Spring is finally here and that doesn’t mean we can’t explore all of the beauty the UK has to offer. Ditch the concrete jungle that is Bristol for a day and head to the coast, where you’ll find a selection of beautiful, sandy beaches near Bristol you never knew existed and are under a two hour drive.
1. Clevedon Beach
One of the closest beaches to Bristol, Clevedon Beach is a classic. The long, pebble beach runs south-west from the old Victorian seaside resort of Clevedon and is home to an iconic Grade I-listed pier with a Japanese pagoda and glass restaurant. If you fancy venturing a little further up the beach head to the quiet sand and rock beach, Ladye Bay, nestled between rugged rocks and cliffs.
2. Porlock Bay
It may be more of a drive but once you arrive at Porlock Bay you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful expansive coastline. Located on the Bristol channel, the coastline features shingle ridges, salt marshes and a submerged forest. Walk along the beach at Porlock Bay and up to Porlock Weir, to grab a bite to eat (including some amazing oysters) and explore the cute harbour village filled with fishing boats providing that classic seaside feel.
3. Ogmore Beach
The brilliant thing about being in Bristol is that you can easily venture across to Wales for a change of scenery, like visiting the gorgeous beaches the country has to offer. Ogmore Beach is a lovely sand and pebble beach on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and it’s great for a variety of activities, including swimming, surfing, fishing, and walking. The beach in the Vale of Glamorgan looks out towards Tusker Rock, which is completely visible at low tide and is a popular diving spot.
4. Portishead Marina
Just ten miles away from Bristol, this is closest sandy spot to get some fresh sea air. A walk along the beach here will take you to the marina and to a cute little pier, where you can watch the yachts moor in and out throughout the day. You’ll also find a little piece of Bristol with coffe shop and bakery, Mokoko- nothing better than a coffee, pastry and seeing boats go by.
5. Rest Bay
Another Welsh wonder is Rest Bay in Porthcawl, south of Swansea and north of Ogmore-by-Sea. The bay is a long, sandy and unspoiled beach offering a great spot for surfing and other water sports, tidal pools and a waterfront cafe. For those wanting to learn to surf, Porthcawl Surf School that overlooks Rest Bay is the place, plus you can hire surfboards or take up paddleboard lessons too.
6. Burnham Beach
There are eight beaches in the Burnham area, but it is Burnham Beach itself that has the most to offer- plus it’s award-winning. Burnham was once a small fishing village back in the late 18th century before it began to grow in popularity as a seaside resort. Less than an hour’s drive from Bristol, a visit to Burnham Beach is great for swimming and paddling and boasts a beautiful lighthouse.
7. Kilve Beach
Lying halfway between Minehead and Bridgwater and in the heart of the Quantock Hills, Kilve Beach is a quiet beach for some well-deserved respite. The shoreline is mostly rocky with plenty of rockpools to explore towards low tide. One of the best features of Kilve Beach is the large grassy area behind the beach which is ideal for enjoying a picnic on a sunny day.
8. Sand Bay
Often referred to as ‘Weston-super-Mare’s hidden gem’, Sand Bay is a long, sand and shingle beach just under an hour’s drive away from Bristol. It boasts great views across the Bristol Channel to South Wales and is a large and relatively wild beach. If you’re looking to escape from the crowded beach at Weston-super-Mare in peak season, head to two miles north to Sand Bay, take a walk along the quiet, sandy beach. And be sure to enjoy a slice of cake at The Sand Bay Tearooms or a fish supper at Sand Bay Fish and Chip Shop for some traditional seaside grub.