Are you looking for exciting day trip ideas from Bristol? You’re in luck! There are plenty of incredible destinations just a stone’s throw away from the city, perfect for exploring on a day out. From fascinating castles and ancient woodlands to charming villages and stunning coastlines, we’ve compiled a list of the top 15 day trips from Bristol that will leave you feeling inspired and refreshed. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!
How do I plan a perfect day trip?
To plan a perfect day trip to Bristol, consider the following steps:
- Research and make a list of the top attractions and activities you want to experience in Bristol.
- Check the opening hours and any entry requirements or ticket prices for the attractions you wish to visit.
- Plan your itinerary based on the locations of the attractions and the time needed to explore each one.
- Consider transportation options. If you’re travelling by car, check parking availability. If using public transportation, familiarize yourself with bus or train schedules.
- Look for local events or festivals happening on the day of your visit and see if any interest you.
- Take note of good places to eat or have a snack, ensuring you have enough time for meals during your day trip.
- Pack essential items such as comfortable shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, a map or guidebook, and a camera.
- Start your day early to make the most of your time and avoid crowds at popular attractions.
- Be flexible and allow for some spontaneous exploration or relaxation time.
- Enjoy your day trip, take in the sights and sounds, and make lasting memories of your time in Bristol.
Best Day Trips From Bristol
1. Berkeley Castle
Nestled in the rolling hills of Gloucestershire lies Berkeley Castle, a magnificent medieval fortress with a rich and fascinating history. The castle dates back to the 12th century and has been home to the same family for over 900 years, making it one of England’s oldest continuously inhabited castles.
As you step through the grand entrance gates, you’ll be transported back in time to an era of knights and ladies, jousting tournaments and royal feasts. Inside the castle walls, there are countless treasures to discover, from ancient tapestries and historic portraits to intricate furniture and stunning architectural features.
One highlight of any visit is exploring the beautiful gardens that surround the castle. From vibrant flower beds and tranquil water features to manicured lawns and secret nooks, there’s something for everyone here. Take a stroll through these idyllic grounds or enjoy a picnic on one of the lush green lawns – it’s easy to see why this spot has inspired poets, artists, and writers throughout history.
Berkeley Castle is an enchanting destination that offers visitors a chance to step back in time while enjoying some truly spectacular scenery.
If you’re looking for a classic day out at the seaside, then Weston-super-Mare is the perfect destination. This charming town on the coast of Somerset boasts a long sandy beach that stretches for miles, making it ideal for long walks and picnics.
But it’s not just about sunbathing and swimming in the sea – there are plenty of traditional seaside attractions to enjoy too. The Grand Pier is one of Weston-super-Mare’s most famous landmarks, offering everything from arcade games to fairground rides and ice cream stands.
In addition to the pier, there are many other things to see and do in this delightful town. Take a stroll along Marine Parade with its colourful beach huts or visit the historic Birnbeck Pier which offers stunning views over Bristol Channel.
For those interested in history, head up nearby Brean Down where ruins of an Iron Age hill fort can be found. And if you’re feeling hungry after all that activity? Sample some delicious fish and chips or indulge in some ice cream while watching boats sail by.
Weston-super-Mare offers something for everyone – whether you want fun-filled adventures or simply time relaxing on the best beach.
3. Forest of Dean
The Forest of Dean is a magical place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature. This ancient woodland covers over 42 square miles, making it one of the largest oak woodlands in England.
As you explore the forest, you’ll discover its rich history, from Iron Age hill forts to Roman iron mines. In fact, much of Britain’s industrial heritage can be traced back to this very spot.
Not only is the Forest of Dean steeped in history, but it’s also home to an abundance of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for rare species such as goshawks and wild boar as well as more common creatures like foxes and badgers.
With plenty of walking trails to choose from, there’s something for every level of fitness. Take a leisurely stroll through the woods or embark on a challenging hike up May Hill for breathtaking views across Gloucestershire.
Whatever you choose to do in the Forest of Dean, make sure you take some time to simply soak up its natural beauty – this truly is a special place that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
If you’re looking for a day trip that combines history and natural beauty, Tyntesfield is the perfect choice. This stunning Victorian Gothic mansion and gardens are located just outside Bristol and offer visitors a glimpse into the past.
The house itself is an impressive sight to behold, with its ornate architecture and intricate details. Inside, you’ll find rooms filled with antique furniture, fine art, and other artifacts from the Victorian era.
But it’s not just the house that’s worth visiting – the gardens at Tyntesfield are equally breathtaking. From formal lawns to wildflower meadows, there’s something for every nature lover here. You can even take a stroll through the woodland areas or visit the kitchen garden to see where produce is grown for use in on-site cafes.
One of the highlights of visiting Tyntesfield is taking part in one of their guided tours. These knowledgeable guides will take you around both inside and outside areas while telling stories about this historic site.
If you want to experience elegant architecture combined with beautiful surroundings then pay a visit to Tyntesfield; it’s guaranteed that your day trip won’t disappoint!
5. Bristol to Bath Cycle Path
Looking for a fun and active way to explore the beautiful countryside between Bristol and Bath? Look no further than the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path! This scenic route follows the path of an old railway line, offering cyclists a smooth and traffic-free ride through some of England’s most stunning landscapes.
Starting in Bristol, riders can rent bikes from several locations along the route before heading out on their adventure. From there, it’s a leisurely 13-mile ride eastward towards Bath, passing through charming villages like Saltford and Bitton along the way.
Highlights of this popular day trip include picturesque views of rolling hills and meadows, quaint bridges spanning bubbling streams, and plenty of opportunities to stop for refreshments at local pubs or cafes. And with well-maintained paths suitable for all ages and fitness levels, it’s easy to see why so many visitors choose to explore this scenic stretch by bike.
So what are you waiting for? Rent a bike today and hit the open road on one of England’s most beloved cycling routes!
Location Path: Direction for Bristol to Bath Cycle Path
6. Brecon Beacons National Park
Nestled in the heart of South Wales lies a natural wonderland waiting to be explored. Brecon Beacons National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who are seeking an adventure amidst lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and rugged mountains.
Embark on a hiking or cycling adventure and witness the beauty of this national park up close. The stunning landscapes will leave you breathless as you traverse through wooded hillsides, deep valleys, and rolling heather moorlands.
The park’s highest peak is Pen y Fan, reaching 886 meters above sea level. It offers spectacular panoramic views that make the challenging trek worth it. Don’t forget to pack your camera!
Waterfalls abound throughout the park; they’re one of its main attractions. Sgwd Yr Eira waterfall is particularly enchanting with its veil-like cascade falling into a picturesque pool below.
For those seeking more adrenaline-pumping activities, kayaking or climbing might be just what you need! The river Usk provides an excellent opportunity for kayaking while rock climbing can be done at various locations around the park.
Brecon Beacons National Park has something for everyone – from leisurely strolls to extreme adventures – making it an ideal destination for families and solo travelers alike.
7. Bristol Channel
Board a boat and set sail on the beautiful Bristol Channel, where you can enjoy stunning views of the coastline from a unique perspective. The channel stretches for over 50 miles between South Wales and Somerset, offering plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife like seals and dolphins along the way.
As you cruise through these serene waters, keep your eyes peeled for pods of playful dolphins swimming alongside your vessel. You may also catch glimpses of grey seals basking in the sun on rocky outcrops or bobbing their heads above water as they hunt for fish.
In addition to spotting marine life, taking a boat trip along the Bristol Channel allows you to take in breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and quaint seaside villages. Many tours even offer guided commentary on local history and ecology.
Whether it’s a relaxing day out with friends or family or an adventurous solo expedition into nature’s heartland that you seek, there are plenty of options available to suit all interests when exploring this magnificent stretch of waterway by boat.
Glastonbury is a must-visit town for anyone interested in mythology, spirituality, or just the unique and quirky. The town’s most famous landmark is the Glastonbury Tor, which rises dramatically from the surrounding landscape and offers stunning views of the countryside. The hill has been associated with various legends throughout history, including King Arthur and Avalon.
If you’re not up for hiking to the top of the Tor, there are plenty of other things to do in Glastonbury. For example, you can visit the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, which was once one of England’s richest and most powerful monasteries before it was destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries.
In addition to its historical landmarks, Glastonbury is also known for its eclectic shops selling everything from crystals and tarot cards to hemp clothing and vegan food. It’s definitely worth taking some time to wander through these shops and soak up their unique atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a day trip that combines history, nature, spirituality and shopping – all while feeling like you’ve stepped into another world – then Glastonbury should definitely be on your list!
Wells, located just a short drive from Bristol, is known as England’s smallest city. Despite its small size, Wells offers plenty to see and do for visitors.
The main attraction in Wells is undoubtedly the stunning cathedral. The gothic architecture and intricate carvings make it one of the most beautiful cathedrals in England. Visitors can take a guided tour or simply wander around at their own pace.
But there’s more to Wells than just the cathedral. The charming streets are lined with independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it a great place to explore on foot. Be sure to check out the historic marketplaces where you can find local produce and unique gifts.
For history buffs, Wells also has several other attractions worth visiting such as Vicars’ Close – said to be the oldest residential street in Europe – and Bishop’s Palace which dates back over 800 years.
A visit to Wells is like stepping back in time while still enjoying modern amenities. It’s definitely worth adding this charming city to your day trip itinerary when visiting Bristol!d.
10. Longleat Safari Park
Longleat Safari Park is the perfect destination for animal lovers and history enthusiasts. Located just over an hour’s drive from Bristol, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to see a variety of animals up close and personal.
The safari park is home to over 500 animals, including tigers, lions, giraffes, elephants and monkeys. Visitors can take a guided tour through the best park in their own car or on one of the safari buses. The highlight of the tour is undoubtedly getting up close with some of Africa’s big cats as well as other exotic wildlife.
In addition to its animal attractions, Longleat also boasts a stunning stately home that dates back over 400 years. The historic house features opulent interiors filled with art treasures and antique furniture. Visitors can explore the state rooms and even enjoy afternoon tea in grand surroundings.
For those seeking even more adventure during their visit to Longleat Safari Park, there are plenty of additional activities on offer such as boat tours around the lake or visiting “Monkey Temple”, where you can feed friendly monkeys!
Longleat Safari Park makes for an unforgettable day trip from Bristol – offering something for everyone!
The Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty, is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the English countryside. The region boasts picturesque villages with thatched cottages, rolling hills and fields dotted with sheep.
One of the most charming villages in the Cotswolds is Bourton-on-the-Water, often referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” due to its pretty river running through it. Visitors can stroll across its quaint bridges and visit attractions such as Birdland Park & Gardens or The Model Village.
Another highlight of this area is Bibury’s Arlington Row – a row of 14th-century weavers’ cottages that are now one of England’s most iconic landmarks. Take a walk along River Coln and admire the beautiful scenery before stopping for lunch at The Swan Hotel.
If you’re after stunning panoramic views over Gloucestershire from atop a hill, head to Cleeve Hill which offers breathtaking vistas stretching all the way down to Cheltenham Racecourse.
The Cotswold Way National Trail also spans across this region – perfect for those who love walking or hiking. Follow this trail through charming countryside towns like Painswick and Winchcombe where visitors can see historic churches, cozy pubs serving local ale and farmers markets selling regional produce.
In sum, visiting the Cotswolds is like taking a step back in time into idyllic rural England. With plenty more hidden gems waiting to be discovered in this enchanting corner of Britain, it’s no wonder why it remains one of UK’s top day trip destinations from Bristol!
12. Cheddar Gorge
Nestled in the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge is a natural wonder that offers breathtaking scenery and exciting adventures. The dramatic limestone cliffs rise up to 450 feet tall, making it an ideal destination for hikers of all skill levels. Hike along one of the many trails and take in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Aside from hiking, visitors can also explore the famous Cheddar Caves, which are located within the gorge itself. These caves have been carved out by water over millions of years and offer a fascinating glimpse into prehistoric times. Guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about these ancient caverns.
One of the highlights of visiting Cheddar Gorge is walking through Britain’s largest gorge system—the sheer size is awe-inspiring! Another popular attraction here is rock climbing on some of England’s most challenging terrain; however, this activity should only be attempted by experienced climbers with proper equipment and training.
Cheddar Gorge has something for everyone—whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk in nature or an adrenaline-packed adventure, you won’t be disappointed! Don’t forget to bring your camera—you’ll definitely want pictures as mementos from this unique location that showcases Mother Nature at its finest.
Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is a vibrant city with a rich history waiting to be explored. Some notable tourist attractions in Cardiff include Cardiff Castle and the National Museum Cardiff.
Cardiff Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Wales, boasting over 2,000 years of history. The castle has been used as a Roman fort, Norman stronghold and even an air-raid shelter during World War II. Visitors can take guided tours of the castle’s luxurious apartments and climb up to its imposing towers for breathtaking views of the city.
The National Museum Cardiff offers visitors an opportunity to explore Welsh art, geology and natural history all under one roof. The museum houses impressive collections from around the world including paintings by Monet and Renoir, as well as dinosaur skeletons.
For sports enthusiasts visiting Cardiff on match-day at Principality Stadium will provide them with an electric atmosphere that few other cities can rival. It is home to international rugby matches as well as football games throughout the year.
There are numerous reasons why you should consider taking a day trip from Bristol to visit Cardiff – its rich history encapsulated by landmark institutions such as Cardiff Castle & National Museum along with being able to experience its electrifying sporting culture provides something for everyone!
One of the most iconic and mysterious prehistoric monuments in the world, Stonehenge is a must-visit day trip from Bristol. Located about 90 minutes away by car, this ancient stone circle has been standing for over 4,000 years.
The purpose behind its construction remains unknown to this day, but many believe it was used as an astronomical calendar or for religious ceremonies. Walking around the towering stones can be both awe-inspiring and almost eerie at times.
While you cannot touch or climb on the stones themselves these days, visitors can still get fairly close to them and walk around the perimeter. Additionally, there are audio guides available that give more information about the history of Stonehenge and what we know (and don’t know) about its origins.
Whether you’re fascinated by ancient history or simply looking for an otherworldly experience not too far from Bristol, a visit to Stonehenge is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Bath is a beautiful and historic city located just 15 miles from Bristol. A visit to Bath offers a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the Roman era, as you explore one of the world’s most famous ancient spas – The Roman Baths.
The Roman Baths are an impressive sight featuring hot springs that were once used by Romans for relaxation and healing. Visitors can learn about the history of this site at the interactive museum while admiring its stunning architecture.
Another must-visit attraction in Bath is the Bath Abbey, which is a fine example of Gothic architecture. This magnificent structure stands tall over the city and has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years.
Apart from these two attractions, walking through Bath’s charming streets should be on every visitor’s itinerary. With its Georgian architecture, quaint shops, cafes and best restaurants; it’s easy to lose track of time here.
If you’re looking for an enriching experience with lots of culture and history during your day trips from Bristol; then visiting Bath should definitely be on your list!d.
There you have it, the top 15 day trips from Bristol! From historic castles to stunning natural beauty and charming cities, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a local looking for a fun day out or a visitor exploring the area, these destinations offer unforgettable experiences that will make your trip truly memorable. So what are you waiting for? Plan your next adventure today and explore all that this beautiful region has to offer!
1. Is Bristol good for a day trip?
Yes, Bristol is definitely suitable for a day trip. It offers a range of attractions, historical sites, vibrant culture, and beautiful waterfront views that can be explored within a day. While you may not be able to see everything in one day, you can still get a taste of Bristol’s unique atmosphere and key highlights.
2. How many days do you need in Bristol?
To fully explore Bristol and its surrounding areas, it is recommended to spend at least two to three days. This will allow you to visit popular attractions, such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the SS Great Britain, Bristol Cathedral, and the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, while also enjoying the city’s lively food scene and cultural events.
3. What is Bristol famous for?
Bristol is renowned for several things. Firstly, it has a rich maritime history and was a major port during the height of the British Empire. It is also famous for the Clifton Suspension Bridge, an iconic landmark designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Additionally, Bristol is known for its vibrant street art scene, being the hometown of the elusive street artist Banksy. The city is also recognized for its music culture, particularly in the genres of trip-hop and drum and bass.