Bath is a historic city located in southwest England and famed for its Roman Baths, Georgian architecture, and picturesque countryside. If you’re looking for day trips from Bath, there are plenty of excellent options from historic sites such as Stonehenge and Glastonbury to scenic spots in the Cotswolds.
Table of Contents
- Best Day Trips from Bath
- 1. Stonehenge
- 2. The Cotswolds
- 3. Bristol
- 4. Cheddar Gorge
- 5. Avebury
- 6. Oxford
- 7. Glastonbury Tor
- 8. Dartmoor National Park
- 9. Woolacombe, Devon
- 10. Cardiff, Wales
- 11. Weston-Super-Mare
- 12. Take a Dark Ages England Tour
- 13. Kayak on the Kennet and Avon Canal
- 14. Salisbury
- 15. London
- Best Day Trip Tours from Bath
- Day Trips Around Bath: FAQs
- In Conclusion
Bath is conveniently located close to cities like Bristol, Oxford, and Cardiff in Wales, and there are national parks, beaches, and beauty spots from Cheddar Gorge to Dartmoor and Cornwall easily reachable as a day trip from Bath.
I’ve been visiting Bath and the west country since childhood and have taken many of these Bath day trips over the years. You should definitely factor in a couple of extra days on your trip to check out some of the highlights listed below.
Best Day Trips from Bath
The below day trips from Bath include historic sites, areas of outstanding natural beauty, nearby towns and cities, and more. Bath makes the perfect base for exploring this rich part of the UK and it’s somewhere I return to time and time again.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire around 30 miles (48 km) from Bath. This iconic landmark is made up of a ring of standing stones, each weighing around 25 tons with some standing over 13 feet tall. Stonehenge is thought to have been constructed around 3000 BC but to date, nobody is certain how it was constructed.
Visiting Stonehenge is one of the best day trips from Bath as it’s just a short drive from the city. It’s not particularly easy to get to using public transport as the site is by the side of the main A303 road on Salisbury Plain, however, there are lots of tours to Stonehenge from both Bath and London.
I’ve visited Stonehenge countless times on my way to Cornwall and it never fails to amaze me. One of the best times to visit is during the summer solstice when the sun aligns perfectly with the stones and you can bear witness to the calculations used that date back 5,000 years.
Location: 50 minutes southwest of Bath
Getting There: If driving from Bath, take the A36 and then the B390. Taking a tour is also a great way to get there.
Best Tour from Bath: Stonehenge, Avebury, and Cotswolds tour from Bath.
Must-Do Activities: See the ancient stones, learn the history at the National Trust Visitors Center, and walk on Salisbury Plain.
Where to Eat: Rollestone Manor Restaurant
2. The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is one of the most picturesque parts of England and is home to many gorgeous market towns and villages that look like scenes from postcards. Think stone cottages with thatched roofs, brightly colored flowerbeds, streams, and stone bridges that give way to rolling hills and countryside.
The best way to experience this charming corner of England is to take a tour as getting to some of the smaller villages is a little challenging via public transport. Some of the top places to visit in the Cotswolds include Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Norton, Upper Slaughter, and Castle Combe.
I have friends that live in the Cotswolds market town of Stroud which lies close to some very picturesque villages. One of my most-loved is Slad where one of my favorite authors, Laurie Lee, is buried (and where you’ll find the excellent pub, The Woolpack Inn).
Location: One hour from Bath
Getting There: Driving or taking a tour is the best way to get to the Cotswolds from Bath to explore the different towns and villages.
Best Tour from Bath: Cotswolds Small Group Tour from Bath
Must-Do Activities: Explore the towns and villages, stop at a country pub, and walk in the countryside.
Where to Eat: The Woolpack Inn, Slad
Bristol is a pleasant city just 13 miles (20 km) northeast of Bath and well worth a visit. It’s one of the best day trips from Bath by bus or train as there are plenty of daily services between the two cities, and the journey time is less than an hour. See the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge as you enter the city designed and built by engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
I once cycled to Bristol from London, (passing through Bath), and the countryside in this part of the world is utterly breathtaking. I highly recommend hiring a bike and cycling between the two cities along the old, disused railway line and River Avon (it can be completed within a couple of hours).
Some of the top attractions in Bristol include the old ship SS Great Britain, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and St Mary Redcliffe Church and Aerospace Museum. There are lots of great pubs and restaurants in the city and around the waterfront and it’s a great place to visit in spring and summer months.
Location: 30 minutes northeast of Bath
Getting There: Take the X39 bus from Bath Bus Station to Bristol Bus Station. The journey time is under an hour and the service runs from 9 am to 5 pm (see the timetable for exact times). The bus is the cheapest option, but the train is also quick and convenient. There are two services every hour between Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Meads and the journey time is just 12 minutes.
Must-Do Activities: Take a Banksy walking tour, see Clifton Suspension Bridge, visit the Bristol Museum, and visit the Aerospace Museum.
Where to eat: The Chef’s Table
4. Cheddar Gorge
One of the best Bath day trips is to the impressive Cheddar Gorge, a picturesque limestone gorge situated in the Mendip Hills 23 miles (37 km) from the city. The gorge is a rather spectacular natural formation, with towering cliffs that rise up to 450 feet high. It’s thought to have been formed over one million years ago by meltwater from glaciers.
I visited Cheddar Gorge with family many years ago and it’s a great place for hiking. There are a few different hiking trails around the gorge, both above and in the canyon itself.
Cheddar is also famously known to be the birthplace of Cheddar cheese, the mainstay of sandwiches across the country.
Location: 45 minutes southwest of Bath
Getting There: The best way to get to the gorge is by car or by taking a tour as there aren’t any direct links via public transport.
Best Tour from Bath: Cheddar cheese and Cheddar Gorge tour from Bath.
Must-Do Activities: Marvel at the impressive gorge, hike along the top of the gorge, and sample Cheddar cheese.
Where to Eat: Bath Arms Hotel, Cheddar
The mystical village of Avebury is somewhere I’ve been meaning to visit for a very long time but haven’t yet had the opportunity (though many friends have been).
The large village green is the site of a set of standing stones (like a mini Stonehenge) and is one of the most picturesque places in the country.
Location: 50 minutes east of Bath
Getting There: There isn’t a direct connection from Bath, so either driving (via the A4) or taking a tour is the best way to reach the village.
Best Tour from Bath: This is one of the best day tours from Bath and includes Stonehenge, the Cotswolds, and Avebury.
Must-Do Activities: Explore the village, see the standing stones, and have a pint in The Wagon and Horses.
Where to Eat: The Wagon and Horses
The charming city of Oxford is one of the easiest day trips from Bath by train as the journey is just over 90 minutes from Bath Spa station. The city is famed for its university and the annual boat race between its erstwhile competitor Cambridge (one of my favorite British cities).
The city is packed with historic landmarks, interesting museums such as the world-famous Ashmolean, and some excellent pubs and restaurants. The Bear Inn is a great little pub that’s over 700 years old!
Location: 90 minutes northeast of Bath
Getting There: Trains depart Bath Spa station every 30 minutes and take 1h37m to reach Oxford. If you prefer to travel by car, it’s a 90-minute drive along the M4.
Must-Do Activities: Visit the Ashmolean Museum, see the famous university, take a Harry Potter walking tour, and have a pint in the oldest pub in Oxford.
Where to Eat: The Bear Inn
7. Glastonbury Tor
You’ve probably heard of Glastonbury thanks to the famous music festival that takes place each June, but the town itself is steeped in myth and legend and is a charming place packed with second-hand bookshops and other independent traders – think handmade jewelry, trinkets, and local produce.
Glastonbury Tor is a large hill just outside the town with the ruins of an old bell tower rising up from the hilly countryside. It’s said to be the site of Avalon, the mythical place King Arthur retired to after his final battle. You can certainly feel a sense of history here and this is somewhere I always like to visit when in the west country.
Location: 50 minutes southwest of Bath
Getting There: The best way to get to Glastonbury is to drive (A367 and A361) or take a tour from Bath.
Best Tour from Bath: Private Glastonbury Tour from Bath.
Must-Do Activities: Visit the tor, explore the shops, or attend the Glastonbury music festival.
Where to Eat: The Queen of Cups
8. Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor is one of my favorite places in the UK thanks to its beautiful and lush valleys, rippling streams, waterfalls, and brooding moorland. I’ve visited the national park at Dartmoor countless times over the year and it’s somewhere I love to go back to time and again.
It’s a two-hour drive southwest of Bath but can easily be visited as a day trip from the city. The town of Oakhampton is a good starting point as it’s on the edge of the moor and it takes less than 30 minutes to get into some of the most pristine wilderness in the country.
Location: 2 hours southwest of Bath
Getting There: The best way to get to Dartmoor is to drive via the M5.
Must-Do Activities: Go hiking, see the village of Belstone, and visit Buckfast Abbey.
Where to Eat: The Tors Inn
9. Woolacombe, Devon
Woolacombe is a seaside resort in north Devon a couple of hours’ drive from Bath. It’s a great place for surfing, swimming, picnicking, and enjoying the great British coastline.
If you want to spend a day on golden sand dunes and enjoy some clifftop walks, then Woolacombe is one of the best day trips for you to take from Bath.
Location: Two and a half hours southwest of Bath
Getting There: Woolacombe is one of the day trips from Bath by car and it takes around two and a half hours via the M5.
Must-Do Activities: Go surfing, swimming, rock-pooling, and hiking along the cliff paths.
Where to Eat: The Tides Inn
10. Cardiff, Wales
The Welsh city of Cardiff is one of the easiest day trips from Bath by train as it takes just over an hour to get there. Explore the impressive, medieval Cardiff Castle which is conveniently located in the center of the city. I’ve visited Cardiff many times over the years both on business and for pleasure and always enjoy exploring this area of the country.
Location: 75 minutes east of Bath (and across the Severn Estuary).
Getting There: There are two trains per hour from Bath Spa station and the journey takes just 70 minutes. It takes just over an hour to drive via the M4, during which you’ll cross the famous Severn Bridge.
Must-Do Activities: Visit Cardiff Castle and take a tour of the city, visit the Royal Mint.
Where to Eat: Pasture Restaurant
Weston-Super-Mare (known as just Weston to most) is a coastal town on the Severn Estuary an hour away from Bath. This laid-back seaside town has a large promenade and beach with a pier and some interesting museums such as the Helicopter Museum, and pleasant outdoor spaces such as Ashcombe Park.
If you want a day by the seaside without having to travel too far, Weston is a great option and is one of the easiest day trips from Bath by public transport.
Location: Weston is an hour east of Bath
Getting There: It takes just 41 minutes to reach Weston from Bath by direct train, or an hour to drive via the M5.
Must-Do Activities: Walk along the promenade, have a swim, and wander around Ashcombe Park.
Where to Eat: The Old Thatched Cottage Restaurant
12. Take a Dark Ages England Tour
The Cotswolds is considered one of the best areas of outstanding natural beauty and represents the picturesque tranquility of the English countryside. Visit some gorgeous villages, see historical churches and stately homes, and enjoy lunch in a traditional country pub on this excellent day trip from Bath.
You’ll get to go “off the beaten track” and get a fascinating insight into this sleepy corner of England during this full-day tour which includes lunch and a drink and takes in beautiful Castle Combe – one of my favorite villages in the region.
Location: You can request a pickup from your hotel.
Getting There: Take a tour.
Best Tour from Bath: Hidden Cotswolds tour.
Must-Do Activities: See the ancient villages, churches, market towns, and pubs.
Where to Eat: Lunch at a traditional pub is included in the tour.
13. Kayak on the Kennet and Avon Canal
Getting out onto the Kennet and Avon canal is one of the most fun day trips from Bath and I’ve cycled and walked along the towpath on a few occasions. There’s a 7-mile (11 km) round trip route from Bath which makes for a fun paddling trip through some truly beautiful countryside.
You can hire kayaks and canoes and even go punting from Bath Boating Station which is open from 9 am to 5:30 pm Wednesday to Sunday. Check the website for prices and more info.
Location: The route starts in Bathampton just east of the Bath suburb of Camden
Getting There: Bathampton is within walking distance from central Bath.
Must-Do Activities: Paddle along the canal and take in the beautiful countryside.
Where to Eat: The George Inn
Salisbury is located 40 miles (64 km) south of Bath and is famous for its beautiful 13th-century cathedral which has the tallest spire in the country. The city has a rich history that dates back to Roman times and is home to many historic buildings, including the medieval clock tower and the ruins of an ancient hill fort at Old Sarum.
The city also has a thriving cultural scene with lots of interesting museums, galleries, and theaters. Salisbury also benefits from its proximity to the beautiful Wiltshire countryside; perfect for hiking and cycling.
This is one of my top cities in England thanks to its historic buildings and surrounding nature.
Location: One hour south of Bath
Getting There: Salisbury is easily reachable by train from Bath and the journey takes just 56 minutes.
Must-Do Activities: Take a walking tour, see the clock tower, visit Old Sarum, and see the famous Cathedral.
Where to Eat: The Chapter House
London is less than 90 minutes away by train from Bath Spa station so makes an excellent day trip. Visit the vibrant Covent Garden for food and shopping, head to the West End for a show, or see the collections at the British Museum. There are so many amazing things to do in London that you won’t be bored for a second.
This is one of my favorite places for a day trip and I often head to London just for a day to enjoy some food, catch up with friends, and have a few beers in the evening. Soho is the best place for nightlife with lots of great pubs, bars, and clubs, such as my favorite Garlic and Shots.
Location: London is a little less than 90 minutes by train from Bath.
Getting There: The best way to get to London from Bath is by train.
Must-Do Activities: Take a Jack the Ripper tour, visit the Tower of London, take a food tour of Borough Market, visit the British Museum, or hang out in hip Camden or Shoreditch.
Where to Eat: The Garden Gate, Hampstead
Best Day Trip Tours from Bath
Here’s a breakdown of the best day trip tours from Bath which include historic sites, scenic countryside, and lots of fun things to do:
Stonehenge, Avebury, and Cotswolds Tour: This full-day tour from Bath takes in some of the Westcountry’s most impressive places including historic stone circles at Stonehenge and Avebury, and some of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds including Lacock and Castle Combe.
Dark Ages England Tour: This eight-hour tour leaves Bath at 9 am (you can request hotel pickup) and takes in some of the top sights in the Cotswolds including Castle Combe and lunch at a traditional local pub.
Day Trips Around Bath: FAQs
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about day trips from Bath:
Stonehenge is one of the most popular day trips from Bath, as is taking a tour of the Cotswolds and visiting Cheddar Gorge (where yes, you can gorge on Cheddar).
Three to four days is a good amount of time to explore all of Bath’s top sights. However, if you want to take some of these fantastic day trips then five to seven days would be better.
If you have a car then some of the best day trips from bath include Dartmoor National Park, Avebury, Cheddar Gorge, and the Cotswolds as they aren’t so easy to reach with public transport.
The cities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Oxford make great day trips from Bath by train, as does the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare and gorgeous Salisbury with its famous Cathedral and tallest spire in England.
Bath is located in one of the most beautiful parts of England so you’ll be spoiled for beautiful places to visit. That being said, the Cotswolds is certainly one of the most beautiful places near Bath with villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Castle Combe topping the list.
With so many amazing day trips from Bath, which ones would you like to take first? From historic Stonehenge to the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds, mythical Avebury and Glastonbury, or cool cities like Cardiff, Bristol, and Oxford there’s something for everyone.
Personally, I recommend hitting Cheddar Gorge and Dartmoor if you have the time, and you can even visit another country (Wales) if you wish! Bath is a beautiful city, so make it a base, and after exploring everything the city has to offer, be sure to check out some of these fab day trips for yourself.