10 Popular Hikes and Walks Near Bristol

One of the best things about Bristol is its location. It is so close to the Cotswolds area of outstanding national beauty, just across the river from the Wye Valley, Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons, and with the Mendipss Hill range below.

Not only that but it’s right by the Severn estuary tidal beaches, and close to Devon and Exmoor too. Really, there is an absolute abundance of gorgeous nature walks nearby to enjoy!

And Bristol is a city full of keen nature walkers. In fact, these are some fantastically popular walks for anyone in the Bristol and Local surrounding areas.

This post introduces you to 10 popular walks and day hikes near Bristol. For each, we give you the length, the time it might take and a link to the AllTrails route for that walk.

AllTrails is a fantastic walking app- I highly recommend it and for general use, it’s completely free! It maps out the route with a far better image of the public footpaths (allowing you to customise if necessary) and allows you to navigate your location along them. AllTrails allows anyone to upload a walk and people rate and comment on them- reading the comments can be a great way to get a sense of what you’re up against.

Summary Table of the 10 most popular Walks (by area):

Brecon Beacons Walk Distance (Length)Distance/accessibility from BristolAllTrails Link
1. Sugarloaf4.3 miles (~2hr30) (option for 11 miles from Abergavenny) by Car, or Abergavenny accessible by Public TransportShorter Link, Extended Link
2. Pen-y-fan Circular4.6 miles (~3hr15)by Car, not easy by Public TransportPen-Y-Fan Link
3. Horseshoe Walk8.4 miles (~4hr45)by Car, not easy by Public TransportHorseshoe Link
4. 4 Waterfalls Walk6.1 miles (~3hr)by Car, not easy by Public TransportWaterfalls Link
5. Blorenge Circular7 miles (~3hr30)by Car, not easy by Public TransportBlorenge Link
PortisheadWalk Distance (Length)Distance/accessibility from BristolAllTrails Link
6. Clevedon to Portishead Coastal Trail6 miles (~2hr20)by Car or Bus from BristolClevedon Link
Wye ValleyWalk Distance (Length)Distance/accessibility from BristolAllTrails Link
7. Eagles Nest Circular7 miles (~3hr20)By Car (Close to Eagles Nest) or Public Transport to Chepstow close to walk startEagles Link
8. Tintern Abbey and Devils Pulpit Circular5 miles (~2hr30)by Car or Public Transport to Tintern AbbeyTintern Link
MendipsWalk Distance (Length)Distance/accessibility from BristolAllTrails Link
9. Crooks Peak Circular6 miles (~3hr)By Car or Accessible by Public Transport to close byCrooks Link
10. Cheddar Gorge3.7 mile (~2hr15)by Car or Pubic Transport to CheddarCheddar Link

In this next section, we take you through a small description of each one with some photos for inspiration. Remember to check out the AllTrails site for crowdsourced up to date pictures taken by walkers.

1. Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf is a mountain peak near Abergavenny. Walking up a peak is one of the most satisfying walking feelings- so it is a really great one to do- and achieve the ‘climb’ feels, which being so close to a town!

There are two routes you can do (or you can merge the two!). One goes from a car park a little way out of the town. This is partially an in/out route but with a small circular around the peak. This route is 4.3 miles (about 7 km) which takes around 2hr30 to complete. See these all trail links in the table above.

The alternative route goes from the town of Abergavenny itself and does an extended large circular route around the peak and up to the top. This is an 11-mile route and will take about 6hrs30, so if you are up for it, go prepared with plenty of food and water and appropriate gear in case the weather changes.

You also have the option to merge these routes- taking the trail from Abergavenny, but then doing the shorter mountain route which could be a nice in-between options, and it keeps the trail accessible by public transport. You can get there by train from bristol (usually via a change in Newport)- and it takes about 1hr30. Otherwise Abergavenny is about an hour’s drive away from Bristol.

2. Pen Y Fan Circular

This is a very popular circular walk. It is a very well-maintained path up to the peaks and a bit more rugged on the way back, but still accessible for an average walker with good walking shoes. Stunning view will greet you from the top after you’ve passed the first ridge!

The walk is likely to take about 3hrs15, it’s 4.6 miles (which is about 7.5 km). Pen-Y-Fan Link

At the car park at the bottom, there are portaloos and often you will find a coffee cart or snack cart- especially on more popular days with goodweather. The car parks at the bottom are about a 1hr30 min drive from Bristol, making this a lovely day trip!

3. Horseshoe Walk

The horseshoe walk is a long but stunning trail. It starts with a strong climb and then goes gently up and down a number of famous peaks including Corn Du and Pen-Y-Fan. These will tend to be busy but there are plenty of quieter sections to this walk which makes it really special.

The walk is 8.4 miles (~13.5km) and can take 4.45 hours to complete- longer if you rest or stop for picnics. See the Horseshoe AllTrails Link here.

In some sections, you walk near to sheer drops (though always on a path a few meters from the edge). Be sure to check the weather before going, as mountain cloud cover will make this route dangerous. The Brecon Beacons weather warnings will tell you the chance of cloud cover on the peaks- these hills are big- they can be dangerous if you are not well equipped.

It is a lovely trail, going through open hilltops, woods and gentle paths. Highly recommended for a great, active day out.

4. 4 Waterfalls

The four waterfalls walk is awesome! I love a waterfall, and these are big, impressive ones. On the trail, one of them is a fall in front of a cave, allowing you to walk on a path behind the crashing water!

This is a circular route (and definitely required good shoes in case the rocks are wet and slippery). It is generally a well-kept route and a nice moderate walk. It is very popular so expect to see many other walkers on a busy day!

Photo from behind a waterfall on the 4 waterfalls walk!

5. Blorenge Circular

Blorange circular is a lovely little loop with some beautiful lakes, a small woods, a little hill that packs a small-walking punch, and generally lovely, expansive views.

The walk itself is about 7 miles (just over 11km) and might take about 3.5 hrs to complete. See the Blorenge Circular AllTrails Link here.

The first couple hundred meters downward slope and up being along some stones that turn into a small stream when it’s pouring with rain- it makes the walking a little challenging- but nothing a good pair of shoes won’t let you conquer.

There is a car park right by the first main lake- and it is a popular wild swimming spot. There are local groups who meet there- and some picnic facilities (as far as I remember from about a year ago). It’s not easy by public transport so driving there is recommended.

It’s not too far from Bristol which makes it a good option for half-day walk (with a nice pub stop en route back).

Photos from the Blorange circular walk

You might also like our other post: 5 Great Walks (With Pub Stops) Near Bristol

6. Portishead to Clevedon Coastal Path

The Clevedon to Portishead path is a great option- easily accessible from bristol by car or by public transport and there are busses between the two so although it’s not a circular route, it’s one you can do without 2 cars if that’s the way you choose to travel.

Portishead waterfront

It’s a coastal walk, and coastal walks are always lovely. They are also full of weather so make sure you dress right for the occasion.

The route is about 6 miles (10km) so expect it to take you about 2hr20. See the Clevedon to Portishead Alltrails Link here.

It’s worth noting that this is lovely for the sea-feeling so close to a city. Are there nicer coast paths? yes! are there nicer seafronts? yes! but for a weekend walk so easily accessible I really recommend it.

Clevedon Marine Lake

In Clevedon is the marine lake so if you chose to do this walk backwards you could end with a swim and some fish and chips by the seafront! The Clevedon marine lake gets lovely sunsets. In fact, so nice we feature it on our 45 Ultimate Bristol Date Ideas post.

7. Eagles Nest

Eagles nest is a viewpoint just outside of Tintern in the wye valley. The suggested walk is a circular route, starting right near Chepstow which make is easily accessible by car or by public transport. The route walks along a trail toward the lookout, does a little circle and then back along the same path.

There is a steep climb up to the viewpoint. The suggested walk takes you up the very steep step trail! Not for the faint-hearted. You also have the option to reverse the direction of the loop which would make for a gentler ascend- and a less intense walk back down the steps. Whatever suits your fancy.

This walk is about 7 miles in total (~11km) which might take about 3hrs 20 to complete. See the Eagles Nest AllTrails Link here.

The view from the top expands out across the estuary and you can see bristol on the other side in the far distance.

Stunning view from Eagles Nest viewpoint

8. Tintern Abbey and Devils Pulpit Circular

Tintern Abbey is a ruin at the foothills of the wye valley. It is a small town, but cafes, pubs and tourist attractions around their old mill house. You can go to visit the ruins on some days- but they are also visible free from the road if you don’t want to walk around inside them.

From Tintern, you can do a nice walk up to the Devil’s Pulpit viewpoint and a small circular back down. The countryside in that area is beautiful, you’ll see the abbey from above, the river wye and lush green hills and forest.

The walk is about 5 miles (8km) and might take 2 and a half hours to complete. See the Tintern Abbey AllTrails Link here

You can take a train or bus to Tintern so it’s a good walk that is accessible by public transport.

9. Crooks Peak Circular

Crooks peak circular is a lovely little route in the Mendips, that winds through King’s Wood and then climbs up Wavering Down and Crooks Peak for some spectacular views. It’s mainly through big open fields meaning it’s one of those walks where you can really enjoy and feel all the elements!

The walk itself is about 6 miles (which is just under 10 km) and might take you about 3 hours to complete. Here is a link to the Crooks Peak AllTrails page to see the route.

The great thing is you can reach a point very near to the start by public transport from Bristol. This is a very well-recommended hop into nature from the city.

10. Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar gorge in the Mendips is a classic circular walk- very well-loved by many. For good reason, you walk up one side, along a ridge-top down, across the valley and up to the next ridge top where you walk along with some really stunning views and then down back to cheddar.

The walk is about 3.7 miles (~6km) and might take 2 and a quarter hours to complete. See the Cheddar Gorge AllTrails Link here.

The town is a hub for Mendips walking, cycling and adventure activities, climbing and the Wookey hole caves so there are a couple of cafes and restaurants. It’s a bit tacky- but if you embrace it- it’s part of the charm!

Cheddar is accessible by bus which makes it a good walking option for those without a car. There is also a visitor centre you can drop in for info about the walk. It’s a very popular one on good weather days.

Personally, I recommend the Edelweiss cafe!

We hope this has been a useful guide- and has inspired you for some of these popular walks around Bristol!

If you enjoy walking we have another post: 5 Great Walks (With Pub Stops) Near Bristol and for those who maybe don’t have time to travel out of the city but fancy a dose of the countryside feeling: 3 Fantastic Nature Walks in Bristol 2023

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