Best day trips from Bath: 7 amazing places to explore

Quaint cottages of Castle Combe in the Cotswolds

While Bath is a striking city, many places around Bath are equally stunning and fun to explore. From the quaint villages in the Cotswolds to the eclectic city of Bristol and the jaw-dropping Cheddar Gorge, Bath offers many gorgeous day trips. In my opinion, the best day trips from Bath are to the heart of the Somerset, Wiltshire and Cotswold countryside, offering a delightful escape to spectacular scenery and British quaintness.

To explore and tour the regions near Bath, I would recommend you visit these 7 amazing places. Unfortunately, most places are not easily accessible by public transport, but they are worth the effort.

Contents:
1. Picturesque Cotwold villages and countryside
2. Enchanting Lacock Abbey & Village
3. The charming town of Bradford-on-Avon
4. Eclectic Bristol city
5. The majestic Cheddar Gorge
6. The peaceful Mendip Hills
7. The striking medieval city of Wells

1. Picturesque Cotswold villages and countryside

The Cotswolds offer picturesque villages, lush bountiful hills and spectacular countryside scenery. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Cotswolds are full of charming British quintessence. While Bath is at the southernmost tip of the Cotswolds, there many quaint places to visit near Bath.

Castle Combe is nested in the heart of the Southern Cotswolds and is said to be the prettiest village in England. A chocolate-box village, Castle Combe is one of the best places to visit in the Cotswolds. Located 30 minutes from Bath, the picturesque village is made up of quaint cottages in the honey-coloured Cotswold stone and surrounded by lush hills. Find out more with the Castle Combe guide by A Dragon’s Escape.

Charming Cotswolds cottages in Castle Combe
Picturesque cottages in Castle Combe

Malmesbury is another charming market town near Bath. Malmesbury offers stunning medieval architecture, a remarkable Norman abbey, an arresting market cross, enchanting Cotswold cottages and lovely views of the Cotswold hills. Explore the quaint market town with the Malmesbury guide.

The best way to discover the Cotswolds is to walk along its dazzling country paths and enjoy its breathtaking scenery. The Cotswolds offer amazing walks over lush rolling hills, across stunning valleys and through delightful woods. Check out the Cotswold walks by A Dragon’s Escape.

2. Enchanting Lacock Abbey & Village

Lacock Abbey & Village will transport you back through time. Located in Wiltshire, Lacock is one of the top attractions to visit near Bath. The landmark offers an enchanting escape to British quaintness and countryside tranquillity.

The enthralling Lacock Abbey was originally built as a medieval nunnery and, later on, was converted into a Victorian house. As a result, the abbey is multi-faceted: its striking cloisters contrast and yet compliment the gorgeous Victorian home. On the other hand, the Lacock village is unchanged: its medieval streets and cottages are picture perfect. Explore the chocolate-box landmark with the Lacock Abbey & Village guide.

Stunning archway at Lacock Abbey
Entrance arch at Lacock Abbey

The Wiltshire countryside around Lacock Abbey is also worth exploring. The stunning countryside offers delightful walks along lovely paths and across verdant fields. The Bowden Hill walk starts and finishes at the village of Lacock and enjoys gorgeous views, enchanting meadows, lush woodland, picturesque streams and tranquil sheep. Check out the walking trail with the Bowden Hill walk guide by A Dragon’s Escape.

3. The charming town of Bradford-on-Avon

Bradford-on-Avon is a quaint town located outside of Bath. Featuring picturesque cottages, delightful shops and cafés, and narrow streets, the medieval town is one of the top places to visit in Wiltshire. Bradford-on-Avon, like its name suggests, lies on the banks of River Avon.

views of Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire from town bridge
Bradford-on-Avon from the town bridge

The best way to discover Bradford-on-Avon is to explore its charming streets, spot its prettiest cottages and enjoy its lovely shops and cafés. Some of the town’s top attractions are the remarkable medieval Tithe Barn and the imposing town bridge. Bradford-on-Avon also offers a gorgeous walk along the serene Kennet & Avon canal, which runs through Bath too. Find out more with the Bradford-on-Avon guide.

4. Eclectic Bristol city

Bristol city is vibrant, diverse and multi-faceted, and one of the best places to visit in England. The capital city of the South West, Bristol comprises many eclectic neighbourhoods from the Georgian Clifton Village to the graffiti-painted Stokes Croft.

The top attractions to visit in Bristol are spread across the city and the best way to enjoy them is on foot. You can shop in independent stores along Gloucester road, admire the magnificent Georgian terraced houses of Clifton Village, walk along the delightful Harbourside area, enjoy stunning views of the city from Brandon Hill, gape in awe at the vibrant streets of Stokes Croft and relax at the many cafés, restaurants and bars the city offers. Explore the city to the fullest with the Bristol city guides.

Bristol's Spike Island Harbour with views of Hotwells' colourful houses
View of Bristol from the Harbourside

Banksy is originally from Bristol and many of his graffiti line the city walls. You can spot his artworks, from Mild Mild West to Well Hung Lover and Cat & Dog, across the eclectic Bristol neighbourhoods and discover the artist’s top spots in the city. Check out the Banksy’s Bristol city tour by A Dragon’s Escape.

5. The majestic Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge offers majestic limestone cliffs and breathtaking scenery. One of Somerset’s top attractions, Cheddar Gorge is an arresting sight. Located in the Mendip Hills, the spectacular gorge is the largest gorge in England and one of the best day trips from Bath.

Cheddar Gorge and its spectacular views
Splendid views from Cheddar Gorge

To enjoy Cheddar Gorge to the fullest, walk along the ridge of the cliff. A dedicated path guides you from the village of Cheddar along both sides of the gorge. From there you can enjoy fantastic views of the Somerset countryside, Cheddar village and Bristol Channel. You can also drive or walk through the winding valley and marvel at the arresting cliffs. Find out more with the Cheddar Gorge guide.

6. The peaceful Mendip Hills

The Mendip Hills offer rocky hills, stunning scenery and fabulous walks. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Mendips are one of the best walk destinations in Somerset and South West England.

Along with Cheddar Gorge, the Crook Peak and Wavering Down walk is one of the best walks in the Mendip Hills. The walk leads you through quaint villages, verdant fields, lush woods and along grassy ridges to the rocky peaks of the Mendips. From there you can enjoy fantastic 360° views of the Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels, and on a clear day, North Devon and South Wales. Check out the Crook Peak and Wavering Down walk guide by A Dragon’s Escape.

View from Crook Peak in Mendip Hills
View from the rocky Crook Peak

Bleadon Hill is another peak to discover in the Mendips. The Bleadon Hill walk starts at the top of Bleadon Hill and takes you along country lanes and rocky paths, and through picturesque villages. The walk also offers breathtaking scenery of Crook Peak, the Mendip Hills, Somerset and the Bristol Channel. Find out more with the Bleadon Hill walk guide by A Dragon’s Escape.

7. The striking medieval city of Wells

Surrounded by the Mendip Hills, the city of Wells features striking architecture, charming British quintessence and enthralling rolling hills. The medieval city is another top place to visit near Bath and ideal for a day trip.

View of Wells Cathedral from Vicar's Close
View of Wells Cathedral from Vicars’ Close

The top attractions to visit in Wells are the majestic Wells cathedral, the enchanting gardens of the Bishop’s Palace and the captivating Vicar’s Close. The city also offers charming market town streets, quaint houses and beautiful countryside just waiting to be explored. Discover the medieval city and its striking architecture with the Wells city 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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Reference: Bradford-on-Avon

Featured image: Castle Combe cottages

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