3 Charming Places to Visit Near Bristol

Bristol is nestled between beautiful Wiltshire and the Mendips to the south and the world-famous charming Cotswold villages to the North. Within an hour of the city, there are some very charming historic places to visit!

This is a guide to 3 wonderful day trips to picturesque, historic villages near Bristol. Wells, despite its village feel is actually the UK’s smallest city! It has an incredible gothic cathedral, a wonderful castle and a popular, thriving market square, with weekly farmers’ markets, and a host in dependent shops and cafes.

Castle Combe is a picturesque village in the Cotswolds that makes you feel like you have travelled back in time- so well preserved are the historic buildings and charming streets and houses! It is used as a movie set for many famous series including Downtown Abbey.

Frome is a historic market town with a famous independent makers market once a month. The town is known for its bustling, artsy, liberal energy, and the stunningly well-preserved old street are full of independent shops and cafes.

DestinationDescriptionDistance by CarPublic Transport
WellsA stunning cathedral, well-preserved icon vicars close street, and castle gardens. Weekly Markets.~45 minsYou can take a direct bus from Bristol Bus Station which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes
Castle CoombeA picturesque village, like a trip back in time, with beautifully preserved honey-coloured stone cottages, and gorgeous surrounding countryside.~40 minsYou can take a train to Chippenham and a taxi or bus from there
FromeA vibrant artistic market town with beautiful historic streets and lots of independent shops and cafes.~40 minsThere’s a direct train from Bristol Temple Meads to Frome, which takes about 35 minutes


Nestled in the heart of Somerset, the historic town of Fromeit is now also a vibrant hub for contemporary artists and musicians, with a thriving independent arts scene. With its picturesque streets lined with independent shops and cafes, and beautiful historical buildings, this town is a perfect destination for a day trip from Bristol.

Frome has a rich history dating back to the Roman times, and there is plenty to explore for history buffs. The town is dotted with historic buildings and landmarks, such as the stunning St. John’s Church, the medieval Frome Bridge, and the 17th-century Rook Lane Chapel.

Frome has plenty of independent shops and markets, including the famous Frome Independent Market, which takes place on the first Sunday of every month. Here, visitors can browse a diverse range of unique and handcrafted products, from clothing and jewellery to homeware and artisanal food.

For those looking for a cultural experience, there are several art galleries and museums in the town, including the Black Swan Arts Centre, which showcases the work of local artists. And for nature lovers, Frome is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is the perfect base for exploring the nearby Mendip Hills.

If this sounds intriguing, check out our post on a perfect day trip to Frome. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, an art lover, or simply looking for a day out in the countryside, this charming town has something for everyone.

Castle Combe

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Cotswolds, Castle Combe is a quintessential English village that exudes charm and character- so much so it has been used as a film set in many popular productions!

From its idyllic honey-colored stone buildings to its tranquil waterways, every corner of Castle Combe is steeped in history and beauty. Take a stroll through the narrow streets and take in the stunning Cotswold architecture. Make sure to stop by the Market Cross and admire the 14th-century St. Andrew’s Church.

Ejoy a stop at the The Castle Inn, a charming pub is the perfect spot for a hearty meal or a relaxing pint of local ale. With a roaring fire and a delightful beer garden, The Castle Inn is a great place to soak up the village’s peaceful atmosphere.

Or take yourself for a traditional English afternoon tea – you can opt for The Castle in or The White Heart, both wonderful historics Inns, for traditional sandwiches, scones, cakes and a pot of tea at around (£19 per person)

If this sounds good we have a whole separate guide to a perfect day in castle combe.

You can also pay a visit to Castle Combe Circuit, a famous motorsport track has hosted numerous racing events over the years and offers the chance to experience high-speed thrills with various driving experiences.

Castle Combe is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in England. Take a leisurely stroll through the meadows and woodlands, and enjoy the peacefulness of the countryside.

Castle Combe is a truly magical place that is sure to enchant anyone who visits. So, if you’re looking for a charming escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, Castle Combe is definitely worth a visit!


Wells is a beautiful small city in Somerset, with a stunning cathedral and amazng historical streets, including Vicars Close a charming street popular as a movie location becasue it is so quaint. It is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited street in Europe, dating back to the 14th century.

Wells cathedral is the centerpiece of the city and a must-visit. The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and features impressive Gothic architecture.

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens was a medieval palace was built for the Bishop of Bath and Wells and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Highlights include the moat which has been home to a majestic swans since the 1800’s, a drawbridge, a well and an arbortoreaum and a rose garden. Admission is £9 for adults and £4.50 for children.

In the heart of the city is the bustling Market Place squaure, which is home to a weekly farmers’ market as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. Wells also has many independent shops and cafes, making it a great spot for a leisurely day trip. We have a full guide day trip to Wells here, for you to read more about the attractions, history and attraction details.

Full guides, with cafe recommendations, and entry times and fees for all the attractions:

We have separate posts with more details on each of these options here:

Day trip Guide: a perfect day in Frome

A perfect visit to Castle Combe

Day trip guide to Wells

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