4 beautiful places to go for a walk near Bath & Bristol

A charming country lane with views of the rolling Somerset hills near Bath and Bristol

If you’re looking for a lovely country walk near Bath and Bristol, the 4 best places are the Cotswolds, the Mendip Hills, Somerset and the Brecon Beacons. From mountain peaks to coastlines, picturesque villages, rolling hills and enchanting valleys, each region offers different landscapes, but equally striking scenery. You’ll find recommended walks for each region.

Contents:
1. The Cotswolds
2. The Mendip Hills
3. Somerset
4. The Brecon Beacons

1. The Cotswolds

Featuring delightful rolling hills covered in ancient stone walls, captivating valleys with lush woodland and picturesque villages painted in the distinctive honey-coloured stone, the Cotswolds offer the most peaceful and charming escape from Bath and Bristol. Located north of the cities, the Cotswolds are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and boast enchanting country scenery best explored on foot.

Views of Uley village nested in Cotswold valley
The picturesque village of Uley in the Cotswolds

Ozleworth & Lasborough Valleys walk: Enchanting valleys and picturesque hills

Location: Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge, The Cotswolds

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 3 ½ to 4 hours

Distance: 5.7 miles (9.2 km)

The Ozleworth and Lasborough valleys walk is one of the most charming and peaceful walks in the Cotswolds. Featuring enchanting valleys, rolling hills and captivating woodland, this Cotswold walk is a true hidden gem. At every step of the walk, you’ll be awestruck by the serene and picturesque rolling hills, and the quaint and secluded valleys.

The Lasborough Park and the Lasborough Farm in the Cotswolds
The peaceful Lasborough Park

Starting from the chocolate-box hamlet of Ozleworth near Wotton-under-Edge, this Cotswold walk first explores the verdant Ozleworth Park before leading you across the quiet Bagpath valley. This circular walk then takes you through the peaceful Lasborough valley and across the wooded Ozleworth Bottom, and enjoys ethereal country scenery.

Discover enchanting valleys with the Ozleworth and Lasbourough valleys walk guide.

Coaley Peak to Selsley Common walk: Wild landscapes and glorious views

Location: Nympsfield and Selsley, The Cotswolds

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 3 to 3 ½ hours

Distance: 7 miles (11 km)

The walk from Coaley Peak to Selsley Common explores a section of the Cotswold Way and offers wild landscapes, peaceful woods, enchanting valleys and glorious views. Located south of Stroud, this Cotswold walk takes you along the edge of the escarpment and into the depths of ancient woodland.

Stunning views of the Cotwolds, Severn Vale and Wales from Selsley Common
Views from Selsley Common

The Coaley Peak to Selsley Common walk first explores the Coaley Peak escarpment and enjoys glorious views of the Cotswold Hills, the Severn Vale, the Brecon Beacons and Wales. This walk then escapes to a serene forest and dips down into a charming valley, offering further striking scenery. This Cotswold walk then climbs back up to the escarpment and the wild landscape of Selsley Common.

Enjoy glorious views with the Coaley Peak to Selsley Common walk guide.

Badminton walk: A picturesque village and rolling countryside

Location: Badminton, the Cotswolds

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 2 to 2 ½ hours

Distance: 5 miles (8.3 km)

Located in the South Cotswolds, just north of Bath, the Badminton walk explores the picturesque Badminton village and the delightful Badminton Park. Featuring quiet country roads, verdant fields and serene woodland, this circular walk enjoys the beautiful scenery of the rolling Cotswold countryside.

Picturesque thatched and stone cottages in Little Badminton on the Badminton Park walk
Charming cottages in Little Badminton

Starting at the picturesque village, the Badminton walk first discovers the impressive collection of charming cottages in Badminton. This Cotswold walk then crosses verdant fields and follows the undulating Cotswold landscape, before escaping to the otherworldly hamlet of Little Badminton and exploring the tree-lined parkland of Badminton Park.

Explore a picturesque village with the Badminton walk guide.

2. The Mendip Hills

Located south of Bath and Bristol, the Mendip Hills feature rocky peaks, limestone hills, arresting gorges and ancient woodland. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Mendips offer spectacular scenery of the Somerset countryside, fabulous walks across the rugged landscape and the perfect day out or weekend escape from Bath and Bristol.

View from Crook Peak in Mendip Hills
Views of the Mendip Hills from Crook Peak

Cheddar Gorge Cliff Top walk: Arresting cliffs and breathtaking scenery

Location: Cheddar, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 1½ to 2 hours

Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km)

Located in the Mendip Hills, 50 minutes away from Bath and Bristol, Cheddar Gorge offers a fantastic walk along the cliff edge, breathtaking scenery and a great opportunity to spot wildlife. One of the top attractions in the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge is the largest gorge in England and a feast for the eyes.

Spectacular views from Cheddar Gorge
Views from Cheddar Gorge

To explore the limestone cliffs of Cheddar Gorge, the Cheddar Gorge Cliff Top walk begins from the town of Cheddar and takes you along the ridge of the gorge. This circular walk offers spectacular views of the arresting gorge, the town of Cheddar, the Mendip Hills, Glastonbury Tor, the Somerset countryside and the Bristol Channel.

Explore arresting cliffs with the Cheddar Gorge Cliff Top walk guide.

Crook Peak walk: Rocky peaks and spectacular 360° views

Location: Compton Bishop, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 2 ½ to 3 hours

Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km)

Featuring rocky hills, lush countryside and spectacular scenery, the Crook Peak walk is one of the best walks in the Mendip Hills and offers the perfect escape from Bath and Bristol. The only drawback is the close proximity of the motorway and the hum of traffic disturbing this serene walk.

View of Crook Peak in Mendip Hills
The rocky peak of Crook Peak

The Crook Peak walk first takes you through quaint villages and across verdant fields, before climbing the hill through lush woods to the arresting rocky peaks of the Mendip Hills. This circular walk boasts breathtaking 360° views of the Mendip Hills, the rolling hills of Somerset, the Bristol Channel, North Devon and South Wales.

Discover spectacular 360° views with the Crook Peak walk guide.

Black Down walk: Wild moorland and striking landscapes

Location: Black Down, Mendip Hills, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 2 to 2 ½ hours

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)

The highest peak in the Mendip Hills, Black Down offers an escape to wild moorland, charming valleys and striking landscapes. Black Down also boasts breathtaking 360° views of the Mendip Hills, the Somerset hills, the Bristol Channel, and on a clear day, South Wales.

Wild ponies on the moorland of Black Down
Wild ponies on Black Down

Black Down offers a stunning walk across wild moorland, the heather providing a contrast to the backdrop of vibrant green hills. This circular walk first climbs to the peak before leading you down to the foot of the hill, where you’ll find charming valleys with cute streams and lush woodland. The Black Down walk is easy to follow.

Escape to wild moorland with the Black Down walk guide.

3. Somerset

Located to the south and west of Bath and Bristol, the county of Somerset boasts miles of lush rolling hills and delightful country lanes just waiting to be explored, along with a plethora of charming villages and lovely beaches. Featuring diverse country, hill and coastal landscapes, Somerset offers gorgeous walks with breathtaking scenery and the ideal country escape from Bath and Bristol.

Walking through a lush field with views of the Somerset Hills and reservoirs on the Dundry Hilltop walk
Views of the Somerset Hills from Dundry Hill

Chew Valley Lake & Knowle Hill walk: Serene lakeside and breathtaking hill

Location: Chew Magna, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours

Distance: 2 miles (3.2 km)

Located in the Chew Valley, south of Bristol and west of Bath, this country walk offers a charming walk along the serene Chew Valley Lake and up the breathtaking Knowle Hill. From this viewpoint, you can admire stunning views of the lake, the Chew Valley, the Somerset countryside and the Mendip Hills.

Views of the Chew Valley and Chew Valley Lake and surrounding Somerset Hills from Knowle Hill
Views of the Chew Valley from Knowle Hill

The Chew Valley Lake & Knowle Hill walk first takes you along serene lakeshores, before crossing a couple of verdant fields. This Somerset walk then explores a quaint hamlet, before leading you up Knowle Hill to enjoy the rolling hills of Somerset.

Explore a serene lake with the Chew Valley Lake & Knowle Hill walk. Find the walking trail on mendiphillsaonb.org.uk.

Sand Point walk: Rugged landscapes and coastal scenery

Location: Sand Point, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours

Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)

Along the Somerset coast, the Sand Point walk boasts rugged landscapes, fresh sea air and stunning coastal scenery. Not far from Bath and Bristol, this circular walk leads you along the beautiful South West coast and offers the perfect coastal escape.

Wooden gate with view of headland and Bristol Channel in Sand Point near Bristol
The rugged Sand Point

The Sand Point walk first takes you through lush grassland before leading you along the coastal path and across a charming secluded cove to the rugged limestone headland. This coastal walk enjoys lovely views of the Bristol Channel, the Severn bridges, the South West coast and South Wales.

Escape to stunning coastal scenery with the Sand Point walk. Find the walking trail on nationaltrust.org.uk.

Kilve & East Quantoxhead walk: Dramatic coastlines and peaceful hills

Location: Kilve and East Quantoxhead, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 1 ½ hours

Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)

From dramatic coastlines to wild landscapes and arresting scenery, the Quantock Hills are a marvel to explore. Located in south-west Somerset, the Quantocks are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and feature rugged Jurassic cliffs, heather-clad hills, rolling fields and quaint villages.

Views of coastal path, hills and sea on Kilve and East Quantoxhead walk
Coastal views in East Quantoxhead

The Kilve and East Quantoxhead walk leads you along the captivating West Somerset coast path and across the lush fields and hills surrounding the quaint villages of Kilve and East Quantoxhead. Throughout this circular walk, you’ll be enthralled by the striking contrast between the wild, rugged cliffs and crashing waves, and the peaceful, verdant hills.

Discover dramatic coastlines with the Kilve & East Quantoxhead walk guide.

4. The Brecon Beacons

Located in South Wales, the Brecon Beacons National Park is filled with majestic mountains, arresting ridges, wild moorlands, shimmering lakes, enchanting waterfalls, fascinating folklore and countless footpaths. With each step you take, you’ll enjoy magnificent scenery. With each breath you take, you’ll find the wild landscape of the Brecon Beacons is a sight for sore eyes and a balm for the soul.

Llyn y Fan Fawr lake in the Brecon Beacons
Views of Llyn y Fan Fawr and the Brecon Beacons

Horseshoe Ridge walk: Majestic mountains and magnificent scenery

Location: Neuadd Valley, Brecon Beacons, South Wales

Walk difficulty: Challenging

Time: 4 ½ to 5 ½ hours

Distance: 10 miles (16 km)

The Horseshoe Ridge hike is one of the best walks in the Brecon Beacons. Exploring the U-shaped Neuadd Valley and the four peaks of Corn Du, Pen y Fan (the highest peak in southern Britain), Cribyn and Fan y Big, this mountain walk features magnificent views stretching for miles in all directions.

Roman road across the Neuadd Valley with views of the Brecon Beacons ridges and peaks
Views from the Neuadd Valley

The Horseshoe Ridge walk takes you along an arresting ridge, known as the Craig Fan Ddu ridge, up the four highest peaks of the Brecon Beacons and down into the peaceful valley of Neuadd. This walk across wild moorland and up steep rocky peaks offers breathtaking views of the valley, the Brecon Beacon Mountains and South Wales.

Escape to majestic mountains with the Horseshoe Ridge walk guide.

Sugar Loaf walk: Heather-clad hills and breathtaking views

Location: Abergavenny, Brecon Beacons, South Wales

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 2 ½ to 3 hours

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)

Located at the eastern tip of the Brecon Beacons, Sugar Loaf features lush meadows, heather-clad hills, rocky paths and breathtaking scenery. The Sugar Loaf walk is one of the best walks in the Brecon Beacons and offers the perfect mountain escape from Bath and Bristol.

View from Sugar Loaf Mountain of Brecon Beacons hills
Views from Sugar Loaf

The Sugar Loaf walk first leads you across wild meadows and a wooded valley before climbing the mountain’s gentler (and quieter) ridge. This mountain walk enjoys magnificent views of the Brecon Beacons, South Wales, the Bristol Channel and South West England.

Explore breathtaking mountain views with the Sugar Loaf walk guide.

Four Waterfalls walk: Enchanting falls and captivating woodland

Location: Aberdare, Brecon Beacons, South Wales

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 3 to 3 ½ hours

Distance: 4.7 miles (7.5 km)

Located in the Waterfall Country in the Brecon Beacons, the Four Waterfalls walk explores the four falls of Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd-yr-Eira. All different and unique in their own way, these cascades along the River Mellte enchant and delight with their roaring sounds and tumbling waters.

Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn waterfall on the Four Waterfall Walk in the Brecon Beacons
The Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn waterfall

The Four Waterfalls walk first takes you through a peaceful forest, rendered even more so by the soft bubbling sound of the falls. This woodland walk then leads you along the river and to the four enchanting falls. The waterfalls are best enjoyed in spring or autumn when the falls are roaring and spectacular.

Discover enchanting falls with the Four Waterfalls walk guide.

Plan your escape

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love the Escape travel guide packed full of ideas to explore Bath, Bristol, the Cotswolds and beyond. To receive this exclusive guide as well as inspirations every month to explore and plan your escape, enter your email address and subscribe to the Escape Monthly newsletter.


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Featured image: A charming country lane with views of the rolling Somerset hills

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