There’s more to the area besides the city of Bristol as the South West is full of with quaint and picturesque spots that are well worth a visit. Feeling the need to escape just for the day? Check out the Secret Bristol guide to the prettiest towns and villages near Bristol that’ll make a change to the sight of concrete or your bedroom walls.
This rural village lies between Bristol and Bath, and is home to the house and gardens of Kelston Park. The brand behind some of the best cheese in the UK let alone Somerset, Bath Soft Cheese Company, is based here at Park Farm, and has an on-site shop and cafe selling its organic dairy produce, chutneys and refreshments. There are plenty of pretty stone houses in the village, including the pub called the Old Crown Inn, which often has impressive floral displays outside in the summer, complete with cascading hanging baskets.
🚗 How to get there: 32 minutes by car.
Cheddar is known around the world for its cheese and its spectacular gorge, and there is plenty to do during a day out at this Somerset tourist spot. The village itself offers quaint tea rooms, cafes and riverside walks, as well as gift shops, the Cheddar Toy Museum and Cheddar Reservoir. Once up on the Cheddar Gorge cliffs there are a number of points where you can see magnificent views of Cheddar, Glastonbury Tor, the Somerset levels and Bridgwater Bay.
🚗 How to get there: 40 minutes by car.
One of the prettiest villages in Somerset, Mells can be found not far from Frome and is incredibly picturesque for those looking for a lovely stroll. Known for its lovely architecture, ancient streets and traditional thatched cottages, Mells is bursting with history. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086; and the Grade I listed Manor House of Raymond Asquith, 3rd Earl of Oxford and Asquith, dates back to the 16th century. Plus, every Easter Monday people travel from far and wide to attend the village’s annual Daffodil Day. Daffodils and cute cottages- what’s not to like?
🚗 How to get there: 55 minutes by car.
Home to one of the most famous ciders from Somerset, Thatchers Cider, Sandford offers great views, walks and of course there are regular visitor tours of the farm too. What other reasons do you need to visit this peaceful part of Somerset? The Railway Inn gastropub located in Sandford village is run by Thatchers and is bursting with character inside, with huge beams propping up the ceiling and a sunny conservatory-style dining area. The village’s old railway station has also been turned into a small heritage centre, where people can buy refreshments and learn more about the local history.
🚗 How to get there: 35 minutes by car.
Nestled in the Somerset Levels, Wedmore can be found not far from Wells and is as picturesque as quaint villages come. There are a number of annual festivals that take place in Wedmore including the village’s Real Ale Festival in September. Lovers of cider should make a stop off at Wilkins Cider Farm, a short drive from the village. The village is also well-known for its fashion shops and nearby 18th century flour mill, Ashton Windmill, an 18th century flour mill, where you can expect spectacular views over the Somerset Levels, Cheddar Gorge and Mendips.
🚗 How to get there: 50 minutes by car.
Best known for the grand Badminton Estate and the annual Badminton Horse Trials, this Cotswold village boasts an impressive collection of chocolate-box cottages. From almshouses to thatched cottages, farmhouses and country cottages painted yellow, dwellings in the village date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and form a picture-perfect scene. Check out the hamlet of Little Badminton which features even more splendid Cotswold cottages. Built around the village green, Little Badminton also houses the remnants of a sunken medieval village.
🚗 How to get there: 30 minutes by car.
Just seven miles away from Bristol, Pensford is famously known for its disused viaduct, something you can’t miss as you explore the village. If you walk down to the church, you will see the viaduct in the background. It was deemed unsafe and closed in 1968, after the great flood of Pensford. The last train to cross the viaduct was in 1964 and now it’s a beautiful grade ll listed building. Between Pensford and Chew Magna, the largest village in the Chew Valley, you’ll also find the cutest round house located in Stanton Drew village.
🚗 How to get there: 26 minutes by car.
8. Castle Combe
Castle Combe is said to be the prettiest village in England and one of the best places to visit in the Cotswolds. Just over 20 miles from Bristol, Castle Combe includes a few charming streets and lanes, this Cotswold village is painted in honey-coloured hues and offers chocolate-box perfection. Along the high street, Castle Combe features rows and rows of quaint cottages, a remarkable 14th century market cross, a medieval water pump, the 13th century church of St Andrews and a peaceful stream that completes the picture-perfect scene. Check out our guide to the prettiest UK villages which includes Castle Combe and more.
🚗 How to get there: 35 minutes by car.