Undoubtedly, The UK’s National Parks are among its greatest treasures. From the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Lake District National Park to the world-famous Jurassic Coast, England and South Wales are full of stunning landscapes waiting to be explored.

But the best UK National Parks are not just about the landscape – they are also a haven for wildlife, with an incredible diversity of plants and animals to be found in each one.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure while backpacking in the UK, or want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, then make sure you visit one of these 10 best UK National Parks!

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of the best places in the UK to return to nature. With over six hundred miles of trails winding through the mountains and hills, it’s perfect for an exhilarating hike.

Mickledore views are highly recommended when hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The trail can be rough at times, but it is well worth the effort it takes. The Mickledore ridge is a pass-through mountain range with breathtaking views of wildlife everywhere.

Overall, it is one of the best national parks in the UK for an adventure visit.

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is a must-see for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. With majestic mountains, deep valleys, and pristine rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot rare wildlife in the Cairngorms National Park. The area is home to red squirrels, reindeer, ospreys, and golden eagles, so keep your eyes peeled!

Many Munros – Scottish mountains over 3000 feet – also make for great hiking trails. Be sure to take on at least one of these when visiting the park!

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe UK National Park

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe Park is one of the many beautiful national parks in the United Kingdom. It is known for its picturesque landscapes and lush vegetation. The park is also home to various wildlife, making it a perfect place for nature lovers to explore.

Since its establishment in 2020, Duncombe National Park has become a popular destination for hikers and campers. Many trails wind through the park, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park is the newest park in the UK and is one of the best national parks near London. A short train ride will get you to the park. It is the best place to stargaze because of the large rolling hills that allow you to lay in peace without the lights from a city blinding the view.

Woolmer Forest, a lowland heath site, is home to many rare species and is the only place in the country with all twelve species of native reptiles and amphibians.

South Downs Way is a hiking and biking trail that is scenic beyond what you can see when driving. There is also a section of the park that has been turned into a battlefield site where you can learn about and experience what it was like to fight in the Battle of Hastings.

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its beautiful lakes, stunning mountains, and tranquil valleys make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

But there are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, from hiking and climbing to water sports and mountain biking. And, of course, no visit to the Lake District National Park would be complete without taking a ride on a steam train!

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor UK National Park

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park is a stunning area of natural beauty in Devon, England. With its ancient forests, wild moors, and tumbling rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of things to do in Dartmoor National Park, from exploring the many hiking trails to visiting the historic sites. You can even go horse riding or camping in the park!

But one of the best things about Dartmoor National Park is the wildlife. With red deer, wild ponies, and rare birds, it’s a haven for nature lovers. (Do not forget to bring your camera, though)

The Peak District National Park

The Peak District - the UK's most popular National Park

The Peak District – the UK’s most popular National Park

The Peak District National Park is one of the best National Parks in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its stunning landscapes and incredible views make it the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

There are plenty of things to do in the Peak District National Park, from hiking and cycling to rock climbing and caving. You can even go horse riding or take a scenic drive through the park!

But the wildlife is one of the best things about the Peak District National Park. With red deer, badgers, foxes, and otters, it’s a haven for nature lovers.

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park is a stunning park located in the UK that offers 125 miles of water to boat, swim or sail in. You can rent a boat for a day or use your own, making it the perfect place to spend a summer day.

Wildlife viewing is a huge part of this park, especially if you enjoy bird watching. As with every other national park, you can find miles of hiking or biking trails offering breathtaking views you cannot see from the main roads.

Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

If you’re looking for a taste of the wild in the UK, head to Exmoor National Park. This sprawling area of unspoiled countryside covers over 400 square miles, making it one of the biggest and best national parks in England.

Exmoor is home to various landscapes, from woodlands and valleys to moors and hills. Wildlife is also abundant here, with red deer, Exmoor ponies, and otters calling the park home.

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland UK National Park

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park is located in the northeast of England and is one of the best national parks in the UK. The park is home to various landscapes, including forests, heathland, moorland, and coastline.

The park is also home to many castles, including Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, and the Turf Knowe burial site.

If you are interested in exploring the UK’s national parks, then Northumberland National Park is one that you should not miss.

Exploring the UK’s National Parks – Final Thoughts

To ensure you have a great experience exploring the UK’s National Parks, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in the UK, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.

10 Best UK National Parks for Wildlife and Unforgettable Hikes

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Rolling countryside at your fingertips, cliffs ascending and then descending into the crashing Atlantic Ocean and craggy moorland sprawling over the country’s interior make British nature well worth visiting – and it can all be explored with the best hikes in England

While England isn’t world-famous for being a hiking destination, it deserves a lot more than it’s given credit for. Rolling countryside and moorland punctuate the country’s interior, and the coastline is linked up by a variety of easy and challenging routes. 

If you’re keen to explore England on two feet, there are plenty of walking trails in the country. These are typically well-marked and organised, with suggested stops en route (with accommodation for multi-day hikes!). 

To ensure you have a great hiking experience in England, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in England, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.

I’m an England local, and I’ve put together a list of the best England hikes below – be sure to save it for future travel inspiration!

Hiking in England: these are the best walking trails

The best walking trails in England include the South West Coast Path in the West Country, Hadrian’s Wall which is close to the border of Scotland, Offa’s Dyke which follows the England/ Wales border and Devon Coast to Coast which traverses Devon’s two spectacular national parks. Read on for information about them all! 

The South West Coast Path

South West Coast Path between Land's End and Sennen Cove

South West Coast Path between Land’s End and Sennen Cove

England’s longest hiking trail, the South West Coast Path extends 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset, around the tip of Cornwall, and down to Studland Bay in Dorset. 

The entire path takes most hikers at least six weeks to complete (although myself and my partner only completed half of it when we hiked it during a summer at a very leisurely pace!), but it’s completely possible to just do a short section!

If you’re interested in hiking in Cornwall and seeing its dramatic craggy coastline, I’d recommend the hike between St Ives and Penzance. This multi-day route will take you around 3-4 days and all stops are connected by the Land’s End Coaster. 

Devon Coast to Coast

Near Ilfracombe along the Devon Coast to Coast Trail

Near Ilfracombe along the Devon Coast to Coast Trail

If you’re interested in hiking in South West England but want to see some of its countryside, check out the Devon Coast to Coast Trail!

It’s not as well-known as the South West Coast Path (and other trails on this list!), but it’s a beautiful English hiking trail that leaves the northern coastline by the Bristol Channel, travels through the moorland and ventures through Devon’s idyllic countryside. 

The path then traverses past Dartmoor, England’s largest national park. With epic tors and dramatic moorland, dotted by temperature rainforest and bright blue reservoirs, this part of Devon is a spectacle – and the fact that the path weaves its way through means that you’ll have a chance to see some of the lesser-touristy spots! 

You can complete the Devon Coast-to-Coast trail by hiking to Wembury, one of the best beaches in Devon.

Hadrian’s Wall

One of the most famous hikes in the UK, Hadrian’s Wall spans 84 miles (135 km) from Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway, from east to west. 

It follows Hadrian’s Wall, which is a Roman structure that marked the northern end of the province of Britannia in the Roman Empire. 

Contrary to popular thought, it isn’t (and never was) the border between England and Scotland, although it is located close by; in fact, Bowness-on-Solway is right next to Scotland! 

The terrain encompasses charming English countryside, with preserved sections of walls and various historical sites. 

Generally, it takes walkers at least a week to hike the entire path, but like all of these long-distance hiking trails, you can just walk sections!

Offa’s Dyke

Goodrich Castle along Offa's Dyke

Goodrich Castle along Offa’s Dyke

Offa’s Dyke follows the (actual) border between England and Wales. 

Starting at the South Wales village of Sedbury and terminating on the north coast, in Prestatyn (a popular holiday town for Liverpudlians!), Offa’s Dyke follows the border between England and Wales. 

It dates back to the 8th century when the king of the Saxon province of Mercia wanted to mark the border between the two countries and decided to build the fortification. 

Nowadays, it’s been remade to form a hiking trail, which spans 177 miles (285 kilometres). 

One of the best hikes in England is from Chepstow to Tintern Abbey, and it’s one of the easiest to reach! Chepstow is a short drive from Bristol and Tintern Abbey is a glorious historical site – it dates back to 1131 AD and the ruins have stood since the dissolution of the monasteries.  

Yorkshire Three Peaks

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Yorkshire Dales National Park

If you’re heading to the north of England, don’t miss the Yorkshire Dales National Park!

Situated close to the city of Leeds, the Yorkshire Dales incorporate three tall peaks: Whernside, Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough. 

The “Yorkshire Three Peaks” challenge involves climbing all of these mountains on the same day! 

The entire hike is 24 miles in total, and involves climbing over 2000 metres/ 6000 feet! 

Of course, you don’t have to complete all three peaks – many hikers opt to climb just one instead. Pen y Ghent is the most popular – although some consider it to have the most challenging terrain! It takes most hikers around three to three and a half hours to complete. 

Monarch’s Way

Monarch’s Way is one of the longest hiking trails in England – and it’s rare that somebody will hike the whole distance, as it spans from Worcester in the Midlands to Shoreham on the south coast. 

However, its length means that it spans quite a few British towns and cities, plus it offers a range of different terrains. 

The hiking trail follows the route of King Charles II after his defeat in the Battle of Worcester in 1651. He left Worcester and made his way south, to the coastline of East Sussex where he retreated to France. 

Its historical significance makes Monarch’s Way unique and appealing to a range of hikers, whether they be long-distance trekkers or day trippers! Notably, it leads through part of the city of Bristol and offers a connection from the city to its surrounding nature. 

South Downs Way

Seven Sisters in Eastbourne along the South Downs Way

Seven Sisters in Eastbourne along the South Downs Way

The South Downs Way is a 100-mile-long hiking trail that connects Winchester in Hampshire with Eastbourne in East Sussex. 

It’s one of the best hiking trails near London, and it’s suitable for people of most fitness levels; it even offers off-road cycling and horseriding opportunities as well! 

Many hikers prefer to stick to the southeastern section of the trail, around Eastbourne and Beachy Head, and Seven Sisters (close to the eastern end) is widely regarded to be one of the most beautiful places in England. 

Pennine Way

We don’t have all that many mountains in England, but the Pennine Way is regarded as “the backbone of England” and provides challenging hiking to anyone who’s up for a challenge!

The entire route is 268 miles long and leads from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders. 

The whole trail would take at least 16 days of non-stop hiking, but there are plenty of points of interest on the way, including a beautiful valley called High Cup Nick, Wensleydale Creamery (home of Wensleydale cheese!) and the beautiful Kinder Scout plateau in the Peak District. 

The Mendip Way

Fancy heading out on a quiet, lesser-known hike close to Bristol? 

The Mendip Way is just that. It sprawls from Weston-super-Mare on the Somerset coastline and journeys 80 kilometres/ 50 miles before it terminates in Frome. 

The rolling hills are the ideal backdrop to rural English hiking, and along the way, you’ll find a few charming towns and villages to stop off in, including Shipham and Priddy. 

The highlight of the hike is certainly the part around Cheddar Gorge, the largest of its kind in England. If you’d like, you can detour to do the Cheddar Gorge Rim Walk or spend some time enjoying Cheddar’s main attractions. 

The route also takes you through historic Wells, England’s smallest city, before terminating on the eastern side of the hills. 

The route takes most hikers three days, but single-day hikes are possible. 

Cotswold Way

The City of Bath at the end of Cotswold Way

The City of Bath at the end of Cotswold Way

The Cotswolds are usually most famous for their charming villages which are made for road-tripping around – but did you know that they’re home to a stunning hiking trail as well? 

The Cotswold Way begins in the town of Chipping Camden, and leads through the beautiful English countryside, past villages like Winchcombe (home to Sudely Castle, an ancient property where one of Henry VIII’s wives lived), the spa town of Cheltenham and picturesque Broadway. 

At 102 miles in total, this hiking trail has a mix of easy and more challenging terrain. Experienced hikers could complete the whole lot, but others may opt for a flatter section. 

It terminates in Bath, where you can rest your muscles with a well-deserved soak in the thermal waters! 

Are you ready to go hiking in England?

While England’s a slightly underrated hiking destination, that doesn’t mean that its natural allures should be ignored! 

The island nation encompasses beautiful coastal trails, dramatic peaks (they’re not the Alps, but you can still take in some incredible views from the top!) and rolling countryside dotted with quaint villages. 

The hiking trails in England are generally very well-marked and maintained, typically running through villages and towns that offer places to stay each night. Or, if you’d rather do day hikes, you can break most of them up into shorter sections. 

Hiking in England is one of the best activities to do when backpacking in the UK – so grab your boots and get ready to explore the great outdoors! 

Are you planning your first European backpacking travel adventure? Packing for a trip can be exciting but stressful, especially if you don’t know what to bring. Whether you’re going for a week or for an entire summer, there are a few backpacking Europe essentials for your packing list. To help you get started, take a look at our backpacking Europe checklist, which will ensure you have everything you need for your trip. 

1. The Right Backpack

The right backpacking can make or break your trip. A backpack that’s too big can make traveling uncomfortable, while a backpack that’s too small won’t allow you to fit all your belongings in it. 

When backpacking Europe, you won’t want to bring a large, rolling suitcase. European cities were built before the age of elevators, which means that you’ll be walking lots of stairs. When navigating the metro, the old buildings, and the hotels, you’ll be happy to be able to take the stairs instead of lugging around an unwieldy backpack.

When it comes to essentials for your backpacking Europe packing list, it’s best to bring a carry-on sized backpack to avoid baggage fees on budget airlines.

Backpacking backpacks come in sizes based on the liter volume that they can carry. A 30-40 liter bag is comparable to a carry-on size suitcase, while a bag that’s 50-65 liters will be too big to take with you as a carry on.

Make sure you choose a bag that fits comfortably on your body. If you’re visiting a store, the employees will be more than happy to help you select a few bags that are suited to your body size. 

If you’re looking for the best backpack for backpacking Europe, the Osprey brand has some great all-rounder backpacks. Osprey is the go-to essential Europe backpacking option and fits most people comfortably. 

2. Day bag

When you’re taking a day trip or going on a hike, you won’t want to bring your huge backpack with you. Leave most of your items locked safely at your accommodation and take along a day bag. Your best bet would be to purchase a foldable daypack that can fit into your bigger backpack.

It will need to fit essentials such as money, a snack, water, and maybe a change of clothes, so it shouldn’t be too big or bulky.

3. Padlocks

Padlocks are a quick, convenient, and inexpensive way to secure your bags and hostel lockers. When assembling your backpacking Europe essentials for your packing list, a small item like this can be a lifesaver! You can also use your luggage lock on your backpack during travel days, ensuring all your belongings are safe, including your passport.

4. Universal travel adapter

Your Europe backpacking packing list should include a universal travel adapter, which will work for your phone charger or any other electronic devices. 

The outlets in continental Europe use the same 2-pronged plug, but if you’re traveling in the UK and Ireland, you’ll need a different 3-pronged system. Rather than taking multiple chargers with you, a multifunctional adapter will do. 

5. Camera

The best travel camera for backpacking europe

Your phone camera is sufficient for everyday life, but backpacking around the world is an incredible experience that you will never want to forget!

Your travel photos will prove invaluable once you return from your epic journey, so be sure to capture all the incredible things you encounter along the way. Bring a camera that not only takes great pictures but also fits easily into your backpack.

These days, the majority of cameras are equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, so they can be transmitted easily to your laptop or phone to post them online.

You may wish to bring a high-tech DSLR camera to take stunning photographs.

If you want to take your backpacking adventures to the next level, then consider bringing along a waterproof GoPro, which will accompany you everywhere from underwater adventures to skydiving during your European backpacking adventures.

6. Travel towel

Your essential backpacking Europe packing list should include a quick-drying travel towel, since you will be moving from hostel to hostel as you backpack between cities. My favorite travel towel is a Turkish towel which is quick to dry and easy to fit in your backpack. You can also use the towel as a privacy screen if you secure a bottom bunk in a hostel.

7. Power Bank

A power bank is one of the essentials on my backpacking Europe packing list, for multiple reasons. While traveling, you’ll be using your phone much more than normal – for navigation, taking photos, videos, or researching travel tips. On days like this, you’ll want to have a backup battery for your phone. 

I’ve also relied on my power bank during long travel journeys when I use my phone and want to make sure I have enough juice to find my way to the next destination.

8. Change purse

Reliance on physical money is surprisingly still pretty high throughout Europe. Plus, having lots of €1 and €2 Euro coins is a good idea if you want to leave behind tips or donate to street musicians that you’ll see on your trip. 

9. The right shoes

For your backpacking Europe packing list, don’t forget to throw in a pair of rubber sandals for the hostel showers. You should also bring a pair of comfortable but stylish walking shoes. Some nightlife spots will require a certain dress code, but you can get away with leather-style sneakers. And women can get away with stylish-looking flats that are secretly super comfortable.

10. Hostel survival kit

If you’ll be staying in hostels, don’t forget these 4 backpacking Europe essentials. We call it the hostel survival kit:

11. The Best Apps for Backpacking Europe

The Best Apps for Backpacking Europe

And lastly, before heading off for your European backpacking adventure, you should load up your phone with a few essential apps that will make backpacking Europe a breeze.

Apps to book transportation from place to place

Given the relatively compact size of Europe, you can travel between major cities by train or bus. There are a few useful apps for European transportation that can help make sure you find the best deal while sticking to your schedule.

  • Omio – compare trains, buses, and flight options in Europe and travel using mobile tickets
  • Trainline – a popular app in the UK to find train and bus tickets 
  • Flixbus – a long-distance bus company that is a favorite mode of travel for budget backpackers
  • Kiwi – a flight search comparison site that helps you find the lowest prices
  • Skyscanner – another classic flight search website that has powerful flexible search options
  • DiscoverCars – car rental search engine with direct booking to 500+ suppliers

Apps for Finding Accommodation in Europe

Apps to book discounted activities and Skip the Line tickets

Apps to stay in touch with friends and family back home

If you don’t want to change to an international mobile plan, you can use these apps over free public WiFi to stay in touch with people back home.

London, the nation’s capital and largest metropolis, sits on the beautiful banks of the Thames River. More than 14 million people call the city, and its surrounding region, home; thanks to the city’s continued expansion.

It’s not hard to see why tourists should flock to London. Many notable museums and historical landmarks call this metropolis home. The top ones are parks, galleries, marketplaces, museums, restaurants, bars, and sports teams.

You’ve found the right spot if you want helpful tips for backpacking in London. If you’re planning a trip to the British capital, you must not skip the below essential backpacking tips:

Purchase an Oyster Card

When it comes to public transportation, London has it all. Please don’t think it’s bragging when we say that it’s pretty decent. As with most desirable items, it will set you back a pretty penny, which is a big concern when backpacking London.

Using an Oyster Card is a simple and effective method to reduce the cost of travelling within London. It’s more economical to use this pass than to buy individual paper passes. This is because you can simply purchase one and fill it with money before you travel.

Get Your Fill of Free Things

If you do everything that costs money in this metropolis, your money will disappear. While there aren’t many museums that are free to enter, the permanent collection at the British Museum is completely free every day. Also, the museums dedicated to the study of nature are equally fascinating. 

Likewise, merely passing Buckingham Castle on foot is a treat. Numerous exciting pursuits can be enjoyed while backpacking in London without spending a single pound.

Get a London Pass

A visit to London is likely to add up when it comes to costs. Whether it’s the price of a motel room or the price of admission to a major attraction, a trip to the city can quickly drain your savings, which is a big problem when backpacking London.

Seeing many of London’s famous attractions without paying astronomical prices is a good idea. All you need is the lucky London Pass. Although the pass is pricey, it could be valuable if you are planning to visit several of the city’s top sites in a short period of time.

Go on an Adventure to Camden Town

Camden is London’s alternative hub. In simple words, it is home to a wide variety of record stores, unique boutiques, parties, and eateries. It’s a great spot to enjoy cuisine, music, drinks, and people-watching, among other activities, and is popular among backpackers in London. 

You can also witness and enjoy a full-size monument of Amy Winehouse here. It is also a good place to find hotels for budget travellers while backpacking London.

Try Out Some of the Regional Specialities in the Borough Market

Just steps away from Big Ben, the bustling Borough Market is London’s finest food market. It is loaded with international flavours alongside fresh, local fare. It’s a fantastic activity for wet London days because it takes place primarily under shelter. 

The historic district is a maze of winding streets and alleys that have hosted a market since the 12th century. The current building, however, was constructed in the 1850s.

Stay in the City Centre if You Can

Some people will tell you to take advantage of London’s excellent public transportation system and find a place to remain further out.

One of the London backpacking tips we keep repeating is to remain as close to the city centre as possible, obviously within your budget. To see as much of London as possible in a short amount of time, choose a hotel or any of the best-serviced apartments in London, that is convenient to the city’s public transportation system.

It should be close enough to several attractions that you can stroll to them. Also, not too difficult to get back, especially if you plan on staying out late.

Backpacking in London – Final Thoughts

Although London doesn’t initially seem like a budget-friendly destination, there are plenty of ways you can go backpacking in London on a budget. Just follow these tips to navigate the British capital and have the time of your life, without breaking the bank!

Bristol is a thriving city, full of culture and history. It’s also extremely well-placed in southwest England for some excellent day trips. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the most beautiful places you can visit in the region and some super fun activities you can try out. So grab your bags and get ready to explore as we look at the best day trips from Bristol.


Visit historic Bath as a day trip from Bristol

Visit historic Bath as a day trip from Bristol

Bath was famously the home of Jane Austen, but even if you’re not a fan of literature, you’ll still get something out of a trip to this charming town.

One of the biggest landmarks in Bath is the roman baths where you can find the ruins of a public bathing and socialising complex used by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. There’s an onsite museum to give you more information about the archaeological site and you can also take an audio tour.

If you want to try out some bathing for yourself, head to the nearby Thermae Bath Spa, England’s only thermal spa where the natural hot waters can work wonders for your health.

You can get to Bath by train several times throughout the day, including direct trains that will get you there in no time. While you’re there, don’t forget to stop at one of the many chic coffee shops or visit the Jane Austen Center.


Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

It takes less than an hour to get from Bristol to Cardiff, making it a perfect day trip from Bristol. As the capital of Wales, it’s full of great activities to fill your day.

First on your agenda should be the National Museum Cardiff, a free museum and art gallery all about Wales, including botany, zoology, and geology.

You should also visit Cardiff Castle, a medieval castle that sits at the heart of the city. Inside, you can explore the castle towers, visit the inner keep, and explore the courtyards.

Before heading back to Bristol, finish the day off with a little trip down to Cardiff Bay where you’ll find a huge range of bars and restaurants overlooking the marina as well as the millennium centre where you can catch an evening show.

Cheddar Gorge

Cliff Road in the Cheddar Gorge

Cliff Road in the Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge is located about 30 kilometres from Bristol and makes an excellent day trip, it was voted the second greatest natural wonder in Britain (source).

If you love history, wildlife, or nature – or you simply have a sense of adventure – you should plan to spend a few hours here the next time you’re in the area.

It is a natural landmark where you can view gorgeous caves and cliffs, but it also includes exhibits to help you learn about long-ago ancestors.

Even better, you can go rock climbing or explore the caves on your own if you’d like to spend a little more time there.


If you’re looking for one of the best day trips from Bristol using public transport, you can take the train from Temple Meads to Weston-super-Mare in about 30 minutes.

This lovely seaside town is one you won’t forget, in part because it offers something for everyone. Included in the perks of visiting the town are quiet walks over Sand Bay, lively Punch and Judy shows, and a nostalgic pier.

You can also visit their impressive helicopter museum for lovers of flight, and don’t miss the Weston Sand Sculpture Festival if you’re there during the summertime.

Weston-super-Mare is home to a playhouse, theatre, several museums, and beautiful gardens. It also offers attractions such as arcades, fudge factories, eateries, and a go-kart track, making this a very fun place to visit.

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey in the beautiful Wye Valley, perfect for a day trip from Bristol

Tintern Abbey in the beautiful Wye Valley, perfect for a day trip from Bristol

Located just over the border from Bristol in Wales, you can get to Tintern Abbey in around 30 minutes if you drive, or in roughly 2.5 hours by bus or train. Visiting the Abbey as well as the Wye Valley is one of the most beautiful day trips from Bristol.

The abbey was founded in the early 1100s and since then, it has changed a bit. Even from afar, the structure is nothing short of extraordinary, and as long as you wish to see something interesting, you can walk on the grounds and experience something new. The natural beauty it offers never fades, and it’s especially fun for people who love history.

The odd thing is that Tintern Abbey wasn’t really regularly tended to until the early 1900s, but since then it has been well taken care of and therefore, you can enjoy its magnificence today whenever you visit. Just the sheer size of the structure will surprise you.


Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

In just over an hour by direct train, you can take a day trip from Bristol to the nearby city of Salisbury.

The city is home to Salisbury Cathedral which is famous for holding the best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.

And make sure you spend some time wandering the old city centre where you’ll find quaint little buildings and a mixture of architecture dating as far back as the middle ages.

Longleat Safari Park

Longleat is a drive-through safari park located just an hour away from Bristol so it makes for a perfect family day trip.

It opened in 1966 when it was the first park of its kind outside of Africa. Here, you’ll have the chance to see tons of safari animals, including giraffes, tortoises, lemurs, sheep, ostriches, zebras, and so many others. You can enjoy a boat cruise around Half Mile Lake or visit the monkey temple, which is nothing short of extraordinary.

Even better, you can stop and have a snack, buy souvenirs, or even schedule a wedding or other special event on the grounds. In other words, you won’t just be driving around looking at animals up close if you visit this attraction. There is a lot more to do.

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds town of Lower Slaughter

The Cotswolds town of Lower Slaughter

The Cotswolds are only 50 miles from Bristol and can be reached in around an hour on a good day. It is an area located in Central South-West England known for its stone-built towns and villages made with iconic Cotswolds stone.

Some of the best places to visit in the Cotswolds are Chipping Campden, Broadway, and Cirencester.

Of course, you can get out and enjoy the rolling countryside too where you’ll find wildlife walks and manor houses dotted among beautiful landscapes.

Day Trips from Bristol – Final Thoughts

Whether you live in Bristol or are just visiting, it’s well worth exploring off the beaten path with one of these many day trips from Bristol. From countryside towns to natural wonders, there is plenty to discover!