A couple of months ago I made what has possibly been one of the most grown up decisions I have made in my life… I went and got myself a puppy! This little lady has been the apple of my eye since she came to join us in March and it’s been so much fun taking her out and about to new places. Luckily, Bristol is pretty fabulous for beautiful walks and you don’t need a car to get to them all either so, you’re all good to pack a gin or two for the journey! Here are two of the best dog walks in Bristol that we’ve discovered with our littlest family member…
Dog walks in Bristol with Nala
Firstly, I ought to introduce our baby girl. Her name is Nala, after the lioness in The Lion King (one of the best films of all time), and she’s 10 months old. We’d decided we wanted to adopt so I tentatively reached out to a few charities on Facebook and was taken with how kind, informative and honest they were.
Every day I was scouring the various groups and waiting for that gut feeling that would tell me I had found ‘the one’. Finally, I spotted a little golden puppy who had been rescued from the streets of Reunion Island with her two sisters and placed in a temporary foster home. I contacted the small French charity, Mountain Doggy Adoption, who had posted the pics and, after asking lots of questions and receiving lots of videos and photos, we put the wheels in motion to bring this little beauty home!
Of course, the course of true love never did run smooth and on her due date (honestly, it was like waiting for a baby to arrive), when she was expected to fly into Heathrow, we were told that there was an embargo on dogs entering the country by plane – they could only come in by car or train! So, in true superhero style, our boyfriends drove to France to collect her. And she was worth every bit of worry and hassle.
Although Nala has just been with us a couple of months, we can’t imagine life without her and she has had a fair few fun-filled dog walks in Bristol since we’ve been able to let her off the lead. You don’t necessarily need a dog to enjoy getting back to nature, but seeing how happy she is exploring with her pack certainly makes it a whole lot more fun! Here’s a 60 second video of the two wonderful walks I’m about to recommend…
The best dog walks in Bristol
My first recommendation is the Avon Valley riverside walk to Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve – easily accessed by Lawrence Hill train station. Cutting through Netham Park, you can reach the River Avon and follow the meandering riverside trail for about 30 minutes down to Conham River Park.
Here, there are picnic benches and small woodland trails to discover, but if you’re feeling a tad parched after the walk, you may have noticed the beautiful, spacious pub garden, perched on the bank across the river. This is Beese’s Riverside Bar, the perfect spot to sit and relax with your pooch, watching the river traffic float lazily by.
When you see the pub appear across the water, just wait at the tiny jetty and a little boat will come across to pick you up. After a tipple at the fully-stocked bar – they do cocktail jugs too though I haven’t yet given those a try – head up the steps to Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve, just next door. Here you can trek around to your heart’s content through meadows, woodland and babbling brooks – a Bristol dog walk that will tire out even the most hyperactive pooch.
Another of the dog walks in Bristol we really enjoy is up at Blaise Castle Estate. We hopped on the train to Sea Mills which is just a short walk from the estate through woodland paths, thick with wild garlic – love that smell so much! This 650 acre Grade II listed estate could take up the best part of a day with a mix of picturesque walks that are steeped in romance – think stone bridges, a limestone gorge and a large grassy area perfect for picnics.
With summer coming, there’s no better time to get out and embrace Bristol’s natural side – let us know if you know of any other great Bristol dog walks. Nala’s waiting!
All pics by Alex Saint