There is a wide range of attractions and places to visit on our doorstep in South Gloucestershire, including pretty market towns, historic buildings and Slimbridge Wildfowl Centre. We are in easy reach of the bright lights of Bristol and Gloucester, which are well worth a visit.
Don’t forget, if you’re planning to be out for the whole day visiting attractions, we will be happy to arrange a packed lunch for you, just ask at reception.
There are many beautiful walks available around the hotel, more details of two of our favourites are shown below.
Wotton-Under-Edge & Tyndale Monument (4 miles)
For more information on other Gloucestershire walks please click on the links below.
Filming for Wolf Hall, the six part BBC drama adapted from Hilary Mantel’s award winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, took place at many historic locations in Gloucestershire and Avon, within easy reach of our hotel. For more information on the Wolf Hall movie trail visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Berkeley House: Distance from The Gables: 4 miles
Chavenage House: Distance from The Gables: 15 miles
Bristol Cathedral: Distance from The Gables: 17 miles
Gloucester Cathedral: Distance from The Gables: 20 miles
Stanway House & Fountain: Distance from The Gables: 40 miles
Berkeley Castle is one of the most remarkable buildings in Britain and possibly the most outstanding example of Mediaeval domestic architecture in the country. Where other Castles were romanticised or "modernised" by the Georgians or the Victorians, Berkeley quietly survived as what it is: a Norman fortress with an enclosing curtain wall, built and enlarged through the mediaeval period and beyond into a secure, comfortable, substantial home with courtyards, towers and battlements to explore.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 3.6 miles
From Gloucestershire in the 1790s to Somalia in the 1970s, Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden traces the impact of one of the pivotal events in world history, in the place where it happened. This is the house where Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination against smallpox, lived and told the world about his work. Less than 200 years later, smallpox had been eradicated, with countless lives saved in the process.
To check opening times before your visit, click here.
Distance from Best Western the Gables: approx 4.5 miles
Newark Park stands proud on top of the Cotswold escarpment, looking down into the Ozleworth valley to the Mendips beyond. This remote corner of South Gloucestershire is a secret and unspoilt place, with barely a sign of modern life visible in any direction. A place of architectural intrigue, quaint gardens and sprawling parkland there is much to see and do at Newark.
Aerospace Bristol tells the incredible story of Bristol’s amazing aviation achievements and gives you and your family the chance to step aboard Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last of the supersonic jets ever to fly.
Distance from The Gables: approx 12.5 miles
Dive into the ocean and discover the wonders of the deep in the colourful aquarium, right in the heart of Bristol. Explore more than 40 naturally-themed displays and spot the thousands of amazing aquatic creatures, including tropical sharks, rays, seahorses, puffer fish, piranhas, and so many more. Wander through the Underwater Tunnel to watch the fascinating marine life swim over your head.
Bristol Aquarium house a mix of tropical fish from around the world, as well as many that are native to the UK’s waters, so you can get a better understanding of the creatures that live on home shores and further afield.
They’re also the only aquarium in the UK to feature a giant botanical house, known as our Urban Jungle. You can find hundreds of exotic plant and tree species from around the world here, as well as our open-topped Bay of Rays and our Mighty Amazon pools, home to terrapins and freshwater fish.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 17.5 miles
At-Bristol Science Centre is one of the UK's most stimulating interactive attractions, offering an incredible world of hands-on discovery. With hundreds of exhibits and live shows, At-Bristol is a must-see for all ages and takes you on an incredible journey exploring the inner workings of the world around us.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 17.7 miles
Gloucester Cathedral is a place where all are welcome, regardless of background or faith. They are open 365 days a year and are proud that entry into the building is completely free for everyone.
Over 300,000 people from all over the world come to the Cathedral every year to take part in the services, events and activities or to enjoy the experience of visiting one of the finest medieval buildings in Europe. 450 hard-working, loyal volunteers help to ensure that their visit is as good as it possibly can be.
As a charity which is independent of Government The Cathedral rely on donations and legacies, as well as income raised from our commercial activities. It costs over £2million a year to ensure the building is kept open and in the best condition possible for future generations.
The Cathedral boasts Norman pillars and vaulted cloisters where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 19 miles
Situated outside the beautiful Cotswold town of Painswick, and famous for its snowdrop display.
Back in the 1740s, Benjamin Hyett designed an unusual garden to entertain his guests at Painswick House. This was a theatrical place, nestled in a hidden valley and perfect for holding intimate garden parties. It was a country gentleman's experimental creation, not the realisation of a horticultural dream. Instead of an orderly flower garden, this is a haven of peace and tranquillity to explore, sprinkled with quirky features to tickle your fancy.
Rococo describes a period of art fashionable in Europe in the 1700s, identifiable particularly in furniture and architecture. Some of the key features include highly ornamental decoration, the use of pastel colours and asymmetry. In art, beauty and sexuality are often celebrated.
In England, this was a time when there was a certain joie de vivre amongst the upper middle classes. They showed off their wealth through indulging in the flamboyant and frivolous. Their gardens became the playroom of the house: somewhere for Georgian folk to entertain and party.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 20.1 miles
An historic herd of fallow deer roams freely in the 270 acres (110 hectares) of ancient parkland, full of magnificent trees and breathtaking views.
Young explorers can run free in the Old Lodge picnic and play area, take part in a nature trail and tick off challenges on their 50 things list.
Splendid borders, idyllic ponds and a wildflower orchard are all features of the stunning West garden which is being sensitively developed as a 21st-century garden with echoes of the past.
Visitors can get a flavour of the richly luxurious 17th-century life enjoyed by founder William Blathwayt by stepping into the impressive baroque mansion house.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 22 miles
The Severn Bore is one of Britain's few truly spectacular natural phenomena. It is a large surge wave that can be seen in the estuary of the River Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world, being as much as 50 feet (approx. 15.4m).
As many as 60 bores occur throughout the world where the river estuary is the right shape and the tidal conditions are such that the wave is able to form..
The Severn Bore (one of 8 in the UK) is one of the biggest in the world but bores also occur on the Seine and Gironde in France, on the Indus, Hooghly and Brahmaputra in India, on the Amazon in Brazil, on the Petitcodiac, New Brunswick, and also the Knik Arm bore at the head of Cook Inlet, Alaska. By far the biggest bore in the world is the Ch'ient'ang'kian (Hang-chou-fe) in China. At spring tides the wave attains a height of up to 25 ft (7.5 m) and a speed of 13-15 knots (24-27 km/h). It is heard advancing at a range of 14 miles (22 km).
The shape of the Severn estuary is such that the water is funnelled into an increasingly narrow channel as the tide rises, thus forming the large wave. The river's course takes it past Avonmouth where it is approximately 5 miles wide, then past Beachley and Aust, then Lydney and Sharpness where it is approximately 1 mile wide, and soon the river is down to a width of a few hundred yards. By the time the river reaches Minsterworth it is less than a hundred yards across, maintaining this width all the way to Gloucester.
As well as the width of the river decreasing rapidly, then so does the depth of the river also change rapidly, thereby forming a funnel shape. Therefore as the incoming tide travels up the estuary, it is routed into an ever decreasing channel. Consequently the surge wave or bore is formed.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 25.4 miles
Since its opening in June 1999, the Millennium Stadium has welcomed over 1.3 Million visitors per year. With the first retractable roof in the UK, the Stadium is a multi-purpose, all round venue for sporting events, concerts and exhibitions. If you are visiting the Millennium Stadium and are looking for a place to stay overnight, there are some great value rates on offer at The Gables!
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 44 miles
The itineraries below feature some of our favourite cycling routes:
For more cycling routes please visit:
There is a huge choice of walks in the local area and the hotel is very near to the 102 mile picturesque Cotswold Way which runs from Chipping Campden to Bath.
Our reception team will be happy to supply you with information and maps for local walks, in the meantime you may like to visit South Gloucestershire Council's website for more information.
The Adventure Park has been operating since the early 1990’s, and has grown from a field with a few trampolines to one of the best visitor attractions in the area. There are a number of attractions that will keep you busy all day and encourage you to get involved with your children as much as possible.
During certain times of the year, they have falconry displays, maize maze, punch & judy show, magic shows, character days, animal feeding and handling sessions and tractor rides.
In wet weather, some of the attractions (e.g. jumping pillows) may have to close for a short while to comply with Health & Safety requirements. However, these are seldom closed for a whole day and will reopen as soon as they are safe to use.
Dogs are not permitted in the park, with the exception of guide/assistance dogs.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 4.3 miles
A whole new world of discovery awaits you at WWT Wetland Centres. There's trails ablaze with wildlife, encounters with some of the world's most endangered birds and exhilarating adventure playgrounds for little explorers. Add to that, a packed line-up of events throughout the year, cafes serving delicious homemade goodies, and gift shops bursting with take-home treats.
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is a conservation charity that saves wetlands, which are essential for life itself. Wetlands are the primary source of drinking water for people and wildlife. They also connect us with nature, beautiful landscapes and inspiring encounters with wildlife.
WWT’s ethos starts with the simple act of feeding a duck. That innocent connection with nature is more special if you’re feeding – say - the world’s rarest goose, saved from extinction by expert aviculturists. It’s even more special if you’re surrounded by some of the UK’s top wildlife at one of their world class reserves, carefully designed and managed so wildlife will flourish.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 9 miles.
Launched in July 2013, and located just off junction 17 of the M5 motorway, the Wild Place is a fun, family attraction that provides adventure, play and learning in an open space of natural beauty, whilst protecting threatened habitats on our doorsteps and around the globe.
The project is home to an array of endangered animals from Madagascar, East Africa and the Congo, including zebras, elands and lemurs, and you’ll find beautiful gardens to explore and a variety of different outdoor learning activities.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 11.6 miles
Remember when bouncing on the wall wasn’t something you could do literally? Before the world of trampoline parks if you tried such a thing, it would have probably hurt. AirHop Bristol throws convention out of the window and in the world’s largest park they house over 135 interconnected trampolines in the free area alone, that go across the floor and up the walls.
AirHop brings you closer to the clouds. An area of the world that until now belonged to birds and extreme sports! At AirHop Bristol you will have the chance to experience the exhilaration of flying through the air.
Airhop has something for everyone and they pride themselves on the fact that both families and thrill seekers will enjoy themselves. The facilities which include the huge main court, 2 dodgeball courts, 5 slam dunk lanes, 5 foam pit lanes, battle beams, slack lines and a Total Wipeout zone allow you to tailor a jump to your needs, be it working on the latest parkour flips and tricks or spending quality time with your family.
Not only is AirHop fun but it’s a great venue to exercise without knowing it! Bouncing has the potential to burn up to 1000 calories in one hour, AirHop is ideal for you to get yourself and your children off the sofa and into the air without a passport.
AirHop Bristol not only comes with a sea of trampolines, but a viewing mezzanine too. If you don’t fancy having the wind in your hair, you can grab a coffee or a slushee and watch while the rest of the world experiments with their flight.
A visit to AirHop Bristol brings fun and excitement on the level of your choice. Looking to the sky is now a thing of the past. At AirHop, the sky belongs to you!
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 12.4 miles
Abandoned in mid-construction towards the end of the nineteenth century, Victorian Gothic Woodchester Mansion provides a fascinating insight into the skills of Victorian craftsman. With fireplaces suspended high on walls, and doors leading nowhere, this is an experience not to be missed.
Open: 1 April to 31 October, Tuesday to Sunday, and Bank Holiday Mondays, 11.00 am to 5.00 pm with last tickets 4.00pm.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 17.5 miles
Bristol Zoological Society is a conservation and education charity, which runs and operates Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project.
They save wildlife together, through conservation science research, working to protect species and habitats overseas, encouraging sustainable behaviours and perceptions, educating tomorrow’s wildlife warriors and giving families a great day out. Their conservation science efforts are worldwide, from helping re-introduce white clawed crayfish into UK rivers to working with communities in the Philippines to save the Critically Endangered Negros bleeding heart dove.
Bristol Zoo Gardens - one of the attractions - is the fifth oldest zoo in the world and first opened its doors to the public on Monday 11 July 1836. Since then it has helped save over 175 species from extinction, showed generations of school-aged children the value of nature for human society and has given more than 90 million visitors a great day out. You can find out more about the Zoo's history on their history pages.
Bristol Zoo Gardens has been awarded the accreditation of Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction.
Reduced price tickets are available to hotel guests - for more details please contact a member of our Reception team.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 18 miles.
The Avon Valley Railway has steam trains and scenic boat tours operating throughout the summer. They also run events such as "A Day Out with Thomas" for children and the "The Real Ale" festival for grown ups. The AVR now offers a six mile return train ride along the former Mangotsfield to Bath Green Park branch of the old Midland Railway, and the chance to see the River Avon valley from an aspect that cars cannot reach. Based at Bitton Station, midway between Bristol and Bath, this former Midland Railway station has been painstakingly restored from a derelict state to provide visitors with refreshment and toilet facilities, a railway shop, a pleasant garden, and outdoor seating.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 20.4 miles
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, is located in Gloucestershire, three miles from the Cotswold market town of Tetbury.
The 15,000 labelled trees (around 2,500 different types of tree) come from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and other temperate climates. Planting started in the 1850s by Robert Holford; the rich Victorian landowner to whom the Westonbirt estate belonged.
Westonbirt Arboretum consists of three main areas. The Old Arboretum (a dog free zone) is a carefully designed landscape dating from the 1850s offering beautiful vistas, stately avenues and trees from around the world.
Silk Wood (dog-friendly) is an ancient, semi-natural woodland which has exotic plantings throughout its landscape, whilst the Grade I registered Downs hosts species-rich grassland and is a great picnicking location.
Westonbirt attracts over 400,000 visitors per year and is known worldwide for its spectacular autumn colour and the spring rhododendron, azalea and magnolia displays. The arboretum is popular for groups, individuals and educational visits.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 16 miles
The Cotswold Water Park Trust is a charity which manages the beautiful Cotswold Water Park – an area of 40 square miles, with more than 150 lakes set across the countryside of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire.
Cotswold Water Park do much more than look after the tourism potential of the area – including estate management, biodiversity protection, conservation and wildlife protection.
They rely on membership subscriptions and donations to fund their important work, and on their volunteers do amazing work on behalf of the community.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 34 miles
For a fun packed family day, visit Brean Leisure Park in Somerset, which is approximately an hour's drive away. There are 40 rides, from thrilling roller coasters to children's river boat rides, plus a large swimming pool complex.
Distance from Best Western The Gables: approx 44 miles.