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Whether you are visiting for the first time or a local looking for the best day trips from Bristol, UK, you’ll be in for a treat here!

Bristol is a beautiful and lively city but it’s also an excellent base to explore South West England and South Wales.

There are many day trips you can take from Bristol. They include small villages, English Heritage sites, seaside towns and plenty more!

As the city is also conveniently located near Wales, you get a huge variety of landscapes and can choose to spend your day out in England as much as in Wales.

Best Places to visit within 1 hour of Bristol

Let’s start by the easy days out. You will find here the best places to visit outside Bristol. They are all located within 1-hour of the city and will be perfect if you want to stay local.

1. Bath

Bath in England
Bath is one of the best day trips from Bristol by train

πŸš™ Distance: 13 miles / 30 minutes

Bath is one of the largest cities in the county of Somerset and one of the best day trips from Bristol for history buffs and Bridgerton fans.

It sits in the valley of the River Avon and was named after the Roman baths. It’s also filled with quaint street and little local boutiques.

HOW TO GET TO BATH FROM BRISTOL: The best way is to take the train.

It’s only 20 minutes, quite cheap and you will arrive in the centre. See prices here.

Although you can drive there, it will take you a bit more time and you will have to pay for car park. All in all, if you have to choose between the car and the train, take the train!

Alternatively, you can opt for a day tour from Bristol which includes a guided tour with a local guide.

2. Cheddar

Cheddar in Somerset
Cheddar gorge in Somerset

πŸš™ Distance: 19 miles / 40 minutes

Tthe village of Cheddar is an excellent destination for a day out from Bristol if you love the outdoors.

It’s home to the stunning Cheddar Gorge, a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills with a rugged terrain and beautiful scenery.

You’ll also find the oldest complete skeleton, known as cheddar man, which is believed to be 9000 years old. It was found in Gough’s Cave in 1903.

Strolling around the village is also a pleasant thing to do. Make sure to stop in one of the cheese shops and get some cheddar. It’s absolutely delicious!

HOW TO GET TO CHEDDAR GORGE FROM BRISTOL: The best way to get there is by car. Not only is it the easiest way but it’s also a very scenic drive.

Alternatively, you can opt for a day tour from Bristol which also includes Wells.

Click here to see the latest prices.

3. Wells

Cathedral of Wells

πŸš™ Distance: 22 miles / 45 minutes

Located only 45 minutes from Bristol, Wells is one of the smallest cities in the UK and an excellent day trip for families and history lovers.

The main attraction is Wells Cathedral. Located in the centre of the town, this gothic edifice is rather impressive.

Just next to it, you’ll find the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens. This is a great place to visit with children. Not only is it beautiful but it’s also a very quiet and relaxing place.

You should also make sure to wander around and discover the beautiful streets of Wells especially Vicar’s Close which is the oldest purely residential street in Europe.

If you love British movie, you will also be happy to know that Wells is home to some Hot Fuzz filming locations!

HOW TO GET TO WELLS FROM BRISTOL: You can easily get to Wells by car. It’s a rather nice drive as you will go through the countryside. You can easily park your car in Wells although you may have to pay for that.

If you don’t want to drive, you can also take the bus 376. It goes to Glastonbury but stops in Wells before that. It takes a bit over 1 hour.

Finally, you can also opt for a guided day tour from Bristol which includes both Wells and Cheddar Gorge.

See prices here.

4. Long Ashton

ashton court in Long Ashton

πŸš™ Distance: 4 miles / 15 minutes

If you want to visit a cute village near Bristol, opt for Long Ashton.

It’s a very pretty place to visit and you’ll find local cafes and pubs where you can get a meal.

It’s also home to a fantastic property, Ashton Court Mansion.

Finally, it’s a great place to go on a hot balloon ride. If you’ve always dreamt of doing that and want to discover Bristol under a new angle, that will be perfect for you!

HOW TO GET THERE: You can either drive to Long Ashton or take the bus X9 from the Centre. Either way, it’s very quick, only 15 minutes.

5. The Cotswolds

Water Lane Castle Combe Cotswolds
cotswolds street

πŸš™ Distance: 17 miles / 25 minutes

Suitable for couples, families, solo travellers and adventure seekers, the Cotswolds are one of the most unique places in the UK.

You will find farms, quintessential villages, lively towns, and plenty of castles and country houses to explore.

The most popular villages to visit in the Cotswolds are Bourton-on-the-Water, Castle Combe and Burton (the last two are closer to Bristol).

Castle Combe is a prime example of fairytale village in England and was also used as a filming location for many movies.

If you are a fan of Jeremy Clarkson, you can go to Diddly Squat Farm which is the one featured in the Amazon Prime show.

You will also find quite a few National Trust properties here including the Snowshill Manor.

READ MORE: National Trust Membership Review: is it worth it?

HOW TO GET TO THE COTSWOLDS: Although there are train stations all around the Cotswolds, this is definitely an area you should explore by car.

It’s a quick drive from Bristol and you will be able to visit several villages in the same day.

6. Cardiff

cardiff in wales

πŸš™ Distance: 44 miles / 55 minutes

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales. It’s very close, making it an ideal option when it comes to day trips from Bristol city centre.

Cardiff is everything you would expect from a capital city while still having a “small town feel” to it.

It is filled with high street shops, busy streets filled with boutiques, bars, and restaurants, as well as Cardiff Castle to explore.

You can go on a boat tour of Cardiff Bay and discover all the famous landmarks. It’s a fun thing to do as well as a pretty cheap activity. See prices here.

If you love discovering filming locations, you’ll also be in for a treat! Some very famous movies and series were filmed in Cardiff.

If you want to discover them, you can go on a Gavin and Stacey tour from Barry Island or a Doctor Who walking tour in Cardiff city centre.

Finally, if you are a foodie, you can also opt for a food tasting tour in Cardiff. You’ll get to discover the famous sights and taste 6 different food and drinks. See prices here.

HOW TO GET TO CARDIFF FROM BRISTOL: The best way is to take the train. It’s very quick (50 minutes) and also pretty cheap. See the latest fares here.

7. Weston-Super-Mare

Beach in Weston Super Mare

πŸš™ Distance: 22 miles / 45 minutes

Weston-Super-Mare is a cute seaside town in the county of Somerset. It’s a popular day out from Bristol, especially for families.

You’ll find a long beach where you can go for a walk or, in summer, for a swim.

The Pier is one of the best places to visit. You’ll get to enjoy the views over the beach and play with the arcade games.

You’ll also find many fish and chips along the promenade. Make sure to grab one for lunch as they are incredibly delicious!

You can also visit one of the two museums in the town, The Helicopter Museum and Weston Museum.

Fish and chips in Weston Super Mare

HOW TO GET TO WESTON-SUPER-MARE FROM BRISTOL: The best way to get there is by car. It only takes 45 minutes and it’s very easy. Also, if you are planning to go to the beach, it will come in handy to have a car to carry your stuff.

Weston-Super-Mare is also an option if you are looking for day trips from Bristol by public transport since you can take the train from Temple Meads. It’s direct but takes 90 minutes (that’s the only downside). See fares here.

8. Wookey Hole

πŸš™ Distance: 19 miles / 45 minutes

Wookey Hole is a small village in Somerset with small shops and cute eateries. It’s particularly known for its caves and caverns. The most popular attraction is the Wookey Hole Caves.

Wookey Hall is also a great place to visit for families, especially with younger children.

It is only a short distance away from Bristol city centre and will give you the peace and tranquillity you expect from village life without you running out of things to do.

As it’s very close to Wells you can also combine these 2 locations into the same day trip.

HOW TO GET THERE: You need to drive to get to Wookey Hole. It only takes 45 minutes from Bristol.

9. Glastonbury

Little town of Glastonbury in south england

πŸš™ Distance: 27 miles / 55 minutes

Glastonbury is famous in the entire world for its music festival. As much as it is a great festival to attend, the town of Glastonbury itself is also one of the best places to visit near Bristol.

It’s a quiet and quaint town with colourful houses, cute little cafes and a friendly atmosphere.

Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic day trip from Bristol or a family with young children, Glastonbury will be an excellent destination.

You can walk around the town and discover the colourful murals before heading to Glastonbury Tor and Abbey.

The Somerset Rural Life Museum is also an interesting place to visit and quite good fun, especially with kids.

Finally, you can also hit two birds with one stone by visiting South Cadbury Castle on the same day. It’s located about 30 minutes from Glastonbury and is a great thing to do if you like to discover ancient ruins. You can also book a tour from Glastonbury for this part.

HOW TO GET TO GLASTONBURY FROM BRISTOL: You can easily get there by car. Parking is easy and often free.

If you don’t want to drive, you can also take bus 376 from Bristol city centre.

10. Puxton Park

πŸš™ Distance: 17 miles / 33 minutes

Puxton Park is a great location for families as there are facilities such as soft play, aerial climbing and slides and approximately 40 acres of open countryside.

It’s the perfect place to run off some energy and have some fun and is only a short distance from Bristol city centre.

Tickets can be bought online and are pretty affordable. They also offer annual memberships.

HOW TO GET THERE: It’s an easy 30 minutes drive from Bristol. There is a carpark there.

11. Chew Valley Lake

Chew Valley Lake

πŸš™ Distance: 12 miles / 30 minutes

The Chew Valley Lake is one of the largest artificial lakes in the UK with an area of 1200 acres and a great location for families to walk around and for couples.

It’s also a great spot for wildlife so if you are an avid bird watcher then this should be added to the list of day trips from Bristol.

With a picnic area and also plenty of walking trails, it could also suit people who enjoy hiking.

HOW TO GET TO CHEW VALLEY LAKE FROM BRISTOL: The best way is to drive there. It’s very easy, it only takes 30 minutes and will be the most convenient way.

12. Clevedon

Clevedon in Somerset

πŸš™ Distance: 13 miles / 30 minutes

Clevedon is a cute English town west of Bristol. It is a traditional Victorian seaside town that offers an excellent high street filled with shops, great bars, and restaurants but also the option of cliff-top walks.

If you love the tradition of an English seaside day out then eating some fish and chips and enjoying an ice cream on the beach is also a great option.

HOW TO GET THERE: Driving is the quickest and cheapest way to get there. It only takes 30 minutes and you can easily park there.

13. Gloucester

Gloucester in england

πŸš™ Distance: 40 miles / 45 minutes

Gloucester is a city near the Cotswolds. It’s known for 11th-century cathedral which has Romanesque and Gothic architecture as well as the tomb of King Edward II.

Not only are there quaint streets but you’ll also find docks with restored Victorian warehouses.

The National Waterways Museum is also worth a visit. You’ll learn plenty about the industrial past.

14. Burnham-on-sea

Burnham-on-sea in england

πŸš™ Distance: 31 miles / 45 minutes

If you are looking for another quintessential English seaside town then Burnham-on-sea will be a great option.

Make sure to stroll along the promenade with the family, enjoy some classic fish and chips and embrace the beautiful sandy beaches.

You can also visit the St Andrew’s Church and go golfing.

Best places to visit within 2 hours of Bristol

Now if you are willing to drive a little more, here are the best places to visit around Bristol.

15. Salisbury & Stonehenge

Stonehenge in England

πŸš™ Distance: 51 miles / 1 h 35 minutes

Salisbury is a medieval city that makes for a fantastic day trip from Bristol by train. It is a bit further out, but it is so worth it.

Aside from the town being full of history and stunning architecture, there is one main attraction that brings the tourists in year after year, Stonehenge.

It is believed that the stones were brought there across from Wales thousands of years ago and are a religious element where the sun rises and sets.

It is a fantastic location, perfect for anyone who takes an interest in the stone-age period or for families who have children learning about it in school.

HOW TO GET THERE: If you only want to visit Salisbury, the best way is to take the train from Temple Meads. It’s only 1 hour and will save you time. See fares.

If you also want to visit Stonehenge, it will be better to drive so you can easily access both locations.

Finally, you can also opt for a guided day tour from Bristol.

Click here to see the prices.

16. Brecon Beacons National Park

Brecon Beacons in Wales

πŸš™ Distance: 75 miles / 1 h 50 minutes

Located a bit less than 2 hours from Bristol, the Brecon Beacons are one of the 3 national parks in Wales.

If you love outdoor activities and cute little villages, you will be in for a treat here!

You will find some of the best hikes in the UK! Make sure to go on the horseshoe ridge walk up to Pen-y-fan. This is the highest peak in the Beacons and the views are absolutely stunning!

Admittedly, the hike is a bit challenging but it’s well worth it.

If you are into history, you can visit one of the numerous castles in the area such as Abergavenny, Brecon or Crickhowell Castles.

Finally, get lunch in one of the local pubs in the cute towns of Brecon, Crickhowell or Hay on Wye.

HOW TO GET THERE: You will need to drive to get the Beacons. Although there are a couple of train stations, it’s not worth taking the train. You will need a car to go to Pen-Y-Fan anyway and you’ll have more flexibility if you are driving.

17. Exmoor National Park

Exmoor national park in devon

πŸš™ Distance: 63 miles / 1 h 30 minutes

Exmoor National Park is an excellent day trip from Bristol for outdoor lovers.

If you love hiking, you will be for a treat! There are many walking trails in the area. Climbing up to Dunkery Beacon is a popular thing to do. You can also walk the South West Coast Path if you’d rather some sea views.

You can also go horse riding there. The Burrowhayes Farm Riding Stables offer some horse trekking options.

If you are into history, make sure to visit Dunster Working Watermill, Cleeve Abbey or Dunster Castle

HOW TO GET THERE: As for any national park, the best way to get there is by car. It will be easier and will give you more flexibility.

18. Malvern

Malvern in england

πŸš™ Distance: 62 miles / 1 h 10 minutes

Malvern consists of 3 towns: Great Malvern, Barnards Green, and Malvern Link.

They all have their own centres offering something different for shoppers and tourists, so you are bound to find something that interests you.

One of the highlights is the Great Malvern Priory which is a stunning monastery. You can also go for a walk in Priory Park.

HOW TO GET THERE: Driving is the quickest way to get there. It takes 1h10.

Alternatively, you can take the train from Bristol but it will take 2 hours. See fares here.

19. Stourhead


πŸš™ Distance: 35 miles / 1 h 10 minutes

Stourhead is a 1072 hectare estate by the River Stour. It is a National Trust property so you can expect all of the usual things that go along with that including trails, events and beautiful surroundings.

You can see the Palladian house and go for a walk around the estate and gardens.

You will need to book your tickets in advance on the National Trust website. If you are a member, the entrance will be free but it’s still recommended to book.

HOW TO GET THERE: The best way to get to Stourhead is by car. You will find a National Trust car park near the entrance.

20. Longleat Safari and Adventure Park

giraffe in zoo

πŸš™ Distance: 30 miles / 1 h 05 minutes

If you are an animal lover and want to get up close and personal to some of the more rare animals you wouldn’t find in a park then Longleat Safari and Aventure Park is for you.

This is the perfect family day trip from Bristol, but don’t be fooled as many couples love the chance to go on safari and experience the animals up close and personal.

It was actually the first drive-thru safari park outside of Africa and was opened back in 1966.

They care for the animals and while there is enough to occupy any child or adult here, they will likely hold events throughout the year.

You can book tickets online, directly on their website. They also offer annual passes.

HOW TO GET THERE: The best way is to drive there. You’ll find a car park at the entrance.

21. Quantock Hills

Quantock Hills

πŸš™ Distance: 48 miles / 1 h 15 minutes

Quantock Hills are located west of Bridgewater and an hour south of Bristol, meaning it is the ideal day trip with a car.

The Quantock hills consist of heathland, oak woodlands, ancient parklands, and agricultural land. They were England’s first area of outstanding natural beauty and are well worth a visit.

There are walking trails, and hiking options, perfect if you have a sense of adventure and love to be around nature and in the open countryside.

HOW TO GET THERE: The best way to get from Bristol to the Quantock Hills is by car. It’s a natural place and taking public transport would be more hassle than it’s worth.

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