The Best Hikes in Bristol
Bristol is a really amazing place to visit for so many reasons. There are great places to eat in this lovely city and there are also excellent museums, fascinating historical monuments, and lots of really enjoyable free things to do in this city. Whether you have arrived via Bristol Airport or have come through a train station like Bristol Temple Meads, you will have easy access to the best parts of this city right away.
The first thing that you need to take care of when you get to Bristol is luggage storage. Having your luggage in safe storage in Bristol is essential to give you peace of mind during your stay. Once you have secured your luggage, you can head out to enjoy the miles of hiking trails that this city has to offer!
No matter what skill level of hike you are looking for, there are great walking trail options and footpaths that you can enjoy during your stay.
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Bristol
This lovely hike is accessed via the Clifton Suspension Bridge. This is a National Trust woodland, and it is groomed and well-cared- for during all the seasons of the year. On a clear day, you get a great view from the bridge of the city of Bristol and also of Clifton. This park offers miles of trails to enjoy, and there are path options for all skill levels.
You will find that this is one of the most picturesque areas of the city, and meadows and lovely views of Bristol are only part of the special sights to be taken in on any trail in this area. It's also an easy place to get to thanks to Bristol's great public transportation system, and you can learn more about how to get around Bristol here.
Blaise Castle House Museum & Estate
This location is actually part of the Mythical Bristol Giants walking tour, and this estate and its lovely park is one of the best places to walk and hike in this area. Hikers will have access to a large children's play area here as well as a museum inside the lovely mansion.
This is a woodland area with miles of trail to enjoy, and many of the choices that you pick will lead you on foot through the parkland and up each soft hill without much challenge. The main trail passes near a babbling stream, and you can see for miles when you head back to the area of the home itself.
Arnos Vale Cemetery
Located just off Bath Road, this cemetery location is both historical and really enjoyable for walking. You can head here for access to 45 acres of trails that vary in difficulty. The park is littered with interesting architecture and follies, and you will come upon something interesting at the top of almost every hill.
For access to a quiet walk through a meadow or a more challenging climb up a hill with a view, this is a good choice to make. The hushed and slightly somber area is one of the nicest hiking locations in the city.
Bristol Harbourside Walk
This walk through the Bristol city center takes about an hour but is a gentle and easy route for those who don't want to sweat a lot or those with kids tagging along. This walk takes you along the waterfront, and you will be able to enjoy the activity of the water as well as people-watching along this path. You can also take a seat and rest on the benches that are placed here and there alongside the water. With some excellent restaurants in the area, it's also a great place to enjoy the best brunch in Bristol.
The Lock Keeper – St George’s Park Loop from Lawrence Hill
This is a beautiful location that is full of expert trails, and you will see so much of Bristol's most beautiful scenery on this hike. This hike is well-maintained, but areas are really steep, and there are miles of trails to enjoy here as well. You will be able to work up a sweat on these foot trails with ease, and the views from some of the higher places along the path are really lovely.
This lovely garden and walking path is a National Trust Victorian site. The home and the grounds are maintained as a museum and park, and there are events here like Easter Egg hunts as well as other seasonal parties. The walking paths here are quite easy and well-maintained, and you can bring people of all ages here to enjoy the scenery and get a little exercise. Plus, it's free to visit, and you can read about more great free things to do in Bristol here.
There are many flower gardens here as well as rare and beautiful trees, so this is a great choice for those who love plants and want to hike through miles of gardens and maintained grounds.
Brandon Hill & Cabot Tower
This is a more challenging climb than many of the other trail locations near the city, and you can enjoy miles of meadows with beautiful flowers and a climb to the top of Cabot Tower. The view from this spot is sensational and well worth the effort.
For those who want a bit of an aerobic climb, this is a great location to head for your hiking adventure while you are in Bristol.
Street Art Walking Tours
If you like art and you want to enjoy a peaceful and simple walk, the various street art tours that are offered in the city are a great choice for your hike. You will be able to tour various areas of the city when you sign up for one of these tours and enjoy all of the lovely art that is on display in the city.
Banksy made many appearances in this city, so you will be able to take in some original work by this famous street artist as well as unique works that have been added to the areas since Banksy first made a statement.
River Chew Circular
This is a really scenic, moderate trail that starts at the Rising Sun Pub and winds alongside the Pensford Viaduct for many miles. This walk also leads you by the Stanton Drew Stone Circles and the Cove. This walk is open year-round, and it takes a little over an hour to complete the round trip. This is one of the prettiest trails near Bristol, and it is a really good choice to put on your list if you want to spend an hour or two hiking and then have a pint when you are done with your day.
Located near the heart of the city, this 440-acre park offers access to all kinds of paths, from meadows to sea view areas. You can head over to the sea walls and look out over the water or walk back toward Leigh Woods and the Severn Estuary on the other side of the reserve.
This is a quiet haven, and you will love that there are such unique views from each hill inside the park. Hikers will love the gently rolling hills and the moderate challenge of this area, but the trail options are gentle enough that anyone can enjoy their time here.
Kings Weston Estate
The house on this property was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, who also built Blenheim palace, and the grounds surrounding it are truly lovely. There is a sundial here as well as a lovely lily pond, and you have views of the River Avon as well as the Bristol Channel here.
This is one of the most beautiful locations in Bristol, and it is well worth heading here for a day of sightseeing and access to the lovely park around the estate. These lovely Victorian preserves are a great choice for your hiking needs, and you will be amazed at the beauty that you can enjoy on these kinds of walks.
Easy Hikes in Bristol
Most of the hikes on this list have options for beginners to enjoy in the Bristol area. You will find that all of the estate hikes, such as Kings Weston and the Blaine Castle, are overall quite simple and friendly for beginners. Being able to hike peacefully and without sweating a lot is easy when you visit Bristol.
The Harbourside walk is also very easy and is a great choice for those with strollers or small children to bring along on the adventure. Hiking over the softly swelling hill locations of this area is normally quite easy, and most of the climbs are gradual and pleasant overall. You have access to miles of easy beginner paths and walk locations in Bristol, so you should have no trouble finding a good beginner hike or walk for your needs.
Intermediate Hikes in Bristol
There are various intermediate paths and trail options that are located within most of the hiking areas of the Bristol area. Arnos Vale Cemetery has hikes that are hard, as well as path choices that are quite simple, and Leigh Woods and The Downs also offer some trails and paths that are more difficult.
Brandon Hill and Cabot Tower is an area that is medium to hard overall. Most of the walk is hard, but there are some areas that are not so tough. Intermediate hiking trails are all over this area, so if you want to have a bit of work during your walk, you will have access to miles of these kinds of hikes.
River Chew Circular is a really scenic and impressive hike that is intermediate in nature, and you will see some of the best of what the city has to offer along this route. Best of all, this hike can start and end at a pub if you want to reward your efforts with a meal and a pint at the end of the trail.
Difficult Hikes in Bristol
There are some areas around Blaise Castle House Museum & Estate that are quite hard, and you will find that the walk up to Cabot Tower is a challenging hike as well. This area and The Lock Keeper – St George’s Park Loop from Lawrence Hill are quite challenging, but mostly because they are steep and not because they are dangerous in any way.
Other than these areas, most of the hiking that you have access to will be easy to moderate. The ground is almost always softly sloping and hilly around the Bristol area, so most of the footpaths and trails are very moderate. You might want to have hiking shoes for all of these trails since they are dirt paths and a bit rocky here and there, but you will find that most of the hiking is not that tough in this area.
Difficult hiking is not really what Bristol is known for, and you are more likely to head here to see the sights and enjoy the scenery rather than to challenge yourself on a rough and tough trail. If you enjoy more moderate hiking, that is mostly what Bristol offers, but there are those few tough hikes for your needs if you enjoy a big challenge.
Hiking in Bristol is Fun and Memorable
Bristol is one of the best places to head for some outdoor adventures and to hike through beautiful scenery. The trails are mostly mellow here and easy, so you can hike in peace and bring along people with you who are not normally hiking experts. If you want to enjoy tough hiking, it does exist, but you will also be able to have fun in parkland, meadows, and the city.
Hiking in this area is really special, and you will be able to enjoy lovely Victorian gardens, miles of woodland trails, and gentle walks through town if you want to people watch and shop a little at the same time. Bristol is a beautiful city that is full of fun and memorable things to do, but you can easily take a break and head out into the sunshine as well.
Make sure that your trip gets off on the right foot by putting your luggage into secure storage, and then get ready to have lots of fun in Bristol!