7 Crossrail Day Trips To Try

By Hannah Seaton Last edited 10 months ago
7 Crossrail Day Trips To Try

One of the lesser-sung boons of the new Crossrail network, is that it'll introduce Londoners to parts of the city — and further afield — they're unfamiliar with. Here are seven places we're looking forward to getting to know better.

The nuclear bunker at Kelvedon. Photo: Adam Foster in creative commons.

Brentwood

Brentwood is (in)famously the stomping ground of the TOWIE crew. Crossrail will make it even easier to don some fake tan and visit the Sugar Hut, or get a new vajazzle at Amy Child's Salon.

Something local we reckon the stars of TOWIE haven't explored so much are the varied historical sights of Brentwood, including the three-storey Kelvedon Hatch nuclear bunker — active until as recently as 1992. This government hideout could hold up to 600 civilian and military personnel, and over 120 tonnes of equipment.

The Olympic Park: not too shoddy.

Stratford

After Team GB's record-breaking medal haul at Rio, relive London 2012 with a trip to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Attempt a record of your own in Zaha Hadid's spaceship-like pool, or if you'd prefer to leave that to the experts, take a tour of the rest of the venues where the medals were won.

Once you've reminisced about the Olympics enough, plough further into your childhood with a ride on the slide that twists and turns around the UK's tallest sculpture — the Orbit. Then hire a bike from the View Tube and cycle up to the Lea Valley marshes for wilderness and waterside breweries.

Moby Golf.

Chadwell Heath

Long before there was hipster golf, there was the Moby Golf Course. Based around the literary cetacean rather than the bland, bald musician, this course offers good old-fashioned putting, and not an Aperol spritz in sight. OK, it's about 30 minutes' walk from the station, but you're guaranteed a whale of a time.

Maidenhead: it's time you went. Photo: Tom Bastin in creative commons.

Maidenhead

Follow the Thames west all the way to the surprisingly pretty Maidenhead. It's got pleasant Thames-side walks and Ray Mill Island, which kids will love. It's also where they now film Later... With Jools Holland (good luck getting tickets).

Amble south for 45 minutes and you'll come to the village of Bray, home to Michel Roux's three-Michelin starred restaurant — the only restaurant in the UK to have retained all three stars since they were awarded, way back in 1985.

Woolwich: home to maritime history and good beer. Photo: World of Tim.

Woolwich

Woolwich is steeped in fascinating naval and scientific history. For example, in 1695, the Royal Laboratory was established here, manufacturing explosives to arm the naval ships built in the dockyard.

After a morning of diving into nautical history, and riding the Woolwich Ferry back and forth, go for a pint or two at the Dial Arch pub situated in an old munitions factory. (The unique architecture more than makes up for the drinks selection.) Then get a proper pint at Hop Stuff Brewery.

Learn to fly at Denham Aerodrome.

Iver

Just eight stops from Paddington is the heart of Colne Valley Regional Park — the first open stretch of countryside to the west of London.

Its wild, open greenery is peppered with lakes and rivers, offering guided wildlife walks, fishing, horse riding and boat trips. Or you can learn to fly at Denham Aerodrome.

Lesnes Abbey. Photo: David Fisher.

Abbey Wood

A few miles from Greenwich sit Lesnes Abbey ruins, dating back to 1178. The site was excavated around 1909 and opened to the public as a park in 1939. The views north across London are unrivaled in this area.

Down the slope from the abbey, is the brutalist Thamesmead estate, filming location for A Clockwork Orange, and fascinating in its own right. And you're not far from one of the world's most decadent sewage pumping systems, at Crossness.

Last Updated 09 January 2017