Bristol’s architecture and culture make for a great city break location, but you don’t need to stay in the city itself every day. If you fancy cooling off or simply enjoying a bit of the great outdoors, there are plenty of great beaches less than an hour’s drive from Bristol.

Here are just five of our favourites.

1. Clevedon Beach

Clevedon is a long pebble beach that’s ideal if you have young kids who like to explore rockpools and unearth fossils. The beach is right next to the Victorian seaside resort of Clevedon, so you’ll find plenty of cafes and other amenities along the promenade and the newly refurbished Clevedon pier.

2. Uphill Slipway Beach

Wide and sandy, Uphill Slipway Beach is a great choice for those looking for a calm walk with the salty sea air billowing around them. It’s also a popular place for kitesurfing and windsurfing, so you can always just sit back and see what’s going on. A nature reserve near the marina adds another attraction.

But if you are a lover of thrills, you can definitely hop on the surfboard and experience some kitesurfing, windsurfing, or similar other sport. Taking some private classes beforehand similar to what kitesurfing in Porto offers, might come in handy.

3. Sand Bay

It might be just two miles north of Weston-Super-Mare, but Sand Bay feels large, wild, and relatively untamed. That makes it a great beach for walkers who prefer things a little quieter. Once you’re done, enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the charming Sand Bay Tea Rooms.

4. Kilve Beach

Looking for a beach that’s rocky and adventurous? Head halfway between Minehead and Bridgwater to find Kilve Beach in the heart of the Quantocks. The rocky shoreline makes for dramatic views, and this is another one that’s perfect for kid’s interested in exploring rockpools during low tide.

5. Weston-Super-Mare

It’s among the longest naturally occurring beaches in the country, and Weston-Super-Mare offers everything from arcade machines to Edwardian-style tea rooms to thrill rides. Don’t miss the iconic Grand Pier.