Enjoy cycling and walking trails in this forest and nature reserve in Bristol. The reserve is located in the beautiful Avon Gorge and is a popular retreat from the city. You can enjoy oak, small leaf lime and ash forest with carpets of bluebells in the springtime. Along the way you can enjoy sculpture trails, views of the River Avon and the Clifton Suspension Bridge and a variety of wildlife. Look out for bullfinch, marsh tit, song thrush and Peregrine falcon as you make your way through the woods. The area is managed by the National Trust so the trails are well maintained.
Walkers can enjoy various waymarked walking trails including the popular one-mile woodland wander which will suit all abilities. The whole of the circular route below is designed for walkers. If you are on a bike please stick to the marked cycle trails which start from the same point as this route.
For cyclists there is a blue grade trail which makes for a nice traffic free ride for beginners or families. The video below shows this trail known as the Yer Tiz trail. There is also a red grade trail for more experienced mountain bikers to try. A National Cycle Network trail also runs through the forest.
Parking is available at the woods but you could follow the River Avon Trail from the centre of Bristol to extend your exercise. It's about a 2-3 mile walk/cycle along the river from the city centre and train station.
To extend your walk you can cross the river and visit the lovely Durdham and Clifton Downs.
PostcodeBS8 3PL - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
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Leigh Woods Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Leigh Woods Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Leigh Woods OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Leigh Woods Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
After your walk you could cross the Clifton Suspenion Bridge and visit the Clifton Observatory. Here you can enjoy refreshments in the 360 cafe which offers fine views over the Avon Gorge and the city of Bristol. There's also an interesting museum and one of only three of the UK's working camera obscuras.
For a pub lunch head into nearby Abbots Leigh to visit The George. The historic pub dates back to 1719 and includes a particularly lovely walled garden area for warmer days. Inside there are cosy fires for the winter months. They have a great menu and can be found on Manor Road at postcode BS8 3RP for your sat navs.
As you'd imagine the woodland trails are ideal for dog walking so expect to see plenty of other owners on your visit. The Paradise Bottom is a particularly good part of the woods for dogs with several pools for them to go for a dip in. There's also bluebells, redwoods and wild garlic to see in this lovely area. The George pub mentioned above is also dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just west of the woods you'll find the little village of Abbots Leigh and the lovely Abbots Pool. This hidden gem includes a nature reserve with a medieval pool and woodland trails. There's also lots of flora and fauna with wild flowers, ferns and rhododendrons to see on your visit.
Just a few miles to the north there's another city highlight at the wonderful Blaise Castle. The expansive estate includes miles of trails with a museum, viewpoints and a folly castle to see.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Somerset Walks page.