12 Magical Day Trips From London This April

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 7 months ago

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12 Magical Day Trips From London This April
Hever Castle is always enchanting, even more so when the tulips are out

Exciting events happening outside the capital in April, all doable in a day trip.

CARRIAGE RIDES: Feel like royalty on a horse-drawn carriage ride around Windsor Great Park. Sit back and enjoy the scenery, including 18th century woodland, lakes and gardens, as horses Henry and Delwyn lead the way. Oh, and look out for the new neighbours. From 1 April (Berkshire)

GRINGOTTS OPENS: Good news if you've been waiting for somewhere magical to deposit your knuts and galleons — wizarding bank Gringotts is opening a Hertfordshire branch. It's the latest addition to the Harry Potter studio tour and it looks rather fancy, with marble columns and crystal chandeliers. As well as visiting the banking hall, muggles are invited inside the Lestrange Vault, where the Sword of Gryffindor is stored. From 6 April (Hertfordshire)

Gringott's Wizarding Bank opens for business

VINEYARD TOURS: Did you know that Kent — nicknamed the Garden of England — is home to wine-producing vineyards? Take a guided tour of Biddenden Vineyards, visiting the vines and the winery, and finishing up with a tasting. Biddenden also producers ciders and juices — so plenty of liquid refreshments available to buy to take home. 6 April-September (Kent)

SCOTT'S GROTTO: In a chalk hillside in Ware, Hertfordshire, you'll find a series of interconnected manmade chambers, collectively known as Scott's Grotto. It took 30 years to complete, and the walls are lined with shells, flints, and coloured glass. It opens to the public on Saturdays and bank holidays between April and September. 6 April-September (Hertfordshire)

Photo: Londonist

CONCORDE DAY: Go for the buses, stay for Concorde, is what we said about the London Bus Museum when we visited in 2017. But Concorde takes centre stage at Brooklands on Concorde Day, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the supersonic plane's maiden flight. Browse a new exhibition, watch live demonstrations, chats to former Concorde crew and pilots, and take home a souvenir from the pop-up shop. 13 April (Surrey)

BLUEBELL WALK: Hole Park Gardens in Cranbrook has one of the best bluebell displays in the country. Take a woodland walk and enjoy the spectacle — check the 'bluebell barometer' on the website to find out when the flowers are looking their best. Take a few snaps and watch the Instagram likes roll in. 15 April-10 May (Kent)

Take a Sea Searcher boat trip and look out for seals

SEAL WATCHING: Get up close to the seals living in the Thames Estuary on a boat tour, leaving from Ramsgate Harbour. Trips are timed to coincide with high tide, when there's the best chance of seeing seals. Kepp 'em peeled for sea birds and other wildlife too. 18/20 April (Kent)

CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL: It wouldn't be Easter without heaps of chocolate, so head to Cressing Temple near Braintree for the chocolate festival. Cocoa specialists and artisan chocolate makers sell their wares, including vegan and low sugar versions of the good stuff, and there are talks and workshops throughout the day. 19 April (Essex)

Watch the Easter joust at Hedingham Castle

TRANSPORT FEST: Classic cars, military vehicles and other unusual types of transport are on display at the Museum of Power's TransportFest, along with stalls, music and entertainment. The museum's miniature steam train offers rides, and the model village is open too, for visitors to make a day of it. 21 April (Essex)

JOUSTING: Travel back to Medieval times and watch knights go head to head in a jousting tournament at Hedingham Castle. The display takes place in a bustling arena, surrounded by food, drink and craft stalls. Have a go at jousting yourself on the UK's only rolling jousting horse — a model which carries riders past targets for practice. 21-22 April (Essex)

Visit the Vulcan at Southend Airport

TULIP FESTIVAL: Once home to Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle is an enchanting building — and it looks even better when the tulips are in bloom. Wander through the gardens, with their maze, lake and Italian Garden, and see the colourful flowers in bloom. More than 21,000 of them have been planted, so remember your camera. 24-30 April (Kent)

VISIT THE VULCAN: The Vulcan Restoration Trust invites the public to get up close to the planes at Southend Airport. See inside the cockpit of the former Royal Air Force bombers. A vintage fire engine is also on display, along with examples of 1,000lb bombs the Vulcan dropped on Port Stanley airfield during the Falklands War. 28 April (Essex)

For further ideas for things to do near London, peruse our guide to day trips from the capital — we've even put together a handy map.

Last Updated 11 April 2019