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Areas outside of the City

As the city suburbs give way to bustling villages and smaller towns, there is a different attraction to the feel and pace of life. Take a trip around Bristol and North Somerset.

North Somerset: Abbots Leigh, Pill, Gordano (Easton and Clapton), Long Ashton, Flax Bourton, Backwell, Nailsea, Portishead all offer excellent schooling combined with the attraction of country living.


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Originally called 'Bacoile', meaning the Well back on the Hill, which is still in existence, Backwell has been voted Village of the Year in previous years. It lies about 8 miles from Bristol and is on the main A370 to Weston super mare.

This is a popular village with a population of approx 4800. The main primary school performs consistently well in league tables, as does the secondary school, which is recognised as one of the best state schools in North Somerset.

Backwell has good public transport links to Bristol. Backwell train station and plenty of bus routes offered. The journey time by train to Temple Meads is 11 minutes.

By Car to Bristol 8.1 mile(s) about: 22 minute(s)


Banwell lies about six miles east of Weston super Mare and has a population of about 2900.

There is a popular theory that Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland was born in Banwell.

By car to Bristol 16.67 mile(s) about: 30 minutes


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Located in the beautiful Mendips, Blagdon has a thriving, friendly population of about 1200 with a mix of traditional local families and new comers from diverse backgrounds.

There is a mix in the village of single people, families and couples, with ages ranging from young children to those of retirement age.

Blagdon is a resourceful, friendly and caring community with a great village vibe. Offering various eateries and a fantastic butcher and other local conveniences to include four pubs and easy access to Bristol Airport without being in the flight path!

Also home to the celebrated “Yeo Valley" producers and their very “Happy Heifers”! There are bus links to Bristol, Bath, Wells and Weston super Mare.

By car to Bristol 11.42 mile(s) about: 26 minutes


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The popular seaside resort of Clevedon has a population of 23 000. Located on the Bristol Channel Coastline, Clevedon has grown in popularity with commuters who enjoy its excellent road links to Bristol. Once a popular Victorian seaside resort, Clevedon retains many fine examples of architecture from that era.
Clevedon facts and figures:

Located on junction 20 of the M5 motorway

  • 10 miles from Bristol
  • Nearest mainline railway station - Yatton just 4 miles away.
  • Bristol airport approx 15 miles away
  • By car to Bristol 16.79 mile(s) about: 26 minutes


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Locally pronounced "Congsbry", this village is situated on the A370, between Junction 21 of the M5 and Bristol International Airport. The Yeo river trickles through the village which is said to be named after the local St. Congar, who is reputed to have performed three miracles in the area.

The nearest railway station is in the nearby Yatton and there is an infant and a junior school for primary education.

By Car to Bristol 15.81 mile(s) about: 32 minutes

Easton in Gordano

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Lying to the most Eastern part of the Gordano valley and south bank of the Avon, Easton in Gordano is also opposite Shirehampton and adjacent to the village of Pill. It has fantastic views over the Bristol Channel, South Wales and Royal Portbury Docks can also be seen. This is the most densely populated village in the whole valley. Populated by approx 2700 residents, Easton in Gordano is a sought after location due to its peaceful tranquility though you can hear traffic on the M5 in some parts.

In early records Easton in Gordano was known as Estone. It is sometimes shortened to E-I-G. After the Second World War a housing development grew up in the lodway area and there are many residential homes there now.

It is commonly used as a place for commuting to Bristol as it has excellent transport links being close to the M5 and Bristol. It is also close to the Gordano Services on the M5.

There aren't many facilities in Easton-in-Gordano other than the church and the church hall with its scout hut behind. The main facilities are in the village of Pill or alternatively just a few miles away in Portishead.

The village is on a bus route to Portishead and Bristol city centre.

By to to Bristol 6.05 mile(s) about: 17 minutes

Clapton in Gordano

This is situated on the southern side of the Gordano valley and is immediately adjacent to the M5 motorway. Clapton Moor is found near to the village, this consists of 40 hectares of grassland which is owned and managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust.

Compton Martin

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The village of about 500 people, consists mainly of one street with an associated network of side lanes where many charming houses indicate the changing patterns of domestic architecture. This village is steeped in history and the 12th century St Michael’s Church is well worth a visit

Nowadays Compton Martin is renowned for its community activities and family atmosphere. It’s a great place to relax, whether sipping a pint of Butcombe in the Ring O’ Bells, walking up the Coombe where at the top you have great views over the valley, or feeding the ducks on the pond.
The Ring of Bell’s is also where the Village Fete is held annually, usually in August – a great fun-filled family day out.

Pop in and see Rueben and Lauren at the Ring of Bell's and they will be more than happy to tell you what's coming up!

Walton in Gordano

Found at the south-western end of the Gordano valley, about a mile from Clevedon. On the hill to the south-west between Walton and Clevedon is Clevedon Castle, a hunting lodge, and on the hill to the north-east is Walton Common, a nature reserve managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust.

Weston in Gordano

Situated in the middle of the Gordano valley, on the road between Clevedon and Portishead, lies Weston in Gordano. It is the largest village in the valley, boasting both a public house and a garage. There are two nearby nature reserves, both owned and managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust. Weston Big Wood is 38 hectares of ancient woodland, and Weston Moor is 59 hectares of wet grassland.

By car to Bristol 13.98 mile(s) about: 30 minutes

Flax Bourton

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Lying only two miles from Nailsea and Backwell Station. Between Flax Bourton and Long Ashton lies Farleigh Green , where the old work house has been redeveloped into offices and the grounds surrounding into residential.

It has a primary school, one pub named The Dew Drop Inn (previously The Jubilee Inn), a church dating back to Norman times and is the home of Backwell Flax Bourton Cricket Club.

By car to Bristol 6.42 mile(s) about: 17 minutes

Kenn, Somerset

Kenn lies on the B3133 near Clevedon in the North Somerset Levels on the edge of the Mendips, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

By car to Bristol 18.07 mile(s) about: 30 minutes


The University's School of Veterinary Science is located just outside the village of Langford , North Somerset . Surrounded by beautiful countryside, the hamlet of Langford lies 15 miles south west of Bristol . There is a part of the village known as Upper Langford, but for the most part it is known locally as Langford.

Langford is in many ways an ideal location. From the seaside environment of Weston-super-Mare to the Mendip Hills, an area of outstanding beauty, the area offers a wide range of social, sporting and leisure activities including:

  • Bristol Airport
  • Churchill Ski Slope
  • Churchill Sports Centre
  • Isle of Wedmore Golf Club
  • Locking Castle Golf Club
  • Webbington Country Club
  • Mendip Hills for climbing, caving, pot holing and walking

Langford also lies within in the popular Churchill Community School and Sixth Form Centre secondary catchment area. In commuting terms, there is a station just 4-miles away at Yatton which is very popular with commuters and a network of main roads and the M5 motorway within easy reach.

By car to Bristol 12.97 mile(s) about: 24 minutes

Leigh Woods

This is found to the West side of Bristol and the North of Ashton Court Estate. It was previously woodland prior to the opening of the Suspension Bridge in 1864. The bridge offered an easier route into fashionable Clifton and upmarket residential development flourished, with many varying styles being found there today.

Only five minutes from Clifton, the area is extremely popular.

By car to Bristol 2.53 mile(s) about: 7 minutes

Long Ashton

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Lying less than a mile from Bristol, on the edge of the Ashton Court estate. Combined with Leigh Woods, the population of Long Ashton is 4,800. The area lies in the Backwell, Gordano and Pill catchment areas, which boast excellent reputations and subsequently the area is very popular with families.

To the westerly side of Long Ashton, there has been large residential development. This is on the site of the National Friut and Cider Institute, this was known as the Long Ashton Research Centre. Among the products that we probably wouldn't have without their efforts are today's high quality Somerset cider, and the children's blackcurrant drink, Ribena. The site closed in 2003 ago and in recent years national builders have built a considerable amount of new homes on this area.

By car to Bristol 3.95 mile(s) about: 11 minutes


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A thriving and historic North Somerset town with a population of around 18,000. Part of Nailsea's charm is that whilst it has everything a modern family wants and needs, it still retains a true village atmosphere.

In its attractive and well maintained centre, The Crown Glass Centre, local retailers offer excellent personal service through a range of independent and national shops. This, allied to increasingly rare free car parking spaces and a good choice of restaurants, cafes and pubs, makes Nailsea a lovely place to live and work.

Nailsea's history: In the 18th and 19th century Nailsea was a substantial producer of glass and gave its name to a particular type of coloured glass which has become highly sought after by collectors around the world.

By car to Bristol 9.24 mile(s) about: 26 minutes


Imortalised in Adge Cutler and the Wurzels famous song "Pill, Pill (We luv 'e still)", the history of Pill is closely entwined with that of the Port of Bristol. Pill was traditionally the home of the Pilot boats for the Bristol Channel where Pilots would guide boats up the dangerous river to the Port.

Pill was also home to the ferry which ran across the Avon to Shirehampton. Whilst the ferry last ran in 1973, its slipway can still be seen, by the popular Lamplighters pub.

Today Pill is a popular and much loved commuter village with a strong sense of community. Local shops provide for day to day needs along with several take aways and a number of well established pubs. The new development at Ham Green and an excellent secondary school, St. Katherine's, has increased the village's appeal.

By car to Bristol 5.77 mile(s) about: 17 minutes


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The 'Port at the head of the river' is the origin of the name of this growing community of around 20,000 people, located on the Bristol Channel just 9 miles west of Bristol. Current developments include a marine village and marina which will help make this the largest town of North Somerset.

By car to Bristol 12.41 mile(s) about: 26 minutes


Close to Nailsea and well placed for communters, 'a nook of land frequented by Buzzards', this is thought to be behind the meaning of the Wraxall village name.

The main tourist attraction in the village is the nearby Tyntesfield Estate, which was bought by the National Trust several years ago. Noah's Ark is the other popular attraction

By car to Bristol 7.79 mile(s) about: 22 minutes


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Has a population of approximately 71,758. It is a popular seaside resort with open views across the Bristol channel. Well known for its Weston owes its growth and prosperity to the boom in popularity of the seaside holiday in the Victorian era. The first hotel opened in 1808.
Weston has a shopping centre, helicopter museum, a sea-life centre (currently called the SeaQuarium) and miniature railway. Knightstone Island is now under development as a luxury housing complex with many of the existing buildings being retained due to their listed status.

Annual events include the Weston Wheels modified car event, T4 on the beach music event and international HeliDays usually staged at the Beach Gardens over a long weekend around the end of July, where helicopters from around the world are displayed, in association with the Helicopter Museum.

Residential areas include Worle, Oldmixon and the Bourneville estate, which exhibit many fine examples of post war and late 20th century architecture.

Well-known former residents of the town include author and politician Jeffrey Archer, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, actor John Cleese, actress Mandy Miller, author Roald Dahl, journalist Jill Dando, and actor Rupert Graves. The writer Bill Bryson recounted his visit to Weston in Notes from a Small Island. In the Little Britain television series, the character Vicky Pollard claims to have seen the pop group the Blazin' Squad in Weston-Super-Mare.

The upper part of the beach is sandy but, as the sea retreats a long way, the tide exposes Weston's famous mud flats. The tidal range in this part of the Severn Estuary is one of the largest in the world and the beach / mud flats are on a gentle slope.

By car to Bristol 26.24 mile(s) about: 41 minutes


On the edge of the Mendip hills, the village lies close to Axbridge and Cheddar yet still commutable to Bristol. There are two primary schools and secondary education is provided at nearby Churchill School, which does well in league tables.

By car to Bristol 16.07 mile(s) about: 29 minutes


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Lies in the valley of the Congresbury Yeo.

By car to Bristol 11.9 mile(s) about: 24 minutes


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The village generally consists of newer housing as the village expanded considerably post WW2. Yatton benefits from easy access to Weston super Mare & Bristol and offers its residents a shopping precinct with a bank, supermarket and several other local shops. It has both infant and junior schools, two parks ('Hangstones' and 'Rock Road') and a number of pubs.

Yatton feeds into the very popular Backwell and Nailsea secondary schools and has active football and rugby clubs. Development to the south and east of the village has made the villages of Yatton, Claverham and Cleeve almost continuous as far as the A370. Cadbury House Country Club has been developed and is now a high quality 60-room hotel and state of the art leisure centre.

By car to Bristol 12.96 mile(s) about: 36 minutes

Chew Magna

The village is about 10 miles from Bristol, 15 miles from Bath and 13 miles from the city of Wells. Housing around 1200 residents, Chew Magna is just on the northern edge of the Mendip Hills and is a designated area of outstanding beauty. The village is a conservation area which has meant that Chew Magna has retained its character, friendliness and quiet charm.

There are two Primary schools and a Secondary school providing excellent results, several boutique arts and crafts shops, coffee shops, estate agents, three churches, three pubs serving the area offering great food (especially my favourite the Bear and Swan), a super market and a bank.

It has a great community spirit and lots to get involved in. The village is also located within close proximity of the Chew Valley Lakes with a sailing club (long wait list!) and which also offers some of the best Trout fishing in the UK – if not in Europe. Many a famous person is known to have fished there including Roger Daltry.

By car to Bristol 10.88 mile(s) about: 25 minutes

Chew Stoke

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Chew Stoke Is a small village and civil parish in the Chew Valley, in Somerset lying about 8 miles south of Bristol. Like Chew Magna, it also lies in the area of designated outstanding beauty
Chew Stoke has a long history, as shown by the number and range of its heritage-listed buildings. The village is at the northern end of Chew Valley Lake – the next village along from Chew Magna

The population of approximately 900 residents, is served by one shop, two public houses, a primary school and, a bowling club. Together with Chew Magna, it forms the ward of Chew Valley North. Chew Valley School and its associated leisure centre is less than a mile from Chew Stoke.

The village has some areas of light industry but is largely agricultural with many of the residents (including myself) commuting to nearby cities for employment.

West Harptree

West Harptree is a small village within the Chew Valley. The village is 8 miles south of Bristol and 10 miles from Bath. It is just south of Chew Valley Lake on the A368. The village has a pub and a fantastic local shop offering fresh and locally sourced produce and also a Deli. It also includes the local Post Office and a beauty salon
With its close neighbour East Harptree the villages are collectively known as the Harptrees.


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Twinned with the town of Bockenem in Germany, Thornbury is a small market town with great access links to both the M4 and M5 interchange, Thornbury is an ancient market town and has been documented in the domesday book (1086) as a manor, one of the estates of Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror.

Famous for its castle, now a renowned hotel and restaurant, this was designed around 1510 for Edward Stafford, third Duke of Buckingham, but was not completed after Stafford was executed for treason. Today you can eat and stay in this exclusive hotel which holds a Michelin star and is a popular wedding venue.

Today, Thornbury is home to around 12,000 residents. The cattle market around which the town has grown no longer operates, though after a brief period of absence, the Saturday retail market is now back. The picturesque High Street brings visitors from around the area, and the museum provides much information on Thornbury and its history.

Thornbury is a great location and access for people who are looking to relocate working in Aztec West, the MOD and Frenchay hospital and provides good access links to the centre of Bristol

By car to Bristol 14.73 mile(s) about: 26 minutes

Iron Acton

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The village of Iron Acton suggests that oak woodland once characterised the locality, taken from “Acton” while the prefix 'Iron' is evidence of old workings for iron that used to take place near the village.

The village itself encompasses some impressive buildings. The narrow High Street is flanked by terraces and groups of buildings, many of which are interesting and individual in their architectural design, style and colour. The high stone walls and overhanging trees add to the feeling of an enclosed space though not suggesting at all that the village is insular in its ways. The village does have a really strong community spirit which you can easily tap into should the mood take you!

The focal point of the High Street is the Church of St James offering splendid views, the most notable being the unobstructed view of Acton Lodge clearly visible to the north of the village.

By car to Bristol 10.09 mile(s) about: 22 minutes


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Winterbourne is located approximately 7 miles from Bristol City Centre and has been argued by the locals as to whether in fact it is indeed a village or a town

Populated by just over 900 residents, Winterbourne is located on a hill surrounded by woodlands but urban development has depleted these areas in recent years. The village has an extensive Civic Parish with three social centres for the residents serviced by numerous shops, not only offering your usual high street bank and supermarket, Winterbourne still retains aspects of the local village shops including a traditional and family run butchers and bakers.

Recorded in the Doomsday book (1086), Winterbourne was “Wintreborne” meaning “Winter Stream” and in truth the River Frome does flow more rapidly over the winter months.

J K Rowling was also a resident here during the first nine years of her childhood and the surname “Potter” was after some friends in the village. Not sure whether Hogwarts is located nearby or Dementor’s seize the night skies but Winterborne is an attractive place to live, with good access links again to the M4/M5 interchange or people wanting to be close to Frenchay Hospital or Aztec West

By car to Bristol 7.15 mile(s) about: 13 minutes

Frampton Cotterrell

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Situated two miles outside the City’s Ring Road and within the green belt to the North East of Bristol; Frampton Cotterrell is home to approximately 7000 residents and rising according to the 2001 census.

Before the 1950s about 2000 persons were supported in the Parish as colliers, agricultural workers, hatters, tradesmen and house-servants. Since the 1950s, with people commuting to work in Aero-engineering, Finance, Commerce, the NHS, and M.O.D., the inhabitants have increased three-fold. This is a sign of the times and also evident of the ever developing Frenchay Hospital, Aztec West Business Park, MOD and Airbus facilities only 2 miles away.

Merged with Winterbourne, the River Frome also runs through this parish and I am reliably informed home to an excellent cricket team (though this was 20 years ago)!

The website above offers an insight into the memories of the locals born in the village and general history of this village


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Situated 12 miles North East of Bristol lies the town of Yate. Named a “new town” in the 1960’s during a boom of housing development it was considered the commuter/overspill town for Bristol. Yate is also earmarked for 5000 new homes to be constructed by 2026 housing currently around 22,000 inhabitants.

Famous for Yate Town Football Club with the accolade of Southern League Premier Division, J K Rowling was also born in Yate and it is where Banksy the infamous graffiti artist originated from.


Ubley is a small pretty village within the Chew Valley in about 8 miles south of Bristol and 10 miles from Bath.
It was interestingly listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Tumbeli, meaning 'The rolling meadow'.
Also in the village are a primary school, village hall, which is the venue for the monthly Ubley Publey and annual Chew Valley Beer Festival and a small medieval Church originating from the 13th Century. Great place to live if you are a beer connoisseur – Butcombe Brewery is not far away!

Home to Jemma's favourite yougurt maker, Yeo Valley Yogurt


By car to Bristol 10.32 mile(s) about: 14 minutes


Frenchay is a very popular village to the North of Bristol. It is very close to the M32, so offers excellent access to further afield and the city centre.

By car to Bristol 5.47 mile(s) about: 9 minutes

Abbots Leigh

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The small village of Abbots Leigh is located between Portishead and Bristol making it ideally situated for good links to the M4/M5 gateway

In September 1651 Charles II sheltered at a manor house in the village (also known as Abbots Leigh) after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester, which was known as the finest house at which the King rested during his escape to France. This alas was demolished in the 19th Century

To the east of the village stand Leigh Woods which also makes up the Avon Gorge Nature Reserve. This reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is recognized for its geological and wildlife interest. This area is really beautiful to go walking through all times of the year, particularly in early Autumn. Also great for bike riding and is on the edge of the Ashton Court Estate; the site for the annual and world renowned Balloon Fiesta

Despite it's size, Abbotsleigh has a strong community feel with an active Parish Council and local village markets. It is also home to Leigh Court which offers great facilities and settings for wedding and conference days

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