Bristol boasts coastlines, historic towns and gorgeous landscapes within easy reach of the city. Hopping in a car and setting out on a drive is the best way to explore its environs. Car hire company Avis has rounded up five of the best drives near Bristol.
Stonehenge and Salisbury
Driving distance from Bristol: One hour 24 minutes / 45 miles
A short drive from Bristol can get you to the UK’s most famous prehistoric monument, Stonehenge.
The unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.
Remember to book in advance – you’ll be allocated a 30-minute slot that you need to arrive during.
From here it’s a 25-minute drive to the Medieval city of Salisbury.
The magnificent cathedral is a real highlight – the elegant spire is the tallest in England.
Driving distance from Bristol: 44 minutes – one hour / 24.4 miles
This drive whisks you off to a quintessential British seaside day out.
The Somerset coastal resort offers donkey rides, ice cream and fish and chips
What’s more, the Grand Pier theme park is just the ticket if you get caught out by poor weather.
Inside, there’s arcades, rides, go-karts and more.
Forest of Dean
Driving distance from Bristol: 52 minutes / 32.9 miles
If you’re wanting to stretch your legs then the Forest of Dean is great for woodland walks.
Puzzlewood is perhaps the most well-known section – it’s a magical ancient forest, believed to have been an inspiration for author JRR Tolkien when writing The Lord of the Rings.
The Dean Forest Railway is well worth checking out – the “friendly forest line” stops at five locations where you can hop off and enjoy some lovely walking routes.
The Gower Peninsula
Driving distance from Bristol: Two hours 21 minutes / 108.5 miles
This longer drive will take you out to nearby Wales.
Gower was the first place in Britain to be named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Expect cliffs and woodlands ringed by sparkling beaches – all loved by walkers, birdwatchers, sunbathers and surfers.
Rhossili Bay is frequently listed among the top beaches in the UK.
Driving distance from Bristol: One hour two minutes / 25.6 miles
No, not the festival but the quirky Somerset town from which the music behemoth takes its name.
Wander around incense-filled shops that line the high street and you’ll find with handmade jewellery, pagan-inspired tokens, colourful clothing and more.
For a stunning panoramic view of the Somerset countryside, head up to Glastonbury Tor.
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