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 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 routes.

Here’s our top 10 dog walks to give you paws for thought on your next visit to Bristol…

1. Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills

Easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there, 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 Bristol gem has plenty of flat 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 selling coffee, snacks and doggie treats!

Oldbury Court Snuff Mills Bristol

Image - 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.

View of Clifton Suspension Bridge from Nightingale Valley, Leigh Woods

Image - Leigh Woods, credit Liz Milner

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, wildflower 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. 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.

Lake at Eastville Park

Image - Eastville Park, credit Paul Box

4. Blaise Castle Estate

Blaise Castle Estate is 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. 

If dog 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

Image - 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

Image - Ashton Court Estate, 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 way to 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, you can catch a ferry across to Beese’s Tea Gardens (open seasonally, so check before you visit). They do a mean Sunday Roast and have a beer garden which is perfectly lovely in summer.

Alternatively catch a boat to Beese’s 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

Image - Conham River Ferry, 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.

Autumn leaves at Westonbirt Arboretum

Image - Westonbirt Arboretum, credit Forestry Commission

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 a picnic on a lazy summer day, a game of football, 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

Image - The Downs, credit Ann Brook

9. Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield is a spectacular National Trust Victorian Gothic Revival estate situated near Wraxall, North Somerset, home to beautiful parkland and gardens. Dogs are welcome to walk around the whole estate (on a lead) except in the Walled Garden and Rose Garden. There are also dog water bowls available and a waste bin.

Tyntesfield

Image - Tyntesfield, 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 kid-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

Image 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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Top 10 Dog Walks in Bristol

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