Favourite places to be around animals and nature

Favourite places to be around animals and nature

Favourite places to be around animals and nature

We’re pretty spoilt in Bristol as the city is surrounded by rolling hills and countryside. A short journey and you’re enveloped in greenery, travel a touch further and you’re by the sea. Then there’s the greenery within the city itself. City farms, parks, open spaces and woodlands. It’s all cared for, respected and well used which is a joy to see and we try and make the most of it best we can when we want to be surrounded by nature or animals or both.

Here’s a lit of some of our favourites and why we love them.

1. Leigh Woods - beautiful woodland just over the Clifton Suspension Bridge. So much to explore along the path ways and hidden glimpses of Brunell’s bridge through the trees.

2. Tyntesfield National Trust - The grounds here are wonderful. Our favourite thing is to trek up the hill into the woods where there are tree forts and dens, secret playgrounds and climbing spots. But most of all the tress are old and beautiful and the views all the way to the coast are stunning.

3. Dyrham Park National Trust - Another one for the views. Standing on the edge of the estate there are panoramic views of the surrounding area including a glimpse of Wales in the distance. The playground is pretty cool with tractors and wheelbarrows for the kids, they can get up close with with veggies in the kitchen garden and learn about the local wildlife in the barn.

  

  boy on tree log  splashing in puddles  boy and dad  boy and dad on red tractor

- A recent day out at Dyrham Park splashing in puddles -

4. St Werbergs Farm - a firm favourite as it is so easy to forget you’re still in the city. A beautiful and idyllic spot in St Werbergs, a village feel with eco friendliness at it’s heart. From feeding the sheep to feeding yourselves, always a bit hit with the little ones with their adventure playground right next to the awesome yurt cafe.

 

boy on the farm  baby goats

- meeting the baby pigs and goats down at St Werbergs -

5.Windmill Hill City Farm - More animals in the city! And a wonderful space to explore. The allotment is particularly impressive with a fine display of produce all year round. If you want to show your kids what things look like straight from the plant rather than in plastic packaging in the supermarket then this is a great spot to spend a few hours wandering the fruit and veggie patches.

6. Horfield Common - On our doorstep and always a pleasure. I love this spot mainly for the views of the city and then Mendip hills beyond. It lets me breathe and feel unrestricted by the buildings around us. The playground is top notch and the little cafe and communal gardens a real community hotspot.

7. Bristol Zoological Gardens - Aside from the animals which are the main attraction Bristol Zoo also has a wide selection of flora and fauna and always looks different on each visit. Plenty of space for the little ones to run around and explore and learn about the animal’s habitats and food supplies.

8. The Downs - Wide open spaces, big skies and great views. It’s rare to have such a large expanse of grass and parkland so close to the city centre so for that we are spoilt. Well used and well loved, very handy if you want to breathe in some fresh air and blow off some steam.

9. Stoke Park Estate - Our son goes to forest school here and although we are yet to really explore, at a glance it is a treasure trove of nature and wildlife. It has a bit of everything from hills, to woodland, to open grassland. Again so close to the heart of the city and another feather in Bristol’s nature cap.

10. St Andrews Park - Local to us just over the Gloucester Road. I especially love the trees here, old and wizened providing much needed shade on sunny days. It’s a compact little park but it’s easy to while away the hours in the playground, in the park or in the paddling pool. And just a short walk off the main high street a jam for North Bristol residents.

11. Westonbirt Arboretum - a recent discovery, or should I say we finally got around to ticking it off our list! What a gem, and so much space to explore. Thoughtfully planned out and endless walks its the perfect place to let a little person run off lots of steam whilst calming the senses of the big people wandering around. And they have a Julia Donaldson Zog trail at the moment so it ticks the book category as well! Champion.

 

  boy and dad in flowers  boy on treetop walk  family of three  Ruth Bradford with flowers

I'm sure it is a list that will grow and grow the more we explore and discover but each little gem is worth celebrating in it's own right.

Where are your favourites? Where do you love to go for your nature and wildlife fix? I'd love to know...all around the globe!

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