. It’s a spot worth visiting if you’re looking for a base for a walk along the River Thames, in a village where you have several good meal options and plenty of luxury to enjoy!
22. Dorchester on Thames
Best driving roads UK? Dorchester on Thames can be comfortably described as a chocolate box English village. It is a charming little village, it’s very picturesque, but you can see the area in a short amount of time.
It’s a great spot to visit if you’re looking for a base for more exploration in the area, or if you’ve not experienced a classic English village before. In case you are planning a weekend break in the UK, Dorchester-on-Thames is a great choice!
Scenic drives near me now? Goring Oxfordshire is well worth a visit for anyone who enjoys the great British countryside. It is a wonderful riverside location, perfect for a relaxed day out, walking break or weekend away. The Oxfordshire village is renowned for its rolling hills, adventurous woodland, an array of wildlife and unbeatable views.
The vibe in Goring on Thames is calm and relaxing; the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle from nearby big cities.
Best driving roads near me? Turville is a tiny village. If you are looking to hit the shops, then this is not the place to go. If you want to know what life in rural England is like, you love the quintessential British television shows, or you’re looking for some peace; then this is the perfect place to visit.
Scenic routes near me? Based in Buckinghamshire, Wendover is easy to reach from London and surrounding areas, making a great day trip or weekend break. Daytrippers can stay for dinner in one of the local restaurants or pubs, and enjoy some time shopping in the local boutiques.
Wendover is well worth a visit. It is the perfect place for a day trip with plenty to see and do. You can explore the beautiful countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or find your adventurous side with various activities in Wendover Woods.
Good drives near me? Henley-on-Thames is one of the most charming locations in England and offers a true sense of British heritage and history. It is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of London and exploring the beautiful Chilterns countryside.
The town is well-known for the Henley Royal Regatta, which is an exciting time to visit but also extremely busy. For the rest of the year, the town is an excellent escape for walking, shopping and boating.
Good places to drive to near me? Marlow is a charming town with a lot of interesting history and is a genuinely pretty place to explore. It has a little bit of everything, from beautiful green spaces, a river setting and a bustling town centre.
If nothing else this is the kind of town where you can have all sorts of fun exploring the listings in the estate agents windows! In all seriousness, if you are on a trip based in London, then a visit to Marlow will be a lovely change of pace.
It may not be a location that you spend a whole week in, but if you’re looking for a piece of serenity that’s in the centre of one of the most beloved areas of England, then you’ve found it. With great food, plenty of family-run businesses, and a few charming attractions, there’s no reason to miss out on visiting Cotswolds Burford.
Top scenic drives near London? There is so much to do in this seemingly sleepy village, and we all need some time away from the busyness of our everyday lives. Bibury is the ideal getaway for those who enjoy a tranquil countryside escape, while also soaking in the history of the area and visiting famous locations from blockbuster films. With all that in mind, you can consider Bibury UK as one of the best places to visit near London.
Bibury village may be small, but this Cotswold village has some of the best tasty treats in Gloucestershire, and you won’t find an afternoon tea quite like what is being offered here. Regardless of the reason you are visiting, it is not a trip you will soon forget and certainly one that won’t be regretted.
Best drives near me? There are many places to visit in Windsor. If you are a big fan of the Royal family, then Windsor will be very top on your UK bucket list! For all the rest, less crazy about the Queen, Prince and Princess, Windsor is still a top day trip from London.
Your face doesn’t have to be printed on the pound sterling banknote to have fun in this historic market town – there are many great things to do in Windsor for less-known people too! Ready to explore the best things to do in Windsor London?
31. St Albans
Best places to drive near me? St. Albans is a city that definitely has plenty to offer. You might not instantly think of it when it comes to city breaks in the UK, but if you do decide to head to St. Albans, then you will never have a dull moment. That we can promise you. The city is one of the best places to visit in the UK!
32. Richmond Park
Places to drive to in London? One of the best woods near London. There is so much to do, and a lot more than has been listed here. In fact, Richmond Park is very top on our list of the best places to visit in southern England!
There are many nice places in Richmond and this park is very top on that list. If you want to see deer in London parks head out to Richmond Park!
33. Broadway Tower
Top places to drive to near London? There are many great places to visit in the south of England. And this is one of them. Broadway Tower is a valuable piece of English History and it has a lot to offer any visitor.
It’s not difficult to get to, even for individuals that do not drive, and the Cotswolds are a beautiful area. For a relaxing day out with a slice of history included, Broadway Tower and Park estate is perfect.
34. Seven Sisters Cliffs
35. Isle of Wight
Nice driving routes near me from London? The island is not only a beautiful island and holiday resort, but it is also famous for its yearly music festival which draws in people each and every year. There are many attractions on the Isle of Wight for families and couples.
During the summer months, you are going to find plenty of things to do on the Isle of Wight, especially if you are a fan of beaches.
Where should I drive near London? This Cotswold town features beautiful timbered inns, historic architecture, and stunning countrysides. Located between Cheltenham and Broadway, it is a great place to visit from London. The 100-mile drive certainly won’t bore you as you travel through Colne Valley Regional Park and the Chiltern Hills as soon as you leave the city.
On the approach to Winchcombe, after enjoying the views of the Cotswolds from your car, you will see St Kenelm’s Well and Sudeley Castle.
Best scenic drives UK? Tewkesbury is a historic riverside town in Gloucestershire, famous for Tewkesbury Abbey and its role in the War of the Roses. The medieval town is two and a half hours from Central London and a delightful journey.
There are various routes to choose from, but we suggest taking the M4 west, where you will travel through the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Then head north past Swindon and into the pretty Cotswolds by Cirencester.
38. Guiting Power
Romantic road Cotswolds England near London? Guiting Power is another beautiful Cotswolds village and civil parish in the county of Gloucestershire. It sits in the heart of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but it is still just over two hours from the capital.
Look out for Colne Valley Regional Park as you leave London on the M40. As you pass High Wycombe, you will head into the beautiful Chiltern Hills. From here, take the A40 all the way past Burford and into the Cotswolds.
Best countryside drive near me? Fingest is a beautiful rural village. If you are interested in architecture, then it is worth a visit to see the church. Fingest is only a small village, so it’s best to visit if you are planning on walking in the area. It is an excellent location to include as part of a walking tour of the area.
Best UK scenic drives? Snowshill is just north of Guiting Power in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Despite their close proximity, the journey to each from London is slightly different.
For Snowshill, you are best to take the A44 past Woodstock, which is a beautiful country road through the north of the Cotswolds. You will travel through Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh, and Little Compton.
Scenic driving roads near me? Another great destination in Gloucestershire is the village of Naunton. It sits on the edge of the River Windrush with a population of just 350 people. From London, Naunton is 90 miles and takes just over two hours to drive. The route is very scenic, travelling through two separate Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the way.
For a picturesque stop on the way, we recommend Sunnymead, which sits on the River Cherwell just north of Oxford.
Places to drive at night near me? Moreton-in-Marsh is a unique market town in the Evenlode Valley in the county of Gloucestershire. It sits within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, at the crossroads of the A44 and Fosse Way Roman Road. Driving to Moreton-in-Marsh from London takes around two hours, and the route is beautifully scenic.
On the journey, you will head past Blenheim Palace in Blenheim Park, which is truly stunning, so keep your eyes peeled.
Top driving routes near me? Less than 50 miles north of London is the market town of Hitchin. It is famed as being the central place of the Hicce tribe from the early 7th century. It sits within north Hertfordshire and can be reached by car from London in just over an hour.
The journey can be very scenic if you choose the right route. Most satnavs will take you on the M1 for the majority of the journey, but we recommend the A1 if scenery is what you are looking for. You will head through North Mymms Park, Mardley Heath, and you might even be able to spot Knebworth House on route.
44. Ripley Surrey
Places to drive at night near me UK? The village of Ripley is in the green county of Surrey and dates back to Norman times. In the south west of Surrey, it doesn’t mean a journey through the beautiful Surrey Hills, but that doesn’t mean the drive isn’t stunning in its own right.
From London you can drive to Ripley in just one hour, passing famous sights including Richmond Park, Wimbledon, Wisley Common. On the way, you will take the A3 past Crystal Grotto, which is well worth a visit if you have time.
45. Box Hill
Country road near me? Box Hill is a famous summit in the North Downs, part of The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Just 25 miles from Central London is a very popular day out for those looking for a scenic trip.
It takes roughly one hour to drive to Box Hill from London, and as you leave the busy city, you will find expansive countryside views and stunning spots across the Surrey Hills.
Where should I drive to near London? In the Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire is the historic market town of Faringdon. This town is famed for its Folly Tower, which boasts a rich history and sits within the 4 acre woodland of Folly Hill. Faringdon is 80 miles west of London, and on the drive, you will head through the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Try and spot Liddington Hillfort as you approach Swindon and then enjoy the vast countryside surrounding the A420.
Picturesque drive from London? When it comes to scenic road trips from London, the New Forest has to make the list! Burley is a pretty village in Hampshire and 95 miles southwest of the capital.
Most satnavs will direct you down the M3, but for a more scenic route, take the slightly longer way down the A3 and A31. You will drive along the top of the Surrey Hills and South Downs National Park before passing Southampton and heading into the New Forest.
48. New Alresford
Britain’s best driving roads? New Alresford is in the county of Hampshire and is a market town within the city of Winchester. Just 60 miles from London, New Alresford is a beautiful place for a road trip from the city. Head down the A3 past Kingston Upon Thames, and see if you spot Hampton Court Palace in the distance.
Continue down into Surrey and enjoy the beautiful views of the Surrey Hills, and as you head past Guildford, you will drive along the top of the South Downs National Park.
Nice places to drive at night near me? In the picturesque county of Hampshire is the little town of Whitchurch. It is the smallest town in the county, nestled in the beautiful River Test valley. Whitchurch is known as the gateway to the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is just 65 miles from London.
The quickest route is the M3, which does have some nice views across Surrey, but if you have plenty of time and enjoy the drive, then take the longer route down the A3 and A31.
Driving around London? On the banks of the River Wey in Surrey, you will find the ancient market town, Godalming. Godalming is a beautiful area, in the Greensand Ridge, which is a stunning part of the London Metropolitan Green Belt.
London is 40 miles from Godalming, and the drive down into Surrey is particularly pretty. You will drive along the A3 over Hogs Back and past the Jane Austen House Museum, which is worth a stop on route.
Interested in other things than scenic drives near London?
Is it worth going for a drive around London?
While driving around London itself can be a nightmare of traffic, roadworks, and cyclists, going for a drive a little way out of the city is undoubtedly worth it. There are so many lovely destinations in the countryside around London, and the journey getting to them can be just as pleasant as where you are heading.
Most satnavs will take you the most direct route, but taking the time to look at alternatives can help you explore some of the country’s most beautiful locations from the comfort of your car.
If you liked our article, then please check out the below posts too:
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- Oxfordshire things to see
- What to do in the Cotswolds?
- Places to visit in Buckinghamshire
- Top villages in England
- Best places in Hertfordshire
- Country pubs near London
Scenic drives near London FAQ:
There are many great areas around London perfect for a scenic drive. The top areas are Surrey, Cotswolds and New Forest.
If you don’t own a car you can always hire one 😉
There are many beautiful villages in the Cotswolds perfect for a short drive at night.
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