Best Views in Bristol

Bristol is a stunning UK city. For all its (many) hills, Bristol boasts some stunning views across the city, over the suspension bridge, along the harbourside, and out into the countryside. I have lived in Bristol for over 8 years, in 7 different areas, and through many long, lock-down walks.

In this post, I’ve curated my favourite spots with the most stunning views. In my list of the top 9, I’ve written a little about the area, the view and accessibility. Here are my top 9 views across Bristol:

  1. Bristol Marina
  2. Clifton Observatory
  3. Pill Path, Cumberland Basin
  4. Brandon Hill Park
  5. Troopers Hill
  6. Stoke Park Estate
  7. The Mound at St Werburghs
  8. Viewpoint at Durdham Down
  9. Blaize Castle Estate

We’ve marked these on a map to see where they lie around the city. In the descriptions below, we’ve also included google coordinates for each.

1. Bristol Marina

Along the south-side stretch of the harbourside walk, right next to the marina, you get stunning views of the colourful houses of Hotwells, the sailboats, the houseboats and the rowers prepping up for a harbour row. I absolutely love this stretch- every walk by brings me joy!

There are loads of stunning spots along the marina. Here is a link to the google coordinates for my favourite spot.

This is very easily accessible for anyone, and any pushchair. Along the riverside, there are lots of benches and some tree cover for shade, or slight rain shelter. There is often a pop-up cafe with a couple of benches right there, and nearby is the pumphouse cafe

What’s more, it’s 2 mins away from the famous Banks ‘girl with the park earring’ graffiti artwork. It is also just a few minutes walk from the SS Great Britain (a famous voyager, turned interactive, living museum), and from the ferry taxi that can take you across the water, and back into town.

2. Clifton Observatory

The Clifton Observatory is a-top a hill overlooking the spectacular Clifton suspension bridge. The view is in the direction south, southwest- so is absolutely stunning on a sunny day.

It is also right across the bridge from Ashton Court where the Baloon fiesta is hosted every year. Many of the iconic photos of balloons over the bridge are taken from this spot.

The Observatory itself is an iconic historical landmark in Bristol. The area has a great history- and the observatory is now a museum and the home of one of the only 3 working camera obscures in the UK! It’s an awesome piece of engineering- a trick of light engineering that shows a view of the bridge and surroundings from inside the tower.

Nearby, check out the ancient stone slide that you can choose instead of the sloping path- and also access to the cave network buried deep in the gorge rock. Here is a link to google coordinates for the area.

3. Pill Path, Cumberland Basin

The Pill path is a route that connects the village of Pill right at the estuary, to the Avon trail that goes all the way to Bath.

There is a stunning view of the suspension bridge from a long stretch as the path goes right under it. Below is where you can really get a sense of just how high and impressive the Bridge is. Slightly further along, there is a beautiful viewpoint that takes in the bridge, the victorian majesty of the Clifton terrace rows and the colourful hill houses of Hotwells.

There’s not much in this area directly but it’s a 10-minute walk from some nice harbourside cafes. That said, this view is best taken in as part of a walk along the Pill path.

The viewpoint is paved but the Pill path is more of a woodland way- accessible and easy to walk but not great on wheels.

This google link is to a skate park nearby– the viewpoint is just near here on the riverside path.

4. Brandon Hill Park

Brandon Hill is a beautiful park set on a very steep slope in Clifton/ Hotwells area. At the top of the hill is Cabot Tower which you can climb for a spectacular viewpoint. Even from the top of the park though, you get an expansive vista over south Bristol.

The view is south-facing, meaning on the right day it’s a gorgeous sunny spot to enjoy. Near the tower are flower gardens and a little pond. It is a very beautifully curated and well-maintained park with lots of benches and spots to sit and enjoy the views.

The park is right next to the famous Park Street- with bountiful cafes, restaurants and vintage shops, and very well connected to the rest of the city.

Here is a link to the closest google location.

5. Troopers Hill

In the east of Bristol, near St George s the rugged Troopers hill. Once an old mine, there’s still a chimney stack at the top and the rugged, sometimes steep grasslands around are enjoyed by picnickers, mountain bikers and dog-walkers.

From the top of the hill (which is close to street level if you enter from the right side), the view looks west-wards across Bristol making this a perfect sunset spot. It also covers a common hot air balloon flight path, so sometimes you’ll get an elevated view of the city.

From the park, you have the option to walk down to the riverside if you want a big of a longer route- and there are pubs nearby, both by the river and in St George for you to enjoy.

Next to the hill is a park with a playground and playing field for kids.

6. Stoke Park Estate

Stoke Park Estate is a wonderful massive park with grassland, woodland, blue-bells, ancient folly’s and the iconic comms tower that you can spot from most places in the east part of the city. Many people also know it for the iconic yellow castle that you see from the M32 on your way into town.

Although it’s right by the motorway- from the top of the hill, it’s not visible- and the steep slope does lead to fabulous views across the eastern side of the city.

There are many views in different directions but the main one, from the comms tower, is east facing- making it a perfect sunrise spot. It is also the flight path for many hot air balloon rides- so, especially in the August season- this is a lovely place to spot them.

Photo of the Iconic comms tower at the top of Stoke Park Estate

7. The Mound at St Werburghs

In the nature park near St Werburgs, there is a hill known as ‘the mound’ with great views across Bristol. At the top of the mound are spots to sit, and, especially on sunny evenings, it is a popular spot for young people to hang out.

The GPS coordinates for ‘the Mound’ the Bristol, are 51.472975, -2.574824 or to find it on google maps you can search for Narroways.

The nature reserve area has paths, but some of these are a bit rugged. The path up to the mound is also steep- so best for those with good mobility.

8. Viewpoint at the Durdham Downs

On the gorgeous expansive field and grassland area of the Durdham down there is a viewpoint (at the far side of the field) giving you a spectacular view of the gorge with the breathtaking suspension bridge to one side and views of the Avon Mouth to the other. GPS coordinates for the viewpoint are 51.469415, -2.634945.

The viewpoint is almost like a balcony, with a railing, and a very steep drop down into the gorge. Across the gorge from the viewpoint is Leigh Woods- and the tree cover makes it feel like the very edge of the city.

In summer there is usually an ice cream van parked here. The downs are also home to many festivals throughout the year, and standing weekly sports pitches so although it’s out of the way, there is good footfall here.

9. Blaize Castle Estate

Blaize castle is a beautiful park in north Bristol, with fields, stunning woodland and a large waterway running through. It is almost a mystical park- the natural landmarks in the woodlands called ‘giants footprint’ and ‘giant’s soapdish’- giving the trail a magical charm!

Photo of Blaize Castle from the Friends of Blaize Instagram page @friendsofblaise

There is a folly structure, and a turreted tower you can climb for some lovely views and also a few spots nearby overlooking the woodlands and remnants of old slate mines. Here is a link to the google coordinates.

Gorams Chair is one beautiful scenic spot- here is a link to the google coordinated for this point.

The park also has a lovely cafe and playground by the car park, and there are sometimes coffees up by the tower as well. There are pathways around where you can wheel a buggy but the beautiful woodlands are best explored on foot.

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