Bristol is well-placed for day trips by rail. Take a look at these suggestions and check back for further ideas as we expand this part of the website:
Weston-super-Mare and Weston Woods
Weston-super-Mare is the perfect place for a spot of paddling followed by a stroll along the promenade.
In the centre of Weston Woods lies an all-natural play area that will keep your kids entertained for hours. With a zip line, swings and a climb and clamber to keep the little ones occupied, pack a picnic, sit back and relax.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 33mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Weston-super-Mare
Bath Skyline Walk
The National Trust Skyline Walk has sweeping views across the crescents of Bath, there’s also an epic rope swing, a wooden play area with climbing frames and balance beams for budding gymnasts.
And hop off the trail for a city pub or two along the way.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 12mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Bath Spa > 20minute walk leaving from the station.
The Strawberry Line
The disused railway line between Yatton train station and Cheddar Gorge has been transformed into a nine-mile cycle path which is almost completely car free.
Taking its name from the strawberries the trains would carry from the fields of Cheddar, the path is largely flat and leads through the flat marshes and cider apple orchards around Yatton.
Passing through steep wooded valleys, a tunnel takes cyclists through the Mendips and on to the historic towns of Axbridge and Cheddar.
For those with younger kids, there’s an easy-going 5.4 mile ride from Yatton to Sandford ending behind Thatcher’s Cider Farm, and don’t forget to call in at the Strawberry Line Café at Yatton station.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 16mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Yatton > hire bicycles in advance, or pre-book your own onto train
In Cardiff the Taff Trail extends 8 miles from Cardiff Bay’s Waterfront, via the City Centre, through parks and green spaces, to Castell Coch.
Many of Cardiff’s premier attractions including Cardiff Castle, Llandaff Cathedral, the Millennium Stadium and the Millennium Centre are located in the Taff Corridor.
Further north the 55 mile trail passes through a variety of landscapes and there are many sites of interest and industrial heritage either adjacent or close to it.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 48mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Cardiff Central
Somerset Space Walk
Developed to show the true scale of the solar system, the 14 mile length of the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal towpath has been kitted out with to-scale models of the planets.
Start with the sun at Higher Maunsel Lock and choose which way to walk. Whether you head to Bridgwater or Taunton – both offer the nine planets of the solar system in a peaceful 6.8 mile stroll.
At a scale of one millimetre to 530km, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars come within the first 220ft of the sun, but the next planet, Jupiter, is almost a mile away. Mercury is the size of a marble while Venus and Earth are the size of conkers. The Sun is the size of a Smart Car.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 53mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Bridgewater Station>Then jump on two buses – the first from Sainsburys to Halcon Corner, then Halcon Corner to Woodcroft.
Two Valleys Walk
The Cross Guns and The Inn at Freshford are connected by The Two Valleys walk, perfect for those who are seeking out an escape from the city.
Enjoy a peaceful riverside stroll and follow the River Avon and River Frome and you will discover two idyllic pubs. The route passes Iford Manor and a short detour leads to Farleigh Hungerford Castle.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 27mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Freshford Station
The former Victorian docks have become a popular destination where visitors can enjoy interesting views of fine warehouses and miscellaneous boats.
The National Waterways Museum occupies two floors of Llanthony Warehouse, this museum shows life on the waterway using artifacts, photographs and videos. Historic craft moored by the quay side include steam dredger SND No 4, tug Severn Progress, barge Sabrina and (ashore) narrowboat Northwich. (More)
Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum occupies the former Custom House and tells the story of the lives, travel and service of the men of the Gloucestershire Regiment and the Gloucestershire Huzzars over the last 300 years.
Gloucester Quays shopping centre has shopping, leisure and refreshment opportunities.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 50mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Gloucester Station > 15minute walk from the station
Didcot Railway Centre
A collection of Great Western Railway steam engines, coaches, wagons, buildings and small relics is based around the original 1930s engine shed, just a few minutes walk from Didcot Parkway station.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 59mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Didcot Parkway Station
Salisbury’s imposing Gothic cathedral standing over the medieval city centre is home to the world’s best-preserved copy of the Magna Carta.
Equally remarkable is its setting, with water meadows creating an almost uninterrupted green artery through the city, so that the view of the cathedral from the south, uncluttered by buildings, is the same as it was when Constable painted it in the 1830s.
The town centre is full of independent shops selling everything from hand-made clothes to artisan bread.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 1hour 12mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Salisbury Station
To visit another country, take a train to the Welsh town of Abergavenny, changing at Newport. In just over an hour you’ll find yourself in a great location for exploring the Brecon Beacons mountain range.
The best thing about the train trip from Bristol to Abergavenny is the rugged scenery that dramatically passes before you, giving you a taste of what’s to come when you arrive.
Journey time from Bristol Temple Meads: 1hour 10mins
Route: Bristol Temple Meads > Newport Station > Abergavenny Station
A day trip to Malvern feels like entering another world! With its medieval cottages and massive priory, Malvern is steeped in its ancient heritage.
Stroll through the valleys and have a look at St Ann’s Well and Holy Well for reminders of a time when water was revered for its divine properties. The town itself is home to quirky curiosity shops selling antiques, second-hand books, and local crafts.
Journey time from Bristol Parkway: 1hour 40mins
Route: Bristol Parkway > Great Malvern Station