MIND THE GAP: Scudamore´s Punting Company in Cambridge
Iain Lewis

Steal away from the big city for a while and lose yourself in these three English escapes.

London is one of the most-visited cities in the world, and with good reason. But not far from the big city, several other English destinations have much to offer in the way of dining, sightseeing and culture. If you’re planning a trip to London, consider making room in your schedule for these easily accessible daytrips to Bath, Cambridge and Brighton, all about an hour’s train ride away. You’ll see sides of England you’ve never seen before — and be glad you did.

SEE: You can see Roman influences throughout this UNESCO World Heritage city, but most notably in the excavated remains of the original Roman Baths. The adjoining Pump Room, which was built in the 18th century, serves Bath mineral water as well as afternoon tea.
DO: You can bathe in Bath’s thermal waters at Thermae Bath Spa. This luxury spa spans four restored Georgian buildings and one contemporary­ new complex. Visitors can try any of the four natural baths that bubble up from underground.
EAT/DRINK: Bath is most famous for its buns, and Sally Lunn’s has been serving the lightly sweetened bread since 1680. This is not to be confused with the Bath bun, which dates back to 1761. The Bath Bun Tea Shoppe specializes in these buns, which are generally sweeter.

SEE: You can’t visit Cambridge without taking in the famous University of Cambridge. The university, founded in 1209, is actually 31 separate colleges spread throughout the city. If you’re pressed for time, head to the Perpendicular Gothic King’s College Chapel and explore.
DO: Punting on the River Cam is a unique way to see the city. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent one of these gondolalike boats and try to navigate the shallow Cam yourself. If not, you can hire an eager Cambridge student to give you a rowing tour.
EAT/DRINK: The Roof Terrace at the Varsity ­Hotel is one of Cambridge’s top spots for ­cocktails. The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill toes the line between modern and classic in all aspects. The menu focuses on modern British cuisine, with several local delicacies.

SEE: With its wide swath of sand along the English Channel, Brighton Beach is the clear attraction in this effervescent seaside town. Since its opening in 1899, the scenic Brighton Pier has attracted everyone from royal dignitaries to movie stars.
DO: The domed Royal Pavilion is Brighton’s own seaside palace. This spectacular structure was originally built by George IV as a coastal escape. The opulent interior features all kinds of stylish surprises, like decor from the Far East.
EAT/DRINK: The English seaside is the home of fish and chips. The Regency Restaurant, which opened in 1930, serves locally caught fish at affordable prices. Since 1926, Bardsley’s of Baker Street has served a creative rotation of seafood specials as well as the standard fish and chips.

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