Having grown up in Gloucestershire, I’m pretty familiar with travelling to beaches near Bristol. In fact, as a kid, Weston-Super-Mare was a real favourite. Think fish and chips, long walks on the beach, donkey rides, and making sandcastles on the sludgy sand, and that was pretty much my childhood. Lucky for Bristolians, there are so many beaches near Bristol, many of which take less than an hour to reach. Without further ado, here’s my guide to the best beaches near Bristol.
Severn Beach, South Gloucestershire
Severn Beach is just a twenty five minute drive from Bristol, or a forty minute trip on the train from Temple Meads. Because it’s so close, it’s up there as one of the best beaches near Bristol. Back in the Victorian era, Severn Beach was a booming holiday resort and a getaway for Bristolians. There was a fairground, a lido, and various cafes and bars. While it isn’t quite as busy as it used to be, it’s now a pretty area to walk along the Severn Way along the riverside pathway. There are pretty banks and panoramic views across the Severn Bridges and beyond. Don’t miss a trip to Shirley’s Cafe on the beach – it’s the best place to grab fish and chips to truly make it a day by the seaside.
Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset
One of the most popular beaches near Bristol, Weston-super-Mare is a real seaside town. A proper resort town, Weston-super-Mare boasts Victorian architecture, an impressive pier, and a long stretch of sandy beach. Great for the whole family, you can build sandcastles, sunbathe when the sun decides to shine, and play at the amusement arcade on the pier. Just a forty five minute drive from Bristol, there’s so much to do in Weston-super-Mare – grab fish and chips, enjoy an ice cream, or play mini golf. Take a long walk along one of the best beaches in Bristol, and enjoy views over the Bristol Channel towards South Wales. Dogs are allowed without a leash in areas so feel free to bring your furry friends along.
Clevedon Beach, North Somerset
As well as being one of the best beaches near Bristol, Clevedon Beach is well known for recently being the backdrop for one of One Direction’s videos, as well as the film set for the movie ‘Never Let Me Go’. Located next to the Bristol Channel, Clevedon is a quaint Victorian seaside village with a pebble beach. Many visitors come to seek out sea glass, which is a fun activity for kids too. Perhaps the biggest icon of Clevedon Beach is its pier – for £3 each, you can enjoy a walk along the Grade I listed pier and admire Bristol Channel and its views. Nearby, you can discover the vintage Victorian bandstand, as well as a recreational lake for water sports for all the family. Kids will enjoy the playground and miniature train ride, as well as exploring rock pools and watching the boats at sea. Should you get peckish, there are cafes and restaurants along the seafront and promenade – check out the Salthouse Bar & Restaurant.
Ogmore Beach, Glamorgan
One of the best bits of living in Bristol is being so close to the many beauty spots of nearby Wales. Ogmore Beach in Ogmore-by-Sea takes just over an hour to reach by car, and is well worth the journey. Set in the Vale of Glamorgan, Ogmore Beach is both a sand and pebble beach, perfect for long walks or simply relaxing and sunbathing. The views are incredible, and it’s worth waiting for the sunset too. One of the best beaches near Bristol, you’ll find the sandy beach during low tide, and you can discover the mouth of the River Ogmore as it stretches into the sea. Ogmore Beach has a great reputation is being a clean beach, and many visitors come to surf, swim, and fish. You’ll discover stunning views across to Tusker Rock, where many divers love to explore. There’s ample car parking, and a number of shops and cafes in nearby Ogmore-by-Sea.
Rest Bay Beach, Porthcawl
Just over an hour from the city, Rest Bay Beach is undoubtedly one of the best beaches near Bristol. A popular surfing destination, don’t forget your board if you come to visit. It’s likely that whenever you visit this South Wales beach, you’ll be sure to find some great waves to catch. You can enjoy surf lessons and hire all year round at Porthcawl Surf School, as well as stand up paddle board lessons. For those not so keen on surfing, Rest Bay has a long, sandy beach that is great for strolling and sunbathing. It is also a Blue Flag beach, meaning great water quality. Away from the beach, you can walk Porthcawl’s promenade which was constructed to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in the late nineteenth century. Here, you’ll find a smattering of cafes, bars, and restaurants with gorgeous views across the Bristol Channel.
Ladye Bay, Somerset
Just a small cove, Ladye Bay is one of the best beaches near Bristol and also one of the prettiest along the Somerset coast. It is essentially a small stretch of sand between the rocks, overlooking green cliffs for spectacular views across the Bristol Channel. Ladye Bay is home to the annual ‘Long Swim’ around a mile down to Clevedon Pier. That said, swimming is not advised at Ladye Bay due to the strong currents of the Bristol Channel as the tide moves. Instead, enjoy the location for sunbathing and relaxing with a good book, or make sandcastles with the little ones. Dog walkers will love the picturesque scenery while taking a stroll too. One of the prettiest beaches in Somerset, Ladye Bay is also a popular spot for climbers, with a number of different climbs.
Burnham Beach, Somerset
Burnham-on-Sea has a variety of different beaches, but arguably one of the best beaches near Bristol is Burnham Beach itself. Located just several minutes off the M5, there’s plenty to do, and Burnham Beach is actually an award-winning beach. A primarily sandy beach, Burnham Beach is perfect for paddling and even swimming should the weather be nice. It is also patrolled by lifeguards throughout the summer. For the little ones, there are donkey rides, entertainment, an amusement arcade, and a pier to visit. Burnham Beach is actually home to the shortest pier in the UK. As a traditional seaside resort, you can stroll the promenade with its Victorian and Edwardian architecture. There are plenty of cafes and bars too to enjoy some refreshments during your day at the beach.
That’s my guide to the best beaches near Bristol! Are there any other beaches close to the city that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments below.