Spring’s colourful carpets of flowers, sunny days and blossom-heavy trees make it a great time to get out and about in the city. We’ve put together our favourite spring walks around Bristol – whether you’re a serious hiker or gentle stroller, there’s something to suit all springtime wanderers.

Every May Bristol hosts Walk Fest, a month-long walking festival, when walkers can take part in history trails, urban exploring, walking sports, gentle park strolls and vigorous uphill hikes.

1. Leigh Woods

Hop over Clifton Suspension Bridge to find glorious National Trust woodland Leigh Woods, with great views over the Avon Gorge. Walkers, mountain bikers, pups and little ones will love this one, with its range of trails, natural play area and Iron Age Hill fort.

Please note, parking is limited and Forestry England asks that you turn around if the car park looks too busy or is full. 

View of Clifton Suspension Bridge from Leigh Woods
Image - view over the Avon Gorge & Clifton Suspension Bridge from Leigh Woods

2. Blaise Castle House Museum & Estate

There's acres of space and pathways to explore at Blaise Castle Estate. Wander into the woodland and wind your way to the top of the hill to discover a folly castle and glorious, stretching gorge views over the treetop canopy before making your way downhill to a babbling stream.

Part of the mythical Bristol giants walking tour, here you'll find 'Goram’s Chair' and the ‘tantrum’ footprint, plus mysterious tunnels and a cave built into rock. Popular with dog-walkers, there’s also a huge children’s play area and museum inside the 19th century mansion.

Couple sat on bench looking at view across forest
Image - Blaise Castle Estate

3. Arnos Vale Cemetery

This beautiful wooded Victorian garden cemetery just off the Bath Road covers 45-acres. It’s wonderfully peaceful, rich in walks, wildlife and stunning architecture. For an in-depth look into Arnos Vale’s darker side, book onto an atmospheric after-hours tour which take place regularly in non-Covid times but sell out quickly! The Bath Road gates are currently open from 9am to 5pm, every day. 

People walking in cemetery
Image - Arnos Vale Cemetery

4. Ashton Court Estate

The huge estate of Ashton Court is easy to reach from the city, just the other side of Clifton Suspension Bridge. In spring the gardens near the mansion house are filled with dazzling daffodils. Perfect for walkers and families, there are a couple of cafes onsite (takeaway only during lockdown), miniature trains which run on selected dates and lovely views back over Cabot Tower and Bristol's colourful houses. Keep your eyes peeled for hot air balloons taking off in the early morning and evening! The car park is very busy on weekends right now, so walk or cycle instead if you can. 

Mansion house surrounded by spring flowers
Image - Ashton Court Mansion, credit Angharad Paull

5. Brandon Hill & Cabot Tower

Brandon Hill Nature Park lies just behind one of Bristol’s independent shopping areas – Park Street. It’s a hilly haven for wildflowers and the meadow is full of cowslips in spring. Climb the 109 steps of Cabot Tower for spectacular views across Bristol. 

Aerial view of park
Image - view from Cabot Tower, credit Paul Box

6. Bristol Harbourside

There’s plenty to ogle on a potter around the Harbourside – multi-coloured houses, iconic ships (Brunel's SS Great Britain and The Matthew), stand up paddle boarders, rowers and sailing clubs out on the water. You'll also find Wapping Wharf – a trendy retail yard made of converted shipping containers with lots of scrummy places to eat – as well as Underfall Yard’s visitor centre, where you can learn more about the city's historic docks. 

Colourful houses on the hills around harbourside
Image - colours of Hotwells on the Harbourside, credit Dave Page

7. Street Art walking tours

Street art is one of Bristol’s most famous attractions and seeking it out is a great way to discover the city’s unique creative culture. Book a walking tour or if freestyling is your thing, try this Banksy self-guided tour or download the Banksy Bristol Trail app to navigate your way around his artworks using interactive maps.

Banksy mural with teddy bear throwing molotov cocktail
Image - Banksy Mild Mild West in Stokes Croft

8. The Downs

The Downs spans 440 acres and is one of the largest areas of green in the city. Head to the ‘Sea Walls’ end for spectacular far-reaching views out towards the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Leigh Woods and the Severn Estuary, before carrying on to nearby Clifton Village for a refuel. 

Bench in park
Image - view from Clifton Downs

9. The Frome Valley Walkway

This 18-mile path begins in the centre of Bristol and wiggles its way out to the Cotswold Hills in South Gloucestershire, passing through the city’s Eastville park and Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills.

Weir in forest
Image - Snuff Mills, credit Mike's Bristol Walks

10. Kings Weston Estate

Kings Weston House was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh (the architect for Blenheim Palace) and its beautiful gardens were once famed throughout Europe, drawing nobility from far and wide. The grounds, with their stunning views across the River Avon and Bristol Channel, make for a lovely spring stroll. Keep your eyes peeled for the sundial, lily pond, grotto and oldest avenue of lime trees in the city as you wander.

11. Tyntesfield

A National Trust Victorian country house and estate, surrounded by gardens, parkland and hundreds of rare and beautiful trees, Tyntesfield makes for a particularly gorgeous walk in spring when bluebells and daffodils are in full bloom. Look out for Easter egg hunts and the like in springtime.

Gothic mansion house with spring flowers
Image - Tyntesfield

12. Prior’s Wood Nature Reserve

Once part of the Tyntesfield Estate, Prior’s Wood is home to streams, plantations and ancient woodland. In spring, the bluebell displays are one of the best in the West Country.

Bluebells in forest
Image - Bluebells in Prior's Wood, credit Angharad Paull

13. River Avon Trail

This picturesque trail follows the edge of the river from the historic harbour village of Pill, through the jaw-droppingly beautiful Avon Gorge to Pulteney Bridge, Bath (23 miles). Walk for as long as you like, Trooper’s Hill is an excellent stopping point.

River Avon surrounded by forest
Image - part of the River Avon Trail from Pill

14. Clevedon

Take a coastal stroll to enjoy some stunning North Somerset landscapes with awesome views over the Bristol Channel and Wales (the likes of which have inspired poets Coleridge, Thackeray and Tennyson no less) - you can also walk down the historic Clevedon Pier, or see what's happening at the tidal marine lake.

Clevedon and Bristol Estuary
Image - Clevedon

15. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

One of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in the world, springtime hails pastel blooms and beguiling bluebell carpets. 

Magnolia in bloom
Image - Westonbirt Arboretum

16. Dyrham Park

Discover breath-taking countryside at the National Trust’s Dyrham Park. Wander to the old lodge for a natural play park and climb-on tractors before picnicking beside the beautiful Dutch water garden. 

Mansion house and grounds
Image - Dyrham Park

17. Cheddar Gorge

A world-famous beauty spot thanks to its dramatic cliffs and caverns, Cheddar Gorge is also a site of prehistoric discoveries. The three-mile Cliff Top Gorge Walk is one of the finest in the country.

Cheddar Gorge
Image - Cheddar Gorge

18. Weston-super-Mare

Bristol sits on the doorstep of spectacular North Somerset coastline and where better to celebrate the first signs of spring then with a sunny stroll along the beach?

Weston-super-Mare beach and Grand Pier
Image - Weston-super-Mare and The Grand Pier

19. Berkeley Castle

An impressive fortress that has been continuously inhabited by the Berkeley family for nine centuries, Berkeley Castle has been embroiled in all sorts of historic events, from a murdered king to a wedding that spawned Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Surrounded by gardens that specialise in scent, the roses are particularly splendid in June.

Berkeley Castle and grounds

Image - Berkeley Castle, credit Hannah Stuart-Leach

20. The Severn Way

As capital of the South West, Bristol makes the perfect base to explore nearby walkers’ favourites such as The Severn Way, South Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds, the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, The Malverns, Exmoor, Somerset and loads more. Many are just a short train journey, car ride or cycle away!

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