Self-drive minibus hire for day trips: exploring London’s surroundings

Embarking on a journey to explore the charming surroundings of London through self-drive minibus hire is an alluring thought and an adventurous reality. Whether you’re a local resident or a traveller seeking the beauty and history of the United Kingdom, these day trips offer a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

With the wind in your hair and the open road ahead, you’re about to experience the magic of day trips from London. In this guide, we’ll not only unravel the places to visit and the scenic routes to cover but also equip you with essential tips for hiring a self-drive minibus, ensuring your journey is as smooth as it is memorable. So, fasten your seatbelts, pack your sense of adventure, and let’s set forth on a voyage through time, culture, and natural beauty.

CVS Van Hire started in 1961, and we are a reliable minibus and van hire company in the UK. To talk to one of our experts and discuss your self-drive minibus hire requirements, call 020 8808 7236 or email now.

Day trips in London: Places to visit and scenic routes to cover

London, a vibrant metropolis, is surrounded by a treasure trove of captivating destinations that make for perfect day trips. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or just someone looking for a change of scenery, these day trip ideas from London will leave you in awe.

Windsor Castle: A royal beginning to your trip

Our first stop on this day trip extravaganza is Windsor Castle, a royal residence that exudes grandeur and history. Nestled in the quaint town of Windsor, this majestic castle has been a favourite of British monarchs for centuries.

As you approach, the sight of its imposing walls and towers is enough to take your breath away. Step inside to explore the State Apartments, where opulence and artistry blend seamlessly. Don’t forget to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, a quintessential British tradition. Windsor’s charming town, with its cobbled streets and riverside setting, is a delightful addition to your visit.


Next, we head northwest to the “City of Dreaming Spires,” Oxford. This historic city is synonymous with academia and boasts a unique blend of architectural styles, from Gothic to Baroque.

The University of Oxford, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions, adds an air of erudition to the city. Take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets and visit the Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Camera, and the Sheldonian Theatre.

Explore the colleges and their beautifully manicured gardens, and don’t forget to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in one of the city’s charming tearooms.

The Cotswolds: For the scenic bliss

For those yearning for a scenic escape, a drive through the Cotswolds is an absolute must. This designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers a landscape straight out of a postcard. Rolling hills, picturesque villages, and quintessential English countryside surround you at every turn.

Discover Bibury, often called the most beautiful village in England, and wander along Arlington Row, a row of picturesque stone cottages. Explore Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds,” with its lovely bridges and the river Windrush meandering through the town.

The Cotswolds offers hiking and cycling opportunities, and in the spring you can revel in the sight of golden fields of rapeseed in full bloom.


Venture east to the city of Cambridge, famous for its prestigious university and stunning architecture. Here, punting on the river Cam is a quintessential activity. Glide along the serene waters, pass beneath picturesque bridges, and admire the stunning college buildings that line the riverbanks.

Explore King’s College Chapel, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, and visit the renowned Fitzwilliam Museum to immerse yourself in art and history. Cambridge’s atmosphere of scholarship and beauty is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Canterbury: A journey through history

Our journey takes us South East to the historic city of Canterbury, a place steeped in history and culture. At the heart of this city stands Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a magnificent example of Gothic architecture.

Explore the cathedral’s stunning interior, including the shrine of Thomas Becket, a destination for medieval pilgrims. Stroll along the cobbled streets of the old town, where you’ll find charming shops and cafes. Don’t forget to visit the Westgate Towers, the city’s medieval gatehouse, which offers panoramic views of Canterbury.


For a change of pace, head south to the vibrant seaside town of Brighton. Known for its eclectic atmosphere, Brighton boasts a lively arts scene, quirky shops, and a world-famous pier.

Stroll along the pebbled beach, explore the historic Royal Pavilion, and enjoy the amusements and rides on Brighton Pier. The city’s Bohemian spirit is evident in the North Laine, a maze of streets filled with independent boutiques, cafes, and street art. Brighton’s welcoming and diverse community ensures a warm and inclusive atmosphere for all visitors.

The New Forest

Nature enthusiasts will find their haven in the New Forest National Park. Located to the South West of London, this protected area is an expansive playground for those seeking natural beauty and tranquillity. Ancient woodlands, heathlands, and wetlands are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including ponies, deer, and a rich birdlife.

Hiking and cycling trails wind through the park, offering the opportunity to immerse yourself in the forest’s serenity. Beaulieu, a charming village within the park, is home to the Beaulieu Estate, which includes the Beaulieu Palace House and the National Motor Museum.


As you head South East from London, don’t miss the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. These towering chalk cliffs have been a symbol of Britain for centuries.

Explore Dover Castle, a historic marvel perched on the cliffs, offering breathtaking views of the English Channel. The castle’s history spans from the Roman period to World War II, and a visit here is a journey through time. Walk the secret wartime tunnels and enjoy the panoramic vistas from the battlements.

Bath: Roman baths and Georgian elegance

Your day trips from London conclude with a visit to Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site celebrated for its Roman Baths and Georgian architecture. The city’s thermal springs have been a draw for visitors for over 2,000 years.

Explore the Roman Baths, where you can see the well-preserved remains of the ancient bathing and socialising complex. The city’s Georgian architecture, with its elegant terraces, is a sight to behold.

Visit the Royal Crescent and the Circus to admire these architectural gems. Don’t forget to relax in the Thermae Bath Spa, where you can enjoy the thermal waters in a modern and luxurious setting.


On your way back to London, make a stop at the enigmatic Stonehenge. This prehistoric monument is shrouded in mystery and has captured the imaginations of people for centuries.

Marvel at the massive stone circles, some of which weigh up to 25 tons, and contemplate the ancient engineering and cultural significance of this site. The visitor centre provides insights into the history and theories surrounding Stonehenge, allowing you to delve deeper into its enigma.

No matter which direction you decide to head or how far you decide to go, our minibuses will be ideal for you and your fellow travellers. We have a well-maintained fleet that’s ULEZ-compliant. This means you can be stress-free and enjoy your trip to the fullest. Decide between a 9-seat minibus or a 12-seat one and set out for the adventure!

5 tips to hire a self-drive minibus for your London day trip

Hiring a self-drive minibus for your London day trip is an excellent choice, offering flexibility and freedom to explore. However, there are important factors to consider to ensure your journey is smooth and enjoyable.

Choose the right vehicle

Selecting the appropriate minibus is crucial. Consider the size of your group and the amount of luggage you’ll be carrying. Minibuses come in various sizes, so pick one that comfortably accommodates everyone. Also, check for additional amenities like air conditioning and entertainment systems to enhance your journey’s comfort.

Driving requirements

Before you hit the road, make sure you meet the UK’s driving requirements. Ensure that you possess a valid driver’s license and have a good understanding of local traffic regulations. If you’re not from the UK, familiarise yourself with the rules of the road, including driving on the left-hand side and using roundabouts.

Booking in advance

To secure the best deals and guarantee availability, it’s advisable to book your self-drive minibus well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. This ensures that you have access to the type of minibus you desire and prevents last-minute hassles. Advance booking also allows you to compare prices and choose the most budget-friendly option.

Be sure to book your minibus from a reputable company that maintains its vehicles and provides you with suitable options. With us, you get a daily 150-mile allowance, low security deposits, optional insurance excess, a 24-hour return drop-off option, and more.

Insurance and documentation

Verify the insurance coverage provided with the minibus rental. It’s essential to understand what is included and what is not. Ensure you have all the necessary documents with you, including your ID, reservation details, and driver’s license. Having these ready will expedite the rental process and provide peace of mind during your trip.

Plan your route

Before embarking on your day trip, take the time to plan your routes. Use GPS or navigation apps to ensure that you stay on the right path. Research your chosen destinations and consider where you’ll park the minibus when you arrive. Well-planned routes help prevent unnecessary detours and keep your journey on track.


As your day trips from London draw to a close, you find yourself not just at the end of a journey but at the beginning of a treasure trove of memories. The destinations you’ve explored, from the royal elegance of Windsor Castle to the intellectual charm of Oxford, have left indelible imprints on your heart. The scenic routes you’ve ventured along have painted vivid pictures in your mind, and the experiences you’ve gathered will forever be a part of your travel tales.

We hope that this guide has not only served as your compass but also as your source of inspiration for future adventures. Consider CVS Van Hire, a highly experienced and local minibus hire company in London. We have a great range of fleet to help make your upcoming London day trip a huge success! Contact us now to get started.

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