The leaves have started changing colour and by evening, there’s an unmistakeable whiff of autumn in the air. To make the most of this colourful season, we’ve put together a guide to Bristol’s best parks for autumn leaf peeping:

For more outdoorsy autumnal inspiration, don’t miss our Best Autumn Walks blog.

Westonbirt Arboretum

No leaf peeping list would be complete without the star of the autumnal colours show, Westonbirt Arboretum. From the enchanting flaming red Japanese Maples, to the vibrant yellow Black Walnuts, the Arboretum is an utterly magical riot of colour – best seen between the third week in October and first week in November. Get a spectacular birds-eye view of the tree canopy from the suspended tree top walkway.

Two mothers and their young daughters throwing fallen leaves in the grounds of Westonbirt Arboretum near Bristol in autumn - credit Johnny Hathaway
Image - Westonbirt Arboretum


Marvel at the colours of autumn at National Trust property Tyntesfield, a Victorian Gothic Mansion surrounded by characterful gardens, woodland, rolling parkland and hundreds of rare and beautiful trees. Discover copper-coloured, yellow-y and deep red leaves on a stroll around the grounds, or check out the gorgeous bounty from the kitchen garden.

Tyntesfield autumn colour - credit Chris Watts
Image - Tyntesfield, credit Chris Watts

The Downs

An enormous area of protected parkland in Bristol, The Downs is the perfect place for an autumnal stroll in the scenic suburb of Clifton. Head to the ‘Sea Walls’ end for spectacular far-reaching views out towards the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Leigh Woods and the Severn Estuary. Shuffle and kick leaves to your heart’s content on Clifton Down’s Beech Tree-lined avenue before delving into the fiery-coloured foliage. Intrepid conker seeker? Work your way along the Horse Chestnut-abundant Saville Road for a generous bounty.  

Mother and child walking around an autumnal Clifton Down in Bristol - credit Paul Box
Image - Clifton Down, credit Paul Box

Queen Square

A beautiful park near Bristol city centre, Queen Square’s mature plane tree-lined edges transform the area into a blaze of yellows, oranges and rusty brown come autumn. Wade through a carpet of leaves admiring the Georgian townhouses before dipping into a nearby coffee shop to warm up.

A view of the statue in the centre of Queen Square in central Bristol
Image - Queen Square

Victoria Square

The stroll through this picturesque square won’t take you long, but the trees and surrounding Clifton architecture make for a charming autumn saunter. For your fill of autumnal trees, wander over to nearby Birdcage Walk where beautiful trees create a fairytale arch over the path.

A view down Birdcage Walk in Clifton Village, West Bristol - credit Visit Bristol
Image - Birdcage Walk in Clifton

Cabot Tower and Brandon Hill

Climb the steep, winding steps of Cabot Tower to witness Bristol autumnal makeover all the way out to the Mendip Hills. If heights aren’t your thing, the views from Brandon Hill Park are almost as enchanting.

Cabot Tower at the top of Brandon Hill in central Bristol in summer - credit Paul Box
Image - View from Cabot Tower, credit Paul Box

Blaise Castle Estate 

Blaise’s wooded gorge conjures a colourful canopy in autumn time. Stroll along leaf-strewn pathways under vibrant branches, cross the stream and gaze over acres of glowing trees from the top of the folly. 

Ashton Court Estate

Breathe in some fresh autumn air in the vast grounds of Ashton Court Estate, a huge area of forested mountain bike trails, bridle paths and wide-open countryside, just the other side of Clifton Suspension Bridge. The estate is renowned for its large number of unusual tree species, including a 700-year-old Domesday Oak and Ginkgo, which flushes a vivid yellow in autumn. Gaze back over views of the city or duck into russet-coloured woodland to whip up a bed of leaves.

A view of Ashton Court - Credit Paul Box
Image - Ashton Court Estate

Greville Smyth Park

Once part of Ashton Court Estate, this park is just a stone's throw from the bustling North Street in Southville and is renowned for its beautiful mature trees whose leaves are hues of gold and pumpkin in the autumn season. From here you can glimpse the Clifton Suspension Bridge from below and join the Avon Trail - a walking and cycling route that runs 23 miles from Pill to Bath.

Arnos Vale Cemetery

When autumn gets its grip on the city, this fascinating Victorian garden cemetery comes alive with colour. There are also regular guided tours and events to choose from, including nature walks, grave tours and spooky outdoor cinema.

Aerial view of Arnos Vale Cemetery
Image - Arnos Vale Cemetery, credit Paul Box

Victoria Park

Hilly Victoria Park sits south of the river in Bedminster near the train station, and has tennis courts, a bowling green, jogging route, a few exercise stations, several children’s playgrounds and a coffee van if you;re in need of some refreshment during your walk. 

Leigh Woods

Wander through ancient and veteran trees in this National Trust’s woodland. Located on the edge of the Avon Gorge, your leaf-stomping efforts are rewarded with breath-taking views over the Clifton Suspension Bridge and dramatic gorge. There are a variety of trails to choose from as well as mountain biking, a natural play area for kids and Stokeleigh Iron Age Hill fort to discover.

Clifton Suspension Bridge and Observatory from Leigh Woods, North Somerset
Image - A view of Clifton Suspension Bridge from Leigh Woods


Eastville Park

It’s possible to start here and walk all the way along the River Frome to Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills. This Victorian city park also has lots of green space, its own fishing lake, children's playground and football pitches.

Castle Park

Next to the Floating Harbour, overlooking Finzel’s Reach, is Castle Park. The skeleton of St Peter’s Church (destroyed in WWII bombing) looks equally eerie and impressive alongside a bed of yellow-ing leaves and fiery trees. Catch a Bristol Ferry to see the city’s autumnal side from the water.

Autumnal Castle Park in central Bristol - credit Visit West
Image - Castle Park and St Peter's Church


St Andrews Park

Conker hunters should head straight to the Sommerville Road entrance of St Andrews Park to find a huge Horse Chestnut tree. Pretty paths wind through this classic Victorian neighbourhood park - a family favourite thanks to its great play area. Once you're done wandering you can head to nearby Gloucester Road to refuel.

Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills

Wrap up warm and catch falling leaves in Oldbury Court Estate, a pretty park with wheel-friendly riverside walks, wooded trails and big green spaces. There are some great natural play areas for kids, wildlife to spot (if you’re lucky kingfishers, herons, foxes, owls, bats and deer can be seen in these parts), weirs and the historic old quarry and stone mill to discover.

Man walking two dog in Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills
Image - Snuff Mills

St George Park

St George Park is particularly lovely in autumn when the park’s many trees are ablaze in the season’s shades. Scuff up the auburn undergrowth before skirting around the lake at its centre.

Conham River Park

Part of the River Avon Trail (which starts in Pill and goes all the Pulteney Bridge in Bath), from Conham River Park you can walk for as long or little as your like along the river onto Trooper’s Hill Nature Reserve or Hanham Lock (about an hour away). 

A view of the Beeses riverside pub on the banks of Conham River Park in East Bristol - credit Paul Box
Image - A river view from Conham River Park


Read more: