11 Great Beaches In & Around Bristol

Many of the UK’s most beautiful beaches are within easy reach of the city via the M4 and M5 motorways and Bristol’s train stations.

Read on to explore our pick of the best beaches near Bristol and find your new favourite location for a day by the seaside.

The Best Beaches In Bristol

Summer Beach, Bristol

The Best Beach in Bristol for Children

Believe it or not, there are beaches in Bristol - at least from time to time.

Complete with sand, water and palm trees, Summer Beach routinely “pops up” at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway during the Summer months, offering a beach-side fix that’s just a 15-minute walk from the new homes here at Brabazon.

Visit The Mall at Cribbs Causeway to check opening times and dates for the year.

Image credit: The Mall at Cribbs Causeway.

The Wave, Bristol

The Best Beach in Bristol for Surfing

Experience the joy of surfing at the best surf beach near Bristol, where swell is guaranteed!

You’ll feel your heart racing as you paddle out at The Wave - the first inland surfing destination of its kind.

With crystal-clear water lapping at the shoreline, a children's playground and summer snacks available at the Clubhouse, a visit to The Wave is just like being beside the seaside without even leaving the city. What’s more, this beach is just a 15-minute drive from the new homes at Brabazon.

Image credit: The Wave.

The Best Beaches Within One Hour of Bristol

Sand Bay, Somerset

The closest beach to Bristol.

Sand Bay is around a 45-minute drive from Central Bristol, or 35 minutes from the new homes at Brabazon.

Brean Sands, Somerset

The best beach near Bristol for dogs.

Mention a sandy beach in Somerset, and most people would think of Weston-super-Mare. And while Weston has plenty of appeal, its popularity can make it crowded.

Those in the know head slightly further South to Brean, which is less than 30 miles from Bristol.
This long, flat sandy beach offers easy parking and plenty to see and do. It’s also dog-friendly year round making it a firm favourite for families.

After some time on the beach, we recommend setting off to explore the sand dunes and marshland which attracts many different types of seabirds, as well as the imposing headland of Brean Down, which is full of historic archaeological sites.

Brean Sands is around a 60-minute drive from Central Bristol, or just 50 minutes from Brabazon.

Cotswold Water Park And Beach, Cirencester

The Best Beach Near Bristol for Young Families

Mention “beach day” and the Cotswolds is not the first place that typically springs to mind, making the Cotswold Water Park and Beach a wildcard on our list.

This attraction in Cirencester has a soft, sandy inland beach with an idyllic lakeside setting. There is also a smaller paddling lagoon that is supervised by lifeguards in peak season, making it perfect for family beach trips.

Beyond the beach, there is a watersports lake offering activities like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. There’s also an adventure playground, café, restaurant and other on-land activities to help you to make a day of it.

Cotswold Water Park and Beach is around 60-minutes from Bristol City Centre by car, or 55-minute from Brabazon.

The site is open from April to October each year and tickets must be booked in advance online at Cotswold Water Park and Beach.

Image credit: Cotswold Water Park and Beach.

The Best Beaches Within Two Hours of Bristol

Llangennith Beach, South Wales

The Best Beach for Surfers Near Bristol

Located at the Western end of the Gower peninsula, Llangennith Beach is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt stretches of coastline in the country. It’s home to spectacular scenery and is perfectly positioned to catch the Atlantic swells, making it one of the best places to surf near Bristol, whether you are a beginner or more experienced.

The journey to Llangennith Beach takes around two hours in the car from Brabazon, or just over two hours from Bristol City Centre.

Llangennith Beach. Image credit: Visit Swansea Bay.

Woody Bay, North Devon

The Best Beach Near Bristol for Wild Swimming

The coast of Exmoor is wild country, with cliffs hundreds of feet high dropping down to the sea. Even in the height of Summer, it can be possible to have the secret cove at Woody Bay to yourself. This shingle beach, which is home to a waterfall and a natural rock pool that is perfect for wild swimming, is a great choice for a secluded beach day.

Approximately 2 hours from Brabazon by car.

Saunton Sands, North Devon

The Best Beach for Sand Dunes

Saunton Sands is itself one of the best stretches of coastline in the South West. But what really makes this place special is the dune system that sits behind the beach, known as Braunton Burrows.

The Burrows are not only designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), but also as a UNESCO Biosphere, home to rare orchids, 33 species of butterfly and thousands of nesting birds making for a great day exploring.

Approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes from Brabazon by car.

Croyde Beach, North Devon

The Best Beach Near Bristol for Advanced Surfing

Croyde Beach is one of the centres of the UK’s surfing scene. The waves here need to be taken seriously – the large swells and powerful currents mean it is essential that you listen to instructions from the duty lifeguards. However, with its beautiful golden sand flanked by rocky outcrops that teem with life thanks to the large tidal range, there’s plenty to enjoy even for those who are not serious surfers.

Approximately 2 hours 10 minutes from Brabazon by car.

Woolacombe Beach, North Devon

The Best Beach for Families Near Bristol

Woolacombe Beach offers something for everyone, with golden sand for sunbathing, cafés and ice cream shacks to cool off, and space to spread out. At three miles long, and located right at the heart of a bustling seaside resort town, Woolacombe Beach is a brilliant choice for families.

Approximately 2 hours 15 minutes from Brabazon by car.

Grunta Beach, North Devon

The Best Beach Near Bristol for Scenery

Hidden amongst the rocks on the North side of Woolacombe, Grunta Beach is not the easiest to get to – the steep steps down from the South West coast path can be difficult, while visitors need to keep an eye on the tide to ensure they don’t get cut off. But, if you are properly prepared, the payoff is to find one of the prettiest beaches in Devon at the bottom of the path. And because it is not the easiest beach to access, there’s a fair chance you’ll have it almost all to yourself.

Approximately 2 hours 10 minutes from Brabazon by car.

So there we have it, our pick of the best beaches and seaside scenery near Bristol. Which one will you visit first?

*Journey times: Google Maps, correct at the time of writing.