Best Trips In and Around Bristol
It's always a good idea to immerse yourself in what is unique to an area!
image credit: David Hughes
Bristol’s Best Day Trips
Deciding what to do with your precious travel time is always tough. Being in a place like Bristol, where there is so much to see and do certainly doesn’t help. To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of the best ways to spend time in and around Bristol. From historical castles to exotic animals and from art to beaches, no matter what your taste or interest, there’s bound to be something that will be just right for you.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is located in Clifton, Bristol and is a great option for families and animal lovers. Spend your day making friends with lions, butterflies, meerkats, hippos, pandas and seals, just to name a few. For a real up close and personal encounter, head to the Feed the Lorikeets exhibit where - you guessed it - you can hand-feed dozens of brightly coloured lorikeet parrots. To have your own ‘Jurassic Park’ experience, make sure you stop by the zoo’s DinoZoo exhibit, which features 13 animatronic dinosaurs! Or you can let yourself go wild at ZooRopia, a fun ropes course that has 17 animal-themed sections to explore. With many more attractions, a day at Bristol Zoo Gardens will quickly pass by in a haze of fun and excitement.
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Calling all street art lovers! Bristol, home of street artist BANKSY, is the place for you! In actuality, you don’t have to be an art connoisseur to appreciate the funky street art that can be found in locations all around the city, so why not do something different and embark on a guided street art tour? Passing over 50 artworks, you will be led around the city’s streets and learn more about Bristol’s fascinating graffiti history at the same time. After all, it’s always a good idea to immerse yourself in what is unique to an area!
There’s no other day trip quite like a trip to the beach. On the west coast, a 40-minute drive away from Bristol, sits Weston-super-Mare, a seaside town that has a lot to offer. Apart from the obvious attraction of its long, sandy beach, Weston-super-Mare has many restaurants, cafes, a popular promenade, the Grand Pier, and the pier’s indoor theme park. There are even donkey rides! For a classic English seaside resort experience, look no further!
Image credit: Ollie Taylor
Right near the heart of Bristol, Brunel’s ss Great Britain is a museum ship that was once the largest passenger steamship in the world. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and launched in 1843, the ss Great Britain enjoyed many ocean-faring trips before being damaged in a storm in 1886. Today, you can visit the ship and experience what life was like on-board. From simulated sounds and smells to props to character stories, you’ll really feel as though you’ve been transported back in time! Nearby you can visit the Brunel Institute and David MacGregor Library, home to thousands of books, artefacts, plans, letters, diaries and other documents.
Cheddar Gorges and Caves
About 40 minutes south of Bristol, you’ll come across one of Somerset’s biggest attractions, the Cheddar Gorge and Caves. Go underground and visit Gough’s Cave, where Britain’s oldest skeleton was discovered. Here you can learn about the fascinating history of the cave by listening to your audio guide. Next up is Cox’s Cave, another marvel of nature and home to sculptures, mirror pools and shimmering colours. A trip to the area wouldn’t be complete without walking along the three mile Cliff Top Walk, where you will see some stunning views of the Somerset area.
Image credit: Matt Gibson
Located in Berkeley, about half an hour away from Bristol, Berkeley Castle is a 12th century Norman castle, which is remarkably still owned by members of the Berkeley family. If you wish, you can join a guided tour, which takes in places such as the King’s Gallery, the Tower Room, the Picture Gallery, the Dining Room, the China Room and the Great Hall. After the tour, you’re then free to roam around the castle’s grounds and see the bowling lawn, lily pond, tennis court and woodland grove. Finally, complete your visit with a stop at the Tropical Butterfly House, where you can meet and greet 25 different species of butterfly.
A quintessential English experience is on the cards when you visit the Old Down Country Park, situated approximately 20 minutes north of central Bristol. Here you can interact with the resident animals, including piglets, ducklings, guinea pigs and pygmy goats, as well as explore a Victorian walled garden and take in the beauty of the English countryside when you walk along one of the many trails in the area. To relax after all this exploring, have a meal at the on-site café or indulge in some delicious ice-cream, which is made on the farm! The Farm shop also sells jams, sweets and produce from the garden in addition to gifts and souvenirs.