Driving to Bristol: Road Directions & Things to See En Route

Are you planning on driving to Bristol?

If you’re heading to the West Country’s biggest city from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Exeter or anywhere else, this guide is here to help!

It has instructions for how to get to Bristol from the UK’s major cities.

Plus, if you’re doing a road trip to Bristol, it includes some ideas about where to stop en-route!

Driving to Bristol from London

If you’re driving to Bristol from London, don’t worry – the route is fairly straightforward. Simply take the M25 to junction 15, then follow the M4 to junction 19.

Then, turn onto the M32, which leads into Central Bristol!

The whole drive takes around two to three hours (depending on where in London you’re coming from) with no traffic.

Things to see on the London to Bristol drive

Historic houses in Castle Combe, Wiltshire, described as the prettiest village in England.

Attractions on the London to Bristol drive include:

Driving to Bristol from Bath

Bath Abbey, The Roman Baths and Pump Rooms in Bath, England pictured below blue skies with fluffy clouds. Recently melted snowfall - and national lockdown - provided the opportunity for stillness and a perfect reflection in a large pool of motionless water.

The route from Bath to Bristol is incredibly easy. Simply take the A4 west out of Bath and follow it through Keynsham until it becomes Bath road. It only takes around 45 minutes.

Things to see on the Bath to Bristol drive

This drive is so short, you won’t need to stop off on the way! Just make sure that you enjoy all of the best things to do in Bath before leaving this city.

Driving to Bristol from Manchester

To reach Bristol from Manchester, head south on the A5103 until it joins the M56. Once you’re on the M56, follow signs to the M6, and take the M5 exit at junction 8.

Follow the M5 until junction 15 and turn onto the M4.

At junction 19, merge onto the M32 which takes you into central Bristol.

This drive takes about three hours with no traffic.

Things to see on the Manchester to Bristol drive

Gloucester, United Kingdom - August 14, 2015: Gloucester Docks at dusk a cloudy day. The wharfs, warehouses and the docks fell into disrepair until their renovation from 1980s. Boats on foreground moored

Driving to Bristol from Leeds

Evening traffic on the British motorway M1 near junction 9.

Take the M621 exit out of Leeds, and then join the M1 until the A42 exit, then join the M42. Take this motorway until you reach the M5.

Then, follow the M5 to junction 15, before turning onto the M4.

Drive along this road to junction 19 and take the M32 to reach Bristol.

It takes around three and a half hours with no traffic.

Things to see on the Leeds to Bristol drive

  • Nottingham city centre and castle
  • Twycross Zoo
  • The village of Tewkesbury and its Abbey

Driving to Bristol from Birmingham

Midlands, England - October 2021: Car towing a caravan overtaking an articulated lorry on the M5 motorway

Driving from Birmingham to Bristol is easy; simply join the M5 and follow it to junction 15, before turning to the M4. Then, merge onto the M32 at junction 19 fo the M4.

It takes about an hour and a half.

Things to see on the Birmingham to Bristol drive

  • the town of Cheltenham and city of Gloucester
  • Cotswold villages like Broadway and Winchcombe
  • National Trust Hanbury Hall
  • Worcester Woods Country Park

Driving to Bristol from Exeter

House that moved and church exter

Exeter sits at the other end of the M5, so join the motorway from the Devon city and then drive northwards to junction 19, joining the A369 to reach the city centre via North Somerset.

It takes around an hour and a half.

Things to see on the Exeter to Bristol drive

Driving to Bristol from Plymouth

Plymouth, United Kingdom - August 27, 2015: Tourists walk along Southside Street in the Barbican, Plymouth, UK,

From Plymouth, take the A30 to the M5 by Exeter. Then follow the road northwards to junction 19 and drive down the A369.

This drive takes around 2 hours 30 minutes.

Things to see on the Plymouth to Bristol drive

While driving to Bristol can take a bit of time, depending on where you’re coming from, it’s fairly easy using the UK’s motorway links. The city is also connected to most major cities by bus and train, so if you don’t want to drive, you could buy tickets on Great Western Railway or National Express.

And once you arrive in Bristol, check out my guides!

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