Attractions Nearby Bristol, Day Trips and Excursions

(Bristol, England, UK)

Whether you are staying in Bristol with your own set of wheels or planning to rely solely on public transportation, there are plenty of attractions close to the city worth considering. Highly suitable for day trips is the nearby city of Bath, which is packed with Georgian architecture and famous for its ancient Roman heritage.

Weston Super Mare is within comfortable driving distance, while the Welsh capital of Cardiff is just across the Severn Bridge. Clevedon, Nailsea, Burrington Combe, Dyrham Park and Westonbirt Arboretum are additional attractions to bear in mind, as is the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, which is located in Gloucester and only a 45-minute drive away. A little further afield from Bristol is the city of Salisbury, where a grand cathedral and the mysterious Stonehenge draw crowds of tourists every single day of the year.

Picture of Pultney Bridge


Bath is situated extremely close to Bristol, being less than 30 minutes away by car, bus or train. This extremely elegant city is brimming with historic Georgian buildings, with its Royal Crescent being just one of the countless architectural attractions. Pulteney Bridge and its much-photographed weir stand close to numerous shops and the free Victoria Art Gallery, with the popular indoor Guildhall Market being just around the corner. First-timers visiting Bath simply must take time out to stroll around the ancient Roman Baths, which were built some 2,000 years ago and are still fed by Britain's last remaining hot spring. Shoppers will enjoy spending time checking out the department stores along Milsom Street and around recently revamped Southgate, which are often interspersed with themed restaurants and bakeries. If you are here for just a short time, then a guided bus tour will provide a very insightful overview of Bath and its lengthy history.


Salisbury is the only city within the county of Wiltshire and is close to Stonehenge, being 84 km / 52 miles from Bristol and reachable by car in just under an hour and a half. Within the city itself are many enticing attractions suitable for a day trip, with Salisbury Cathedral being the real star of the show and constructed around 800 years ago. Many impressive museums are based in the Close surrounding the cathedral, such as the Medieval Hall, Mompesson House and the Wardrobe Military Museum. Old Sarum Castle, Old Wardour Castle and the Rockbourne Roman Villa provide further interest.

Weston Super Mare

Address: Marine Parade, Weston Super Mare, Bristol, BS23 1AL, England
Tel: +44 (0)1934 620 238
Weston Super Mare is situated close to Bristol and is full of traditional seaside attractions, with a long sandy beach, donkey rides, ice cream kiosks, gift shops and amusements galore. The town's Grand Pier opened in 1904, although was severely damaged by fire in both 1930 and again in 2008. Weston's Pier has since been completely rebuilt and redesigned, and is now quite simply enormous, being one of the biggest indoor theme parks in the country. The go-kart track is a real highlight and cost more than £1 million to construct, while there is also a Robo Coaster (giant robot hand), a 4D cinema, F1 simulators, a fun house, dodgems, small fairground rides and a haunted house. Although the pier is the big draw for tourists, Weston Super Mare is also home to an aquarium attraction - SeaQuarium, tenpin bowling, a theatre and a helicopter museum.
Pier open hours: mid-March to October, Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 18:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 19:00

Clevedon Court

Address: Tickenham Road, Clevedon, North Somerset, Bristol, BS21 6QU, England
Tel: +44 (0)1275 872 257
Clevedon Court is situated 19 km / 12 miles from the centre of Bristol and is owned by the National Trust. Attractions include an outstanding 14th-century manor house, incorporating an enormous 12th-century tower and a 13th-century great hall, as well as a beautiful 18th-century terraced garden. As you explore the house, look out for the interesting assortment of Nailsea glass and Eltonware pottery.
Open hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday and public holidays - 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children

Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre

Address: Slimbridge, Gloucester, GL2 7BT, England
Tel: +44 (0)1453 890 333
The Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre is situated 66 km / 42 miles from Bristol and was founded in 1946. Home to the biggest collection of ducks, geese and swans in the world, Slimbridge also features a number of large groups of flamingos, a tropical house with humming birds, an observation tower with excellent views across the River Severn, a sizeable restaurant, a gift shop, a play area for children and over 100 acres / 40 hectares of landscaped grounds.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge, discounts available for children

Steep Holm Nature Reserve

Address: Bristol Channel, Bristol, BS23, England
Tel: +44 (0)1934 632 307
The Steep Holm Nature Reserve is a small island situated 8 km / 5 miles from Weston Super Mare, close to Bristol. Day trippers will discover numerous rare and unusual plants, a small group of Muntjac deer and other wildlife, seabirds, and a medieval priory that now functions as the island's Visitor Centre. Boats sail to the island most Saturdays throughout the year and also on Wednesdays during June, July and August.

Burrington Combe

Address: Burrington, Cheddar, Bristol, BS27, England
Burrington Combe is situated 20 km / 13 miles from the centre of Bristol and is particularly close to Cheddar Gorge. There are a number of attractions available here, such as pot-holing and caving, rock climbing, nature trails, superb views from the top, picnic areas and a popular restaurant, where Sunday carveries are a speciality. There is also a sizeable aquatic centre at Burrington, which now features an extensive collection of poultry, reptiles and more than 30 birds of prey, including Snowy owls and peregrine falcons.

View of Stonehenge at sunrise


Address: Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 7DE
Tel: +44 (0)1980 624715
A mystical World Heritage Site famous all over the planet, Stonehenge is a real must-see landmark and is situated 2 miles / 3 km west of Amesbury, on the junction of the A303 and A344, and is 104 km / 65 miles from central Bristol. It is widely believed that this ancient circle of bluestone monoliths was erected more than 4,500 years ago as a temple to the sun, with the henge being precisely aligned to face the sun as it rises and sets. Summer solstice is an exciting time to visit Stonehenge, when literally thousands descend to celebrate the day with the most daylight of the year.
Open hours: daily, all year
Mid-March to May - 09:30 to 18:00 / June to August - 09:00 to 19:00
September to mid-October - 09:30 to 18:00 / end of October - 09:30 to 17:00
November to mid-March - 09:30 to 16:00
Admission: charge

Picture of Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn

Westonbirt Arboretum

Address: Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8QS, England
Tel: +44 (0)1666 880220
Established in the late 1820s, the horticultural attractions of Westonbirt Arboretum reside 44 km / 27 miles from Bristol and comprise some 20,000 specimens, spread around 600 acres / 243 hectares of countryside. Visitors will be able to walk around the trees, both in the Old Arboretum and the younger Silk Wood, by following a series of pathways which stretch for around 17 miles / 27 km. Autumn is always a popular time to visit, when the many Japanese maples are resplendent in their fiery red cloaks, and in the winter, theatrical illuminations light the way. A large restaurant, cafe and gift shop are based at the entrance, along with a small plant nursery.

Castle Combe Race Circuit

Address: Castle Combe, Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, SN14 7EY
Tel: +44 (0)1249 783010
The Castle Combe Race Circuit is to be found alongside the picturesque village of Castle Combe and is around 44 km / 27 miles from Bristol. This world-famous racing circuit dates back to 1950 and has attracted many acclaimed racing drivers over the years, including the likes of Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, David Coulthard and Damon Hill. Those with sports cars will enjoy the track days and the driving experiences, where you can try your hand at the wheel of a Ferrari or Lotus, or even a single-seater race car.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Westwood Manor

Address: Westwood Village, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, England, BA15 2AF
Tel: +44 (0)1225 863374
A 15th-century stone manor house owned by the National Trust, Westwood Manor is just 1 mile / 1.5 km to the south-west of Bradford on Avon, being off the B3109 and some 35 km / 22 miles from central Bristol. The manor house features many period attractions, with well-preserved Jacobean plasterwork, antique furnishings and old paintings. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the estate operated as a farm, being extensively restored during the 20th century and administered by the National Trust since 1956.
Open hours: April to September, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday - 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Chew Valley Lake

Address: 92 Bridgewater Road, Bristol, England, BS99 7DQ
Tel: +44 (0)1275 332339
Chew Valley Lake is situated on the outskirts of Bristol, off the A368, and offers lakeside nature trails and an abundance of waterfowl. There are two car parks, with the furthest being connected to the cafe via a pleasant ten-minute pathway. Within the cafe there is a small gift shop, while outside there are picnic areas, benches and a playground designed for small children.
Open hours: daily - 10:30 to dusk

Attractions Nearby Bristol

Lacock Village

Address: Lacock, Wiltshire, England, SN15 2LG
Tel: +44 (0)1249 730277
The pretty village of Lacock is situated 43 km / 26 miles from central Bristol and has its origins in the 13th century. This charming village attracts many thousands of tourists each year, who come here to stroll around the medieval streets and admire the half-timbered houses, perhaps enjoying lunch at the Red Lion pub. Lacock is well-known for its innumerable appearances in many notable television costume dramas, with its historic abbey featuring in no less than two of the blockbuster Harry Potter movies.

Berkeley Castle

Address: Near Stroud, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England, GL13 9BQ
Tel: +44 (0)1453 810332
Berkeley Castle is situated 36 km / 23 miles from central Bristol and dates back over 900 years. This estate is steeped in history, being the very spot where King Edward II lost his life in 1327, and where William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream play was first staged. The castle actually featured in Shakespeare's play Richard II and is surrounded by terraced gardens, sweeping lawns and mature planting. Of interest, Queen Elizabeth once hunted and played bowls here.
Open hours: April to May, Tuesday to Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00, June and Sept, Tuesday to Saturday - 11:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00, July to August, Monday to Saturday - 11:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00, October, Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors and children

Dyrham Park image

Dyrham Park

Address: Near Chippenham, Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, England, SN14 8ER
Tel: +44 (0)117 937 2501
Dyrham Park is owned by the National Trust and is situated on the outskirts of Bath, roughly 43 km / 27 miles from central Bristol. Visitors will find a grand mansion, herds of deer, beautiful gardens and regular open-air concerts during the summer months. Guided tours of the house reveal an interesting history, telling the story of the estate's considerably more humble beginnings and the grand extensions that transformed the original much-smaller house into its stately appearance of today.
Open hours: April to October, Friday to Tuesday - 12:00 to 17:30
Admission: charge, discounts available for families and children

Bowood Gardens

Address: Off the A4, Between Chippenham and Calne, Calne, Wiltshire, England, SN11 0LZ
Tel: +44 (0)1249 812102
Bowood is located 60 km / 38 miles from central Bristol and this estate is simply vast, covering an area of around 2,000 acres / 800 hectares, much of which features landscaped gardens originally designed during the middle of the 18th century by horticultural genius, Capability Brown. Today, Bowood House and Gardens is very much a family attraction, with an enormous adventure playground, an indoor soft play centre, endless pathways, lakeside picnic spots and benches, and a gift shop within the house itself. Next to the entrance, the restaurant offers a choice of lunch and a popular Sunday carvery.
Open hours: April to October, daily - 11:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors and children

Courts Garden

Address: Holt, near Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon, North-East Somerset, England, BA14 6RR
Tel: +44 (0)1225 782340
The Courts Garden is situated in Holt, close to Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon, and 36 km / 23 miles from Bristol city centre. This attractive garden is at its very best in late spring and early summer, when many of the flowers are fresh and in full bloom. Whilst the grounds are relatively compact, there is plenty to see here, including a formal lily pond, extensive herbaceous borders lining a stream, statues and topiary, a small arboretum and a traditional Victorian-style vegetable garden. The onsite cafe has become well-known for its home-cooked cakes and cream teas.
Open hours: April to October, Sunday to Friday - 13:30 to 17:30
Admission: charge, discounts available for children

Picture of Stourhead Gardens

Stourhead House and Gardens

Address: Stourton, Warminster, Wiltshire, England, BA12 6QD
Tel: +44 (0)1747 841152
Owned by the National Trust, the Stourhead estate is 54 km / 34 miles drive from central Bristol and boasts some of the West Country's most magnificent landscaped gardens. The house itself is a grand Palladian mansion, complete with Chippendale furniture, many old masters and a Regency library, while the grounds were shaped by famous landscape designer Capability Brown and are centred around a large lake, surrounded by mature trees and a series of follies. Children will enjoy finding the grotto and its domed chamber, where natural springs fill small pools and statues are illuminated by daylight. As you walk around the lake, the Pantheon will draw your eye, as will the hilltop Temple of Apollo and the Palladian Bridge, which dates back to the 1760s and is lined with neatly trimmed grass. Nearby, consider climbing to the very top of King Alfred's Tower, where the panoramas across Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire really don't come any better.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors and children

Great Chalfield Manor

Address: Off B3107, via Broughton Gifford Common, Melksham, Wiltshire, England, SN12 8NJ
Tel: +44 (0)1225 782239
Great Chalfield Manor is managed by the National Trust, being located around 42 km / 26 miles from central Bristol. This historic manor house dates back to the latter part of the 15th century and has recently enjoyed much restoration work, ensuring its structure and appearance remains well preserved. Surrounded by an old moat, the house itself is the main attraction here, although the grounds are especially pleasant and incorporate formal landscaping, as well as more relaxed flower borders. The dining room is of great significance, since it was actually one of the earliest separate dining rooms to be built in the whole of England.
Open hours: April to October, Tuesday to Thursday - 12:15, 14:15, 15:00, 15:45 and 16:30 (guided tours)
Admission: charge

Cricket St. Thomas Gardens and Lakes

Address: Chard, Somerset, TA20 4DB, England
Tel: +44 (0)1460 30111
Cricket St. Thomas lies approximately 54 km / 34 miles from central Bristol and to the south-west, next to Chard. Now owned by Warner Leisure Hotels, the estate has seen some big changes in recent years and no longer functions as a wildlife park. However, the popular train rides around the grounds remains. The manor house itself is now part of an enormous adult-only hotel complex. As you leave you will drive past the front of the house, where you may recognise the facade from the hit BBC television sitcom 'To the Manor Born', starring Penelope Keith.
Open hours: Easter to October, daily - 10:00 to 16:00 (all year for hotel guests)
Admission: charge for day visitors and dogs, free to hotel guests, over 21 years old only

Other attractions nearby Bristol include: