Family days out in Bristol shouldn’t cost you a fortune, in fact they can be completely free!

As a family we are  always looking for places to spend the day and have an adventure, the wonderful thing about living in Bristol is there are lots of great places to explore that are free or with an affordable parking charge!

I thought I would share with you some of our favourites…

Ashton court estate

A beautiful historic mansion and 850 acres of woods and greenery…what’s not to love about this place.

We always take a picnic with us. We just love wandering around and finding the prefect spot, usually under a tree with a beautiful view to take in whilst eating our sandwiches.

The scenic walks are endless in this huge estate, if you have very little ones or are taking a pushchair you can simply just keep to the path. If you feel like a bit of a ramble you can also take the adventure into the woods.

The mansion itself is very impressive and great for the kids to wander around and explore, they have a café that you can grab some refreshments from if needed, you can also find the toilets there too. The views from the mansion are fantastic, its worth taking a moment to sit and take it all in.

You can’t visit this place and not stop to appreciate all the wildlife, we particularly love watching out for the deer’s. As if that’s not enough they also have a beautiful flower garden that is a must see in the spring and summer. Emilia loves to play hide and seek amongst the trees next to the mansion!

Entrance is free. There is also a car park here with a pay and display system but for a very reasonable £1.20 fee for the whole day!


You can find this place close to Avon gorge and near the suspension bridge, its not too far from Ashton court either so it’s sometimes a good place to visit on the same day.

Leigh woods is 2 square kilometres of fun and adventures. Expect lots of trees and lush views, woodland walks and adventure spots  for the little ones to explore. Emilia loves to seek out the huge swings and wooden teepees.

However my favourite part about visiting this place is once you’ve walked and explored till your hearts content, you can find your way to the breath taking views of the suspension bridge. So beautiful and a real treat to your eyes!

Entrance is free, parking is allowed with a pay and display system – it was £2 for 2 hours when we visited

Stoke Park

When I first moved to Bristol I used to wonder what the deal was with the yellow mansion on the top of the hill as we drove passed it on the motorway. I have only recently discovered that it is in fact situated within the beautiful Stoke Park, which is such a great place for dog walkers and for familys looking to climb the hills and take in the views.

Located in North Bristol alongside the M32 this estate is a vast open space of 270 acres, you will see lots of lush greenery, a wooded area and a lovely lake, so lots to explore!  The yellow mansion house (The Dower House) which used to be a hospital has now been converted into private apartments.

entrance is free – very limited free parking here so be prepared for that, we managed to get one of the few designated parking spots for visitors but there was about only 3 or 4!

Nightingale Valley

As we have a toddler who is absolutely obsessed with the lovable (or super annoying)  kids character Peppa Pig –  When we heard that nightingale valley in Brislington has its own magical woodland trail with characters from the show featured throughout, we couldn’t wait to take Emilia to see!

The Peppa pig characters are colourful images that have been pinned to trees and in caves around the reserve.  The kids will love wandering around the beautiful nature reserve and enjoy spotting as many characters as they can along the way. Needless to say Emilia loved this and we had a truly fantastic afternoon.

The nature reserve is a mixture of woods, fields and slopes. It also has a lovely stream running through it. So its a great place to visit even if you haven’t got a toddler that likes Peppa pig. It really is just a beautiful spot and a lovely place to walk and take in some nature for an hour or so.

entrance is free – there is no designated car park here, we found a place to park on a near by street.

Arnos vale cemetery

Another recent discovery for us was the enchanting woodlands of Arnos vale. Another perfect dog walking spot but also a fun day out for the little ones. The heritage site is set in 45 acres and as the name suggests it is a burial ground with actual graves. That might sound like an odd place to visit for a day out but please don’t let that deter you as it’s really beautiful.

What’s really lovely about this place is that the trees in the wooded areas have been decorated with little fairy doors. It isn’t known who the creators of the doors are but Emilia thought that this was simply  magical and was super excited to seek out all of the fairy doors along the way. she actually knocked on every door to see if anyone would answer, bless her little 2 year old heart!

There are lots of leafy walks to get involved with here and you can expect to see lots of wildflowers and Victorian monuments along the way. We think this place is just charming and is the perfect quirky little day out for the family

parking is free but very limited – no entrance fee either

Blaise Castle Estate

Located near Henbury this impressive estate really has it all and is without doubt one of our favourite places to visit in Bristol.

It has a beautiful grade 2 listed manor house, an adorable castle, huge playing fields, leafy walks, woodlands AND to top it all off it has a really awesome playground!!  Its everything you need to ensure a fun day out for the little ones!

We always start with the manor house, take a long walk that eventually leads us to the castle and then we head over to the playground to let Emilia burn off even more steam. It’s also perfect for picnics with lots of spots to choose from. This place is also a dog walkers dream!

Parking is free and entrance is free which makes this place perfect on every level!