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Places to Visit

Bath, Bristol and Somerset

The world heritage city of Bath is a beautiful Roman city with a fascinating history. Enjoy the Georgian architecture, visit the historic Roman Baths, or pamper yourself in the new Thermae Bath Spa (spa deals available). Free walking tours with the Mayor of Bath’s honorary guides are available every day of the year (except Christmas day), they last about two hours and include the main points of historical and architectural interest. For an alternative tour of Bath, there is always Bizarre Bath, the Bath Comedy Walk.

Bristol is an eclectic city with a very diverse and community feel. Take a wander around the village of Clifton before visiting Brunel’s historic Clifton Suspension Bridge (there are free tours of the bridge on weekends in the summer), the Avon Gorge caves and the Camera Obscura (one of only a handful in the country) on the Downs and while you’re there, if it’s a family day of fun you’re after, don’t forget a visit to Bristol Zoo. If it’s more of the maritime history you’re interested in, Brunel’s magnificent SS Great Britain is a must, followed by a a cruise down the Avon on the Bristol Packet.

Take a trip to the cathedral city of Wells, the smallest city in England and made famous in recent years by the film Hot Fuzz. Situated on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, it is a beautiful market town with lovely tea shops and Wookey Hole Caves are not far away.

School Cottages is very close to Glastonbury and is perfect for a unique way to experience the world famous music festival or just a trip up the Tor and just up the road is the town of Street. Well-known locally for the Clark’s outlet village with its wide variety of factory shops, it makes the perfect destination for some retail therapy!

Cheddar Gorge is beautiful and the scenery simply breathtaking. Take a scenic drive and keep a look out for the goats, sheep and climbers on the rockface. It’s also a great place for a walk and if you enjoy a bit of rambling, then the Mendip Hills are a must. We have a collection of local walking books, guides and maps available to look through and borrow for your trip.

Wiltshire

If you’re looking for a great day out with the kids, then look no further than Longleat. With a safari park, adventure park, shows and Longleat House to take a look at, there should be something to keep everyone amused all day.

If you like to visit celebrated landscape gardens and houses, then look no further than Stourhead. An estate at the source of the River Stour, it includes a Palladian mansion, the village of Stourton, gardens, farmland, and woodland. Stourhead has been in the ownership of the National Trust since 1946.

Bradford-on-Avon has many fine examples of architecture from the Saxon, Medieval, Tudor, Georgian and Industrial Revolution periods, as well as an Iron Age Fort and Roman villa. The name of the town originates from the ‘broad ford’ across the River Avon and the bridge is a natural focus for the town. You can also walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal (which runs from Reading to Bristol) and take a look at one of the deepest locks on the canal. The particularly attractive mile and a half stretch to Avoncliffe is a popular walk. Boat hire and boat trips are also available from the working wharf.

Lacock is another village that is owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust. It attracts many visitors by virtue of its unspoiled appearance and famous Lacock Abbey and is mentioned in the Domesday book. The village has been used as a film and television set for BBC productions of Pride and Prejudice and Cranford and it has also made brief appearances in the Harry Potter films Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

For an unforgettable family day out, visit the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. Surrounded by mystery, Stonehenge never fails to impress, but don’t forget a trip to nearby Avebury, which rivals (or some say, exceeds) Stonehenge as the largest, most impressive and complex prehistoric site in Britain.

Known as ‘the city in the countryside’, the magnificent medieval city of Salisbury has it all: historic streets and alleyways, charming half-timbered buildings, traditional English eating houses and characterful shopping streets, not to mention a superb range of attractions, including the UK’s finest medieval cathedral which has the tallest spire in Britain, Europe’s oldest working clock and the world’s best-preserved Magna Carta.

Day trips to the beach

Weston-super-Mare is more than just a beach. Attractions include the Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare Museum, the Grand Pier, Weston Eye (or Weston Wheel) and aquarium. The Paddle Steamer Waverley and MV Balmoral offer day sea trips from Knightstone Island to various destinations along the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary. Cultural venues include The Playhouse, The Winter Gardens, and The Blakehay Theatre & Community Arts Centre.

Weymouth on the Dorset coast is just a couple of hours away and well within reach for a day-trip to the seaside. It is beautiful area with it’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast, unique history, natural environment, award winning sandy beach and picturesque traditional harbour.

Swanage is a small coastal town in the south east of Dorset. Originally a small port and fishing village, today it is a popular tourist resort, with sandy beaches and other nearby attractions, including a steam railway and Corfe Castle, one of Britain’s most majestic ruins and once a controlling gateway through the Purbeck Hills. Great for walks, the coastline up to and including Swanage Bay has been included in the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

  • Steam rising from the Roman Baths

    Steam rising from the Roman Baths
    Credit: visitbath.co.uk
    Copyright: Bath Tourism Plus / Colin Hawkins