One of my favourite things about the city of Bristol is its many open spaces and easy access to nature spots making it ideal for dog owners. While on dogsitting duties, I used it as an opportunity to search out the best Bristol dog walks.

In this Dog Walks Bristol guide, I’ll share the best 24 pooch-friendly spots in the city, as well as a some of of the best dog walks near Bristol for those looking to venture a bit further afield.

The walks have been divided into Central, North, South, West and East Bristol.

Dog walks Bristol

Best Central Bristol dog walks

Despite being a busy city, there are a surprising number of green spaces and urban walks for you and your dog to stretch your legs. Being central, a lot of the spaces aren’t suitable for dogs being off their lead. If this is something you are looking for, check out Brandon Hill and Castle Park!

#1 Bristol Harbour **highly recommended**

Space for a dog to run off the lead? No

There are paths you can follow that stretch the length of the river both on the North and South side. I suggest starting at the Pump House and doing a big loop – firstly towards and around the harbourside then crossing the bridge and walking along Spike Island. I really enjoy doing this urban walk. There are no green spaces and as it’s the city centre dogs will need to be kept on leads but you pass lots of cafes, interesting buildings and it’s great for people watching.

#2 College Green

Space for a dog to run off the lead? No

A popular and busy spot, especially in summer where you will find lots of students and city folk sunbathing and enjoying picnics. The park is overlooked by the City Hall and Bristol Cathedral – both impressive buildings. It’s not a big space and is near to a road so this is only a good spot for a quick stroll with dogs kept on the lead.

#3 Brandon Hill Park **highly recommended**

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

A beautiful and well looked after green city space, Brandon Hill is a wildlife haven and a space of calm in an otherwise busy city. As is the case in a lot of Bristol, you can expect big hills. Climb to the top of Brandon Hill where you will find lots of benches to take a rest. Dogs are allowed off the lead but the park can get busy in good weather. Brandon Hill also has children’s playgrounds, workout areas and a famous lookout – Cabot Tower – making it a good choice for families and fitness enthusiasts.

#4 Queen Square

Space for a dog to run off the lead? No

Right in the city centre you will find Queen Square – a surprisingly quiet spot. Perfect for anyone needing to fit in a quick dog walk without wanting to go far. The square can get busy, especially on sunny lunch breaks, and is not far from roads so it’s best to keep dogs on the lead.

#5 Castle Park

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Another popular sunbathing spot in the city. This long stretch of greenery has the river on one side and Bristol’s main shopping area on the other. There’s enough space for well behaved dogs to run about although watch out for the cycling lane which cuts through the middle.

Best South Bristol dog walks

South of Avon river you’ll find quiet residential areas boasting some great green spaces perfect for anyone looking for a Bristol Dog Walk. All the suggestions below have free street parking nearby with the exception of Greyville Smyth Park.

#6 Victoria Park **highly recommended**

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

A large and gated park, Victoria is popular with runners, cyclists, families and dog walkers. The park is on a slope but nothing too bad compared to the other hills you find in Bristol! The paved paths that crisscross through the park make it ideal for any weather and give you good variety if you want to try out a different route each time you visit. In the park, you’ll also find a basketball court, children’s playground and a football pitch.

#7 Perrett’s Park

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

I really love visiting Perrett Park as it has an amazing view over Bristol. I recomened evtering the park from Sylvia Avenue so you are at the top of the field. While it’s not a huge space for walking, you can wander at the top of the hill (or take a seat on one of the benches) and let your dog wear themselves out running up and down the field – perfect for playing fetch!

#8 Greville Smyth Park

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Based in Ashton Gate, Greville Smyth Park offers a spacious green area for you and your dog to enjoy a walk. As it is fairly central it can get very busy in summer with lots of sports teams using the space so keep your god on the lead until you find a quieter spot.

Best West Bristol dog walks

In my opinion, the best Bristol dog walks can be found in the West of the city. A space reserved for large plots of nature there are no shortage of walks here, especially for those wanting to do a longer hike.

#9 Leigh Woods **highly recommended**

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

A popular location for dog walkers and for good reason. Leigh Woods is the largest woodland in Bristol. There are lots of trails you can follow. Look for a map at any of the entrances and follow the markers of your chosen walk depending on what sort of distance you want to cover.

#10 Abbots Pool

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Abbots Pool is surrounded by pretty woodland home to all sorts of wildlife so keep your eyes peeled. Marked trails can be found in the woods and there’s a free car park making it a great place to walk the dog if you have access to a car.

#11 Ashton Court Estate **highly recommended**

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Another really popular dog walking location. The Ashton Court Estate is huge, over 850 acres, with pools, woods and lots of fields for your pooch to explore. There are lots of trails to choose from, some paved and some off-road, and no shortage of beauty spots to stop for a picnic or rest.

Best North Bristol dog walks

There are a few parks and green spaces dotted in the North of Bristol but the most well known space for dog walkers is the much loved Downs.

#12 The Downs **highly recommended**

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

The Clifton Downs and Durdham Downs are often just referred to as ‘The Downs’. Both offer huge green spaces with some great views as it is sat up high. Although especially popular with sports teams and picnicking friends, the grounds are big enough for dogs to stretch their legs comfortably.

#13 Horfield Common

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Horfield Common offers dog walkers a large flat green space to stretch their legs. There are benches for resting and a children’s playground. Note that the park sits close to roads and isn’t fenced in so use your discretion if letting your dog off the lead.

#14 Badock’s Wood

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Badock’s Wood offers a peaceful woodland walk. In the middle, you’ll find the River Trym. What makes this walk especially enjoyable is spotting the wood tree carvings of local wildlife made by sculptor Andy O’Neill.

Best East Bristol dog walks

There’s not a huge amount of decent dog walks in the East of Bristol until you head a bit further to the outskirts. Both of the suggestions below will give your pooch a good opportunity to stretch their legs though.

#15 Eastville Park **highly recommended**

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Eastville Park has a large green field perfect for playing fetch and one of my favourite Bristol dog walks. If you walk towards the fishing lake you can then join the path following the River Frome. there re some pretty wooded areas en route and chances for dogs to go for a swim.

#16 Nethan Park

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Netham Park is a well looked after green space ideal for dog walkers in East Bristol. The terrain is flat and the paths are paved.

Best dog walks near Bristol (outskirts & further afield)

Below are a list of the best dog walks near Bristol, either on the edges of the city or further afield. All of them have parking opportunities and offer spectacular walks that make the journey worth while.

#17 Kings Weston House

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

One of our favourite spots for a dog walk in Bristol, with a historic landscape covering over 300 acres that include mowed lawns, fields, woodland, historic buildings, grand panoramas and the brilliant Kings Weston House Cafe. The whole place has been renovated in the last few years (and is still continuing), so every time you visit you will see or discover something new.

#18 Blaise Castle Estate

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

North West of Bristol is the huge Blaise Castle Estate. The large grounds has a mix of terrains, you could follow the wooded path to the stream if your dog enjoys a paddle or head up the steep climb to the castle for its impressive views. There’s a children’s playground and cafe on site as well.

#19 Oldbury Court Estate

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

In the North of Bristol, Oldbury Court Estate has lots to offer both dogs and families if you are looking to make an afternoon of your walk. There are beautiful woods to explore and lots of swimming opportunities with riverside paths. There’s a huge playground on the estate making it perfect for families and also a cafe if you need to stop for refreshments.

#20 Stoke Park Estate

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Another beautiful estate in Bristol to wander is the Stoke Park Estate in the far north of the city in Cheswick Village, not far from Oldbury Court Estate. There is lots to see on the estate from woods, green fields, a pond and fishing lake and also a sculpture trail. Bring the boots especially in wet weather as there are some tougher trails to follow and also anticipate some climbs as the area is quite hilly.

#21 Kelston Roundhill

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

You can expect great views of both Bath and Bristol from the hills of Kelston Roundhill. There’s lots of space to explore and numerous trails you can walk in the area. Because some of the fields have livestock you may need to put your dog on the lead for part of the walk. For details on directions and how to reach the area by car, check out this website.

#22 Chew Valley Lake

Space for a dog to run off the lead? No

Chew Valley has a beautiful lake in a stunning setting. Note that dogs do need to be kept on leads and aren’t allowed in the water. Trails are well marked and I like to follow a circular track that goes around the nature reserve.

#23 Severn Beach

Space for a dog to run off the lead? Yes

Severn Beach is a great dog walk near Bristol. Follow the promenade at Severn Beach, or walk on the pebble beach which your dog enjoys all the smells of the water. You can follow a trail right under Severn Crossing which is a great way to experience the bridge. The walk is flat and easy to follow so ideal if you want a gentle stroll or to cover some distance with a run. There is lots of parking in the area.

#24 Cheddar Reservoir

Space for a dog to run off the lead? No

It’ll take about an hour to walk around Cheddar Reservoir and there are 2 car parks on site to choose from. It’s a relaxed walk offering some really nice views. Because of sheep in the area dogs need to be kept on leads.

Have I missed something?

Know of any other good Bristol dog walks? Please do let me know in the comments box below!

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3 thoughts on “24 Best dog walks in Bristol (and nearby)

  1. Really enjoyed this list but feel that you missed off a number of great walks in East Bristol.

    Nightingale Valley
    Conham River Park
    Troopers Hill
    Victory Park
    Arnos Vale Cemetery (know it may sound odd but it is a great dog walking area)

    These are to name a few…

  2. Not sure if it’s just me, but the maps are appearing by the previous walk.

    Some other walk suggestions: Almondsbury Garden Centre (great set of fields, off lead space)
    Spanorium Skyway – starting in Easter Compton (off lead)
    Laurence Weston Moor – loads of off lead space, always extremely muddy
    These 3 are great for dogs that need quiet and space

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