The way I acted on family walks during my teenage years may not have been a good indicator of this, but walking is now my chosen way to spend free time! My brain consistently runs in overdrive, and going for a wander with someone I can trust to bring good conversation (or even just the company of a great podcaster!) helps me to relax in a way that few other exercises or activities do. Luckily for me, there are plenty of beautiful walks near my Bristol flat that can take my mind off of everything from the washing up to work worries!
If you’re in the mood to put on your walking boots and stroll your stresses away, here are three gorgeous walks that are easy to drive to from Bristol. Enjoy!
Just a 20-30-minute drive from the centre of Bristol, Crook Peak (known amongst us Bristolians as Crooks Peak) is the largest of the Mendip Hills with a compact car park that fills up quickly on weekends.
Offering grassy slopes, shaded patches of woodland and a small, craggy shelf that you can scramble on top of, walking one of Crook Peak’s few routes will get your heart racing – but not so much that it feels strenuous. It’s ideal for dog walks (although be aware that sheep roam free across the Mendips) and lazy morning wanders with a flask of coffee.
For more info about CP, check out my blog: A Mini Guide To Walking Crook Peak, Winscombe. It contains everything you need to know!
I only discovered Stockhill Wood earlier this year, but it’s quickly become one of my Somerset hidden gems!
Located just a 30-40-minute drive from the centre of Bristol, this coniferous forest looks like it’s been lifted from the Scottish Highlands or North Wales. Tightly-packed pines and a constellation of gravel paths mean you can while away hours meandering through the trees, with birdsong providing the perfect soundtrack to an afternoon of exploring.
Stockhill Wood has a fairly spacious (and free!) Forestry Commission car park with a couple of picnic benches a few metres into the woodland. It’s also just a 15-minute drive into Wells, where Hot Fuzz fans can look out for swans and grab a Cornetto!
You’ve likely heard of Cheddar Gorge, but have you ever climbed Ebbor Gorge? It’s worth a visit!
Sure, the views may not be as spectacular, but Ebbor Gorge is magnificent in its own right. You can drive to Ebbor Gorge in just 45 minutes from the centre of Bristol, and it’s just 15 minutes from the big CG if you’d like to visit both in one day.
Ebbor is much smaller than Cheddar, so the routes winding through its woodland are fairly short and sweet. However, there’s a fairly steep scramble that you’ll need to climb to reach the Ebbor Gorge viewpoint, so bear this in mind before expecting a leisurely stroll through flat woodland!
There’s a mid-size car park available, which you’ll need to pay for. It costs £1.50 for one hour and you can pay via the RingGo app!
What are your favourite walks near Bristol? I’m always on the lookout for places to explore!