Looking for the best day trips from Bristol for an adventure out? We’ve rounded up the best Bristol day trips for you to explore the area and see what’s beyond this beautiful city.
Bristol is the perfect city break destination for those looking to explore Britain’s southwest coast. The vibrant atmosphere, rich heritage and stunning natural beauty make it a great place to spend quality time with family or friends this summer. And the good news is, there are some great day trips from Bristol too, if you want to extend your stay, or just get out to see the area.
Whether you’re looking for fun activities or just want some peace and quiet by the water there are plenty of great day trips from Bristol that make for a great day out.
The Best Day Trips from Bristol
Where to go for the best days out from Bristol
1. Day trip to Bath from Bristol
Bath is one of England’s most popular day-trips and one of the best days out from Bristol. Bath is well known for its incredible Georgian architecture.
Popular attractions in the city include Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths, Pulteney Bridge, and the beautiful Royal Crescent. Many visitors love the excellent afternoon tea on offer in Bath, and there are endless restaurants and cafes offering it. If you want a more complete guide to what to do in Bath for a day, check out our guide.
2. Day trip to Cardiff from Bristol
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and one of the best day trips from Bristol at only an hour’s drive away. The city is extremely multicultural and has various superb attractions inside the city. One of the most popular attractions is the Millennium Stadium, one of the world’s top sporting arenas. It holds over 80,000 people and attracts some of the world’s finest sporting events, including rugby, football, and athletics.
Cardiff is also home to some superb castles. Most notably, Cardiff Castle because it stands tall over the city, offering beautiful city views of architecture.
The National Museum Cardiff is home to some of the finest Welsh history artefacts too. Popular exhibits include the ‘Evolution of Wales’, taking you back millions of years and bringing you face to face with dinosaurs. You can find out how dinosaurs roamed around Wales, along with the evolution of Woolly Mammoths!
3. Day trip to Oxford from Bristol
Oxford is one of England’s most famous cities thanks to its history and world-leading universities. Plus, it is one of the best day trips from Bristol, and only takes around 90 minutes via car. Many visitors – often from all over the globe – will come to see the Harry Potter buildings and filming locations.
Another popular attraction in Oxford is the History of Science Museum, where you’ll find facilities that specialise in the history of science and the development of western culture.
Take a trip around the world-famous Oxford University. You can get various morning or afternoon tours of the campus, where expert guides will take you around the incredible architecture of many of its buildings. Also, you’ll get a direct insight into the university’s history
If you come to Oxford on a day trip from Bristol, you’ll have to check out the incredible Oxford Castle. The castle has stood for almost 1000 years, and includes various incredible viewpoints, fascinating displays, and the Saxon St. George’s Tower which you can climb at marvel at the incredible 360-degree views.
4. Day trip to Blenheim Palace from Bristol
If you’re looking for a Bristol day trip to give you the opportunity to explore and experience some of England’s historical beauty, Blenheim Palace is an excellent choice. It’s one of the most amazing UNESCO sites in England and is Winston Churchill’s birthplace and childhood home.
The grounds at this stunning property are open year-round and offer everything from lush gardens and rare species of plants to breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside. On top of all these features, there are also plenty of events throughout the year including concerts which make it easy to have fun while learning about English history.
Blenheim Palace is only 90 minutes from Bristol.
If you’re in the area in November and December, we’d definitely recommend you check out Blenheim Palace at Christmas, it’s incredible!
5. Take a boat cruise on the River Avon
One of England’s most scenic waterways is pretty much on your doorstep in Bristol. The River Avon makes for a great day trip from Bristol, without having to go too far. There are many different vessels you can take to explore the waterways, both guided and independently.
6. Visit Stonehenge from Bristol
The ancient site of Stonehenge is still shrouded in mystery.
Stonehenge is one of the best known prehistoric monuments in Europe and is included in the coveted list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in England.
While visiting Stonehenge, a stroll around the Stone Circle goes without a question. To know more about the rich culture and history of Stonehenge you can visit the exhibition and scan through over 250+ archeological objects to satisfy your curiosity. Stonehenge is one of the most popular days in England for adults, and curious children too.
Stonehenge is undoubtedly one of the most famous landmarks in England. Makes sure to check out nearby Avebury too, another UNESCO site but not nearly as well known. In fact, we’ve added it to our list of the best of hidden England.
Stonehenge is around 90 minutes from Bristol, perfect for a day trip and is one of the best days out in Wiltshire.
7. Glastonbury from Bristol
Glastonbury makes for a great day out from Bristol.
Long before Glastonbury became a household name for its festival, it was an iconic spiritual town in Somerset.
According to legend, the Glastonbury Tor is the The Isle of Avalon – the burial site of King Arthur. Today you can climb up to the Tor, as we did above, and enjoy the spirituality evident there.
Visiting Glastonbury for the day is a great idea for a day out in Somerset. Visit the Tor, eat at the cafes in town, and drink in the old pubs. You’ll definitely want to visit the little shops of Glastonbury High Street too.
8. Bristol to Weston Super Mare
The seaside resort of Weston Super Mare around the Grand Pier is great fun, with loads for families to do together on a day trip from Bristol.
Visit Weston Super Mare in the summer for the best beaches in Somerset – bring your bucket and spade for British seaside fabulousness. Other attractions in Weston Super Mare include the Helicopter Museum, Weston Museum, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm (and the Noah’s Ark Maze, one of England’s best mazes) and the West Somerset Railway too.
9. Day trip to Westonbirt Arboretum
Look no further than Gloucestershire for a magical estate that looks right at home in any period drama. Westonbirt, one of the most important arboretums in the country, is a year-round treat.
Listed as a Grade I site on the Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest register, this 19th-century garden spans over 600 acres. For even more royal pedigree, it backs onto Prince Charles’ Highgrove Estate.
Westonbirt Arboretum is divided into two parts: The Old Arboretum and Silk Wood. Where the former is a meticulous composition of avenues lined by exotic trees, the latter is mostly traditional woodland. If the winding trails through 18,000 trees and shrubbery don’t give you a thrill, try the 300-metre treetop walkway instead.
10. The Cotswolds for a day trip
The Cotswolds make for one of the most popular days out in England, or weekends, or even weeks away. There are loads of things to enjoy in the Cotswolds.
The Cotswolds take over five counties in England, and to the north much of it is in Gloucestershire.
If you’re a nature lover, this is an ideal spot. Situated in the Woodchester Valley, you’re surrounded by woods and greenery. Hiking and cycling is very popular here. But also, just pottering around the villages in the Cotswolds and drinking cream tea and enjoying a spot of boutique shopping makes for a great day out for adults.
There are some great pubs to visit, lots of history and fantastic castles to soak up, and some great viewing points to enjoy on a road trip too. The Cotswolds are also a beautiful place to be at Christmas.
Best day trips from Bristol
As you can see, there are loads of great day trips from Bristol to enjoy. The ones listed here just scratch the surface. Bristol makes for a great base to explore the rest of the south west coast, and to have a great time while you’re in the city, too!