Every year, millions of tourists from all over the world make their way to London to enjoy a wonderful city break amid some of the most famous landmarks on the planet. And while the huge collection of historic buildings, instantly recognisable bridges and iconic parks is enough to keep them occupied throughout their stay, sometime it would be nice to get away from the bustling metropolis for a few hours.

Many visitors return home at the end of their trip without even realising how many other fascinating places were within a short distance of their accommodation.

Here, for those who would prefer a few hours away from the hustle and bustle during their vacation, are five locations that are well worth a visit, and are no more than an hour away from the centre of the UK’s capital city.

1. Brighton

Located on the coast of Sussex, Brighton has been a hugely popular holiday destination for many years. It’s home to the magnificent Royal Pavilion, as well as a host of other hugely impressive historic buildings. These days, it’s a lively city with an exciting nightlife that includes dozens of live music venues. On a sunny afternoon, be sure to visit the Palace Pier in a bid to see what makes UK seaside resorts so loved.

Royal Pavilion Brighton

2. Battle

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 changed England forever, and established a line of monarchy that still exists to this day. The village of Battle, a few miles inland from Hastings, is where the conflict took place, and these days the visiting tourist can walk in the footsteps of history by going to the site. Be sure to see the remains of Battle Abbey, which is home to an excellent visitor centre.

3. Colchester

Just sixty miles from the centre of London you’ll find the Essex town of Colchester, an ancient settlement that was England’s capital in Roman times. The famous Colchester Castle, built in Norman times, is still largely complete and is well worth a visit. The keep is the largest of its kind ever built in Britain. The town is also home to a highly regarded zoo, which features more than 5,000 animals.

5. Guildford

A sedate and attractive town in the heart of Surrey, Guildford is located on the main A3 London-Portsmouth road. It has a thriving local cultural scene thanks to numerous art galleries and museums, and the shopping area is large enough for all lovers of retail therapy. Former residents of Guildford include the writers PG Wodehouse and Lewis Carroll.

6. Windsor

The royal county of Berkshire is home to many beautiful towns on the iconic banks of the River Thames, and Windsor is perhaps the jewel in the crown. Located to the west of London, it’s a popular tourist attraction in its own right thanks to the proximity of the magnificent Windsor Castle.

David Showell lives in the UK and works for http://www.comparecarhire.co.uk.

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