06 May 2022

This article was written by Eve Hayzer.

If you’re a Burges Salmon future trainee then you’ve hit the jack pot, because Bristol was recently voted the UK’s happiest city! One of the best things about Bristol is its unique proximity to some of the most stunning natural beauty spots in the country. The benefits of nature for mental wellbeing are clearly being experienced by the city’s residents! I grew up in Somerset and love escaping into nature on the weekends, so I thought I’d share with you some insider knowledge on the best places to escape to near Bristol.

1. Brecon Beacons

Less than a 2 hour drive from Bristol, the Brecon Beacons are a mountain range in South Wales. It’s a beautiful and diverse landscape with rolling countryside, wide open hillsides, as well as wild forests, lakes, waterfalls and caves. It’s the perfect place for walking and thinking, as well as cycling, horse riding, and even water sports.

2. Cheddar Gorge

I went to school in Cheddar Gorge, and although it’s not the liveliest place to live as a teenager, I now find myself in awe of its iconic beauty. Cheddar Gorge is England’s biggest gorge boasting dramatic limestone cliffs rising over 450 feet, and extraordinary subterranean stalactite caves which you can explore. It is also an international centre for caving and rock climbing. You can get there in less than hour by car from Bristol, making it the perfect place for a weekend day trip!

3. Quantock Hills

The Quantock Hills consist of heathland, oak woodlands and ancient parklands. They are located in Somerset just over an hours drive from Bristol, and were England’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designated in 1956. The Quantock Hills are the perfect place for a ramble, offering captivating views stretching to the sea.

4. Clevedon

Clevedon is a charming Victorian seaside town around a 40 minute drive from Bristol, it was also the main location for the TV series Broadchurch. There are seaside cafes, plenty of fish and chips shops, and well maintained coastal paths. Clevedon Marine Lake, which is a sea-filled lake, is a popular spot for open water swimming, canoeing and paddle boarding.

5. Glastonbury Tor

“Tor” is the Celtic name for a cone shaped hill, so Glastonbury Tor is essentially a big hill in the Somerset town of Glastonbury. However it’s not just a hill, it’s also an iconic landmark and known for being one of the most spiritual sites in the country! The Tor is mentioned in Celtic mythology, particularly in myths linked to King Arthur. Glastonbury is about an hours drive from Bristol and the Tor is located a ten minute walk from the main high street. A winding path will lead you up the Tor to Saint Michael’s chapel which is a 14th century chapel that sits on top of the Tor. It’s well worth the climb as the 360 degree views from the top are breath-taking.

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