As England’s Prince Harry makes plans to wed Meghan Markle, thousands of visitors from around the world are expected to descend on London. If you’re planning to join the fun, keep in mind that the notoriously pricey London accommodation rates are likely to skyrocket during the royal wedding. Fortunately, England boasts an excellent train and bus system, so you can save money by staying in towns and communities surrounding London. There are an abundance of lovely England vacation rentals to choose from. Best of all, most are an easy train ride to and from the city proper, so you can pop into the capital each day to participate in the wedding festivities.
Enjoy a relaxed coastal vibe in Southend-on-Sea, a resort community located less than an hour from London by train. Vacation rentals in this small town tend to be casual and comfortable, so you can feel right at home during your visit. While you’re in town, be sure to ride the roller coasters at Adventure Island, catch a legendary ocean sunset, and enjoy a stroll down the large Southend Pier – the largest pleasure pier in the world.
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Beautiful Cambridge sits less than an hour’s train ride from Kings Cross Station in London. Here, you can stay in a charming country cottage or a boutique houseboat, all just minutes on foot from the train station. This charming spot is a tourist attraction in its own right – don’t miss a boat ride on the River Cam, a stroll through the stunning University of Cambridge campus, or a visit to the famous Bridge of Sighs.
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Wake up in a gorgeous historic stone flat in Oxford, another of England’s famous university towns. Plan an extra day to enjoy the city – feel like Harry Potter as you explore the University of Oxford campus, walk along the River Thames, and spend a few hours enjoying the flowers at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden. Central London is just an hour away by train, so you can be in the city quickly.
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Combine your royal wedding adventure with a stay in Brighton, one of England’s legendary seaside towns. Just an hour outside of London by train, this charming spot feels like a different world. From your airy ocean-view vacation rental, enjoy a stroll down the Brighton Palace Pier or tour the remarkable Asian-inspired Royal Pavilion palace. A large beach is a great place to rest when the sun comes out; if it’s cool, head to The Lanes shopping area to wander the narrow corridors.
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Stay 40 minutes from London in Amersham, a charming community that was once the home of the real-life Christopher Robin, the son of “Winnie the Pooh” author A.A. Milne. Feel like a local in a classic brick row house, and enjoy a walk along the high street en route to the train station each morning. Elsewhere in town, enjoy the gardens at Chenies Manor, a Tudor mansion, or take a tour through the Hell-Fire Caves.
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Ease into the pace of London suburban life in Twickenham, the home of the Twickenham Stadium, the largest rugby stadium in the world. Book vacation rentals in one of the city’s stunning 18th-century brick buildings and wake up to a view over the rooftops; many have small balconies where you can take your morning coffee. Before you take the 30-minute train ride into the city, explore the gardens at Richmond Park or stop into the World Rugby Museum.
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Indulge in England’s best oysters in Whitstable, a breezy seaside village. Book a charming clapboard cottage to get the full experience, and spend your mornings strolling down the beach and marveling at the candy-colored homes. If you have time, check out the fascinating Maunsell Forts, a series of WWII-era armed towers that stand in the water offshore. A train ride into London takes less than an hour and a half.
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Stay overlooking the River Thames in Gravesend, a small community located about 30 minutes outside of London by train. This friendly town is a great option if you’re traveling with a group; choose from a variety of multi-bedroom properties without breaking the bank. Rich in history, Gravesend has plenty to keep you occupied. Check out the Gravesend Clock Tower, the New Tavern Fort, and the beautiful Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Sikh temple.
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Get the feel for typical English life in Watford, a friendly town that sits just 20 minutes by train from London. Book a vacation rental in one of the city’s casual Victorian-era homes, and enjoy being within walking distance of small shops and pubs. Nearby, explore Cassiobury Park, check out the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London to see the “Harry Potter” sets, or catch a Watford Football Club game.
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If you’re a history buff, head straight for Arundel. Although this stunning town is about 1.5 hours outside of London by train, the fantastic historic attractions are worth the extra distance. Check out Arundel Castle, which dates back to 1067, and tour the majestic Cathedral Church of Our Lady and St Philip Howard. Many vacation rentals in Arundel have a distinct English charm; choose from shepherd’s huts, country cottages surrounded by flowering gardens, or grand country homes.
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