The stunning vistas, rolling hills, and peaceful woodlands make the area surrounding Bristol an ideal location for people seeking a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. So, whether you're looking for a family-friendly outing, a dog-friendly trail, or a challenging hike, there is a walk for everyone just a short distance from the city. Here are our eight favourite walks in Bristol.
The Cheddar Gorge circular is a Mendip Hills classic. This loop covers a distance of approximately 5 km and offers spectacular countryside views.
The scenery makes this one of the best walks in Bristol: it takes you through the breathtaking Cheddar Gorge, a limestone gorge that has been eroded over millions of years. Along the way, you'll have the chance to marvel at hidden caves and rock formations and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding hills.
The circular walk is suitable for families with older children – toddlers might struggle – and dog walkers and people looking for a bit of a challenge. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, as some sections of the walk can be steep and rocky.
Check out our team’s list of the top Bristol attractions for families.
Just northwest of Bristol, you’ll find Blaise Castle Estate, a beautiful park with an excellent range of relaxing walks. The estate covers over 650 acres and boasts a stunning mansion, lake, woodland, and gardens. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to walking paths, but we recommend the flat, 6-km-long circular walk around the outside of the main grounds. This route is one of the most popular dog walks in Bristol.
Admission is free, but the gates close around sunset, so be sure to check the website if you’re planning an evening walk.
You don't even need to leave the city to enjoy one of the best walks in Bristol! The Downs is a large public park located in the heart of Bristol, and it's a great place to enjoy a scenic walk.
The park is home to a range of wildlife and a variety of trees and plants. One of the best walking routes is the circular route that runs around the park's perimeter, covering about 5 km. The walk takes you through open green spaces, rolling hills, and wooded areas. Along the way, you'll have the chance to take in iconic views, including Clifton Suspension Bridge and Clifton Observatory.
Another easily accessible location is the small but lovely nature reserve at Troopers Hill. Located to the East of Bristol, it’s a great place for families to exercise and take in the scenery. Along the way, you can engage with the region’s mining history, with two listed chimneys beside the path. From the top of this small hill, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view of Bristol!
Whilst walking in Bristol, why not look at our top five locations for Bristol street art!
The Cotswold Way is a stunning walking route that runs for over 160 km through some of the most beautiful countrysides in England. It passes right by the city, and one of the best walks near Bristol is the 6.5 km stretch from Painswick to Coopers Hill.
This walk takes you through rolling hills and picturesque Cotswold villages, including the charming village of Painswick with its famous yew trees. Along the way, you'll have the chance to take in breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, including the River Severn and the Forest of Dean.
The trail through Leigh Woods is one of the best places to walk in Bristol if you’re looking for some time alone with your thoughts. This tranquil woodland is a National Trust site and is particularly beautiful in the spring and summer as the flowers bloom. Some of the area’s flora and fauna are rare, so the woods have been designated a “Site of Special Scientific Interest.”
The woods themselves are free, but there’s a parking charge.
One of our favourite coastal walks near Bristol is the Portishead Coast Path, which runs just over 10 km from Portishead to Clevedon. The path takes you along the coast, passing by the Portishead Marina and Battery Point, where you can take a diversion to explore the historic lighthouse and take in stunning views of the Bristol Channel.
It then continues along the coast, passing through woodland and across fields before arriving at Clevedon, where you can explore the Victorian pier and grab a bite to eat. The Portishead Coast Path is a great way to spend a few hours outdoors, taking in the fresh sea air and the coast's beauty.
If it’s raining and you don’t fancy walking, take a look at the best things to do in Bristol on a rainy day!
Dyrham Park is a stunning National Trust property located just a short drive from Bristol. It includes a variety of walking routes, from short strolls to more challenging hikes.
One of our favourite routes is the circular walk that takes you around the park's perimeter. What makes this one of our favourite walks in Bristol is the variety of scenery: it takes you through rolling countryside and wooded areas, the stunning 17th-century mansion, and the ancient deer park.
That's it for our list of the top walks in Bristol – we hope you get some good weather for your hike!
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