As capital of the South West, Bristol makes the perfect base to explore the very best the region has to offer. World-famous attractions, iconic landmarks and beautiful countryside are all just a short train, bus journey, car ride or cycle away! So why not add a few extra days onto your stay in the city and tick off some iconic sites at the same time?

Here’s our pick of the best day trips WEST of Bristol...

  • Family attractions

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall, about 25 minutes from central Bristol is home to some of the biggest zoo animals, including tigers, African elephants, white rhinos and farm animals. Noah's Ark's most recent addition is 26-year-old bull elephant Shaka, who joins two younger bulls in the 20-acre 'Elephant Eden' to form the UK’s first African Elephant bull facility. In addition to outdoor play areas, there’s also a huge soft play area and thrilling slides, making it a great all-weather day out.  

Shaka Elephant

  • Escape to the countryside

Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield is a spectacular National Trust Victorian Gothic Revival estate situated near Wraxall, North Somerset. If you watch Sherlock or Dr Who, chances are you’ve already seen a fair bit of the house and gardens.  Follow the trails, take a gander inside the house or pitch up for any number of exciting events which take place throughout the year.

Tyntesfield

Tredega House

Pop over the Severn Bridge to this 17th century Welsh mansion where you’ll find some of the earliest landscaped gardens in Wales. Stomp around the parkland, spot wildlife on the lake or take a peek inside the house.

Tredega House

Image - Tredega House, National Trust credit @NTTredegarHouse

  • City visits

Cardiff

Why not tick off two countries in one day? It takes just 50 minutes to get to Welsh capital Cardiff from Bristol on the train. The city is jam-packed with fun things to do - discover 2000 years of history at Cardiff Castle, watch an international rugby match at the Principality Stadium, try white water rafting at Cardiff International White Water (CIWW) or just mooch around the buzzing revitalised waterfront at Cardiff Bay.

cardiff

Image - Cardiff Bay, credit @VisitCardiff

  • Iconic landmarks

Caerphilly Castle

Located in South Wales, Caerphilly lies 8 miles north of Cardiff and around an hour from Bristol. The town is famous for its medieval castle - the largest in Britain after Windsor – and Caerphilly cheese, which is similar in flavour to cheddar and known affectionately as ‘the crumblies’.

Caerphilly Castle

Image - Caerphilly Castle, credit VisitBritain

  • Beach breaks

Portishead

Bristol’s well-known 90s band take their name from this coastal town, just 10 miles from central Bristol. Marvel at the yachts on an amble round the Marina, go boating during the summer months at the Lake Ground or take a walk along the river for beautiful estuary views looking out to Wales and Avonmouth Docks in the distance. Portishead also has its own open air pool which is heated using green energy and has great views across the Bristol Channel.

Portishead

Clevedon

Clevedon is a charming Victorian seaside town with a Marine Lake and restored Grade I* listed Victorian pier - you may recognise the latter as the backdrop in One Direction’s You and I video or from the film, Never Let Me Go starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. Broadchurch fan?  Much of ITV’s award-winning drama was filmed here - see how many locations you recognise! Clevedon Golf Club poses a challenge to golfers of all abilities, set high above the Severn Estuary, the view from the cliff-side opening holes over the Bristol Channel is spectacular.

Travel slightly further south and you'll reach Weston-Super-Mare on the Somerset coast. The coastal town is home to the famous Grand Pier, which offers family fun for all ages including a 300-metre indoor go-kart track, F1 simulators, arcades and rides. Or opt for a traditional English seaside experience and seek out a donkey ride, ice cream and proper fish and chips. 

Clevedon Pier Liz Milner

Image - Clevedon Pier, credit Liz Milner

Porthcawl

Love surfing? Did you know Porthcawl is one of the closest surf beaches to Bristol and London?! Get your wave fix at Rest Bay in South Wales just an hour and a quarter from Bristol - totally doable in a day for swell lovers. There’s also the Wales Coastal Path to walk, donkeys to ride and fairground fun to be had at Coney Beach, plus day trips to Ilfracombe (a seaside town in Devon) on the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer (leaving from Porthcawl pier).

Royal Porthcawl Golf Course

Image - Royal Porthcawl Golf Course, credit Henry Williams, VisitBritain

The Gower

The Gower peninsula was designated as the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Beauty back in 1956. Around two hours away from Bristol, walkers, birdwatchers and surfers flock to this stunning spot. Home to dazzling, vast, award-winning beaches like Rhossili Bay, wooded valleys and dunes, you’ll also find man-made historic monuments like the 13th century ruin, Oystermouth Castle.

Three Cliffs Bay - Visit Britain Andrew Pickett

Image - Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula, credit Andrew Pickett, VisitBritain

Ogmore-by-Sea

The village of Ogmore-by-Sea, with its vast sandy beaches and dramatic rock formations is popular with fossil-hunters, wildlife spotters and walkers. Seek out the haunted Norman castle, go rock-pooling, explore the dunes and discover Ogmore Castle in this delightful seaside location, just an hour and a half from Bristol.

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Related

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm
Zoo
Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is the home of the big zoo animals including African Elephants, White Rhino, Giraffes, Lions, Tigers and Bears. You’ll be amazed at the variety of nature you’ll see within the biggest zoo in the South West.

Tyntesfield
Historic House/Palace
Tyntesfield

National Trust Victorian Gothic house, gardens, woodland, 3 play areas, 2 cafes, and shop...Phew! And all on Bristol's doorstep. Open every day.

Clevedon Golf Club
Golf Course
View of clevedon golf club

Golf has been played on the current course at Clevedon for over 100 years.