Somerset Family Adventures


Bath - A Day Trip From Bristol

Top Ten Day Trips From Bristol

Are you looking for some great ideas for a quick day trip from Bristol? Whether you’re a local living in Bristol and looking for some inspiration, or you’re on holiday in the South West and want some fantastic suggestions, read on for our Top Ten Day Trips from Bristol. Many of these locations can also be reached by bus. All these ideas are family-friendly day trips and ideal whatever time of year.

A Day Out In Clevedon - A Victorian Seaside Town

Drive: 20 – 30 minutes from Bristol

Clevedon is a seaside town in North Somerset, a short drive from Bristol. It’s the ideal destination for a family day out with plenty to keep the kids entertained.

Clevedon Beach

You’ll find several pebble beaches dotted along the seafront, where you can take the kids crabbing (off the slipway). It’s a popular area for sailing and you’ll see plenty of small boats at high tide.

Clevedon Pier - Somerset Family Adventures

Clevedon Pier

The impressive Victorian Pier overlooks the main beach – the only Grade one listed pier in England. You must take a stroll along and walk in the footsteps of One Direction, who shot one of their music videos on the pier! You can also enjoy a hot drink or ice cream from the pagoda at the end of the pier while enjoying the views across the Bristol Channel to Wales and the islands in between.

Clevedon Marine Lake

If you enjoy paddle boarding, you can hire a board on the Marine Lake, one of the largest salt water infinity pools in the world. You’ll find cold water swimmers here all year round, plus families kayaking, canoeing and crabbing.

Clevedon Seafront

The Salthouse Fields is perfect for picnics and ball games, plus there’s also a skate park, tennis courts, play park and amusement arcade to keep the kids entertained.

Walk along the promenade and along Poets Walk, in one direction, or, take a stroll to Ladye Bay in the other direction. There are great views along these coastal paths and are highly recommended.

Clevedon Shopping

Take a walk to Hill Road’s independent shops, or into town where you’ll find more shops and the Curzon Cinema.

Eating in Clevedon

There are plenty of pubs dotted along the seafront with gardens over-looking the Bristol Channel. You’ll also find tea rooms along The Beach, as well as places to buy fish and chips, ice cream and drinks.

A Bike Ride Along The Strawberry Line Cycle Path

Drive: 30 minutes from Bristol (to Yatton)

Train: 15 minutes from Bristol Temple Meads to Yatton Station

Strawberry Line, Yatton

The Strawberry Line Cycle Path is a mainly flat, traffic-free route that winds through the Somerset countryside. It’s about 10 miles long and runs along the old Strawberry Line railway track between Yatton and Cheddar. It is the ideal way to spend a family day, outside in the fresh air. It doesn’t matter if you don’t own a bike, you can hire them at the start of the route, in Yatton.

You can start anywhere along the route and it’s popular with cyclists and walkers alike.

Cycling the Strawberry line with kids

The route is currently being extended, and will eventually connect Clevedon with Shepton Mallet.

You can take a picnic or stop off at a pub along the way. We recommend The Railway Inn at Sandford, which is a lovely cider pub next to the Thatchers Cider orchards.

The Railway Inn at Sandford (on the Strawberry Line)

READ MORE: A Guide To Cycling The Strawberry Line With Kids

Visit The Historical City Of Wells, England's Smallest City

Drive: 50 minutes from Bristol

The historic city of Wells is located in the heart of Somerset and has to be one of England’s most beautiful cities. It makes the ideal day out because it’s so compact that it’s so easy to walk around and see all the sights on foot. The cities medieval buildings are stunning and it’s like stepping back in time.

It’s home to the iconic Wells Cathedral with it’s gothic style and imposing West Front, it dates back to the 12th Century. The Cathedral Green is an ideal spot to have a picnic and children to play.

Wells Cathedral

Through the Penniless Porch you’ll come out into the Market Square where there is an artisan market and food stalls several times a week.

Walk under the archway under The Bishop’s Eye and arrive at The Bishop’s Palace where you’ll see a moat and drawbridge. The swans here, are famous for ringing a bell for food.

The Bishop’s Palace is worth a visit, for it’s history, gardens and the beautiful well pools from which the city takes its name.

You mustn’t miss walking along Vicar’s Close – the oldest continually inhabited street in Europe with it’s houses still intact. The beautiful houses date back to the 14th Century.

Walking up Vicar's Close, Wells

READ MORE: A Guide to visiting Wells with kids

Explore Bath: A World Heritage Site

Drive: 30 – 40 minutes from Bristol

Train: 10 – 15 minutes from Bristol Temple Meads

The city of Bath is a short trip from Bristol and has something for all ages, particularly for those of you who are interested in history. The city of Bath has been famous for centuries for its hot springs and rich history dating back nearly two thousand years to Roman times. It’s a fashionable and elegant spa town with stunning Georgian arcitecture built from the famous honey-coloured Bath stone.

You can jump on an open top bus for a sightseeing tour of the city and get around Bath by hopping on and off at all the major sights.

Otherwise, it’s really easy to get around Bath by foot, there’s so much to see and all fairly close together.

Roman Baths and Thermae Spa

In the middle of town you’ll find the Roman Baths and Pump Room. The temple was built by the Romans between 60 and 70 AD and they came to bathe in the waters of the natural thermal springs which still flow with hot water today. You can’t bathe here today but if you want to relax in natural hot spring waters, visit Thermae Bath Spa for an awesome 360-degree Bath view from the rooftop pool.

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey is next to the Roman Baths and it’s worth visiting, or you can admire from the outside while sitting in the square. There’s often street entertainers here too.

Bath Abbey

Georgian Bath

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1987, Bath has considerable cultural significance. With some of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the country, including the Royal Crescent the most important of all. The museum at No. 1 Royal Crescent shows how life was in Georgian Bath during the late 1700s.

Visit the Jane Austen Centre, to see what life was like in Regency times when one of Bath’s most famous residents was alive.

Other things to see in Bath

Take a walk across Pulteney Bridge which spans the River Avon to the majestic Holburne Museum, or for a walk along the river with views of the weir.

Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon

There are plenty of parks and green spaces in Bath, most notably, Royal Victoria Park and Parade Gardens.

There are endless food options in Bath, but you must stop at Sally Lunn’s, a world famous tea and eating house (one of the oldest houses in Bath), and home to the famous Bath Bun.

Sally Lunn's, Bath

Discover Glastonbury, A Mystical Town Of History, Myth And Legend

Drive: 1 hour from Bristol

Glastonbury is possibly the quirkiest town in the South West and despite being small in size, there are plenty of interesting and historical things to see and do for the whole family.

All the sights in Glastonbury are easy to walk between which makes it ideal for a day trip.

Glastonbury Tor

Walking up Glastonbury Tor is a great way to start your visit to Glastonbury. This iconic landmark is owned by the National Trust and is free to explore. Find the remains of the 15th-century church of St Michael at the top.

Glastonbury Tor

Red and White Spring

At the bottom of the Tor is the ancient White and Red Springs which come up from under the Tor and are said to have healing powers. You can walk to the Well House to see the White Spring and even fill up your water bottles with the spring water.

The Chalice Well and Red Spring, sometimes called The Blood Well due to its rich iron content, are across the road surrounded by beautiful gardens, and also worth a visit.

Glastonbury Abbey

Walk along to Glastonbury Abbey and explore the ancient ruins, once one of the wealthiest and most powerful monasteries in England. Since Medieval times, the abbey has held legendary status as the earliest Christian foundation in Britain linked to Joseph of Arimathea and the burial place of King Arthur. There are usually children’s activities throughout the holidays and in springtime the abbey grounds are covered with spring flowers. Kids go FREE every day with a paying adult.

Glastonbury High Street

Head along the High Street and explore the interesting indie shops, selling all sorts of unusual and wonderful things. You’ll find healing crystals, wands, faery accessories, witchcraft supplies, incense, books, homemade crafts and one-off fashion pieces.

While you’re exploring Glastonbury keep a look out for the eye-catching murals. You can pick up a map from the tourist information office in town of the Glastonbury Mural Trail. There are 50 pieces of art to find.

SEE MORE: A Day Out In Glastonbury

Explore The Beautiful Wye Valley And Forest Of Dean

Drive: 40 – 50 minutes

Head over the Severn Bridge to the beautiful Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. There is so much to explore in this ancient forest that was once a royal hunting forest as far back as 1066.

The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Britain. It’s an outdoor lovers dream destination and has plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities, including canoeing, cycling, kayaking, climbing, walking and swinging through trees at Go Ape.
Go Ape, Forest of Dean

Puzzlewood Forest

You must explore the magical Puzzlewood forest, it’s like stepping into an enchanted world. You can see why it was an inspiration for JRR Tolkien; and a popular film and tv location for series such as Merlin and films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Secret Garden.

Tintern Abbey and River Wye

Tintern Abbey

Drive the scenic A466 Tintern Road through the Wye Valley to Tintern Abbey, one of the most photographed sites in the area. Take a walk along the picturesque River Wye taking in the Abbey Mill and shops, The Old Station and Brockweir.

Clearwell Caves and Hopewell Colliery

Discover Clearwell Caves, a natural cave system where you can explore nine large caverns and winding passageways with exciting displays throughout your journey. On the surface, visit the Lamp Room Cafe for refreshments. Or, go on an underground tour of a mine and visit Hopewell Colliery.

Forest of Dean Steam Trains

If you enjoy trains, go on a heritage steam train ride at Dean Forest Railway. Or have fun on the Perrygrove Railway, a miniature steam train that the kids will love, alongside large play areas.

Symonds Yat

Spot Peregrine Falcons from Symonds Yat Rock, a scheduled ancient monument and site of an Iron Age Hillfort with spectacular views from the top.

Castles near the Forest of Dean

If you love history, a trip to Chepstow Castle is a must. It overlooks the River Wye and is the oldest surviving post-Roman fortification in Britain.

Wales has the highest number of Castles in the world and there are several more castles in this area you can explore. Discover the impressive Raglan Castle, Goodrich Castle one of the finest and best preserved of all English medieval castles towering over the River Wye, Skenfrith Castle, Usk Castle, Monmouth Castle, Abergavenny Castle, White Castle, Grosmont Castle, and Caldicot Castle set in 55 acres of country park.

Visit Weston super Mare: A Day At The Seaside

Drive: 30 – 35 minutes

Train: 35 – 40 minutes

Pack your bucket and spade for a fun day at the beach. Weston super Mare is a typical seaside town and has 2 miles of sandy beach which is perfect for families. There are plenty of family-friendly activities all along the seafront to keep the kids entertained all day. There are donkeys, swings and if the tide is out, head to the Marine Lake or outdoor splash park, opposite.

The Grand Pier, WsM

Take a walk along the promenade to the famous Grand Pier, jam packed with rides and attractions. You can grab an ice cream there or from one of the ice cream parlours along the front. Finish the day with some fish n chips on the beach. The sunsets are awesome!

Head to the Weston Sky Wheel, a huge ferris wheel located on the Beach Lawns. There are great views over Weston Bay to Brean Down and over to Wales.

You can walk along to Brean Down, a natural peninsular that was once a Roman Fort and has the remains of a Palmerston Fort at the end. The views are spectacular and there is another fantastic sandy beach (Brean Beach) on the other side.

If the weather isn’t playing ball you can visit Weston museum or the helicopter museum, clip n climb, Revo Glo Golf or the bowling alley.

Alternatively, if you want a day out at an attraction with animals, Puxton Park or Court Farm are just off the motorway junction and are brilliant family attractions.

Explore Cheddar Gorge and Caves

Drive: 40 minutes

Cheddar Gorge is one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in the UK. Driving through the gorge (on the B3135) is one of the most scenic routes in England with the limestone cliffs rising up over 400 feet and three miles long. Set in The Mendip Hills, it’s designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is a popular tourist spot.

Cheddar Show Caves

Cheddar is an ideal day trip for the whole family because there is plenty to do, including the spectacular Cheddar show caves. You can explore Gough’s Cave and see the beautiful rock formations, stalagmites and stalactites. It also where Britain’s oldest complete skeleton known as ‘Cheddar Man’ was discovered. In Cox’s Cave you can hear the story of early man. Visit the museum of Prehistory and climb Jacob’s Ladder (274 Steps) to the lookout tower at the top of the gorge for spectacular 360 degree views across Somerset.

Walk in Cheddar

The Cheddar Gorge Cliff Top Walk is a must when visiting Cheddar. It’s steep in places but definitely worth the climb for the awesome views. It’s also great for nature lovers with lots of wildlife to spot.

Cheddar Gorge walk

Cheddar Reservoir

Cheddar Reservoir is also a lovely walk, especially for those who aren’t able to manage the Cliff Top Walk. In contrast, the walk around Cheddar Reservoir is flat and paths are accessible.

Cheddar Village

Explore Cheddar Village and see the ancient Market Cross which dates back to the 15th Century. There are some lovely shops in the village and at the bottom of the gorge, including the famous Cheddar Cheese Shop. The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company make cheddar in the village and you can even go on a tour to watch it being made. Some of the cheese is matured in the caves in Cheddar – the perfect conditions for cheese maturing.

Cheddar Cheese Company, Cheddar

There are several food options at pubs, tea rooms and bakeries in Cheddar Gorge and Village. If it’s raining, Ocean Adventure is ideal for the kids to keep them entertained for hours. The Strawberry Line cycle track goes between Cheddar and Yatton, and is a perfect way to spend an afternoon with the family on a bike ride or walk.

Visit Castle Combe in The Cotswolds

Drive: 35 minutes

Castle Combe is a quaint Cotwold village about 20 miles from Bristol and is often called “The Prettiest Village in England”. It’s set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and dates back to the 12th Century. Most of the houses in the village date back to the 17th Century and Castle Combe remains unchanged since then. This is the reason why it’s often used as a tv and film location.

Castle Combe Pub and Market Square

Taking a stroll through the pretty streets is like stepping back in time. The Bybrook river flows through the village and the packhorse bridge is a popular place to take photographs.

Castle Combe Bridge

See the old Butter Cross, Medieval Market Square and 15th Century church with its faceless clock.

SEE MORE: A family day out in Castle Combe

There are several food options in the village where you can stop for lunch. You have the choice between a couple of pubs, tearooms or a take away picnic shop.

There is a lovely walk around the village which is just the right distance for families and there’s a great place to paddle in the river.

A Day Out in Lacock

Drive: 45 minutes

Lacock Abbey

Lacock is another contender for the prettiest village in England and is mostly owned by the National Trust. There are very few structures in the main village later than the 18th century and with it’s timber framed cottages and well preserved buildings, lacock is also a popular location for tv and films such as Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice.

Film Locations in Lacock Village and Abbey

Pick up a leaflet at the National Trust Visitor Reception or download a copy of the filming locations in Lacock before wandering around the village – it’s the perfect opportunity for some great photos from your favourite films.

Harry Potter fans will find Harry’s parents house from the first film, and Horace Slughorn’s house in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

For more Harry Potter film locations, head over to Lacock Abbey. Walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione along the Cloisters of the Abbey, which were the corridors of Hogwarts.

Lacock - a day trip from Bristol

You’ll also find Professor Snape’s Potion Classroom and Professor Quirrel’s classroom for his Defence Against the Dark Arts Class.

Afterwards, take a walk in the Abbey Gardens which have been there for nearly 900 years. You might be interested in the rose garden, woodland garden which is particularly pretty in spring, the green houses in the botanic garden and the parkland. The orchard is a great place for a picnic, or there are picnic benches in the Pound by the play area in the village. Otherwise, you can head to The Stables cafe for lunch or ice creams.

Fox Talbot Museum

Before you go, discover the history of photography at The Fox Talbot Museum which tells the story of the birth of photography with objects and technology from the early years of photography. In 1835, the first photographic negative was captured in the Abbey by it’s owner, William Fox Talbot, and you can see his camera in the museum.

Day Trips From Bristol

These are our Top 10 destinations for a day trip from Bristol that are within an hour drive of the city. There are many more fantastic day trips from Bristol and this list has only scratched the surface. If you’re interested in historic sites visit a National Trust property such as:
  • Tyntesfield
  • Montecute House
  • Dunster Castle and Watermill
If you’re looking for a day out at an animal attraction, we suggest:
  • Bristol Zoo Project
  • Slimbridge
  • Puxton Park
  • Longleat House and Safari Park
If you love getting out in nature, then we suggest heading to:
  • The Mendip Hills
  • Blagdon Lake or Chew Valley Lake
  • Exmoor National Park
  • The Quantock Hills
  • Blackdown Hills (AONB)
Let us know in the comments if you have been to any of these places, which is your favourite, or, if you have any other suggestions. Pin it for later!

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