Places to go walking in Bristol: locations, trails and useful tools

Places to go walking in Bristol: locations, trails and useful tools

Posted on: 19 May 2020

Street art, local history and a deer park: explore Bristol on foot with these trails and tools. 


Did you know? It’s Mental Health Awareness Week! This week is a great chance to reflect on your mental health, and consider the ways you like to sustain it.


But in lockdown, some top mental health pick-me-ups (like meeting with friends or going to the gym) are on pause, so it’s time to get creative.


According to health walk charity Walking for Health, being active improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it can reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue.


So why not boost your wellbeing in lockdown with a walk in Bristol? Here’s a few places you can stretch your legs in and around the city. 


Explore Bristol Harbourside with a Heritage Trail


Want to soak up some Bristol history? Enjoy a Heritage Trail along the Bristol Harbourside.


This website ( is packed with different routes to explore, complete with historical insights.


The trails were created back in 2009 to celebrate the bicentenary of the Harbour.

Bristol Harbourside

Amble through Leigh Woods 


Veteran trees, brilliant views and sunny paths: why not discover Leigh Woods on a Spring walk?


With the help of this National Trust ‘Woodland Wonder’ walking route, you can enjoy a circular walk past dramatic views of the river.

Leigh Woods. Credit: National Trust

Visit The Downs


Extend your Leigh Woods walk with a stroll on Clifton Down and Durdham Down - large, green open spaces in Clifton.


Here, you’ll find panoramic views of the Avon Gorge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Discover a variety of nature-themed walking trails here.


Local artist Lou Baker has recently created a wishing tree on The Downs, where positive messages – or ‘ribbons of hope’ - have been tied to tree branches. Get ready to feel uplifted. 



Explore Blaise Castle Estate


Take a trip up into North Bristol and discover Blaise Castle Estate: a Grade II* listed historic landscape with recorded human activity dating back 2,000 years.


Want to discover the estate’s Gothic sham castle? (See below.) Follow this trail, titled 'Castle Walk': it’s a woodland trail that lasts just over 40 minutes.


This walk will also take you past Butcher’s Cave (one of the estate’s man made caves) and The Giant’s footprint – a limestone pavement rock formation.



Discover the history of central Bristol with Placeum


In 2018, a local Bristol resident and ex-journalist, Sam Green, launched Placeum: an interactive map loaded with bitesized insights into local history.


From riots in Queens Square to Prince Albert’s visit to The SS Great Britain, Placeum offers engaging commentaries about the key topics, people, and themes that have forged the city that Bristol is today. 

Plug it in next time you're on a stroll around the city centre and see what you discover. 


Roam Southville and Bedminster in search of street art 


Southville is the hub of Upfest, Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival.


So if you wanted to inject a bit of creativity and colour into your walk, we’d recommend taking a stroll through the streets of Bedminster and Southville.


Don’t know where to start? Kick off with North Street, which is where you’ll find the Upfest Gallery (pictured below).


Alternatively, take notes from this Bedminster/Southville walking trail.


Take a stroll in Ashton Court Estate 


Want to extend your street art-fuelled stroll?


Head to Long Ashton and meander through Ashton Court Estate; a historic house, grounds and deer park boasting 850-acres of woodland and gardens.

Ashton Court’s deer park

Take on the River Avon Trail


Looking for a long walk? Get cracking on the 23-mile River Avon Trail. It runs from Pill in North Somerset to Pulteney Bridge, Bath. 


Luckily, The River Avon Trail covers Leigh Woods and Bristol’s Floating Harbour - for when you aren't in the mood for a hike. 
River AvonRead more:

Article by:

Kate Hutchison

Kate Hutchison, co-Editor & Editor 

Kate is a recent Philosophy graduate and freelance writer with a passion for digital content, music and lifestyle journalism. Find Kate in a coffee shop, on Twitter or email