While the city of Bath itself has much to offer any visitor, there is also no shortage of beautiful day trips around Bath if you’re looking for a holiday rich with historic sights, beautiful landscapes and buzzing culture.
This makes our luxury self-catering holiday homes in Bath the perfect base from which to start exploring some of the UK’s most worthwhile attractions.
To help, we’ve listed just some of the best day trips around Bath:
Arguably the most famous prehistoric monument in the world, this majestic stone circle never fails to wow the millions of tourists who travel from far and wide to see it first-hand. Sitting on the slopes of the Salisbury Plain near Amesbury, the first early henge monument was built about 5,000 years ago, with the now iconic ring of huge 13-ft high standing stones being added in the late Neolithic period, about 2,500 BC. Nearby burial mounds were added in the early Bronze Age and the whole area, along with Avebury forms a World Heritage Site. Just an hours’ drive from the city, Stonehenge is a must-see if you are planning any day trips around Bath.
Beautiful Wells, the smallest city in England with its impressive 13th century cathedral looming over just 12,000 inhabitants, is an ideal destination for those wanting some day trips around Bath. Nestled on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, with the Somerset Levels stretching away to the south and west, 45-minutes’ drive from Bath, the medieval city clustered around the cathedral remains remarkably unspoilt. The city was named after the natural springs which attracted settlers in Roman times and can still be found today in the gardens of the Bishop’s Palace. Visitors to Wells may also recognise many of its pretty streets from the 2007 hit film Hot Fuzz, virtually all of which was filmed in the Somerset town.
A colourful melting pot of history, culture and culinary delights, Bristol is just 15 minutes on the train making it the easiest of all days trips around Bath. From beautiful Clifton and the wide vistas of the harbourside to achingly trendy Stokes Croft and the graffiti’d delights of Bedminster, Bristol has something to capture every visitor’s imagination. It is a city rich in history but buzzing with contemporary art, music, performance and more. With a range of fantastic museums and art galleries including At Bristol, the Bristol Museum and the Arnolfini, great theatres, live music venues and a nightlife to rival many bigger cities – as well as some of the best restaurants in the country – you’ll never be bored in Bristol.
Made famous across the world by the music festival which bears its name and takes place a few miles down the road, Glastonbury is also steeped in history and myth. Glastonbury Tor, a tower-topped hill overlooking the Somerset Levels, has links to the Arthurian legends while Glastonbury Abbey, a ruined monastery dating from the 7th century, was once said to be King Arthur’s burial place. The pretty market town is also a mecca for new age spiritualists due to its location sitting on an intersection of leylines so if you are looking for a combination of history and hippies, Glastonbury is a perfect destination and is just an hours’ drive from Bath.
The origin one of Britain’s most famous exports, that wonderful salty cheese, Cheddar is also home to an incredible limestone gorge which reaches 500 feet in some places and boasts the highest inland cliffs in England. Footpaths offer some lovely walking routes along the top of the cliffs while a road allows visitors to view it from the bottom. Those who make the one-hour drive from Bath can also explore the spectacular Gough’s Cave and meet Cheddar Man who once lived here. Other caves lead visitors to the ancient elders’ meeting chamber and boast amazing stalagmites and stalactites. If you need some refreshment head to one of the towns many tearooms and see the traditional method of local cheese making at the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company.
Bradford on Avon
Just 20 minutes’ drive or an hours’ cycle ride along the stunning Kennet and Avon canal sits the picture-perfect town of Bradford on Avon. With the River Avon and canal snaking through its centre, surrounded by a cluster of beautiful Cotswold stone properties, several of which date back to the 17th century, and plenty of lovely restaurants and cafes where you can savour the local produce, Bradford on Avon makes a perfect day trip. The town boasts a Grade I listed monastic tithe barn built in the 14th century, which is one of the best preserved medieval barns in England. Now run by English Heritage, the barn is open to visitors and the perfect place for a picnic.