Unlike a lot of cities, you’re never far from green space in Bristol, the city is home to over 400 parks and gardens offering outdoorsy fun and fantastic walks for owners and their dogs. Beautiful countryside surrounds the city on all sides, making Bristol a good base for long rambles in nearby South Gloucestershire and South Cotswolds, coastal and Rural Somerset with your hound in tow.

From magnificent houses set in large estates, to wooded trails harbouring pawesome city views, riverside walks to spectacular forests and family-friendly parks, Bristol has tons of varied dog-walking options. Here’s our top 10 picks to give you paws for thought on your next visit to Bristol…

Westonbirt arboretum

Dog-friendly Westonbirt Arboretum, photo credit Angharad Paull

1. Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills

Easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there, this Oldbury Court Estate and Snuff Mills are snuck in behind a residential area in the city. Perfect for dog-walkers in need of wheel-friendly paths and child entertainment, this green-spaced Bristol jewel has plenty of wheelchair and buggy-friendly footpaths, woodland, riverside walks, and bird and squirrel life, as well as on and off lead areas for pooches. There’s also a fantastic playground for kids and a snack kiosk which sells coffee, snacks and doggie treats!

Oldbury Court Snuff Mills Bristol

Visit Bristol, Dog-friendly Oldbury Court & Snuff Mills

2. Leigh Woods

Over Bristol’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, opposite Ashton Court Estate is a beautiful nature reserve owned by the National Trust (entry is free). It’s a good dog walk to know about on a rainy day as many of the paths run under cover of woodland, great if you have a four-legged friend or a child to wear out. There’s a variety of colour coded pathways (some are buggy-friendly) and mountain bike trails to choose from and often family-friendly activities such as den building going on. The best bits have to be the stunning views across the gorge to the suspension bridge from Nightingale Valley or drop down to the River Avon via Paradise Bottom to see the bridge from below.

Leigh Woods Bristol

Dog-friendly Leigh Woods, photo credit Angharad Paull

3. Eastville Park

With tons of open, grassy parkland – perfect for a game of fetch or a summer’s picnic - Eastville Park also has its own fishing lake, wild flower meadows, children's playground and football pitches.

It’s possible to walk all the way along the River Frome on the Frome Valley Walkway, starting in Castle Park in the Centre of Bristol, through Eastville Park and Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills – a lovely dog-friendly space in itself (see above). Ducks and swans are regulars on Eastville Park’s lovely lake and there are lots of swimming opportunities along the river for overheated or water-loving pups.

Eastville Park, Paul Box

Dog-friendly Eastville Park, photo credit Paul Box

4. Blaise Castle Estate

Extremely popular with families, thanks to facilities such as refreshments, museum, buggy-friendly paths, epic children's play area and toilets. The first things you see when you leave the Kings Weston (free) car park are a huge grassy play area and hillock hiding a folly castle. Pathways lead past the impressive stately home and museum, through a wooded gorge that is ideal for stick hunting to a babbling brook – perfect for dogs and welly-wearers to splash in. And if doggy walking with a bit of mythical history thrown in is your thing, the fabled story of the Bristol Giants, Goram and Ghyston, tells how Bristol’s landscape was shaped. The myth alludes to landmarks which exist today, visit them for yourself – Goram’s Chair, Gorge and ‘tantrum’ footprint all lie in the grounds of Blaise Castle Estate.

 blaise castle

Visit Bristol, dog-friendly Blaise Castle Estate

5. Ashton Court Estate

Ashton Court Estate is a huge dollop of countryside a stone’s throw from the city of Bristol. A short hop over Brunel’s Clifton Suspension bridge and you’re in 850 acres of enchanting wide-open green space and woodland. Cyclists, mountain-bikers, horse riders, hot air balloonists, golfers and families flock here to enjoy the grounds. Deer wander in fenced-off areas, festivals are a calendar regular and the views across the city are not to be missed. Behind the stately home there’s a lovely dog-friendly café in the old stables and plenty of wheelchair and buggy-friendly paths.

Ashton court estate bristol

Dog-friendly Ashton Court Estate, photo credit Angharad Paull

6. Conham River Park

Conham River Park is a short walk but there’s plenty of extras to make this a lovely day out - lots of different paths, picnic benches and even bat caves. Part of the River Avon Trail (which starts in Pill and goes all the Pulteney Bridge in Bath), you can walk for as long or little as your like along the river – onto Trooper’s Hill or the lovely Hanham Lock is about an hour’s walk away.

Not far from Conham River car park, along the river, you can catch a ferry across to Beese’s Tea Gardens (return trip around 50p). They do a mean Sunday Roast and have a cider/beer garden which is perfectly lovely in summer.

Alternatively catch a boat to Beese’s Tearooms from either Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Watershed or Welsh Back –Bristol Ferry Boats welcome well-behaved dogs on a lead and Bristol Packet Boat Trips are canine-friendly for some trips – just call beforehand to check.

Conham river ferry

Conham River Ferry, photo credit Hugh Jones

7. Westonbirt Arboretum

Prepare to be amazed by the English countryside with a visit to one of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in the world, Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.  Whatever the season, exploring its magical grounds will delight doggies and owners alike. Go in autumn when trees blaze with fiery colours and delicious natural aromas scent the air or stunning candy-coloured blooms and bluebell carpets in spring.

A short drive from Bristol, Westonbirt Arboretum’s dog-friendly, Silk Wood takes up two thirds of the arboretum’s six hundred acres of trees (only the Old Arboretum is a dog-free zone), and has levels of accessibility to suit a range of visitors.  Dog bins and poo bags are available on-site and doggy water is available at the restaurant.

Westonbirt arboretum

Dog-friendly Westonbirt Arboretum, photo credit Angharad Paull

8. The Downs

The Downs, is one of the largest green expanses in the city – 440 acres in size, it borders Clifton Village, Clifton and Redland. It’s perfect for picnic on a lazy summer day, a game of football, Ultimate Frisbee or a dog walk. At one end, there’s a café and toilets right next to the water tower, selling coffee, cake and lunch with lots of outdoor seating and water bowls for pups. Head to the Sea Walls end for an ice cream and stunning views down the Avon Gorge to the Clifton Suspension Bridge on your left and out to the Severn Bridge and Wales to your right.

The Downs Bristol

Dog-friendly The Downs, photo credit Ann Brook

9. Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield is a spectacular National Trust Victorian Gothic Revival estate situated near Wraxall, North Somerset. You may recognise the house from the most recent Sherlock episode or from the latest Dr Thorne programme. Visit the estate from 1 November to end of Feb when dogs are welcome to walk around the whole estate (on a lead) except in the walled garden. From March to October, owners may walk dogs on a lead on two circular woodland estate walks. There are also dog water bowls available and a waste bin.

Tyntesfield

Dog-friendly Tyntesfield, photo credit Douglas Paull

10. Kings Weston House

People rave about Kings Weston House in North Bristol for our waggy friends.  The Grade I* listed landscape covers 300 acres of open and wooded areas, historic buildings and gorgeous gardens. Home to the oldest avenue of lime trees in Bristol, there’s also a dog and kiddy friendly café serving yummy breakfasts, and lunches. For exceptional views across the River Avon and Somerset towards Bristol, head for the Georgian viewing terrace at the top of the gardens.

Inca dog friendly

Dog-friendly Bristol, Visit Bristol, photo credit Angharad Paull

Plan your pooch-tastic stay in Bristol with a look through our dog-friendly pages, including things to do, places to stay and places to eat.

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