Birdsong or Bansky? Hedgerows or Harbourside? If you can’t decide between a city break or a country retreat, do both. North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, the Cotswolds and the rolling hills of the Mendips are all within a hop and a skip of Bristol city centre. Dress like a city weekender, but don’t forget your wellies.

Backwell House

All leather chairs, dangly lights and mellow stone, this revamped Georgian house is set in gentle Somerset countryside, just 7 miles south-west of the city. The hotel has nine gorgeous rooms (think bateau beds, copper roll-top baths, vintage suitcases and views of the estate from big sash windows). A Victorian walled garden supplies some of the fresh ingredients for the restaurant where head chef Ross Hunter serves up modern seasonal dishes with local provenance.

Bristol takes 15-20 minutes by car (and there are into-the-city bus services within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel).

Backwell house country house hotels bristol

Image - Backwell House

Berwick Lodge

Combine the grandeur of an Ottoman palace with the elegance of an English country house - only 6.5 miles north of Bristol. The love child of Anglo-Turkish couple Sarah and Fevzi Arikan, Berwick Lodge is set in enchanting gardens, with views across the Severn Estuary towards South Wales from some of its 14 sumptuous rooms and suites. Afternoon tea in the lounge or dinner in the restaurant is a special treat and it’s not just the lawns that are green - the hotel has a special commitment to energy efficiency and the environment. Nearby attractions include Wild Place Project and Blaise Castle Estate.

Bristol centre to Berwick Lodge takes 30 minutes by car.

Berwick Lodge - Country House hotels

Image - Berwick Lodge

Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort

Head for Calne in Wiltshire for this country-club style resort. A stay in one of the family-friendly hotel’s 43 luxury rooms, includes access to the spa, the estate’s 18-hole championship golf course and free entry to the Bowood House & Gardens. Less a mile away, the Georgian mansion - home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne – is set in 100-acres of parkland designed by ‘Capability’ Brown with a lake, a waterfall, an adventure playground and Tractor Ted Little Farm. Nearby attractions include Lacock Abbey. 

Bowood House is 33 miles (roughly one hour) from Bristol by car.

Bowood House Hotel - Country house hotels near Bristol

Image - Bowood House Hotel

De Vere Tortworth Court

Just over the border in south Gloucestershire, this magnificent pile combines a handy location just off the M5, old-school Gothic Revival architecture and a picturesque Cotswold setting. Grade II* listed, the hotel has had recent re-design, giving a 21st century twist to traditional country-house style. As well as 30 acres of grounds to explore, Tortworth boasts a glassy Victorian orangery, a gym and pool, and, unusually, a 19th century pet cemetery. Berkeley Castle is close by.

The 20-mile drive from Bristol takes about 30 minutes.

Tortworth Court - country house hotels bristol

Image - Tortworth Court

Thornbury Castle

If you’ve always wanted to stay in a castle this is the real deal – complete with turrets, towers, dungeons, suits of armour and king-size bedchambers all set in 15 acres of south Gloucestershire. Dating from the 16th century, Thornbury was once owned by Henry VIII (you can sleep in the room he once shared with Anne Boleyn). With a vineyard, walled Tudor gardens and opportunities to try your hand at archery, falconry and croquet, the castle is the perfect place to immerse yourself in English country life within an easy drive of the city.

The 15-mile drive from Bristol to Thornbury takes 30 minutes via the M4. Or take a taxi from Bristol Parkway station (9 miles).

Thornbury Castle - country house hotels

Image - Thornbury Castle

Tracy Park Hotel Resort

Billed as a Golf and Country Club, this enchanting 16th century country house is set in 240 acres of south Gloucestershire parkland – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty roughly midway between Bristol and Bath. A newly converted 19th century stable block houses some of the hotel’s luxury rooms (note, the stables are said to have inspired Anna Sewell’s horsey novel Black Beauty) and the hotel has two golf courses. The National Trust’s Dyrham Park is close by.

The 10-mile journey from Bristol takes roughly 30 minutes.

Tracy Park country house hotels

Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin

Perched on the edge of Bristol’s spectacular Avon Gorge, this is where you stay if you want a city base with the countryside right on the doorstep. From the hotel’s gorge-ous rooms, you can see Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge – your gateway to the leafy paths of Leigh Woods or the deer park of the Ashton Court Estate (both within manageable walking distance). The hotel’s Goram and Vincent restaurant is named after the mythical giants are who are said to have created local rock formations, including the Avon Gorge.

From the city centre, Clifton and the Avon Gorge is a 10-minute drive or a 25-minute walk (uphill). From Temple Meads station take the number 8 bus.

Avon Gorge hotel country house hotel

Image - The Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin

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Exterior shot of Thornbury Castle

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