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Explore Leigh Woods
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.2/5)

Woodland trails in Leigh Woods. Forest of DeanA very popular wood on the outskirts of Bristol consisting of mixed broadleaves and open coppice areas. There are views over the Avon gorge.

Accessed via an avenue of copper beech trees, planted to commemorate the Queen's Coronation in 1953, the medium sized car park is the ideal place for starting off on a walk in these woods. There are a number of picnic tables.

Stargazing in the forest

Escape the city and experience stars in the night sky like never before when visiting Leigh Woods this winter. Download your beginner's guide to stargazing, then visit our family-friendly "Why stars matter" trail to bring the night sky to life! The trail begins at the main car park, where you'll need to follow the red walking trail. You can also join us on a fun family night walk on 25 March to celebrate Earth Hour. Booking essential. 

Leigh Woods Coffee Co.

New to Leigh woods, the Leigh Woods Coffee Co. are now on site every weekend and school holidays, serving a range of delicious hot drinks and snacks. For more details visit their facebook page

My Green World- Learning at Leigh Woods

Cardinham Forest SchoolOutdoor learning specialists, My Green World run a range of sessions from their base in Leigh Woods including school visits, family fun sessions, toddler activites and much more.  Visit their website for more information and to book sessions or find them on Facebook.

Pedal Progression- MTB skills coaching at Leigh Woods

Hoping to Inspire, excite and develop mountain biking, 'Pedal Progression' have a purpose built coaching area within Leigh woods. From here, they are able to design the perfect session for you, your group or family. Their expert coaches have years of experience in teaching a range of skills for all ages and abilities. For more information visit their website or find them on facebook.

Walking Trails 

There are two waymarked forest trails that leave from the car park. The easy Purple trail and the moderate Red trailParadise Bottom is also a great place for walking for those wanting to get off of the beaten track.  

Cycling at Leigh Woods

Whether you've just bought your first bike, or you're happy shredding over roots, Leigh Woods offers a fantastic opportunity for natural cycling.  Find out more


The variety of woods, glades and wide sunny paths encourage a richness of wildlife and special plants including Bristol rock cress and Bristol onion.

Stokeleigh Camp, an Iron Age hill-fort, was built around 300BC. Finds of Neolithic arrow-heads and axe-heads show that hunting existed here long before the Iron Age. Some of these arrow-heads are on display at the Ashton Court Visitor Centre.

Download a leaflet of Leigh Woods. The National Trust own part of the Woodland.

Parking facilities at Leigh Woods are free of charge.

What do other visitors say?

3 Stars 3 Stars

Love Leigh Woods and have been visiting for years but it's getting very overcrowded. In the last 6 months the car park has gone crazy, with people most weekends parking on the grass all the way up the avenue of trees. Not surprisingly a fair few getting stuck in the wet mud and trashing the grass. Not sure if it's the parking sign added to the main road or the increase in facilities like the coffee van mentioned below. It's a shame really. Someone needs to have a think about what the real capacity is and adjust the signage/facilities to regulate traffic. It's gone a bit too far.

James Rossiter, 23/Jan/2018

We are aware of people parking where they shouldn’t be and are working on a plan of action for stopping the use of the grass along the avenue. At this moment in time, there are no future plans to increase the size of the car park, but using visitor data we are compiling evidence to show the growth of the site as a tourist hot spot. Thank you for visiting Leigh Woods and we hope you continue to.

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

I often walk in the woods or park in the car park to enjoy some peace and greenery/birds etc, this last year however I have been concerned about the amount of coffee cups and food wrappings thrown about. These cups are not bio-gradable or recyclable, why in a lovely spot like this do we allow fast food and coffee to be sold there. I am not the only person who has noticed the mess, foreign visitors I met on the CS Bridge also remarked on it, people can exist without a coffee etc clutched in their hands

DIANE BRAKE, 1/Dec/2017
4 Stars 4 Stars

ThWent for a walk through Leigh Woods and Paradise Bottom last week-end - lovely! Just the right timing for an autumn walk, to enjoy the colours and all those leaves! We began by walking along the river and wondered what the paint code meant - we spotted several plants, both small and large, singled out for an orange-and-blue tag. We were puzzled by the complexity of this tagging - what does it mean and why go to the trouble of marking the plants with orange AND blue paint - do explain!

Another question: years ago, I remember walking through Leigh Woods and coming across a half-finished bulding, made from naturally occuring local timber. It was, I think, about the size of a modern house and when I saw it, was half way through having the roof completed with what looked like oak shingles - is it still there, or has it been dismantled? Was it ever finished, and what was it for? Do tell!!

Thanks for your hard work :-)

Simon from Easton, 12/Nov/2016

It is lovely to hear that you had such a nice walk in Leigh woods. I am afraid we do not know exactly what the different coloured tags represent. We are supporting research by bristol university, looking at the colonistation of pollinating plants in different forest situations. The building you refer to sounds like it could be our Greenwood shelter. This was indeed completed and can still be found in the woods. To reach it you simply follow the 'red' waymarked trail from our car park and you will come accross it. The shelter was originally built as part of a community project and is currenty being used as a base for our learning partners 'My Green World', who are running family woodland sessions, toddler sessions and educational visits for schools from there. The shelter is open to the general public the rest of the time. Please feel free to visit it.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 18th January 2018

Help us take care of your forest

What's Here?

  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Cycling
  • Family cycling and some singletrack.
  • Walking
  • Waymarked walking trails in Leigh Woods.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: ST553741

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0300 067 4800

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.