Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Or do in this case. Because there’s nothing more beautiful and relaxing than a tumbling stream of water over a cliff edge. Waterfalls aren’t something we closely associate with the West Country, but there are a few lovely ones close by (plus some a bit further that you simply must visit). So unwind with these wonderful waterfalls near Bristol.
1. Stephen’s Vale Waterfall
Situated halfway between Bath and the Mendip Hills, Greyfield Wood is a wonderful spot for a good day’s rambling. Offering 90 acres of natural woodland, ripe for exploration, ancient trees and downhill lead you to the majestic Stephen’s Vale where you’ll find a waterfall. There’s a map and information board at the woodland entrance, so you should find it easily. If you do get lost, just keep your ears peeled for the sound of water. The wooded valley is also home to diverse flora, birds and butterflies.
Greyfield Wood Farm, Greyfield Wood, Bristol BS39 6YE
2. Warleigh Weir
You won’t be able to swim at all the waterfalls around Bristol. But Warleigh Weir is one of our favourite outdoor swimming spots. It might not be what you envision when you think waterfall, but this sun-trapped manmade waterfall is just lovely for dipping your toes over and cooling off in the summertime. Plenty of green space makes it ideal for some after swimming walks too.
Warleigh Weir, Ferry Ln, Claverton, Bath BA2 7BH
3. Abbots Pool
This one is more of a trickle than a full-blown waterfall, but it’s actually in Bristol (or thereabouts). So we’re including it. Some tranquil ponds for paddling and swimming, meadows for picnics and woodlands for walking also make Abbots Pool worth the visit.
Abbots Leigh, Bristol BS8 3RT
4. St Audries Bay Waterfall
A little way along from one of our favourite beaches near Bristol, Kilve Beach, this waterfall is one of the most breathtaking. The natural waterfall on St Audrie’s Bay plunges straight down the cliff straight onto the beach. It can only be reached at low tide, but it’s worth waiting around for. If you fancy a bit of a beach trip – one more secluded and less sandy than say, Weston-super-Mare – this is the ideal trip.
West Quantoxhead, Taunton, Somerset TA4 4DP, UK
5. Trull Waterfall
There’s an old story that claims trolls used to live under these falls near Taunton. They were would prone to stealing farm animals passing across the bridge above. (The name Trull is actually a nod to these fearsome trolls.) They can be a bit awkward to find, so keep a lookout for this small but lovely feature of the landscape.
Trull, Taunton TA3 7EH
6. Bowood House & Gardens
Even if you weren’t looking for waterfalls near Bristol, Bowood House & Gardens would be worth the day trip. This gorgeous Georgian country house is open to the public. While the grounds are home to an exciting adventure playground for kids (the infamous ‘Death Slide’ is a rite of passage). And the many gardens are often bursting with flowers during spring and summer. But it’s the waterfall you care about and what a waterfall it is. Cascading off the rocks, it’s a true beauty.
Bowood House & Gardens, Old Rd, Derry Hill, Calne SN11 0LZ
7. Cleddon Shoots
If you can’t hear running water here, you might be in the wrong place. Cleddon Falls thunder down the valley and can be heard for some distance. (Making the easier to find than many others on this list.) They’re at their most dramatic following heavy rains, particularly in autumn. But can be enjoyed all year round with its epic valley views and plentiful walking routes.
Monmouth NP25 4PN
8. Mells Waterfall
This might be the smallest waterfall on this list, but it’s too cute not to include. It might not be worth the travel all the way from Bristol on its own, but if you’re ever near Frome check it out. Mells is a lovely little village too. You’ll find this waterfall heading through the woods on the Mells Estate.
Mells near Frome
9. Blaen Bran Reservoir
Crossing the border into Wales can feel like a scary concept (just kidding) but it’s going to be worth it to find the best waterfalls near Bristol. Some well-worn paths around the ridge of these woodlands offer astonishing views. While the whole area provides some lovely walking routes and waterfalls. While you can also find the old reservoir and some mine buildings dotted around.
Blaen Bran Reservoir, Torfaen, Wales
10. Waterfall Country
If you don’t mind travelling a tiny bit further into Wales, then the very best place to find waterfalls near Bristol (or in Britain) is the Vale of Neath. Better known as Waterfall Country for its large number of splendid natural water features, it’s situated near Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons). There are too many waterfalls to all name here, but some of the closest include Sgwd Clun Gwyn, Sgwd Y Pannwr and Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn on the Afon Mellte.
Sgwd Yr Eira on the Afon Hepste are also very famous as you can actually walk behind them! This waterfall, along with the nearby Sgwd Henrhyd waterfall, was used in scenes for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Used for Batman’s iconic hideout, the Batcave. So don’t be surprised if you see a caped crusader or two running about.