Covering around 850 acres of stunning countryside, Ashton Court Estate is a country park and mansion that dates back to the 11th century. Designed by Humphry Repton, the estate is surrounded by beautiful gardens and woodlands, where you can visit old oak trees and see the deer graze. The mansion and stables are Grade I listed due to its history and architecture. Because it’s undergone many changes and owners, the building boasts a number of architectural styles, Strawberry Hill Gothic to the left, Italian Renaissance windows to the right, a Victorian Porte cochere in the centre, simple Tudor mullion and Gothic tracery windows.
Located just 10 minutes from the centre of Bristol, the easiest way to get to the beloved destination is by bus. Take the X4 direction Portishead and get off at Clanage Road, Bower Ashton. From there it’s only a 6 minute walk to the public park.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Ashton Court Estate
1. The current building was constructed in the 15th century by the Smyth family.
The estate is believed to have originated as far back as the 11th century. However, the current Ashton Court Mansion that stands today was constructed in the late 15th century by the Smyth family, who were wealthy merchants, lawyers and devoted Royalists. Their family ended up owning the estate for 400 years.
2. During WWI the building was used as a military hospital.
As was the case with many mansions at the time, the building was used as a military hospital during the First World War. Whereas in the Second World War, it was requisitioned by the War Office and used instead as a transit camp, RAF HQ and US Army Command HQ.
3. The annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is held at Ashton Court.
What’s more, one of the most well-known events held at Ashton Court is the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, where hot air balloons take to the skies, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The park’s wide expanses provide an ideal launching and landing area for the balloons.
What can you do at Ashton Court Estate?
The estate offers a range of recreational activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy, such as extensive walking and cycling trails, horse riding and golf. There are two 18-hole pitch-and-putt golf courses, with stunning views across the city. Also, the vast open spaces and picturesque landscapes make it a popular spot for picnics, family outings and outdoor events. It is open Monday to Sunday from 8am. Closing times are different throughout the year.
Ashton Court Estate’s scenic beauty and serene ambiance make it a perfect place for nature lovers to unwind and connect with the great outdoors. The vast park has also hosted intimate Candlelight concerts in the open air, where timeless composers of the yesteryear, as well as contemporary artists, have been celebrated.
The picturesque woodlands and the striking mansion provided the perfect backdrop to these enchanting tribute concerts. Although the estate no longer hosts Candlelight concerts, you can listen to some of your favourite music in a new light surrounded by hundreds of flickering candles at other stunning venues across the city.