Hungry for more history? Curious about cute villages?
Bath is an amazing destination in itself, but it’s also close to the M4 motorway and has great rail links to get to other awesome places that have their own unique character.
The local counties are also jam packed with things to do, and being so close to Wiltshire, it opens up even more excuses to explore outside of the city should you have some spare time.
Whether you’re spending an extended period in the city, or are a local looking for a different day out, here are the best places to visit in Bath on a day trip.
Bath is blessed with a rich history from Romans to the Regency era, but when it comes to ancient attractions, Stonehenge takes the top title.
Known around the globe for its stone circle dating back to Neolithic times, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge is only a 45-minute drive from Bath, making it a popular day trip for tourists.
Were the prehistoric megalith stones rolled all the way from Wales or put there by aliens?
Find out more about popular theories at the visitor centre or take an after-hours tour to go inside the circle without the crowds and why this one of the best places to visit in Bath.
Check out the smallest city in England, which has this title thanks to the grand Wells Cathedral.
Thought to have been built between 1175-1490, it’s known as ‘the most poetic of the English Cathedrals’ and is the earliest English cathedral designed in the Gothic style.
Visit the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens to explore some of the 14 acres of gardens, discover the Medieval palace, or tuck into a slice of cake at The Bishop’s Table. Look out for the famous swans on the moat and listen out for them ringing their swan bells!
Take a stroll around the city’s Artisan Quarter to shop in local boutiques and head there on Wednesdays and Saturdays (9am-3pm) for bustling market days where you can pick up locally grown and made produce.
I often find myself in Wells multiple times a year, it’s a genuine, authentic British city with the feel of a small town.
Head to Glastonbury for a hippy heaven of witch shops, woowoo, and plenty of quirky places to wet your whistle.
Close to Wells and other attractions like Cheddar Gorge, Glastonbury might be world famous for its muddy music festival, but it’s also the ideal day trip from buttoned-up Bath to go and absorb the viiiiibe, man.
Pack your crystals and your walking shoes to take a trek to the top of 158m high Glastonbury Tor for sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and the Somerset Levels.
Just don’t forget to take some snacks, because you’ll be taking in the view for a while.
If you’re into shops there’s also a massive shopping area called “Clarks Village” just 5 minutes away from Glastonbury Tor. it’s one of the best places to visit in Bath for sure!
Long-time home to HRH Prince Charles, the tiny town of Tetbury is close to Highgrove, the now-king’s favourite place to be.
Stop at the Highgrove gift shop to pick up gifts like lavender soap and other finery, or explore some of the trendy boutiques that line the streets.
The second largest town in the Cotswolds also hosts a twice weekly market underneath the Grade 1 listed market house.
Head there on Wednesday for fresh veggies, fish, and other edible goodies or go on a Saturday to stock up on bric-a-brac, books, and jewellery, or take a look upstairs in the market house to catch craft fairs and local art shows.
Lovely Lacock is a star of TV shows and films from Cranford to Downton Abbey. It’s easy to see why this quaint National Trust owned village gets featured so often as it’s a cocktail of thatched cottages, idyllic facades, and cute places to indulge in a sumptuous cream tea.
Avoid the crowds and enjoy a Pimm’s and lemonade amongst the rose bushes in Sign of the Angel’s hidden garden or pick up a local gin from the shop Quintessentially English’s micro distillery .
Take some change to buy some homemade jam from one of the stalls found on people’s walls around the village.
Harry Potter fans will recognise the imposing Abbey, where Hogwarts scenes were filmed, and photography fans can check out the Fox Talbot museum where the very first photo was taken!
6. Castle Combe
Picture postcard perfect Castle Combe is another quintessential English village with quaint cottages and cute churches like St Andrew’s.
Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are plenty of countryside walks to work up an appetite before heading to one of the local pubs like The Old Stables to enjoy a pint and a panini in front of a roaring fire, or treat yourself to a Michelin-starred meal at the nearby Manor House.
If you want a long walk you can actually walk from Castle Combe to Lacock in a couple of hours. I have personally done this many of times, and parked at one of the villages, walked to the other had lunch, and then walked back!
There’s a couple of pubs, and a coffee shop to choose from, but make sure to take some change as the residents tend to sell freshly baked goods on their door steps!
Personally, it’s one of my best places to visit in Bath.
Beautiful Bristol is only a 15-minute train ride from Bath but worlds apart with its laidback waterfront vibe.
Home of Banksy, trip hop, and a thriving cultural scene, Bristol is a patchwork of interesting neighbourhoods from picturesque Clifton and its famous suspension bridge and Downs to edgy Stokes Croft and the city centre where you’ll find attractions like the free M Shed museum, the famous steamship SS Great Britain, and art centres like the Arnolfini.
If you’re a fan of cycling you can get on your bike and explore the city on two wheels, with plenty of dedicated cycle lanes and easy routes to follow.
Relax with some shopping on Gloucester Road, take a dip in the Bristol Lido, or enjoy a ferry ride around the harbour.
Fuel up with lunch from one of the funky food places inside shipping containers at Wapping Wharf, or head to St Nick’s Market for a snack or an original Pieminster pie and mash.
8. Bradford on Avon
Day’s out don’t have to involve driving! If you’re feeling active, walk the Kennet & Avon Canal from Bath to Bradford on Avon (or get the train if you don’t fancy a 10 mile walk).
Stop at the Cross Guns pub in Avoncliff for a pint near the aquaduct or enjoy your afternoon in the pretty town of Bradford on Avon, where the hilly streets are home to cute boutiques and cosy cafes, ideal for a rest after a walk along the canal.
Water babies can take a dip in the River Avon in the summer or try kayaking and stand up paddleboarding for an alternative way to see the sights.
While you’re in Bradford On Avon be sure to check out the local Italian restaurant, or if you want to stay visit some of the best cabins in Bath, there’s one in Bradford on Avon that will blow your mind.
It’s one of the best places to visit in Bath if you want to test out one of the oldest tea rooms in the UK, and then go for a lovely walk.
If hanging out at the ‘henge feels too touristy for your day trip, take a ride to Avebury, which is only 22 miles from Bath and is also a World Heritage Site.
Slightly smaller and more spread out, you can see the stone circles without so many people, and soak up the Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments at a quieter pace.
You can also get a lot closer to the stones than Stonehenge as there are fewer restrictions. Pop into one of the New Age shops in Avebury or have an ale in the historic Red Lion pub nearby.
10. Longleat Safari and Adventure Park
Take your little monkeys on a safari through the wilds of Wiltshire at Longleat Safari and Adventure Park near Warminster.
Explore the stately Longleat House or drive amongst the lions and the actual little monkeys (watch they don’t yank your windscreen wipers off though!).
Take a jungle cruise or mini train through the park, keeping an eye out for unexpected sights like the sea lions in the lake!
It’s one of the best places to visit in Bath, and is only a 20 – 30 minute drive from the city, and you’ll find a whole day here will be an incredible day out.
A little tip, take a packed lunch because you can sit on the green outside the Longleat house away from the crowds!
Brandon has lived in Bath his whole life, exploring the local food, testing far too many pubs and even building his own media company just outside of the city. He has years of experience travelling the world and now he wants to help the city flourish using his content building experience.