Best Day Trips from Bristol
Bristol is an innovative and vibrant city in England near South Wales, voted as one of the best places to live in 2021. This town is diverse and full of potential with lots of interesting things to do both during the day and at night. Did you know that this city is the biggest manufacturer of hot air balloons in the entire world? Or that it is where the notorious pirate Blackbeard was born? There are so many interesting facts to discover about the town and if you want to learn something new, check out the best museums in Bristol while you are here.
Although you are sure to love Bristol you should take advantage of your time in England to discover other nearby cities. After all, you will be just a 15 minute train ride away from Bath and it would take you only 90 minutes to reach London! Your opportunities for Bristol day trips are endless, especially with the public transport provided by the city. Consider visiting one of these places if you have the chance. Before leaving the city, drop your belongings at a Bristol luggage storage center, your things will be right where you left them when you come back.
How to get out of Bristol
Navigating your way around the city shouldn't be too difficult, especially thanks to the public transportation services that are offered. If you are going to be staying in Bristol you can rent a car, take a taxi or just walk around at your own pace. There are also e-scooters available for getting to places nearby!
When it comes to getting in and out of Bristol there are so many ways to travel. The city is home to an international airport, an entire system of bus routes, a network of train stations, and even a ferry landing. All of these methods can be used to get you out of the city and on your way to a day trip from Bristol. Learn more about how to get around Bristol by reading our guide here.
From Bristol to Stonehenge
Everyone has heard of the mysterious and grand stone circle which, over the last 5,000 years, has both impressed and confused people from all over the globe. You definitely won't want to miss seeing this ancient wonder of the world in person, and since you will be close by in Bristol you can take advantage of the opportunity! Legend says that the stones that were used to build Stonehenge were brought from Wales, but of course, nobody actually knows how this massive structure was built.
This is the perfect day trip from Bristol for anyone who has an interest in the past and is an appropriate activity for the whole family. Make sure that you stop by the visitors center first to get a bit of a lesson on the history of the ancient ruins, or follow along to a guided or audio tour. Keep in mind that this is an extremely popular attraction and tickets will need to be booked in advance. Start planning now!
How to get to Stonehenge:
The easiest way to get from Bristol to Stonehenge is by car. The drive is not too long and should only take about an hour. If you need to take public transport you can hop on the train from the Bristol Temple Meads station and then take the bus to the Stonehenge visitors center. However, this will take much longer and you should expect to be commuting for about two hours.
From Bristol to Cheddar Gorge
Whether you are a foodie with a particular love for cheddar cheese or someone who enjoys hiking in nature, this spot on the edge of the Mendip Hills is a fantastic day trip from Bristol. This is the biggest gorge in all of England and very impressive to see in person. If you are visiting to admire the landscape you might want to try exploring the cliff-top walking trails which will also bring you past some incredible caves. You will want to bring a camera to capture shots of outstanding natural beauty!
Fun fact; did you know that Cheddar Gorge is also home to the oldest human skeleton ever found? He was aptly named Cheddar Man and is estimated to be around 9,000 years old! After exploring the trails and admiring the scenery of the stunning grounds, go learn about cheese on a cheese making tour in the nearby city. The town of Cheddar also has great cider, so stop for lunch or dinner before heading back into Bristol.
How to get to Cheddar Gorge:
Unfortunately, driving is the only way to get from Bristol to Cheddar Gorge. The good thing is that the drive isn't too long! You will only be on the road for about 40 minutes, and if you don't have a vehicle of your own you could either rent one, grab a taxi or try out some ride-sharing apps. The drive will bring you through some gorgeous areas and nature lovers will definitely enjoy the journey.
From Bristol to Bath
If you aren't going to be staying in Bristol for your entire trip then you just have to spend a day in Bath. This town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the only one in the United Kingdom!) and is home to some very beautiful Georgian architecture from the 18th century. There is lots to see here and you will have a very rewarding experience from just walking around the city. Don't know where to start? The Roman Baths are one of the most popular attractions and absolutely should be on your itinerary!
Of course, there are so many more places to stop by while you are in Bath, which is why reserving a full day to wander around the town is important. Stop by Queen Square or the Bath Abbey which, in 973 A.D., was the location of the crowning of England's first king. Places like Circus or the Royal Crescent are great for admiring architecture and will be a favorite among history lovers. Feeling tired at the end of your day trip from Bristol? Soak in the relaxing Thermae Spa.
How to get to Bath:
This is one of the best day trips from Bristol because it is so close by! Bath distance is only about 13 miles away and you can get there in no time. You won't need a car for this one; lots of people say that the train is the best way to get here and, since it only takes 20 minutes, we tend to agree! It is also the more economic option since the trains are very affordable and you won't have to pay to keep your car at a car park.
From Bristol to Weston Super Mare
If you want to get a real traditional feel of Bristol then Weston Super Mare is where you should go. Don't worry, although this small seaside town has lots of history it also boasts some great modern attractions that all the family will enjoy, from amusement parks and donkey rides to arcades! There are also some stunning beaches where you can lay down your towel and suntan or go swimming in the water.
This city becomes a real tourist hotspot in the summertime so expect bigger crowds. That is still the best time to visit since the weather will be nice enough for swimming and more outdoor attractions will be available. While you are here you should take a stroll through the Bishop's Palace and Gardens and stop to enjoy views of the water from the Grand Pier. If you have some extra time to spend, consider visiting the two museums in town; the Weston Museum and the Helicopter Museum.
How to get to Weston Super Mare:
Ready to take off from Bristol and head to Weston Super Mare? Getting to this coastal town is an easy drive that should take about half an hour. If you are confined to public transportation we suggest making it a train trip. You can depart from the Bristol Temple Meads station and it is a direct journey all the way to the city which will take about the same amount of time as driving.
From Bristol to Cotswold
Are you ready to take a journey back in time to a quaint town with cobbled streets and thatched-roof houses? The Cotswolds are a collection of villages that will make you feel as though you have just stepped into a storybook. The villages are beautiful and surrounded by glorious countryside dotted with castles as well as parks and nature reserves. If you are looking for a place for a romantic date or just somewhere to take it easy in a peaceful setting this will be one of your favorite day trips from Bristol for sure.
When it comes to places like the Cotswolds towns each one will be worth visiting. However, if you don't know where to begin there are a few villages that are more popular than the rest. Take a trip to Bourton-on-the-Water which has plenty of spots to try cream teas as well as shopping areas. Castle Comb is another great choice and is home to some nice English bars. Stow-on-the-Wold should be your next stop for seeing museums, grabbing afternoon tea in the tea rooms and admiring unique manors! Are you a fan of Harry Potter? You might be interested in stopping by the Lacock Village which was used for filming locations in the movies.
How to get to Cotswold:
The best way to get to Cotswold is definitely by driving in your own car. The villages are a little spread apart and if you want to stop by more than one then driving between them is the easiest way to do it. It is about an hour's drive from Bristol city centre. However, two of the villages called Cheltenham and Gloucester can be reached by train and are under an hour away by railway. Admire the stunning countryside as you pass by!
From Bristol to Brecon Beacons National Park
Are you ready for one of the most epic day trips from Bristol? The Brecon Beacons Mountain Range and National Park beckon you! The rolling hills and dramatic mountains are a true paradise for all who love nature and you definitely won't regret taking a day away from Bristol to see it in person. To give you an idea of how incredible this place is you should know that George Everest (the man Mt. Everest was named after) trekked around this park and it inspired his love for the great outdoors!
Although there is no Mt. Everest here, Brecon Beacons National Park is home to Pen Y Fan which is the highest peak in all of Southern Britain, so get ready for some truly breathtaking views of the rolling countryside if you make the journey to the top. Are you brave enough to climb it? Aside from many walking trails and an endless amount of hiking paths in this 350,000 acre park you can find things like the Brecon Mountain Railway attraction, the British Birds of Prey Centre or the National Botanical Garden of Wales. They are all perfect activities for the whole family.
How to get to Brecon Beacons National Park:
The Brecon Beacons National Park distance from Bristol is about 75 miles and should take just over an hour and a half to get to by car. Making the journey using your own vehicle as opposed to public transportation is recommended; there are train stations that can get you here but the trip is about 3 hours away.
Discovering the Beautiful West Country
There are so many day trips from Bristol that are worth visiting, so we hope you are staying for a while! The great thing about this city is that you will never be very far from a picturesque village or a historic city filled with stories and character that you can visit. Bristol Temple Meads can get you to London, Edinburgh, and Cardiff if you'd like to explore there.
Still feel the need to explore more of South West England? Consider visiting Glastonbury which is home to the Somerset Rural Life Museum or travel along the South West Coast Path in the beautiful Exmoor National Park.