15 Best Walks in Bristol (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Bristol (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

If you’re looking for the perfect outdoor escape, Bristol is your destination.

The city and its surrounding countryside are perfect for exploring on foot, with some of the best walks in England.

Whether you’re looking for a bracing hike or a leisurely stroll, there’s something to suit everyone.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of this vibrant city and discover its hidden gems.

1. Leigh Woods

Leigh Woods [18]
Photo by Michael Dibb

Leigh Woods is a stunning natural area, just minutes from the center of Bristol. With ancient woodlands, sprawling meadows, and picturesque lakes, it’s the perfect spot for an invigorating stroll.

A peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can explore winding trails that lead to breathtaking views across the Avon Gorge.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife along your journey – deer, foxes, badgers, and more!

Take some time to relax at one of the many viewing platforms or picnic areas dotted around Leigh Woods.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk or a longer hike, Leigh Woods has something for everyone.

Here you can escape into nature and enjoy some truly spectacular scenery – all while feeling free and alive.

2. Blaise Castle House Museum & Estate

Blaise Castle House Museum
Photo by Derek Harper

Just a few miles north of Leigh Woods lies the Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate.

This historic 18th-century manor house is nestled in the woods of Henbury, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a more strenuous hike.

The estate covers more than 500 acres and includes a number of formal gardens, wooded areas, and parkland.

Wander through the grounds and admire the historic architecture, explore the woodland trails, or take part in one of the many activities held on-site such as country fairs, concerts, and art exhibitions.

The museum itself houses collections from its time as a private home to its current existence as an educational resource.

Visitors can learn about local history as well as discover how life was lived at Blaise Castle over two centuries ago.

With its tranquil atmosphere and picturesque setting, this makes for an enjoyable day out for all ages.

Whether you choose to take a walk around the grounds or explore inside the museum, there’s no shortage of things to do here.

3. Arnos Vale Cemetery

Arnos Vale Cemetery
Photo by Mike Faherty

Nestled in Bristol’s lush landscape, Arnos Vale Cemetery is a tranquil oasis for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

This sprawling Victorian cemetery is a charming testament to the past, with its beautifully landscaped gardens, ancient trees, and winding paths.

Its serene atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike.

The cemetery offers some stunning views of Bristol – from its jagged skyline to its picturesque riverfronts – as well as plenty of interesting historical monuments.

There are also plenty of opportunities for birdwatching, with many species of birds flocking to the area year-round. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and recharge your batteries.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful nature walk or an adrenaline-filled adventure, Arnos Vale Cemetery has something for everyone.

4. Avon Gorge And The River Avon Trail

The next destination for a great walk in Bristol is the Avon Gorge and River Avon Trail. This section of the Bristol landscape is renowned for its stunning views and unique wildlife.

It’s also a great place to get away from it all and take in some of Bristol’s natural beauty.

The Avon Gorge and River Avon Trail offer an unforgettable experience, with miles of pathways taking you along the gorge and the riverbanks.

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You can even spot some of the area’s rarest species of birds from this vantage point! The trail takes you through a variety of different habitats, from woodlands to meadows, so there is plenty to explore.

The paths are accessible for all levels of ability, making them perfect for families or those who are looking for an easy walk.

A visit to this part of Bristol will leave you feeling energized and invigorated – whether that be due to the breathtaking views or perhaps the sense of freedom that comes with exploring nature.

With an abundance of places to explore, you’re sure to find something special here that stays with you long after your visit ends.

5. The Clifton And Durdham Downs

The Clifton and Durdham Downs are a must-see for any outdoor enthusiast visiting Bristol. This incredible area of natural beauty stretches for over 300 acres, offering stunning views of the city skyline and the River Avon.

The Downs are located just a few miles north of the city center, making it easily accessible for day trips and weekend getaways.

The Downs offer some of the best walks in Bristol, with plenty of trails to explore. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a more challenging hike, there’s something here to suit all abilities.

You can admire stunning wildflowers along the way, and take in breathtaking views from the top of Cabot Tower.

There’s even an adventure playground for kids to enjoy, complete with zip lines and climbing walls.

Immerse yourself in nature while taking in some of Bristol’s most spectacular sights on this unforgettable walk.

With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning landscapes, The Clifton and Durdham Downs is an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life – perfect for those seeking a little peace and quiet!

6. Ashton Court

Moving on from the stunning views of The Clifton and Durdham Downs, Ashton Court offers its own spectacular hike.

Measuring 837 acres, the estate is a great spot for both avid hikers and families looking for a leisurely stroll.

Ashton Court has something for everyone, with plenty of open green spaces to explore. Whether you take the main route through the park or decide to wander off the beaten track, you’ll find yourself surrounded by ancient trees and wildflowers.

The woods are particularly beautiful in spring when bluebells carpet the ground in shades of violet.

As you make your way through the estate, keep an eye out for historic features such as a Tudor manor house and a Victorian walled garden.

There are also several delightful picnic spots along the way; perfect for taking a break and enjoying some food while admiring your surroundings.

There’s no doubt that Ashton Court will leave you feeling refreshed; it’s an oasis of tranquillity that transports visitors back to simpler times.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not extend your walk by exploring Leigh Woods on the other side of Bristol?

With its lofty trees and winding paths, it’s an ideal spot for an afternoon stroll – so don’t forget to pack your camera!

7. Weston Woods

The Weston Woods, located in the heart of Bristol, offer hikers and nature lovers a chance to escape the city.

With plenty of rustic trails, winding up and around hills, this is the perfect place to take a stroll and appreciate the beauty of nature.

The area boasts an impressive variety of wildlife including birds, deer, and even foxes.

For those looking for something more challenging, the woods are home to some steep inclines and rugged terrain. Take your time exploring these pathways – there’s no rush here!

You can stop to admire wildflowers or simply soak up the tranquillity of your surroundings. The woods provide a great opportunity to unwind from daily life and let go of all worries.

So step away from it all, fill your lungs with fresh air, and explore what this idyllic spot has to offer.

8. Blagdon Lake

From Weston Woods, the next must-visit destination is Blagdon Lake. Located in North Somerset’s Mendip Hills, this stunning lake is a popular spot for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers alike.

Its shoreline stretches across 230 acres of lush green grassland, making it one of the most picturesque spots in all of England.

The lake is also home to a large variety of wildlife, including water birds such as coots and mallards. The surrounding hills are full of ancient trees and wildflowers, while the nearby villages are brimming with historical charm.

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Hiking around Blagdon Lake is an absolute delight; visitors can take in incredible views from every angle and feel completely at ease in the tranquil environment.

And if you’re feeling daring, you can even take a dip in the crystal-clear waters!

This serene landscape offers an escape from everyday life and guarantees an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Whether you’re looking for peace and quiet or some thrilling outdoor activities, Blagdon Lake has something to offer everyone.

So why not head off on your next adventure and explore this beautiful area?

9. Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor is a spectacular site for a walk, with its iconic tower rising from the surrounding Somerset countryside.

From the top of the Tor, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Mendip Hills and across to Wales on a clear day.

The route up to the summit is a gentle climb but one that rewards stunning vistas at every turn.

There’s something about this place that draws you in and makes you feel so alive – whether it’s feeling nature’s embrace or experiencing an energy that’s been said to be unique to Glastonbury, there’s no denying it’s an uplifting experience.

You’ll be surrounded by ancient history as you make your way along the pathways, which provide access to numerous sites of historical interest.

A pilgrimage around Glastonbury Tor will take you past Chalice Well, White Spring, and Wearyall Hill; all sites steeped in legend and mystery.

As you breathe in the fresh country air and explore these sacred places, it will become obvious why this area has captivated people for centuries – there’s something special here, something beyond our everyday understanding.

10. Nightingale Valley

The Nightingale Valley is a glorious escape from the hustle and bustle of Bristol. It’s a stunning, tranquil spot, ideal for long walks with breathtaking views.

This valley is renowned for its beauty and wildlife, making it one of Bristol’s best-loved spots.

As you wander along the valley, you’ll be greeted by wildflowers, rolling hills, and meadows that seem to stretch on forever.

You may even come across deer or rabbits in abundance. The birdlife here is extraordinary; listen out for the nightingale’s song as you explore this magical place.

The clear skies above provide perfect conditions for stargazing too; look up and get lost in the captivating night sky.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or want to take a peaceful stroll and soak up nature’s wonders, Nightingale Valley is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.

With its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife, it’s easy to see why this beautiful spot has become one of Bristol’s most popular outdoor attractions – all without leaving the city limits!

11. Harbourside

Set against the sweeping backdrop of the River Avon, Bristol Harbourside is a haven of tranquillity.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more vigorous hike, this picturesque area has something to offer everyone.

On your walk along the harbourside, you’ll be able to appreciate its diverse landscape and wildlife.

From historic buildings and marinas to green parklands and vibrant riverside cafes, there’s plenty to discover here.

Step back in time with a visit to the SS Great Britain – Brunel’s iconic iron-hulled steamship – or take in some stunning views from Observatory Hill.

Whether it’s a family escape or an opportunity to explore city life at its best, Bristol Harbourside offers something unique for all visitors.

With its breathtaking scenery and array of attractions, it’s sure to provide an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after your walk is over.

12. Ravens Rock Circular

Next up on the list of the best walks in Bristol is the Ravens Rock Circular.

This stunning circular route takes you through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of Bristol, offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The walk begins at the picturesque Raven Rock, which provides a breathtaking view across to Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon Valley.

From here, you can take in the stunning scenery as you meander along the undulating paths, winding your way through woodlands and meadows where you can spot wildlife such as deer and badgers.

As you continue your journey, you will come across several historic landmarks including a medieval chapel, an old quarry, and a historic industrial estate.

You may also be lucky enough to spot some rare birds or even catch sight of an otter or two in one of the many streams that crisscross this beautiful landscape.

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After taking in all this natural beauty, make sure to reward yourself with a well-deserved rest at one of the charming pubs or cafes that dot this area before heading back to Raven’s Rock for the end of your fabulous walk!

13. River Chew Circular

The River Chew Circular is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature.

Located just 15 miles from Bristol, this 4-mile walk is a great option for those looking for an easy but rewarding day out.

You’ll start your journey at the picturesque village of East Harptree where you can enjoy stunning views of the Mendip Hills and discover historic buildings like The Cross Inn.

From there, you’ll meander along the riverbank – taking in beautiful wildlife and lush green scenery – until you reach Chew Valley Lake.

Here, you can take a break and soak up the beauty of this tranquil lake before carrying on toward Ubley Warren Nature Reserve.

This area is teeming with wildflowers, butterflies, and birds which will delight any nature enthusiast!

Finally, be sure to end your day with a hearty pub lunch back in East Harptree so that you can reminisce about your wonderful journey as you sip on a refreshing pint of local ale.

A truly magical experience awaits those who embark on the River Chew Circular walk!

14. Cheddar Gorge

Nestled in the rolling hills of Somerset, Cheddar Gorge is a breathtakingly beautiful spot for a walk. It’s well worth the journey, offering some of the most spectacular views in all of Bristol.

The gorge is a picturesque limestone canyon that winds its way through lush forest and along craggy cliffs.

Its sheer walls rise up to a height of 450ft and are among Britain’s most dramatic natural features.

Cheddar Gorge has an abundance of wildlife and plants, making it a great place to escape into nature and recharge your batteries.

There are plenty of routes to choose from here, ranging from easy trails for families to challenging hikes for experienced walkers.

No matter what route you take, you can be sure of stunning scenery as you wander alongside clear streams and ancient woodland.

You’ll also have opportunities to spot birds such as buzzards or skylarks or even see wild goats roaming around in the gorge itself!

Make sure you bring your camera to capture the beauty of this magical place; it will stay with you forever!

15. Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve

Right after Cheddar Gorge, Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve is the perfect place to find peace and tranquility in the rolling hills of Bristol.

This nature reserve is a great place to take a stroll or just sit and enjoy the views of the rolling hills and picture-perfect countryside. The beauty of this spot lies in its picturesque landscape.

It’s a stunning place for all nature lovers, from photographers to hikers, who can take advantage of the trails through the grassy meadows, woodlands, and ponds.

The area also offers plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities, with many species of birds as well as mammals such as foxes and badgers that can be seen here.

Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve provides an ideal escape from modern life, allowing visitors to disconnect and reconnect with their surroundings in a beautiful setting.

The atmosphere here is calming and peaceful; perfect for anyone looking to relax or catch up on some quality time with friends and family in idyllic surroundings.

Best Walks in Bristol – Final Thoughts

I’ve been lucky enough to explore some of the best walks in Bristol and I can honestly say that they all have something unique to offer.

From historic castles to nature reserves and stunning views, there really is something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventure-filled hike, these 15 routes will not disappoint.

I found that each one of these walks had its own special charm and provided me with hours of enjoyment.

I was amazed at how much there was to see and do; from spotting wildlife to simply taking in the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

If you’re looking for a great outdoor activity in Bristol, then these 15 walks are definitely worth considering!

All in all, I would highly recommend exploring any (or all!) of these wonderful trails around Bristol – there’s something for everyone!

So why not grab your walking boots and head out into the open – you won’t regret it!

FAQs

What are some easy walks in Bristol?

Some easy walks in Bristol are River Chew, Snuff Mills and Oldbury Court, and Bristol Harbourside.

What are the best circular walks in Bristol?

Some of the best circular walks in Bristol are Ravens Rock Circular, River Chew Circular, and Old Sodbury and Little Sodbury Circular.

What are some good family walks in Bristol?

Some good family walks in Bristol are Abbots Pool, Blaise Castle, and Bristol Harbourside.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.