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Chislehurst Caves

Five incredible spur-of-the-moment experiences outside London you didn’t know existed

When was the last time you embraced the spontaneous? Hit the road and discover these quirky destinations

Written by Time Out. Paid for by SEAT.

There’s nothing like a day trip to reignite your sense of adventure. We’ve teamed up with SEAT, and their new seven-seater Tarraco SUV, to bring you five eye-opening experiences. What are you waiting for?

For more tips on (delicious) UK getaways, check out these three spur-of-the-moment foodie pilgrimages from London, or visit our full list of amazing trips to take in the UK this spring.

We're giving away an awesome weekend away in a new SEAT Tarraco! Here's how to enter.

For the art lover

Turner Contemporary – Margate

How far? Two hours.
Why go? There are plenty of reasons to visit Kent’s hottest seaside town, but one of the main draws has to be the brilliant Turner Contemporary gallery. It’s situated right on the seafront, and you’ll find thought-provoking temporary exhibitions of contemporary art – including the prestigious Turner Prize later this year – along with a café offering great views. Best of all, admission is free.

For the gig-goer

De La Warr Pavilion – Bexhill-on-Sea

How far? Two hours.
Why go? For a sleepy seaside town in East Sussex, there sure is a lot going on in Bexhill-on-Sea, thanks to this thriving arts and culture hub. It puts on an excellent programme of gigs and performances, from big bands to local talent.


For the explorer

Chislehurst Caves

How far? One hour.
Why go? Did you know there’s a huge network of tunnels and caverns beneath south-east London? Chislehurst ‘Caves’ is a 22-mile labyrinth of man-made tunnels that were once used as chalk and flint mines, dating back to the thirteenth century. They have since been used as everything from air-raid shelters to gig venues (David Bowie, Status Quo, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd all performed here). To have a nose around and learn about the caves’ rich history, just turn up and join one of 
the fascinating tours that take place on the hour from 10am to 4pm.

For the foodie

Mersea Island

How far? Two hours. 
Why go? This small estuary island in Essex has some of the freshest seafood around. Head to unassuming seaside shack The Company Shed. Or if the queue is too long, pop up the road to the West Mersea Oyster Bar. Just be sure to check the tide times first; otherwise you may be unable to drive over the prone-to-flooding causeway that links Mersea to the mainland!


For the shopper

The Lanes – Brighton

How far? Two hours. 
Why go? Forget the high street. For the best selection of independent boutiques and shops around, you need to go to The Lanes in Brighton. In this cute maze of historic streets, you’ll find vintage clothes, vegan shoes, records, kids’ toys, bespoke jewellery and chocolate. Make sure you allow for time to explore Snooper’s Paradise: a treasure trove of retro clothes and furniture, antiques, old books and wonderful knick-knacks.

Win a fabulous weekend away in a new SEAT Tarraco

We're giving away one of four amazing adventures
  • Things to do

Imagine this: a new, seven-seater SEAT Tarraco is delivered to your door. You and three friends drive to one of four spectacular locations of your choice – the Jurassic Coast, Bath and Bristol, Galloway Forest Park or the Lake District – and enjoy four days of amazing, curated experiences.

To enter, all you need to do is tell us in 25 words or less: If you could drop everything right now, where would you go, and what would you do?

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More travel tips

Fantastic UK escapes
  • Travel
  • getaways

No matter how long you've lived in the UK, we guarantee that you haven't explored all its best bits. Together with SEAT, we've put together a guide to some bucket-list locations that are perfect for a day trip or a weekend away. 

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