Compared to a lot of cities, Bristol is home to plenty of open, green spaces. It’s surrounded by countryside and with over 400 parks and gardens to explore, you really could try somewhere new every day for over a year!
All of these walks are just a short drive from the centre of Bristol because we want to prove that you don’t need to travel far to get some scenic countryside views and fresh air. We’ve picked out five walks that are all popular but because of the size of the parks and estates, they’re rarely ever full.
Tyntesfield circular woodland walk
Tyntesfield is a National Trust site and a Victorian Gothic Revival estate, with lots of parkland and gardens to explore. There are plenty of paths for those who don’t like heading off the beaten track but you are welcome to explore the woods with your dog.
Start at Home Farm for this circular route. Along the way, you’ll see bird-spotters and runners but it’s a really quiet spot most of the time. There’s a play trail especially for children here so it’s a great family-friendly spot.
Dogs must be kept on a lead and are allowed everywhere apart from the walled gardens, the historic buildings and the Rose Garden. These are all signposted on the estate so it’s easy to spot where your dog can and can’t go.
If you want to make a day out of it, there’s an on-site cafe and a visitor shop as well as the mansion house to visit too. However, there are no facilities on the route, other than the start/finish points so if you plan to stroll slowly, be prepared and pack some snacks and drinks for the walk. There’s a food truck in the courtyard before you reach the ticket office that does amazing coffee and ice cream though!
Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills
You won’t have to travel far to find Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills as it’s actually behind a residential area in the city. It’s a relatively easy walk but it can get busy at peak times. Try visiting early mornings or evenings to avoid crowds, especially in the summer.
The riverside walks here are so peaceful but there are also plenty of woodlands to explore, as well as off-lead spaces for your dog to explore too. You’ll come across plenty of birdwatchers here too as it’s a great spot for it.
One of the best things about this walk is that there are lots of wheelchair and pushchair-friendly paths throughout, mostly by the river. These are ideal for walking in all weathers. However, if you’re going to explore the woodlands or off-lead spaces, you’ll need to wear walking boots. It can get muddy if it’s been raining so bear this in mind before you visit.
If you’re going with the family, there’s a children’s playground and a coffee kiosk as well as plenty of picnic areas to sit. It’s a perfect place to go to for a cheap family activity. It’s a popular spot for dog walkers as well as families so make sure your pooch is well-behaved and kept on their lead around others.
Stoke Park Estate
Another spot with tonnes of various walks, Stoke Park Estate has woodlands, fields, a pond and a fishing lake as well as a sculpture trail to explore with your dog. The Grade 2 listed historic parkland sits next to the M32.However, it is fenced in completely and is much more peaceful than you might expect!
One area you might also want to explore with family are the historical monuments across the estate. Stoke Park is a very popular spot in Bristol. However, because it’s so vast, it never feels too full. Certain spots might seem busier, such as the sculpture trail or the fishing lake but you can always explore a different area and come back another time. Most locals say they’re always finding new spots, despite visiting regularly
There is a hilly gradient in parts so not for those with mobility issues, with lots of uneven terrain so walking boots are a must. It’s moderate difficulty because the hills aren’t as steep as others in the area but can be a challenge if you’re not used to hill-walking at all!
Dogs must be kept on leads for the most part, due to it being a site of nature conservation interest but there may be spots to let them off-lead in the woodlands or fields if it’s quiet.
For the perfect, inexpensive family day out, Eastville Park could be great for everyone! In just one park, there’s lots of open grassy parkland, a fishing lake, wildflower meadows, football pitches, tennis courts, bowling greens and a children’s playground: all of those activities in just one park! It’s situated about 2 miles north-east of Bristol city centre so it’s not too far out of the city but it feels like it’s far enough.
Walk along the Frome Valley walkway from Castle Park, through Eastville Park and up to Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills for the longest route. Alternatively, the circular route around the park takes around an hour.
There isn’t much wildlife to see on this trip but there are usually lots of ducks and swans on the lake. Make sure your dog is careful around them to not disturb them or anyone else around!
You’ll find plenty of runners here because it’s a lovely, flat trail. However, the woodland areas do get very muddy so if you don’t want to clean your dog after your visit, don’t go when it’s been raining!
Ashton Court Estate
For a more challenging walk, the circular Ashton Court Estate walk will certainly make you feel like you’ve had a good workout. With 850 acres of green space and woodland to explore, it’s another spot in Bristol that you could visit multiple times and find a new favourite spot every time.
On this walk, you’ll come across cyclists, dog walkers, horse riders, mountain bikers, golfers, and the odd hot air balloon. Again, it’s a popular place but it’s so large that it certainly won’t feel too full, even during the summer holidays. There are lots of accessible paths for wheelchair users and pushchairs but you can also go off-path to explore more of the estate.
There’s a full calendar of events on here, especially during the summer, so be sure to check before you visit. When there aren’t any events on, there’s still a miniature railway, pitch-and-putt golf, disc golf, and trails for both mountain bikes and horse riding.
There are two dog-friendly cafes on the estate of the stately home too, that both use local produce for their recipes. Currently, dogs must be kept on leads at all times throughout the estate though so consider this before planning a visit.
Bristol is a great city to explore but especially if you’ve taken your dog on a trip to the area, there are plenty of outdoor spaces just a stone’s throw away from the city centre for them to explore.