Amazing Day Trips From Bristol, UK

Symonds Yat is one of the day trips accessible from Bristol
Symonds Yat is one of the day trips accessible from Bristol | © Stephen Dorey ABIPP / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Callum Davies
6 July 2020

It’s difficult to get bored in Bristol. The city is overflowing with culture, and there’s no shortage of interesting things to see and do. However, if you’re minded to get out of the city for a day, there is plenty in the surrounding area to keep you occupied. Below are some of the best options for a day trip in the Bristol area.

Symonds Yat

Natural Feature
Map View
The hand-pulled cable ferry across the River Wye at Symonds Yat, Herefordshire UK
Symonds Yat is one of the day trips accessible from Bristol | © Stephen Dorey ABIPP / Alamy Stock Photo

The entire Forest of Dean is well worth a visit, but Symonds Yat is particularly special. Nestled right across the Wye Valley, walking routes provide some of the best views of the forest you can get, and from the village itself you can book out kayaks, for those feeling adventurous. Symonds Yat is an hour’s drive north of Bristol, via Wales.

Wookey Hole

Natural Feature
Map View

No, this isn’t anything to do with Star Wars, but it’s certainly a great option for anyone seeking a thrill. Wookey Hole is a series of limestone caves that cut through the Mendip Hills by the River Axe. A day pass to Wookey Hole will give you the chance not only to explore the caves and surrounding woodland trails, but also get in a round of mini-golf on-site and to navigate the famous mirror maze. A magical day out looking at some of the best natural attractions in the area. Wookey Hole is in Somerset, 45 minutes south of Bristol.

Bath

Natural Feature
Map View
Roman baths, Bath UK
© Justin Black / Alamy Stock Photo

For those interested in history, few towns in the UK can rival Bath. The only town in the UK to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage site status, it cuts a beautiful skyline, and many of the old Roman structures are very much intact. Helpfully, it’s also small enough that you can easily get around it in a day. Make sure to not only appreciate the local architecture, but to also indulge in some time at the city’s famous Roman Baths. Bath is southeast of Bristol, reachable by car in about half an hour.

Ystradfellte Waterfalls Walk

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Map View

The Brecon Beacons are home to many amazing walks and routes, all of them within relatively easy reach of Bristol. Ystradfellte stands out, though, because it gives visitors the chance to see four amazing waterfalls and even walk beneath the largest of them. The walk is approximately six kilometres (3.8mi) and suitable for most levels of hiker. Make sure to pop into one of the local pubs post-walk for a pint and packet of crisps before heading back home. Ystradfellte is about 90 minutes away from Bristol.

Westonbirt Arboretum

Forest
Map View
DWEB4Fweb
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
A great destination no matter the time of year, Westonbirt Arboretum is home to some 2,500 different types of tree, many of them endangered. Its history goes back to the 1850s, and many of the walkways are exactly as they were then. For a squirrel’s-eye view, you can even take the STIHL treetop walkway, which is very safe and gives visitors a unique opportunity to experience this magical forest. Westonbirt is a 35-minute drive northeast of Bristol.

Virtual Warfare

Laser Tag
Map View

If nature and history aren’t your forte, why not head out for a day of real-life gaming? Just outside Salisbury, you can engage in what is known at Battlefield Live. It’s a laser tag-style game, with a lot of care and attention put into the props, scenery and atmosphere. In the case of Virtual Warfare, that means 11,000 square metres (118,000sq ft) of arenas that are suited to various scenarios and feature laser guns with an effective range of up to 305 metres (1,000ft). Virtual Warfare is just over 90 minutes south of Bristol by car.

These recommendations were updated on July 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.