Image of Woodland Wanders

Woodland Wanders

From lost arboretums, and towering redwood groves to bluebell covered forest floors, there are so many wonderful woodland wanders in Bristol and beyond. We love exploring in any season, whether it’s sheltering from the rain, foraging wild garlic or marvelling as the leaves turn orange and red in the autumn. These woodlands are perfect to explore with your dog and discover someplace new together.

Image of Avon Valley Woodlands

Avon Valley Woodlands

A 31.5 hectare wooded valley encompassing Conham River Park, Hencliff Wood and Bickley Wood, with the River Avon running through. The woodland is beautiful, with a mix of ancient trees and quarried cliffs, a sign of the industrial past that used to thrive in the valley. It’s also excellently located to near the wonderful Chequers Inn dog friendly pub which has a pub garden right next to the river.

Hanham, Bristol

Image of Blaise Castle Estate

Blaise Castle Estate

An absolute favourite for dog walkers, with lush green woodland, streams and even a gothic style folly castle at the top of the hill. It’s a perfect summer walk where dogs can keep sheltered under the trees and splash in the water. There are also many paths to explore.

Henbury, Bristol

Image of Goblin Combe

Goblin Combe

A magical dense woodland in Cleeve, with three main circular routes, varying in length from 3 to 5km. The longest route will take you through mossy woodland before ascending to the peak for a great panoramic view, whereas the shortest loop takes you around the old settlements from the late Bronze Age to early Iron Age.

Cleeve, North Somerset

Image of Bishops Knoll

Bishops Knoll

A small woodland with a mighty history. Once the gardens and arboretum of an old grand house, which aided in the recuperation for soldiers in the First World War. The house is now long gone and the remains of old stone walls and structures are being restored by The Woodland Trust and volunteers. It’s also next to Bennett’s Patch & White’s Paddock Nature Reserve, which houses the famous wicker whale sculptures and a four-metre-high timber relief sculpture showing the face of a woman.

Stoke Bishop, Bristol

Image of Ashton Hill

Ashton Hill

A brilliant circular woodland walk not too far from the city centre, in Failand. The woodland is home to ‘Big Tree Grove’, an impressive row of redwoods that look amazing at any time of the year. It’s also a great walk for winter as the path is gravelled and does not get too muddy. In spring, the centre of the woodland is filled with bluebells.

Long Ashton, North Somerset

Image of Snuff Mills

Snuff Mills

Top of the list as one of the best dog walks in Bristol, this woodland surrounds the River Frome and is perfect for dogs that love to swim and splash around in the water. From here you can walk to Oldbury Court Estate, which has open fields, as well as a fab children’s play area and cafe.

Frome Vale, Bristol

Image of Leigh Woods

Leigh Woods

Probably the most popular woodland in Bristol, enjoyed by dog walkers, families, cyclists, and joggers alike. With well-trodden paths, you could easily spend a few hours here, walking down to the River Avon, or visit Paradise Bottom, which has some great pools for dog swims! In part of the woodland, dogs need to be on lead, as there are cattle and deers.

Abbots Leigh, North Somerset

Image of Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum

Absolutely one of our favourite places for a family walk. You do have to pay for entry, so make sure you visit in the spring or autumn when the colours in the woodland are at their best. Dogs are only allowed off lead in Silk Woods. Afterwards, stop by the cafe, where they serve dog ice cream, water and biscuits, and of course food for humans!

Westonbirt, Gloucestershire

Image of Bourton Combe

Bourton Combe

A small, untamed woodland tucked away in Flax Bourton, between a quarry and countryside fields. The rugged terrain makes the woodland feel untouched and wild, making it a quieter walk for you and your dog. After, stop at The George at Backwell, a great dog friendly pub.

Flax Bourton, Somerset

Image of Stockhill Wood

Stockhill Wood

Cared for by Forestry England, you could easily spend a few hours walking around this large, well-kept woodland. With many trails to explore, it also has a small All Ability Trail, suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Extend your walk even further by exploring Priddy Mineries, on the opposite side of the road.

Chewton Mendip, Somerset

Image of East Harptree Wood & Smitham Chimney

East Harptree Wood & Smitham Chimney

A small but spectacular woodland, rich in history and an ode to the Mendip’s industrial past. This lovely short walk based is around the impressive industrial chimney that stands in a testament to the industry that once flourished here. With a pond for swimming in that your dog will not want to get out of!

East Harptree, Bath & NE Somerset

Image of Rowberrow Warren

Rowberrow Warren

A large hillside woodland, sitting in a cluster of great walks in the Mendips, from Black DownDolebury WarrenBurrington Ham and Burrington Combe, so this walk could easily be extended further. Rowberrow Warren has a small stream running along the bottom and is a peaceful woodland, shared with horse riders and mountain bikers.

Shipham, Somerset

Image of Crickley Hill

Crickley Hill

Looked after by The National Trust and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, this woodland has circular trails, amazing views and a little cafe. With many paths to explore, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular for dog walkers. There are cows in one of the fields, but this is clearly signposted.

Birdlip, Gloucestershire

Image of National Trust Woodchester Park

National Trust Woodchester Park

With walking routes ranging from 2-7 miles in a 400 acre National Trust woodland, this wooded valley contains a ‘lost landscape’ with remnants of an 18th and 19th century landscape park with a chain of 3 lakes, complete with an old boathouse and an abandoned quarry. In some small areas, dogs are asked to be kept on a short lead.

Nympsfield, Gloucestershire

Image of Weston Woods

Weston Woods

A 321 acres woodland rising above Weston-super-Mare, with lots of paths to vary each walk. Make sure you stop by Worlebury Hillfort, an iron age hillfort, with amazing views across the Bristol Channel towards Wales.

Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

Image of Overscourt Wood

Overscourt Wood

A newer woodland near Pucklechurch that feels very open and peaceful and is split into two areas, one each side of the road. One side has small sloping hills, with views of Kingswood, Bristol and the Cotswold Edge, whereas the other side is flatter, with a small brook running through, perfect for dogs to test out the water!

Siston, South Gloucestershire

Image of Lower Woods Wickwar

Lower Woods Wickwar

An ancient 700 acre woodland between Wickwar and Hawkesbury Upton, with the Little Avon River running through. It’s a lovely woodland with waymarked routes ranging between 1/4 and 3 miles. In spring, the woodland floor is covered with bluebells and wild garlic. Wellies are advised!

Wickwar, South Gloucestershire

Image of Vallis Vale

Vallis Vale

A beautiful walk, perfect for exploring with young kids as there are shallow areas of the River Mells where kids can splash around in the summer, not to mention your pup as well! The area is rich in history, once an area of heavy industry, where you can now spot relics of the past, like old limekilns, tramways and railway sleepers.

Great Elm, Somerset

Image of The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

One of the most famous walks within The Forest of Dean and most definitely worth a visit. Try to find all the sculptures, although you may be walking for a while! Our favourite is the 15ft stained glass window suspended from the tree canopy enabling visitors to walk underneath. The walk has good facilities such as toilets, cafe, picnic areas and parking.

Cinderford, Gloucestershire

Image of Savernake Forest

Savernake Forest

A huge 2,223 acre woodland, just south of Marlborough, perfect for a family picnic and dog walk. You could walk for hours here and still have a huge area to explore! The highlight of the walk is discovering ancient trees, some up to 1,000 years old, we’ve included a map so you can try to find them all. The main paths are gravelled, which are suitable for little bikes, wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Savernake, Wiltshire

Image of Lord’s Wood

Lord’s Wood

A private woodland, working in conjunction with Forestry Commission, so it can be open to the public. If your dog likes to swim, this is the walk for you, with amazing pools for doggy paddles. As long as dogs stick to the paths you’re more than welcome there with your pup. We would also advise that you avoid visiting between October and January because of the hunting season.

Publow, Bath & NE Somerset

Image of Greyfield Wood & Stephen’s Vale Waterfall

Greyfield Wood & Stephen’s Vale Waterfall

A beautiful much-loved woodland with a stunning waterfall and fascinating history. In spring and summer, it’s the perfect place for dogs to splash around in the water. Quite a muddy walk, so remember to bring your wellies!

High Littleton, Bath & NE Somerset

Image of Prior’s Wood

Prior’s Wood

Famed for the abundance of bluebells that cover the forest floor every year, this woodland is well worth a visit in spring. Prior’s Wood is dog heaven, including a pool for dogs to dive in and swim. If you go in winter, you will definitely need your wellies!

Keep updated

Become a friend of Bristol Barkers and receive the latest walks and news