Crisp air, frost-coated foliage and beautiful views - an invigorating wintry walk is the perfect way to experience Bristol this season. So head out on one of these head-clearing strolls around Bristol…

Clifton suspension bridge
Image - Clifton Suspension Bridge

The Harbourside  

When the mist rises on a chilly winter’s morn, the Harbourside is a sight to behold. You can walk round the whole Floating Harbour in a circuit that ticks off many of Bristol’s sights in one go.

Start outside M Shed and carry on past CARGO at Wapping Wharf, then on towards Spike Island, Brunel’s SS Great Britain and Underfall Yard, spotting Cabot Tower, The Matthew, a Banksy and multi-coloured houses as you go.

Loop back round through Millennium Square, past We The Curious, Watershed and Arnolfini. Warm your cockles with some scrumptious grub at one of the many fantastic restaurants, cafes and bars that line the water’s edge.

Colourful houses in the snow
Image - Redcliffe in the snow

The Downs

Particularly striking when covered in a frosty blanket, The Downs is a whopping 440 acres in size. It’s pretty flat and therefore suitable for miniature legs and any mobility.

Bordering Clifton and Redland, there are some beautiful houses to swoon over as well as tree-lined avenues and stunning views over the Avon Gorge, Clifton Suspension Bridge and distant Severn Bridge. Finish up in handsome Clifton Village and warm your bones with a hot chocolate from one of the many cafés.  

Snowy downsImage - The Downs

Twinkly urban walk

Make the most of Bristol’s yuletide illuminations and glittering walkways with an amble starting from the fountains near the Harbourside, all the way up lung-busting Park Street and on to Clifton Village, where the elegant shop fronts are decorated with Christmas trees.

Run out of puff halfway? No problem, stop for a glorious pick-me-up from from one of the cafes along Park Street and Queens Road.

Park Street Christmas lightsImage - Christmas lights on Park Street

Cabot Tower and Brandon Hill

Located just off Park Street, Brandon Hill offers mighty views over Bristol, all the way out to the Mendip Hills – even more enchanting when the ground is a frost-bitten white. Banish shivers with a walk up to Cabot Tower where the views get even better! 

Blaise Castle Estate

Very popular with families, thanks to its folly castle, buggy-friendly paths and humongous children's play area. Pathways lead past the impressive stately home and museum, through a wooded gorge. Youngsters will love seeking landmarks relating to the mythical Bristol giants within the grounds. 

Folly castle on Blaise Estate
Image - Blaise Castle

Ashton Court Estate

Take some winter air at Ashton Court Estate, a massive stretch of countryside that lies just the other side of Clifton Suspension Bridge. 850 acres of wide-open green space and woodland welcome cyclists, mountain-bikers, horse riders, golfers, families and walkers (and plenty of wheelchair and buggy-friendly paths).

Deer wander in fenced-off areas and the views across the city are breath-taking, especially when bathed in a magical wintry light, and behind the stately home there’s a dog-friendly café in the old stables. A great spot for sledging, should it be cold enough for snow.

Ashton Court EstateImage - Ashton Court Estate

Leigh Woods

Not far from Ashton Court Estate, this National Trust woodland is great for a drizzly day as many of the paths run under cover of the trees. There’s a range of colour coded paths (some are buggy-friendly) and mountain bike tracks as well as a play trail for little ones and often family-friendly activities going on.

For a great wintry photo opportunity, make your way to Nightingale Valley on the edge of the woods for jaw-dropping views over the Avon Gorge and Suspension Bridge.

Leigh woodsImage - Nightingale Valley, Leigh Woods, credit Liz Milner

Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills 

Perfect for strollers in need of wheel-friendly paths and kiddy entertainment, there’s a wonderful play park for kids, riverside walks, a nature trail, orienteering path and lots of bird and squirrel life. Beyond the parkland, you can follow the path down to the river Frome, then on towards Snuff Mills, an historic section of the Frome Valley Walkway. 

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 fabulous architecture. 

Arnos Vale in the winter mist
Image - Arnos Vale Cemetery


Amble around the National Trust’s Tyntesfield extensive gardens and parkland during the winter months and then warm up with a hot drink from The Cow Barn. 

TyntesfieldImage - Tyntesfield, credit Steve Young

Westonbirt The National Arboretum

Come Christmas time, Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas (selected dates between 1 - 23 December) sees its beautiful forest trails come alive at night, illuminated in dazzling colours and festooned with thrilling sensory experiences along the way. Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt
Image - Enchanted Christmas, Westonbirt

Chew Valley

Just a short drive out of Bristol and you’re in the beautiful rolling countryside of the Chew Valley. For a lovely rural ramble, the Chew Magna walk is a lovely circular riverside walk, starting from Chew Valley Lake picnic area and passing through picturesque villages, Chew Stoke and Chew Magna before returning to the lakeside. 

Chew Valley Lake
Image - Chew Valley Lake

WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Celebrate the wonder of winter birds at Slimbridge, one of the UK’s best nature reserves, just a short motor up the M5. A lovely place to roam around just gazing at birdlife.

Wild Bird FeedImage - Wild Bird Feed, WWT Slimbridge

Cheddar Gorge

A world-famous beauty spot and one of the UK’s most spectacular natural sights, not far from Bristol. The cliff top gorge walk, with its sweeping views, dramatic cliffs, crags, pinnacles and caverns make this an exhilarating spot for a bracing winter walk. Keep an eye out for local wildlife – the gorge is home to goats, sheep, bats and birds.

Cheddar GorgeImage - Cheddar Gorge

More things to do in Bristol this winter: 


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

Clifton Suspension Bridge
Historic Site
Clifton Suspension Bridge credit Chris Hartley

The world famous bridge and the iconic symbol of Bristol, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1831 and completed in 1864 after his death

Clifton Village
Shopping in Clifton Village Bristol

Georgian shopping Quarter full of upmarket, independent shops which is a delight to explore.

Park Street
Park Street Bristol

A great selection of trendy clothes boutiques, music and records stores, bars and restaurants, furniture and art galleries.

Cabot Tower and Brandon Hill
Cabot Tower and Brandon Hill Bristol

Cabot Tower is a century-old 105ft tower, set in the gorgeous parkland of Brandon Hill near Park Street in the West End.

Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate
Blaise Castle House Museum and Estate Bristol

Unique mansion that houses some stunning period costumes and everyday Victorian objects, including model trains, dolls and toys

Ashton Court Estate
Ashton Court Estate Bristol

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

Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills
Parkland/Woodland Garden
Walking along the river Frome - Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills Bristol

Enjoy a great family day out with woodland and riverside walks, an arboretum and large children's playground.

Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust
Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust

Step into a secret world and discover 45 green acres where the history of Bristol is told in a leafy and tranquil setting.

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum
Enchanted Christmas CREDIT Johnny Hathaway

An illuminated celebration of Westonbirt's wonderful trees.

WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre
Animal Collection
Canoe safari at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre

At WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre you can have a taste of the wild, without having to get your feet muddy - unless you want to!

Cheddar Gorge & Caves
Cheddar Gorge panorama

Visit the spectacular Cheddar Gorge and Caves, boasting awe-inspiring cliffs and extraordinary subterranean stalactite show caves, plus it holds many fascinating secrets about our prehistoric ancestors. What are you waiting for? Nature, wildlife, history, adventure - experience the wonder of it all on a perfect all-season day out in Somerset.