Bristol Walks & Walking Routes

Bristol and its surrounding countryside have many opportunities for those wishing to enjoy a leisurely stroll or a hike. The city is often described as "best explored on foot" due to its high proportion of pedestrian-only areas, hidden streets and numerous parks and green spaces. We even have an annual Walking festival!

You can enjoy a sightseeing stroll, guided and themed tours, a longer promenade on the outskirts and a full day's trek in the nearby countryside of Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. So get those walking shoes on, grab a map and explore!

Bristol City Walking

Bristol's central area – which includes the Harbourside, Old City, and Bristol Shopping Quarter – is well signposted for visitors on foot. Look out for the blue information points dotted throughout the city, which feature detailed street maps and key points of interest to help you find your way. Download a map of the city centre to start exploring, or discover Bristol at your own pace with our free MP3 audio tours.

Alternatively, you may want to follow one of these walks:

The Harbourside

The Harbourside is a great place to enjoy the city views and traffic-free strolling. Follow one of the Harbour Heritage Trails, or make your way to M Shed, as it is a starting point for as many as 20 walking itineraries including a sculpture trail, city-centre nature trail and churches trail. M Shed also offers a range of guided walking tours on selected days which are £5 suggested donation. See the M Shed website for more details.

To take a walk around the historic Old City and what remains of the Norman city walls, follow the Old City Heritage Trail.

Guided and Themed Walks

There are lots of guided and themed walks that you can choose to take around the city, in which experts will highlight specific interest points along the way. Find out more in our walking tours page.

Get an introduction to Bristol's history on the Blackbeard to Banksy - The Ultimate Walking Tour, sample the best of Bristol's foodie indepenents with Food Tours of Bristol, see the latest murals with Bristol Street Art Walking Tours, or discover the geology and history of Bristol on a walk with Steps in Stone.

We also have several themed walking guides depending on the time of year. If you're looking for a  route to take in some street art, the Banksy Walking Tour is a free, self-guided tour of the city.

Bristol Bridges Walk

Take the Bristol Bridges Walk that takes you over all 45 bridges in the city without crossing the same one twice. Or perhaps just pick and section and tackle a shorter route. You can download the instructions/map/gpx file for the walk (or cycle-ride) for free. Read more about some of the bridges and the route in the 4 of Bristol’s ‘other’ bridges blog.

Explore Bristol's Districts

Head out of the city centre and experience Bristol's neighbourhoods on foot. There are a number of special walks including the Bristol South Skyline Walk, where you can see magnificent views of Bristol, and learn about the history, wildlife and people of one of the lesser known areas in Bristol. Starting from near Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station, the walk is available as a long walk and a shorter one for people who want something which is less strenuous but still has plenty to offer in terms of interest.

East Bristol has many different parks, green spaces and nature reserves to explore and stretch your legs in. Discover East Bristol is an interactive map where you can find out more about the walks and facilities in each place.

Countryside Walks

The countryside is close at hand, wherever you are in Bristol. The city is a great base for exploring Somerset, Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, the Mendip Hills and Wiltshire. Discover sweeping hills, tumbling rivers, dramatic caves, serene woodland and fantastic beaches.

We recommend trying some of the Avon Wildlife Trust walks on the outskirts of Bristol, including the River Avon Trail, the Bristol and Bath Railway Path and the Frome Valley Walkway

Coastal Walks

Bristol is near some stunning coastline, most of which is walkable.

The new King Charles III England Coast Path is being developed between Aust and Brean Down, with some sections already open. There are many coastal heritage walks in North Somerset including Poet's Walk in Clevedon, Walking Weston's History and Battery Point in Clevedon.

The National Trust also have some coastal walks in North Somerset including the Brean Down Coastal Walk and Sand Point Circular Coast Walk.

Maps and Route Planning

TravelWestOutdoors West and Go Jauntly have walking sections that allow you to plan routes and find maps.

You can download a free map of Bristol to print out and take with you before you go, or you can even request a brochure be sent to you.

Parks and Green Spaces

Bristol has hundreds of beautiful parks and green spaces, from magnificent municipal spaces such as the historic Queen Square to parks great for sports and picnics such as Greville Smyth. Here you can walk, have a picnic, admire scenery or meet friends.

Many of the city's parks, also have their own downloadable walks that you can follow, including The Downs, Blaise Castle Estate, Arnos Vale Cemetery, Ashton Court Estate, Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills, Leigh Woods, Stoke Park Estate, Troopers Hill and Frenchay Moor.

Adventure Walking

If you like a bit more adventure in your walks, then Bristol has something for you too.

There are also Treasure Hunts, Geocaching and Orienteering trails that you can enjoy.

Useful Links

Here are some other handy resources for walkers.

Walk inspiration...

Put on your walking boots and head out on a walk in and around Bristol.

Our very own walking festivals

Find the perfect walk for you...

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