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Wellness & Nature

7 Brilliant Bristol Parks And Gardens To Get You Back To Nature

By Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd

parks-bristol-troopers-hill

Park yourself down at these spots.

Fancy some fresh air or an escapism from your four walls? Whether you fancy a Sunday stroll or you want to drag yourself around somewhere a bit more scenic, then head to these green parks, gardens. estates and nature reserves in and around Bristol.

1. Brandon Hill Park

Brandon Hill Park is one of the oldest parks in Bristol, where you can enjoy great views over the city and Harbourside area. Located just off Park Street in the West End, Brandon Hill features a children’s play area, beautiful paths and a nature conservation area, and of course the icon of Bristol’s skyline, Cabot Tower. Made from red sandstone and covered with cream Bath stone, the 105ft tower built was built to commemorate John Cabot’s famous voyage from Bristol and the continent of North America four hundred years earlier. Usually pen daily, you’ll find Cabot Tower in the centre of the park, and it’s free to climb up the steep, twisting steps of the tower, to then be rewarded with panoramic views. Unfortunately, with the current lockdown restrictions, parks in Bristol have been affected, including Cabot Tower in Brandon Hill Park, which is closed- but you can still get some impressive views without having to go up the tower.

Brandon Hill Park, Park Street, BS1 5RR

2. Arnos Vale Cemetery

Arnos Vale is internationally recognised as one of Britain’s best examples of a Victorian garden cemetery, set in a leafy 45-acre Arcadian landscape dotted with classical buildings, historic monuments, sweeping carriage drives and leafy walks lined with wildflowers. It is a working cemetery and often described as a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity in an otherwise busy part of a bustling city, as you’ll only tend to hear the sounds of wildlife here. Entry is free, however the cemetery‘s income has has been hugely hit by the pandemic so donations are very welcomed at this time. There is also a cafe, open from 9.30am-3.30pm for you to grab hot drinks to takeaway and wander the grounds with. The Bath Road gates are open from 9.30am until 4pm, Monday – Saturday.

Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bath Road, BS4 3EW

3. Oldbury Court and Snuff Mills

Oldbury Court is a beautiful and diverse estate, combining woodland and riverside paths with historic parkland and children’s play facilities. The estate is a great place for a day out, featuring big green spaces and picnic areas, and is popular with walkers for its varied landscape and panoramic views. You’ll also find a nature trail, orienteering path and lots of bird and squirrel life, despite only being around three miles out of the city centre. 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, where you’ll discover beautiful flowing water and it’s a great place to dust off those cobwebs from being inside for so long.

Oldbury Court Estate, Oldbury Court Road, Fishponds, BS16 2JH

4. Troopers Hill Nature Reserve

Troopers Hill Nature Reserve is a local nature reserve in the St George area of east Bristol, and is owned by Bristol Parks. It is a hillside that has been quarried and mined in the past and overlooks the River Avon. With history, wild plants, animals, stunning views and two listed chimneys, Troopers Hill Nature Reserve is one of the most spectacular wildlife spots in the city. And to top this all off, Troopers Hill Nature Reserve has won the prestigious Green Flag Award every year since 2007. There is free unrestricted access every day. There are various trails that you can explore on Troopers Hill including one through the woodland. Troopers Hill also happens to be a great place for kite flying as it’s pretty much always windy there.

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Trooper’s Hill, off Trooper’s Hill Road, BS5 8XX

5. Greville Smyth Park

Greville Smyth Park was originally part of Ashton Court Estate, but is now a very popular local community park in south Bristol, next door to Bristol City’s football ground. The park, formerly named ‘The People’s Park Bedminster,’ is well known for its splendid trees (there are around 46 different species of tree in the park), fine views, exciting children’s play area and varied community-led activity programme. You will also find tennis courts, football pitches, playing areas, a ping pong table, five outdoor exercise stations and a bowling green within the park.

Greville Smyth Park, Ashton Road, BS3 2EA

6. The Downs

The Downs consists of Clifton Down and Durdham Down and is a whopping 440 acres in size. It’s pretty flat and therefore suitable for all, especially when it comes to getting some fresh air with your household. support bubble or one person from another household. Bordering Clifton and Redland, there are some beautiful houses to admire as well as tree-lined avenues and stunning views over the Avon Gorge, Clifton Suspension Bridge and the distant Severn Bridge. Extend your walk towards Clifton Village and warm yourself up with a takeaway hot chocolate from one of the many cafés there.

The Downs, Stoke Road, Clifton, BS9 1FG

7. Ashton Court Estate

Get some fresh air at Ashton Court Estate, a massive stretch of countryside that lies just the other side of Clifton Suspension Bridge. The 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). Plus, it is also the venue for the infamous Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Ashton Court Estate has been home to deer for over 600 years so you’ll find plenty of deer wandering in fenced-off areas, as well as breathtaking views across the city, especially when bathed in a magical wintry light. Behind the stately home there’s a dog-friendly café in the old stables which is open for takeaway only currently. This estate is also a great spot for sledging, should it be cold enough for snow.

Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, BS41 9JN

[Featured Image: Unsplash]

Read more: These Are The Best Walks Less Than One Hour From Bristol