In my Bristol interviews it was clear that the local young people are keen to find an outdoor ‘chill out’ spot to socialise with their friend, that isn’t too far out of the city centre and easy to get to.
I think I’ve found the perfect place: Leigh Woods on the south-west side of the Avon George outside Bristol.
I’ve been to Leigh Woods many a time as a child, teenager and now a twenty something and for me it had everything on our youth wish list.
The lush green woods outside Bristol offer a wilderness of beauty and tranquility set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Avon Gorge and Brunel’s world-famous suspension bridge. An ancient woodland and pasture with a rich variety of trees, including the rare Bristol whitebeam, an Iron Age hill fort dating back to 300BC. There’s also an opportunity to take in a diverse array of wild flowers, birds and butterflies. If that’s not chilled enough for you – I don’t know what is?
A young mother also mentioned that poor access for buggies is one of the key elements stopping her and her young family from enjoying the outdoors more often. But thankfully Leigh Woods offers a 1½ mile (2½ km) all-ability trail, waymarked in purple. The trail starts from Coronation Avenue car park and goes to the edge of Stokeleigh Camp, along mostly level paths. With plenty of outdoor sculptures along the way!
But what about access, a high priority for almost everyone I’ve interviewed along the way.
Well if you’re traveling by foot the trip is pretty straightforward. From the docks area of Bristol the River Avon Trail follows the river downstream, under the suspension bridge and up into Leigh Woods, via Nightingale Valley. And if you take the first tunnel past suspension bridge, route is then signposted.
Arguably the best way to travel to Leigh Woods follow the National Cycle Network: Route 41 via Bristol-Pill which runs to North Road which is a hop skip and a jump away from Leigh Woods. You can also join the route at Bristol Temple Meads Train Station.
First Buses: 357/358/359, Bristol-Portishead, departs daily from Bristol Bus Station.
Or by train, let’s say from Bristol Temple Meads: Take the First 8/8A bus to Leigh Woods.
What do you think? Have I cracked it? Have I managed to find the perfect urban getaway?
Share your thoughts below, I’d love to know what you think?
For more information about Leigh Woods please click here