Bath is surrounded by beautiful countryside, historic monuments and vibrant cities, making it the perfect destination for some exciting day trips. There is so much to , but a day or two extra won’t hurt when there are so many more nearby places to explore. From the chocolate box villages in the Cotswolds to the extraordinary Stonehenge and the lively city of Bristol, you’ll never be stuck for fun things to do on these exciting day trips from Bath. Discover more of what the beautiful west of England has to offer while making the most of a Bath city break in 2021.
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Heading to Bath for your 2021 city break? Find out
1. The Cotswolds
Getting there by car: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours
Located right at the most southern point of The Cotswolds, a day trip from Bath to one or two of the most beautiful towns in England is a must. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers beautiful countryside walks, chocolate box villages and an abundance of British charm. The easiest way to visit The Cotswolds from Bath is by car, giving you the freedom to explore all the stunning scenery you wish and that could be within just half an hour’s drive. In 30 minutes, you could be in Badminton or Castle Combe, also known as one of England’s “prettiest villages” (along with a number of other places in The Cotswolds), and in less than an hour you could be exploring the stunning Tetbury, Uley, Bisley or Stroud. Venture even further north for more wonderful Cotswolds scenery - there really is so much to see in this part of the UK.
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2. Cheddar Gorge
Getting there by car: 50 minutes
Getting there by public transport: 45 minute train to Weston Super Mare, then 126 bus to Cheddar Village
Spend a day walking through England’s largest gorge and one of the most spectacular areas of the country. Cheddar Gorge is just a 50 minute drive from Bath city centre, right on the edge of the Mendip Hills, another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Follow one of the many walking routes through the 3-mile long, 400-foot deep gorge, formed over one million years ago during the Ice Age. The Cheddar Gorge cliff top walk by the National Trust offers views that will take your breath away, looking out over the rolling Mendip Hills, the village of Cheddar and the incredibly unique English gorge. Cheddar village itself is famous for its fascinating caves where they now age and store Cheddar cheese. Keep an eye on their website for information on when their Cheddar Caves tours are set to reopen in 2021.
Getting there by car: 1 hour
Getting there by public transport: 1 hour 45 minute train via Bristol
It might be a household name thanks to its epic annual music festival, but there are actually plenty more reasons to visit Glastonbury than just for watching live acts in welly boots. Glastonbury is a great place to visit from Bath, being home to an exciting mix of quirky things to do, beautiful nature walks and historic sights that are steeped in ancient legends. Explore what’s thought to be the earliest Christian sight in the UK, Glastonbury Abbey, where some believe Jesus was brought by his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea. See the sites of some of the UK’s most famous myths and legends, visiting the White Spring, the Chalice Well and Wearyall Hill all in the town centre. Glastonbury Tor is another must-see attraction with a fascinating story attached. The beautiful hill looks out over sweeping views of the Isle of Avalon, Somerset and Glastonbury, with the remnants of the 14th century Church of St Michael sitting right at the highest point. Legend has it that here is where the Holy Grail lies…
4. Mendip Hills
Getting there by car: 30 minutes to an hour
Dramatic gorges, ancient monuments and breathtaking views, the beautiful Mendip Hills are the perfect day trip from Bath. These spectacular limestone hills are yet another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to add to your southwest England bucket list, home to countless incredible walking and cycle routes whether you’d prefer to walk for an hour or two or the entire day. Walk over hills, across valleys, around lakes and along ridges, taking in the sweeping views over some of the best scenery the UK has to offer.
Getting there by car: 50 minutes
Dating back to a time centuries before the invention of the wheel - let alone the crane - Stonehenge is still a total mystery thousands of years later. Archaeologists believe that it was built in phases, with the earliest part dating back 5,000 years. They’re stumped at how a society without modern technology managed to lift these huge stones, some all the way from the Preseli Hills in Wales, 200 miles away. The prehistoric monument is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting one million curious visitors a year to puzzle over the mind-boggling structure. Make sure you book your tickets in advance of your visit for £19.50.
Getting there by car: 45 minutes
Getting there by public transport: 12 minute train
Just a 12 minute train ride away, Bristol is both an incredibly fun and convenient day trip destination. From Bath’s quintessentially British charm to Bristol’s vibrant culture and creativity, we love that you can get the best of both sides of England in a matter of minutes. Different areas of Bristol bring a different vibe, such as Stoke Croft and it’s independent cafes, street art and vintage stores, and Clifton with its quaint streets and beautiful brasseries, as well as Bristol’s masterpiece… The Suspension Bridge. You could spend days exploring the different neighbourhoods, eating the delicious food and getting to know the history of the city, but when it’s just a 12 minute train journey away, one day is just enough!
Getting there by car: 1 hour 15 minutes
Getting there by public transport: 1 hour 10 direct train
Visit a whole other country’s capital city within just an hour and 15 minutes during your Bath city break. Cardiff is a bucket list British city, so a day trip while you’re in Bath is the perfect excuse. Learn about the city’s history through a visit to Cardiff Castle and the National Museum of Cardiff, eat your way around the Farmer’s Market on a Sunday or shop around the city’s Victorian arcades. The city itself has something for everyone to enjoy, but you’d prefer to get a taste of the surrounding Welsh countryside then hire a bike and get on the Taff Trail, or head to Cardiff Bay to feel your heart in your mouth during some white water rafting.
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Getting there by car: 35 minutes
Getting there by public transport: 50 minutes by train and bus
Within easy reach of Bath is another incredibly quaint village you’ll fall in love with. Lacock village is full of charm, looking almost just as it did 200 years ago when it was still a working wool producer. With its stone cottages and medieval streets, it’s no wonder why Lacock has appeared in films and TV shows like Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The village’s most famous attraction is Lacock Abbey - what is now a country house in the heart of Lacock, surrounded by its own woodland and built upon what used to be a nunnery in the 1200s. Get tickets to explore inside the Abbey, its grounds, the Cloisters and the Fox Talbot Museum to learn more about the previous resident and his fascinating work towards the invention of photography.
Thinking of heading to Bath for a 2021 city break? Check out the and the in the city