This museum holds a variety of fascinating displays that give an insight into local industry and social history of the area. Housed inside the 18th Century brass mill at Warmley there’s an icehouse and windmill tower to explore, plus gardens nearby with grottoes, an echo pond and a huge statue of Neptune.
Lush and green, the south-east facing slope of the Ridge is a
hidden oasis of pleasant walks, with a diverse range of wildlife and unrivalled views over Bristol and towards Bath. Have a wander among the grassland and scrub, and discover the woodland and two ponds, which are home to a variety of birds, butterflies and the occasional badger and fox.
Cock Road may have got its name from the old practice of trapping wild birds – such as woodcock – along the forest’s narrow pathways. The Great Oak by the pond is possibly one of the original trees. There is a wheel chair and footpath access point at the north-east end plus a footpath access point leading from Wraxall Road.
A large open space, perfect for those wanting a kick about (there are goal posts) and ideal for dog walkers.
Tucked away and surrounded by trees, this sprawling park contains a play area for younger children. There’s a balance beam, slides and swings.
Magpie Bottom, so called because of the abundance of magpies that roost there throughout the year, runs along the Stradbrook. There are several woodland trails, and many hidden and overgrown paths, in addition to the main pathways going north to south and east to west. A large green has goal posts at the centre and smaller grassy areas are dotted around the site.
The farm has a variety of animals, a duck pond, nature walks, a playground, picnic area and a café; perfect for a day out or just an hour if you’re passing. Open every day (9am–6pm) throughout the year, the farm is enjoyed by families and couples, old and young alike. Admission and parking is free.
For children and young adults with disabilities and SEN, there’s the nearby Hop Skip & Jump Bristol, who provide high quality respite care. There are two fully-equipped sensory rooms, a games room and a music room, plus an extensive outside space, with a sports court, adventure play equipment and a selection of castles and forts!
Kingswood Park offers children’s play areas, a bowling green with pavilion and tennis courts. There’s plenty of places to sit back and escape the hustle and bustle of the high street.
Catch the occasional performance on the central band-stand at one of the park’s special events. Admire the large wooden sculpture near the park’s main entrance. See if you can spot the sign-post tribute to Professor Colin Pillinger, who is best known as the principal investigator and driving force behind the British Beagle 2 Mars Lander Project.
An area of new woodland, scrub and open grassland, with lots of paths to explore and wildlife to spot. There are also ponds and the Siston Brook rushes along the woodland’s eastern boundary. Some of the pathways are suitable for wheelchairs. The orienteering trail, installed by Wildways Project, has five courses of differing challenge levels and accompanying downloadable maps and information.
See if you can find the ‘waymarker’ engraved steel plaques, along the route, which illustrate a plant or animal found at the Forest Park. Why not take a rubbing of the plaques, while you’re there? The park was once the site of clay pits and a pipe works next to a railway line and a coal mine. If you look among the bushes you may find fragments of glazed ceramic pipe of the sort once used for drains.
Criss-crossed by bridleways, foot and cycle paths you are sure to encounter a mixture of people and animals in this ancient farmland space. Once used by local farmers for the grazing of cattle, goats, horses, ducks and chickens, Siston Common is now accessible to all.
Everyone is welcome and no gardening experience necessary. Sessions normally take place weekly (Tuesday–Thursday) from 10am–3pm with an experienced gardener to facilitate and provide support.
The storage container is decorated by local illustrator and graffiti artist Andy Council and has been transformed into a community cinema.
An important community park for its local residents, there is a playground and skatepark, plus a number of benches to sit and enjoy the view from. Bristol Rovers Supporters Juniors Football Club is also based here. The wide, open, green space is perfect for a stroll or jog around.
Surrounding a small pond, this wildlife corridor is an important nature reserve and a peaceful escape from the city. The grassland and wild flower meadow are home to pollinating insects, including bees and butterflies. Relax on the pond-side bench and see if you can spot moor hens, coots, water voles or the occasional visiting heron.
This tucked-away green space is a local haven of calm, with carved bench seating and lush planting and trees. Have a kickabout or try out the outdoor gym, slide, roundabout and basket swing.
An ideal jogging circuit, the 500m track around the outside of this large open space is an easy route for first time runners. There is a playground, tennis and basketball courts too. The central space is used by a local football group.
Home to the lodge of King John, this hill used to be within the King’s Woodland and offered a good vantage point for the royal hunting party to look out across the surrounding forest which spread over an area of 18 square miles.
Children and young people from school years 5 to 13 can get involved with activities including gardening, cooking, sports, arts and crafts, trips and training opportunities.
Open to everyone and providing a range of activities to all sections of the local community, there’s bound to be something to interest you whatever your age or ability.
Pop in to this vibrant, friendly and helpful centre for the community – everyone is welcome. There’s a café, a wide variety of classes and activities, plus some low cost rooms to hire.
Bristol BMX Club has been running since the early 80′s and our track is still in the same location in Patchway, Bristol. The BMX track has undergone many changes over the years and today it still continues to challenge the needs of today’s BMX racer.
This green area in Charlton Hayes is a great place to get out and see some nature and will also feature a multi-use games area.
In the heart of The Parade shopping area are a series of raised garden beds for you to enjoy – two of the beds are a community garden that you can pick food from. If you’re feeling active, then you can take part in the weekly community gardening sessions, which are free for anyone to join, or put your feet up and rest on one of the many benches and soak it all up.
This bustling allotment has a community area and wildflower meadow for those who haven’t got their own plot and want to get involved in the great outdoors. There are plots available with no waiting list, visit the allotment for more information, or pop along to a weekly community session (they’re open to all) where you can learn gardening skills, meet some new people, and relax with a cup of tea.
This thriving allotment is the oldest of two in Patchway (open since 1947), and has a useful shop which funnels its profits back into the allotment, keeping rent and charges to a minimum.
This important green space and safe, fenced play area provides an oasis in the heart of this area. There is a range of modern play equipment and plenty of seating to relax in. Discover herbs and other edible food in the planters around the park space.
Once part of the parkland surrounding Over Court, these days you can come to relax among the colourful wildflowers and bluebells in Spring, or go for an explore and see if you can spy any wildlife around the pond.
Creating a safe play space out of nothing was the idea behind this ‘pocket park’ – the only one in the area. It is a valued green space for neighbouring residents who use it for small events, football and basketball matches, or simply to relax in. Raised garden beds contain strawberries, vegetables, herbs and wildflowers for all to enjoy.
Head to this spacious green space, perfect for ball games, frisbee or kite flying. The grassy expanse is also great for dog walking, and a quiet, fenced play area with swings and a basketball hoop is a good spot for children (and their adults) to while away an afternoon.
Venture down Bevington Walk and you’ll find tucked away is this modern basketball court and decent sized play area for younger children. Easily accessible paths lead you to the play park, or you can explore a fenced woodland area for more adventurous play.
There’s lots to do in this park, which is the largest and oldest in Patchway. With outdoor gym equipment, a multi-use games area, three football pitches, a skatepark, cricket pitch, marked jogging route and basketball court, this park offers plenty of fun ways to keep fit. There is also a well-equipped children’s play area with modern, accessible equipment, and there’s more than enough room to spread out with a picnic. Don’t miss the annual Patchway Festival and other special events throughout the year.
Originally attached to the Over Court estate, this small patch of woodland was used by the Berkeley Hunt as a covert for fox and game. These days, you can wander among the trees to discover wildflowers, spy birds, and spot other local wildlife in what is now a designated nature reserve. Next door is ‘Chicken Park’, a large open field containing an adventure fitness trail, a zip wire for older children, and a fenced play area for younger children.
Named after the farmer who was once the pond’s owner, Turner’s pond is one of the few remaining links to Patchway’s history. With wildflowers dotted about the area, you can sit peacefully by the pond and, if you’re very quiet, spy some of the local wildlife coming to sip at the water.
Created from the earth dug out of the railway tunnel underneath, the satisfyingly named ‘Tumps’ are a series of large spoil heaps which are now covered in bushes and trees. They are a natural haven for wildlife, and part of the area has been adapted into a perfect set of tracks for BMX riders. Climb to the top of the largest “tump” to discover a beacon or see if you can identify a bomb crater from WW2.
Discover breathtaking views of Bristol and the Mendips and get lost in 207 acres of new woodland and open space at this Forestry Commission woodland, which forms part of the Forest of Avon. There are a range of circular walks with commanding views, or venture off the beaten path to meander through tall grasses, stalk old hunting grounds and explore carefully planted woodland. A great place to explore, in 2019 it will be linked to Lyde Green by a waymarked route, starting here. The centre of the wood is a gentle 1¾ hour ramble away.
Filnore Woods is a Community Woodland maintained by passionate volunteers, which provides a diverse range of habitats for wildlife. It is a great place to visit and learn more about the natural world.
Keen gardeners need look no further, as these allotments are a great place to grow quality organic produce and plants, meet new people, and increase your knowledge. Welcoming beginners and experienced growers alike, this friendly community allotment hosts regular socials, plant and produce swaps, and work parties to improve the site. The area is fenced off, fitted out with a storage container, and communal water collection facilities. If you are interested in what they do, or think you would like a plot, get in touch at email@example.com
This small play park is a great place to climb, bounce, slide, and swing. Suitable for children and big kids alike. Featuring a multi-play piece, trampoline, new springer, and swings, there is lots to keep little ones entertained.
This RHS award-winning garden is the perfect place to view the classic cottage style in all its abundantly planted glory. Bursting with herbaceous perennial plants and annuals, it is a haven for bees, butterflies, and small birds, and is a wonderful place to while away a lazy afternoon in relaxed contemplation. There are also plenty of things for little ones to do; whether learning about the beautiful plants, spotting the various animals who come and go, or playing on the mosaic hopscotch. This garden is open to everyone to enjoy, has good wheelchair access, and is kept in top condition by a group of committed volunteers.
If you are interested in local history, this is the place for you – with a comprehensive collection of exhibits and artefacts about life in Thornbury throughout the ages, this museum is the place to discover more about the history of your area. Take a peek into the lives of the local people long since gone – find out who they were, and how they lived. For little historians, there are a number of educational games and activities to enjoy, with a dedicated children’s corner.
Grab your goggles, because Mundy Playing fields boasts a large open air water play area for children (and their adults) to splash around in. Bring a picnic rug and sit on one of the grassy bank slopes to get a good (and dry!) view of your children paddling in the splash area. The park also has a well-equipped children’s play area, featuring a zip wire, embankment slides, roundabout, climbing frame, and balance bars. For those looking to get or stay fit, there is a range of adult exercise equipment, football pitches, a sports ground, and tennis courts. Located just off the High Street, you can easily pop to the shops for refreshments, but there is usually an ice cream van on site.
Thornbury is known to be one of the best places to live in Bristol, and with its traditional shops and old-world feel it’s not hard to see why this bustling market town is so sought after.
With a mix of traditional shops and High Street brands, plus a shopping centre and two supermarkets, Thornbury High Street has everything you need for a day’s shopping. Be sure to visit the farmers market, which is held on the first and third Thursdays of each month between 9am and 1:30pm. Hungry visitors to the town are spoilt for choice, with a large selection of very good restaurants and cafes – from high quality pub fare, to Italian cuisine, there is something to suit all tastes and wallets.
Thornbury town also has a thriving community scene, which caters to a wide-range of interests – including over a dozen musical and drama groups, sports clubs, scouts, air, and sea cadets, plus history, charity, and social organisations. Thornbury also has a leisure centre, library, doctors, dentist, opticians and medical centre. There are ample opportunities to stay or get fit, with football, rugby, cricket, badminton, tennis, golf, buggy fit and a skate park.
The numerous musical and drama groups often perform in the Armstrong Hall near the town centre (seating 350) or the adjacent Cossham Hall (seating 140). Performances also take place in church halls and occasionally in the Leisure Centre.
This iconic pump would have once formed the centre of Thornbury town life, as locals gathered to collect their water.
Lots of fun events take place at this beautiful listed building venue run by The Thornbury and District Community Association. Exercise classes, quiz nights, courses and clubs, murder mystery nights, plays, and Duke of Edinburgh are just a few examples of activities which have taken place here. Located at the bottom of Castle Street, The Chantry is one of the most easily identifiable buildings in Thornbury.
This community orchard is a great place to visit – pop along at various times in the summer and autumn, and choose from a selection of apples, plums, blackcurrants, damsons, blackberries, and elderberries (just make sure you only take a couple, and leave enough for others). If you have little ones, this is a great way to teach them about different plants as you can bring them along and let them have a go at picking (and eating) some of the ripe fruits. When you sample some of the fruit in this orchard, consider that you are tasting the character of Thornbury – the literal fruits of its history, people, climate, soil, and water. Certainly food for thought!
Though ponds are a neglected historic feature of the national landscape, they once formed an integral part of the farming system. Thornbury’s medieval fishponds were constructed in the thirteenth century and form part of Thornbury’s largest artificial wetland. In 2011 English Heritage announced that the Park Farm Medieval Fishponds were to be scheduled a “historic monument”. The ponds are located on clay beds and fed by natural springs, and are an important habitat for local wildlife, including kingfishers.
Budding time travellers are well-advised to visit this stunning 16th century castle, which stands in 15 acres of regal splendour surrounded by vineyards and a Tudor garden.
Thornbury Castle is now renowned for being one of the finest country house hotels in England – even if you are not a guest you can join the likes of Sophia Loren and Lawrence Olivier by visiting the hotel restaurant for some fine dining, or take a stroll through its historic landscaped grounds. Be sure to check the website for details of upcoming events.
There’s lots of ways to get active at Pomphrey Hill, with football pitches, a cricket square and artificial wicket, and 6 high spec changing rooms. In addition to this, the site is home to the Pomphrey Hill Pavillion, which is the base for 5 South Gloucestershire sport clubs. Run by the Pomphrey Hill Community Sports Association, the venue has two function rooms, and a licenced bar and kitchen.
There’s lots to do in the area – whether you are a parent with young children, a keen sportsperson, or are just looking for fun ways to get fit and lose weight. It’s a great place to get active and make friends.
This modern stone circle sits upon an artificial hilltop, created when the Avon Ring Road was built. There’s a number of viewpoints on the re-sculpted landscape around this area, along with winding pathways, hidden picnic areas and a bridleway.
Stretching across 30 acres, Rodway Common is an open space in Mangotsfield. Beloved by dog-walkers and pigeon fanatics alike, the common is a popular place for walkies and also forms the starting point for many pigeon races. In 1899, the common was the site of Rodway Hill Golf Club, and this was just a short walk away from Mangotsfield Station, now disused. A zig-zag path connects the common to the Bristol & Bath cycle path.
There’s lots to do for all ages at this award-winning local park (5 Star Award, South West in Bloom Best Parks). There’s a café, a selection of well-equipped play areas, a sensory garden with an aviary, a clock tower and bandstand, a bowling club, several football pitches, tennis courts with floodlights, and a cricket square.
Page Park has benefitted hugely from the Friends of Page Park, an active and passionate group of volunteers who have been awarded The Queen’s Award for their exceptional commitment to the park and community. The Queen’s Award (which is the MBE for voluntary groups) is the highest award given to voluntary groups across the UK. The group have totally transformed the park, and are highly active in organising a large variety of events for all ages.
Now part of the Bristol & Bath Railway path, by day this old railway station is a popular sunny stop off point for a bench and refreshment break for walkers and cyclists. By night, locals know it as a particularly spooky spot – inspiration for many a ghost story.
Time travellers are advised to take a trip to the quaintly named Brandy Bottom, where they can explore the rich coal mining history of the area. Though the life of a coal miner was hard, working long hours for low wages in dangerous conditions, their work once formed the backbone of industrial Britain.
The buildings of the Brandy Bottom Colliery are rare examples of the surface layout of a 19th century steam-powered coalmine, and are considered to be of national importance. Fans of industrial architecture and those interested in history are well-advised to take a trip to this evocative place.
The Common has been a loved spot for picnics, games and dog walks for as long as locals can remember. On Common Land you have the ‘Right to Roam’ which means you can walk, run, watch wildlife and climb about without having to stick to public footpaths.
In the Autumn the hedges around the Common are a great spot for blackberry picking (and eating). Friends of Lyde Green Common was set up by a group of residents to protect and care for the common land, and help the community get to know this special public green space.
This small play area is great for toddlers and very young children.
Skateboarding has long been part of the history and culture of the area, and this urban sport is a fun and creative way to engage with local architecture and community. Emersons Green skate park was opened in 2011, and is a smooth concrete park located next to Emersons Green retail park.
There’s lots for little ones to do at this park, which has a variety of equipment including swings, roundabouts, nets and webs, seesaws, spring mobiles, slides, and more.
Located in close proximity to Emersons Green Retail Park, it’s a great place to visit with children after a trip to the shops.
This is a great area to visit if you are looking to get fit and want to save money on an expensive gym membership – in addition to a variety of pitches for football and cricket, there are changing rooms and a selection of adult gym equipment.
There is a good selection of children’s play equipment, and parking is available nearby. Locals also recommend it as a good spot for watching the fireworks in the Autumn.
Next to the sports field you’ll find this park, which has a BMX track and a selection of playground equipment to slide, swing, climb, tunnel, and ride.
In 2012 archaeologists stumbled upon the remains of a major roman villa beneath where the community now stands. The site, which spanned almost ten-acres, was home to a high-status villa and industrial buildings.
Containing large quantities of jewellery – including bronze brooches, babies bracelets, rings, and necklaces – soil samples from the dig suggested that metal working and textile dyeing likely took place there.
Next door to Lyde Green, the Bristol and Bath Science Park is a world-class business hub and conferencing centre. The airy ‘Forum’ café and meeting area is open to the public and a favourite local spot for coffee – check out their innovative art and sculptures whilst you’re there, or even have a jam on the free ‘Play Me’ piano or guitar!
Outside, you can enjoy the adjacent public Lawns on a sunny day, or play a spot of ping pong on their free public table tennis table – just ask reception for the bats and ball.
There’s lots for little ones to explore in this play area in Emersons Green, with a basketball hoop, multi-activity unit, seesaw, swings, and more. Find mature trees, pathways for walking, cycling, and running, and a pond.
This site is a wonderful place to view wildlife because it contains a variety of habitats – from woodland with bluebells in the spring, to wetland with snipe and water rail, a pond and stream, as well as lots of grassland and hedgerows. In the Summer it buzzes with life – come here on a sunny day and you will see lots of bees and butterflies feeding on the flowers.
Head to the ‘Pirate Park’ play area, where your little ones can swing, see-saw, explore the pirate ship, and climb giant mushrooms. Visit the website where you can view and download a copy of the Leap Valley Nature Journal which is packed full of interesting information about the plants, animals, and bugs that live in the area. The journal has ‘I-Spy’ and ‘Things to do’ pages, as well as lots of information about the habitats, seasonal changes, and all the animals and plants that can be found in Leap Valley.
Also, it’s worth keeping your eye out for events – in the past, there have been bird-box making sessions and bat walks organised by the Friends of Leap Valley.
Explore open grassland, semi-ancient woodland, and shaded groves with a wealth of historic features and stunning views. Stoke Park estate boasts one of the most prominent landmarks in Bristol, the ochre-coloured Dower House. The estate, which also contains the prominent Purdown BT Tower, has a fishing lake and a number of Grade II listed features dotted around the estate to explore. There is no dedicated car park, but the estate is easily accessible by bike or on foot and there are a number of places to park nearby.
Muller Road recreation ground is mostly used by students of Fairfield High School, however, the site is also open to the public with a footpath around the perimeter for walking, cycling, and scootering.
Gloucester road is Bristol’s bohemian capital, packed full of quirky independent shops, trendy bars, and great places to eat. Here, you’ll find vintage fashion, pre-loved furniture, organic produce, and lots of live music and art. A Great British High Street finalist, locals say that you can buy anything you ever need here. A great place to spend a Saturday morning when many cafes run street food stalls outside – though you could easily lose an entire day here.
Tucked away in the quiet suburbs of North Bristol, Horfield Common features two dog-free play areas, tennis courts, a bowling green, a community café, and the much-loved Ardagh, a large community, leisure, and sports centre.
Horfield skatepark is a big concrete skatepark with nice smooth surfaces comprised of both a street section and a transition section. The park is a favourite amongst the locals, and is floodlit for night-time skating.
The Village Centre is at the heart of Cheswick Village and provides residents with all the essential local amenities including groceries, shops and cafes. Situated just off Long Down Avenue, the large pedestrianised square with trees and benches is a great quiet space to meet your neighbours and watch Cheswick life go by.
Comprising just under 5 acres of woodland, Splatts Abbey wood is located between the Ministry of Defence and the Hewlett Packard offices. The wood is maintained by local conservation groups (with links to Wallscourt Farm Academy) and students from the nearby University of the West of England. Why not take a walk to explore this beautiful historic woodland nestled on your doorstep?
Popular with walkers and dog owners alike, this park in Filton is a great place to enjoy a peaceful walk as it is relatively flat. There are plenty of paths, and lots of open space for dogs to run around.
Elm Park features a community garden, boules court, cycle speedway and skateboard park.