The best day trip from London for: pack a lot
How to get there from London: The train from London Paddington takes approximately 1 hour 35 minutes.
After hopping off the train at Bristol Temple Meads, stroll to Clifton, the city’s prettiest leafy suburb. The quiet residential streets are lined with pretty Georgian townhouses, leafy spots to wander the cobbled streets and an eclectic mix of independent cafes, restaurants and shops.
Start with a look around Clifton Arcade in the heart of Clifton Village, where the 17 shops are brimming with intriguing trinkets and antiques. It’s not a real shopping experience without a pit stop for coffee and cake – try one of Bristol’s best coffee shops, Spicer + Cole, or – for a 100% plant-based menu – refuel with a slice of rose and vanilla bread and a great latte at the East Village Café.
Pick up fresh fruit and veg from local greengrocers and head over Clifton Bridge for stunning views of the River Avon. It is one of the oldest iron suspension bridges in the world. Learn about its history at the visitor centre, stopping for a pint of traditional Somerset cider at the White Lion alongside it. Continue the historic tour by walking to Clifton Observatory, home to a museum featuring a Victorian-era Camera Obscura and a mythical Giant’s Cave, as well as its own rooftop cafe with jaw-dropping views . And don’t miss a stroll down Royal York Crescent, one of Bristol’s most expensive streets, which was also once famous for being the longest terrace in Europe.
Then spend time at the Bristol Lido, a restored 1800s Victorian pool surrounded by a pampering spa and poolside bar. End the day with a comfortable pub meals at The Albion, an Indian dining experience at Nutmeg or a hearty pizza at Bosco on the corner of Whiteladies Road.–Cordelia Aspinall
If you decide to stay: Book a room at the newly renovated Number 38 boutique hotel for a peaceful stay overlooking the Clifton Downs, perfect for your morning walk.