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.
Staple Hill Library
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.
Shortwood Circle & viewpoints
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.
Mangotsfield Railway Station
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.
BRANDY BOTTOM Colliery
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.
Lyde Green Common
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.
Emersons Green skate park
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.
Emersons Green village 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.
King George V playing fields
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.
Lyde Green Park & BMX track
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.
Lyde Green Community Centre
At the heart of the Lyde Green community is this welcoming hub for all offering a large variety of activities. Meet friends at the coffee shop. Take part in one of the many exercise classes, support groups, healthcare sessions, baby classes and other community initiatives. Or look into hiring a room to run your own meeting or event.
Bristol and Bath Science Park
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.
Westons hill play area
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.