GREAT PLACES TO VISIT
Less than an hour from London.
A magical day out
Immerse yourself in the wizarding world at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter. When the final Harry Potter movie wrapped, a magical trove of treasures was left behind and in 2016, the set opened as an attraction. Contained within two soundstages where, among original props and costumes, you can walk down Diagon Alley, visit Dumbledore's office, see the original Hogwarts Express, and pose by Platform 9¾. Catch the train from London Euston to Watford Junction, then a shuttle bus, and you'll be knocking at Hogwarts within 40 minutes.
A thrilling race
Travel to Epsom, home to the world's greatest flat horse race, the Epsom Derby, which takes place this year from the 1-2 June. They have had the privilege of welcoming Her Majesty The Queen to The Derby for nearly 70 years. It's also where suffragette Emily Davison died after being knocked down by the King's horse while raising awareness of women's rights.
A historic home
Catch the fast train from Kings Cross and you're outside Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, in 20 minutes. The main building, the Old Palace, dates back to 1485, was owned by Henry VIII and was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth I, while the Jacobean-era Hatfield House was built in 1611. Take a tour, to include the very spot where Elizabeth I discovered she'd become Queen of England.
A Royal retreat
Windsor Castle is the weekend home of Queen Elizabeth II, and the venue of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's upcoming nuptials. Tour the 11th-century castle and grounds, and admire the lavish State Apartments and SemiState Rooms, carefully restored after the 1992 fire. Catch a 40-minute mainline train from Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central, and it's a five-minute walk to the castle entrance.
Taking the water
Jump on a train at London's Charing Cross and you can be in Royal Tunbridge Wells in just 50 minutes. This Kent spa town first found fame 400 years ago when the iron-rich Chalybeate Spring was discovered, and the gentry flocked to ‘cure' ailments from infertility to hangovers. You can still taste the healing waters today –in the summer, the water is served by a traditional ‘dipper' in Georgian costume.