Warm summer weather calls for al fresco eating at some of Bristol's best picnic spots.

Please remember to take your rubbish home with you, to help keep our parks and green spaces clean. 

1. The Downs

The Downs is an enormous expanse of green up in Clifton and is loved year-round by runners, dog walkers, Nordic walkers and all. But in the summertime it really comes into its own as a place for picnics. Once you're done relaxing on the grass, pay a visit to 360 Cafe at Clifton Observatory for spectacular views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon Gorge from their rooftop terrace.

2. Ashton Court Estate

For wide open space and the feeling of being out in the countryside, you can’t beat Ashton Court. The historic estate is made up of 850 acres of ancient woodland and parkland. You can watch the resident deer roam the grounds and find beautiful views of the city, take a ride on the miniature railway, or even play some disc golf. You'll also find The Courtyard Cafe next to the house and car park if you need more snacks or to use the bathroom, or The Golf Hub Cafe sells hot and cold drinks as well as a range of nibbles if you're running low on supplies!

Ashton Court Estate and mansion

3. Brandon Hill

The oldest park in Bristol affords some of the finest views in the city from Cabot Tower (which is free to enter when open). After lunch, if you’re still hungry for more, you can explore the nature reserve, go on a tree trail or take the kids to the children's play area.

4. St Andrews Park

This classic Victorian beauty is a great place to soak up summer vibes thanks to its gorgeous wildflower meadow, blooming right about now. Kids will also love exploring the playground and splashing in their shallow swimming pool! 

St Andrews Park playground

5. College Green

Located at the bottom of Park Street, College Green is a truly urban oasis. Whilst you sit here tucking into your cheese and pickle sandwiches, consider that there has been a green space here since the 1100s – owned by Bristol Cathedral, a rare example of a city centre cathedral.

College Green in Bristol

6. Castle Park

This central park, found between the Old City and Bristol Shopping Quarter, has a lot of stories to tell. It was the site of Bristol Castle, then the city’s bustling shopping mecca and in more recent years various celebrations and events. Stop into the Vaulted Chambers Cafe for drinks and snacks in the only remaining part of the medieval castle!

Castle Park and Bristol skyline

7. Victoria Park

Victoria Park in Bedminster is a lovely relaxed space for a bite to eat with friends. And if you want to burn off the excess energy from all those mini pork pies and cocktail sausages then there are tennis courts, nine exercise stations including hurdles and leap frogs plus a 1700m route for walkers and joggers. There are also a couple of playgrounds on either side of the park to keep the little ones busy too.

8. St George Park

At St George Park you can feed the ducks as well as yourselves as there’s a lovely lake to wander round. There’s a large wheels park for BMX, skateboards and scooters, plus a children's playground. The Bake Box is on hand  in the middle of the park for ice creams, coffees and oven-baked goodies.

Other great local spots for a picnic

Queen Square - An elegant Georgian square where you can relax in the heart of the city. 

Eastville Park - Home to a fishing lake, basketball courts, playground and the Frome Valley riverside walk. 

Blaise Castle Estate - Explore 400 acres of parkland and woodlands, home to Blaise Castle House Museum, a folly castle, playground and cafe

Chew Valley Lake - A big reservoir great for bird watching with cosy picnic areas. 

Read next:

Parks & Gardens in Bristol

Lesser-known walking routes in Bristol

Spring walks in Bristol

Top 10 dog walks in Bristol

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Bristol’s best picnic spots

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The Downs
Municipal Park
The Downs Bristol

Consisting of Clifton Down and Durdham Down, this is a huge area of protected parkland on the edge of the city

Ashton Court Estate
Garden
Ashton Court Estate Bristol

Historic 850-acre parkland with mansion, two pitch-and-putt golf courses, deer park, miniature railway, orienteering and nature trails

Castle Park and St Peter's Church
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Castle Park Bristol - St Peter's Church

A picturesque park offering a quiet place to sit or stroll, right alongside the tranquil waters of the city harbour

Queen Square
Municipal Park
Queen Square - Copyright Destination Bristol

A magnificent Georgian park area in the heart of Bristol, surrounded by trees and cobbled streets.

Bristol Cathedral
Cathedral/Minster
Bristol Cathedral

Much more than a fascinating building, being a fine example of a hall church, it is a centre of Bristol's history, civic life and culture.

Brandon Hill Nature Reserve
Country Park/Nature Reserve
Brandon Hill Nature Reserve

Brandon Hill Nature Park is located in the city-centre and is a haven for wildlife. During spring and summer there are many beautiful flowers that blossom here in the park, which give the park some colour.

Victoria Park Playgrounds
Adventure Park/Playground
Victoria Park Playgrounds

There is plenty of choice in Victoria Park since the park has 3 separate play areas, 1 on the northern end of Nutgrove Avenue, 1 at St Lukes Road and 1 at Fraser Street.